A couple of years ago, a coaching client told me about Kintsukuroi (golden joinery) also known as Kintsugi (golden repair), which is the Japanese term for art of repairing ceramics with gold.
I like the poetry of “there is strength and beauty in the breaks”.
Times of adversity are a challenge depending on your circumstances, but I believe that what’s on the other side is golden and precious.
Many years ago, I had a burn out which also coincided with chronic back pain. Once I stopped being angry at my body and the world for what was happening to me, I started to listen. I decided to let my body guide me back to well-being and discovered along the way what a beautiful and wise instrument it was!
Having gone through the break, it was now sharper than ever and I was more attuned to it. As a result, I could be alerted a lot faster to circumstances that were not in my best interest and adjust my course to healthier choices.
It led to paths I would have never dreamed of. I taught tap dancing and revelled in the joy of creating choreographies. I went from being afraid I would never dance again to creating something that was part of the music, and gave it visual movement through the dancers. What a gift! I had no idea I had that in me. That break revealed that strength.
Another example is when my mom divorced my dad in the 70s. Back then, there was still a stigma that came with that. She was afraid of how it would affect my brother and myself and vowed, as if she had that power, that it wouldn’t. What I got to see was her determination to be independent, to build a career and make a difference in the world – and she did. To this day, she remains a bright and powerful light that is very hard to ignore!:) That break gave her wings and she turned out to be more empowered by it than she imagined.
Another situation related to family was my grandma who lived well into her nineties and widowed as my grandpa died many years before. Like most men of his generation in Europe, he was in charge of the money for the household. Grandma managed to put away some coins that she would give us in secret (oh the fun of that!) but she was not the one writing cheques or paying bills. When he died, she was a bit at a loss as to how to do all of that, but once she got the hang of it, she was a new person! Withdrawing money at an ATM was like a game for the little girl that was still inside of her. It was a thrill to watch that transformation and see that part of her come to life.
So experience has taught me that we all face obstacles and go through challenging emotions that we tend to resist; it’s part of life. It has especially taught me that if you make it a point to remember the art of Kintsugi, when ready, you have the power to transform fear, sadness or anger into curiosity of what lies ahead for you. Difficult times will change you, no matter what. Being curious about what you’ll make of it changes your perspective and therefore opens the door to a future full of hope.
It feels a lot better and the world can add one more unique, beautiful work of art to its collection!