The philosophy of Wabi Sabi helps in heightening the appreciation of what we possess while curbing the desire to have more than we need. Apart from making us dissatisfied, whimsical and frivolous purchases negatively affect our contentment with life.
Having a sense of gratitude for what we have, will also aid our understanding that the attainment of happiness does not always depend on the money we are ready to spend. Take the example of spending time with our loved ones. Our family and dear ones are an important part of our life, and getting to spend time with them is a blessed experience that not all are lucky to enjoy.
Making the best of what we have, begins by making the best of every day that we get to enjoy. Getting restful sleep helps us face each day with energy and enthusiasm. Lack of adequate sleep not only deprives us of a sense of anticipation to face the day but leads us to a state of lethargy and stress.
It’s indeed amazing how sufficient sleep can help us to have a more optimistic approach towards life.
Appreciation – A daily ritual
One of the best ways to feel grateful about our life, is to appreciate the factors that we tend to take for granted in our life, eg: health, family, food, shelter and so on. We can heighten our sense of gratitude by writing down what makes us happy everyday. If this step does not enhance our sense of gratitude then visiting the nearest orphanage or Special Needs Center can be a reminder to appreciate what we have, more than we do. Many of the people we take for granted are greatly missed by those who do not have them in their lives. Our ability to move around independently and do what we want, are actions that are unimaginable for those experiencing poor health, have special needs or terminal illness.
Respecting us – as much as others
At a recent workshop I had conducted for women, several had the notion that their happiness rested on the happiness of their spouse and their children. Through discussions and examples, I conveyed the importance of loving oneself and the danger that arises from the lack of it. Lack of respect or love for oneself not only leads to discontent over a period of time, but affects the self-esteem and confidence of the person to face life with courage.
Many years ago I used to put in a lot of efforts in attempting to make people happy. That included members of my family and anyone I came across. In the process, I forgot the happiness about one important person in life – myself.
Not surprisingly, I started to find people intimidating, annoying and to top it all, received mainly complaints and flak from them. I started noticing that the more efforts I made to see them happy the more criticism I received from them. In some cases, I was even shown contempt much to my surprise and dismay.
This went on to a point that the reactions and complaints of people started affecting my health. I realized that my body was attempting to communicate the stress it was taking because of my neglect. Before long, I gradually started making positive changes to my life, and started paying more respect to myself, my happiness and needs.
I realized that by focusing on others alone, I was losing the harmony in my existence. My respect for others had become an unconscious desire to gain acceptance from everyone I come across.
By respecting myself just as I respect others, I began to enjoy life and the company of people with a feeling of joy that I had never experienced before.
Life – A Journey of Myriad Shades
Life is pure experience immersed through a series of situations and incidents. Just like a cracked yet elegant bowl that holds the mysteries of the past, our concept of life cannot depend only on the certainty of favorable times. Life has a beauty that does not depend on perfection but asks us to seek serenity amidst the events we are a part of.
By focusing on the intrinsic positive nature of our existence, the philosophy of Wabi Sabi encourages us to look at the authenticity of life with the focus on harmony and well-being rather than the focus on what is not perfect.
Curbing our desire for new possessions and wants will help us get into a healthier perspective about life and society. This would also enable us to effectively manage our time and focus on matters that yield personal and professional success.
Life will then not become just a personal celebration but a celebration that involves the joy of helping others develop and grow too.
May the fragrance of Wabi Sabi infuse beauty and contentment into all your lives.
Wishing you all a Very Happy & Blessed New Year!