Tag Archives: values

wabi-sabi

“Wabi Sabi is a way of life that appreciates and accepts complexity while at the same time values simplicity. It nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. To accept these realities is to accept contentment as the maturation of happiness, and to acknowledge that clarity and grace can be found in genuine unvarnished existence.” ~ Richard R. Powell, Author-Wabi Sabi Simple

Let’s break it down.
Wabi is the quality of simplicity and naturalism.
Sabi means things whose beauty stems from age. As things become more used and weathered, they become more beautiful.
Wabi-sabi celebrates transience and imperfection.

Wabi-sabi does not resist the simple realities that, “nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.” This aesthetic does not strive for perfection or endlessly attempt to change or manipulate these ideas. So if we adopt these ancient Japanese principles, we must shift our perspectives.

Anxieties about not knowing if something will last forever may subside with the acknowledgment that nothing is permanent.
Energy spent on trying to control and prevent change and growth will be reserved by embracing the reality that nothing is finished.
Desperation to claim perfection may fall away by seeing perfection in imperfection.

Life is filled with the unexpected – both exciting and challenging. We cannot avoid this but what we can do is have some control over how we experience things and how we move through the world. I offer you the challenge of integrating wabi-sabi into your life and into your view of the world. Notice what shifts for you internally and externally.

Now go, show off the patina on your collar and celebrate your imperfections! You are stunning!

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personal resolve

Year-end is a marker of time and offers a natural moment to both reflect and look forward. During this time of year, it seems most people are talking about resolutions. What kinds of decisions, changes, etc. they will be making in their life beginning January first. While these tend to be done with good intention, the truth is that most of these new year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten or broken, leaving behind a feeling of failure. While many remain entrenched in the new year’s resolution cycle, some sway in the complete opposite direction by making no resolutions. And of course, let us recognize that there are those for whom these resolutions stick.

No matter what your experience, I invite you to make this year different by replacing your resolutions with personal resolve.

What is personal resolve? A lifelong commitment to yourself. Knowing your own personal truth no matter what. It parallels the age old existential questions, “who am I?” and “what defines me?” When we know our own truth we become grounded in ourselves. Thus, less likely to become emotionally wiped out by other people or events. When we know our own truth, we make better choices and decisions, as they match our internal value system, ultimately creating more satisfaction in our lives.

This year I challenge you to get to know yourself better and to understand what makes you tick. I encourage you to cultivate your own personal resolve. Begin by noticing your actions and reactions. What gets you excited? Angry? Sad? Passionate? What are your intentions?

Take a moment and consider your own personal resolve. What do you know to be true about yourself no matter what?


\in-ˈten(t)-shən\

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intention – \in-ˈten(t)-shən\ – a determination to act in a certain way : resolve

American dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham, said that “first we have to believe, and then we believe.”

Having conscious intention, determination and a belief in ourselves, allows us to align our personal value system with our actions. Why is that important? Because when our actions don’t match our values, we become dissatisfied and distressed.

Conscious intention also allows us to transform our lives into what we envision for ourselves.

Begin with your values. What do you value? Perhaps friends, family, authenticity, honesty, a well-balanced life, honoring your self, honoring your body, unconditional acceptance of your body, self-acceptance…

What actions match these values? Connecting with friends and family, being authentic, balancing work, play, sleep, food, etc., paying attention to your emotional and physical needs, doing away with judgment, showing unconditional positive regard towards your body and your self…

What is/are your intention(s)? To connect with people, to express your feelings, to be compassionate towards yourself… How often do you think about it?

What is your conscious intention today?


“Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.” – Obi Wan Kenobi

The New York Times blogger, Tara Parker-Pope, blogged on Monday about “When Fatty Feasts Are Driven by Automatic Pilot.” She writes of a study that suggests new opportunities to control obesity with drugs that target the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The last line of Tara’s blog post reads, “but just because your brain is being hijacked, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to protect yourself,” seems, at least to me, to suggest that part of being responsible is existing in an atmosphere of body hatred and engaging in unhealthy behaviors, in this case, taking diet pills. And while not everyone develops eating disorders, this value system plays a critical hand in pushing the envelope for those who are vulnerable.

As time and science advance, we continue to learn more, define more and ultimately in some ways manipulate more, particularly in the vein of food, weight and shape. Societally we are drawn to the next quick fix. But what about the underlying motivations for our behaviors?  When do we take the time to understand why we are doing the things we are doing and the emotional undercurrents that lie beneath? When will we begin to use valuable information about how our body runs well, optimally and healthily to honor it rather than use it to manipulate and strangulate our bodies and our selves? Perhaps at this juncture in time, this is more of a personal question within a culture of thinness.

I am not in any way suggesting that science halt any and all research related to body weight, shape and size. My point here is not to support or deny that, perhaps, in some cases the use of medication may be an important facet within a multi-faceted approach to dealing with obesity. My intention is to highlight how we, societally and privately, use this information. While we continue to push for society to strive towards health rather than thinness at any cost, you, we, all of us, have the opportunity to make empowered choices that match our own internal value system, which hopefully includes living a well-balanced life without excess or restriction.