Wabi-sabi: the Japanese script for humble beauty or the art of finding beauty in imperfection
Live Life Well
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Simple Pleasures Everyday Love (SPEL) is a unique community of smart, funny, deep-thinking people proactive about increasing the depth & fulfillment we get from life.
It's a renewable source of things we all just seem to love: life's little joys, charmed moments, and everyday epiphanies that strike a chord.
SPEL's also a happiness-enhancing strategy, a continual reminder to notice & relish ordinary, everyday experiences. (And luscious details matter.)
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THE STORY OF A
"An Amazing Life Story..."
Being Part of Someone's First
Lovin' the Town You're With
How to Stop Saying Yes When You Mean No
The Nuptial Journey
(Reflections on 30 years of marriage)
Making Uncertainty an Ally
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Cindy O'Krepki , Freelance Writer
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The Kindness of a Stranger
When Nature Pulls a Fast One
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The Dalai Palma
Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition
is to be what I already am.
Perfection is overrated.
I would know. Not because I ever came remotely close to reaching it, but because for most of my life I was a slavish overachiever performing every task with steely determination, hyper-focus, & rigid efficiency. (Smacked of a need for validation, don’t you think?)
So much so that furrowed forehead lines have won the territory between my brows & beg for a shot of Botox. For all too many of my 31 years of marriage, I tried to speed my husband up, only to find out it was me who would benefit from slowing down.
Take it from me, fellow self-improvement junkies, if we change our supposed imperfections without changing our core beliefs, we’ll soon find ourselves with something else “imperfect” to fixate upon. Like dripping water eroding rock, this existential angst takes its toll on our vitality.
So it’s hugely liberating when we realize—really truly, realize—that not only is being imperfect NOT a negative, but also that there’s a certain endearing beauty inherent in our flaws & shortcomings.
As a recovering perfectionist, here’s what I’ve learned so far: Passion inflames & perfectionism extinguishes.
And since close personal relationships come from being authentic & having experiences others can relate to, perfectionism blocks what we really want—true intimacy & connection.
By Divine design, we’re all in this together, that is, part of & connected by the human condition of imperfection. Authors David Boyle & Ted Orland put it this way in their book Art & Fear, “Without warts it is not clear what you would be, but clearly you wouldn’t be one of us.”
So why not roll up our sleeves in solidarity to do less & be more (and ironically, get more done, seemingly counterintuitive—but oh-so-true)?
In this state a totally different energy backs our doing—perfectly compatible with taking action, instigating change or accomplishing goals. It’s a way of being that automatically produces a significantly better way of doing—a far more effective & noble use of the energy we call life.
There was a time I prided myself in being a Type-A personality, regularly searching through my mental files to determine what most needed addressing. Then eking out acceptance of myself according to my perception of progress. I thought that if I didn’t hold myself accountable to change that I’d be forever destined to the status quo.
As soon as we deeply believe:
I don’t need fixin’;
I don’t need to improve myself to accept exactly who I am;
I am where I am for now & that’s okay;
... that stuff starts getting fixed seemingly all on its own. Take a minute & really breathe that in. It’s like inhaling calm.
That’s because, illogical as it may appear, the most direct route to improving ourselves is accepting ourselves unconditionally, flaws & all. By letting go of who we think we should be & falling in love with who we are. You see, love never fails at anything it ever undertakes. And judgment never succeeds.
If there was only one cure-all elixir in life it would be to approve of ourselves without an asterisk. It acts like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the more we love ourselves the more we act in loveable ways. And when we’re unassailably comfortable in our own skin, the world reflects back to us how much we value ourselves.
Imperfect & empowered are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are entirely complementary notions. Letting go of our long list of qualifiers & conditions & welcoming the imperfect is the way to become what impossible-to-achieve perfectionism promises but never delivers— our brightest, best selves.
• Breaking free of façades & stripping away pretense
• No longer having to prove anything to others or, for that matter, to ourselves
• Celebrating who we already are
• Laughing the loudest at our own gaffes
• Living unself-consciously as the genuine article
Time for a return to Love. To remember we hail from the Divine. To love ourselves out of hiding into our truest, deepest selves—messily, marvelously who we were born to be in all our imperfect perfection.
Since what I’ve learned about the beauty of imperfection thus far is, well, imperfect; do share your insights.
So let’s trade in the pursuit of perfect to practice, however imperfectly:
It's Happy in Here (TM) (Series) | How to Be Happy: 22 Tips to Everyday Bliss by Cindy O'Krepki
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