Wabi Sabi

EricaFeatured0 Comments

A few years ago, my friend Shannon was brainstorming a new offering for her yoga students. I was in one of my “I’m taking my Zen practice seriously” modes, and was revisiting a book Sue Bender wrote years earlier called Everyday Sacred.

Bender wrote:

One day, in search of something else, I found a book called Wabi Sabi. Wabi sabi are the Japanese words for a feeling, an aesthetic that is hard to describe. I read: “Wabi sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.”

She grew. It hurt.
She grew. It stopped in a sudden vacancy of pain.

She grew. She learned that love itself holds no bounds.

She grew. She learned that love does not hurt.
Shannon Paige

Knowing Shannon and her teachings as I do, I suggested creating a Wabi Sabi practice. So she did.

This morning my thoughts returned to Wabi Sabi. To those things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Things like being human. Things like love.

There are some false things being said about someone I love. Someone who is human and imperfectly perfect. I know these things are false cause I spend something like 95% of my time with him. We live together. Work together. Travel together.

Here’s what I know to be true. He wakes up every day long before the sun comes up. He cleans the kitchen and makes sure the dogs are fed. Most days he’s at work by 5:30 am. He works harder than almost anyone I know – and I know some CRAZY workaholics (ahem Randi Zuckerberg & Tim Ferriss). In his off hours, he’s working his way through a book called Jerusalem. After much protest, I finally got him hooked on Game of Thrones. Every week we go hiking, and most days we walk 5-10 miles together around the neighborhood. We’re working on cutting sugar and salt from our diet. We occasionally smoke medical cannabis – but never before 7pm (Disclosure: I am a mentor to Stashbox <– Love you Natasha – and close friends with the founders of VaporSlide, CanopyBoulder, Ellementa, and WeGrow <– Mason let’s do trivia this week! Cannabis and #CannaTech are the industries to watch – feels like the early days of Web 2.0).  We rarely drink – except on weekends when Mimosa’s are $1.50 at Under The Sun. We spend most Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market (where we often run into my friend Waylon who publishes Elephant Journal and his dog Redford) – and most Sunday’s at church (where we listen to sermons from Jack). Our life together is pretty average and boring. We have our struggles – and together we get through them.

Last week I took him out of his comfort zone to attend Kirtan with Saul David Raye at Hanuman. It wasn’t his thing.

This week we’re working on launching our new company, doing a lot of driving, dreaming of pianos, and starting the countdown for our next big trip courtesy of mi padre.

So yeah…boring. But the rumors are entertaining.

We are all of us Wabi Sabi. Imperfect. Impermanent. Incomplete.

I am reminded of something Joseph Campbell once wrote:

“When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.”Joseph Campbell

If our attention is anywhere but on bettering our own lives – we’re wasting our most precious gift. Time is our ONLY finite resource. Use it wisely.




P.S. Tim has a new TEDTalk out – and it’s AWESOME! Haven’t seen him in real life in a while…but the last time we had lunch at Aqui he did talk me into taking my first Tango lesson at a great studio in Berkeley (didn’t go well…but that’s a story for another day).

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