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For many 2016 raked us over the existential coals, and if you are like me trying to understand the why can become almost like an obsession. Wondering what it was that you did in order to deserve such hardship, and thinking that somehow you are lessor for what has happened. Damaged, flawed, lacking in some way or another.

In my search for answers I found Wabi Sabi:

​” … Wabi Sabi is the quinessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble … “​

To me this philosophy gave me a new perspective, that allowed me to look at things in an awed way, allowing for beauty and opportunity to grow out of crisis. Accepting the natural cycle of growth and deacay and seeing the beauty in each stage.  Wabi Sabi is a  concept that is rather felt than articulated or understood, an appreciation that something or someone is more beautiful because of the experiences had. It is the intrinsic beauty of something that ages naturally. It is the aesthetic of imperfection, austerity, affirmation, and melancholy. It is the beauty of the weathered, the tarnished, the scarred, the intimate. It is the appreciation for the ephemeral, the tentative, the evanescent.

Leonard Koren writes in his book, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, on the understanding of beauty in the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi.
“Wabi-sabi represents the exact opposite of the Western ideal of great beauty as something monumental, spectacular, and enduring. Wabi-sabi is not found in nature at moments of bloom and lushness, but at moments of inception or subsiding. Wabi-sabi is not about gorgeous flowers, majestic trees, or bold landscapes. Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to the vulgar eyes.

”Like homeopathic medicine, the essence of wabi-sabi is apportioned in small doses. As the dose decreases, the effect becomes more potent, more profound. The closer things get to nonexistence, the more exquisite and evocative they become. Consequently to experience wabi-sabi means you have to slow way down, be patient, and look very closely.”

In this TEDx talk Wabi-sabi: The magnificence of imperfection, Cheryl Hunter inspires us to own our imperfections as part of what makes us unique and not hide. You will need some tissues

You may be looking at the prospect of a new year and wishing you felt hopeful. You may feel a sense of crushing overwhelm. Perhaps your days are lived through a mental fog, feeling drained of energy. Moody and irritable, or with a deep sense of loneliness. Don’t be afraid, you can transform your darkness into light. Speak to your naturopath about how natural medicine can help transform your suffering into strength.

Naturopath Denise x

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