Spark

Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

Appreciating Imperfection

October 2, 2013

In the world we live in, there seems to be a constant striving for perfection and this begins at a very young age. There is competition around grades, sports, and friends early on and later the focus becomes job or career, income, and status. Not infrequently, we feel that we don’t measure up and this leads to harsh self-judgment. While the western world view is oriented towards perfection, the Japanese have a phrase “wabi-sabi” that refers to beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Put another way, wabi-sabi acknowledges the reality that nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.

Last week, the Center for Spirituality & Healing hosted Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher, writer and teacher who focuses on self-compassion. One of her core messages was that imperfection is part of the human experience. When our baseline in life is perfection, we end of feeling isolated in our suffering. The practice of self-compassion in positively linked to happiness and wellbeing. I encourage you to check out this video to discover simple ways you can start practicing self-compassion.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu