Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

UpPsychling

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Upcycling is the process of taking something which is no longer useful and turning it into something beautiful, something which has an important purpose. It is something not only for things, but for people too.

The principles of upcycling are evident in the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi.

At the heart of the ancient Japanese art is the idea that an object’s imperfections should be embraced, never hidden.

Clay pottery begins its life as a shapeless, earthen mass. With time, effort and the tender hand of an artist striving for perfection, that shapeless earthen mass is turned into something else – a cup, a bowl, a plate, a vase – something valued for its usefulness, the time it took to create and of course, its inherent beauty.

But what if that object, valued for its flawlessness, breaks?

According to Kintsukuroi, that piece can now be something even stronger and more beautiful than it was in its original form.

Rather than hiding the break or collecting the broken pieces and scraping them from dustpan to bin, the piece is repaired, its broken seams joined with gold. The break becomes an important part of the object and speaks eloquently of its history.

The same applies to people. We have our breaks, our cracks along the seams. They come with every version of life.

We can attempt to live a life free from battle scars, to reach the end of our time in pristine condition, but that’s not what we’re here for. The sterility necessary for such a life would be near impossible, offering an arid life at best, involving as its highest priority the avoidance of relationships in any form.

Relationships come with the biggest battle scars of all, be it with a lover, a friend, parent, brother, sister, child. We will walk away richer for being in relationship to another, hopefully happier, but never unscarred. It’s an unavoidable part of being human.

We feel our edges. We stretch against them. We hold steady. We stagnate. We find courage and daring and we push beyond. Sometimes. Sometimes we are pushed. Sometimes we fly. Sometimes we drop. Hard. Sometimes we wonder how we’ll ever get back up.

Not only are the cracks unavoidable, they are also important as it’s from these cracks that our new growth shoots. It’s tempting to hide these breaks, to push them deeper to somewhere under our skin unseen by us, the people who love us, and the rest of the world. But when handled with tenderness and grace, we can fill these cracks with gold, own our history, and be stronger for the opportunity. We can ‘up psychle’.

It’s the fragility in us – and it’s there in all of us – that brings the opportunity to find the gold. It’s these cracks that speak of our resilience, our strength and our humanity, ultimately leading to something even more beautiful than perfection.

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2 Comments

Anon

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Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.








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.
Sometimes they will believe this deficiency story, and they will hold themselves back from doing brave, hard things. This is when anxiety will slide in and try to steal their capacity for courage right from under them, so this is when they need us to show up and stand big, as the guardians of their brave. 
.
Protect their courage by believing in it so much, that they won't have a choice but to believe it too. The brain wires according to the experiences it is exposed to, so think of avoidance and courage as muscles. The ones they use the most will strengthen. If you support avoidance, their need to avoid will strengthen. If you move them towards brave behaviour - as distressing as this might be - you are exposing them to the experiences that will fortify their truth - that they can feel anxious, and do brave. 
.
It's okay if this happens in tiny steps. It's not the size of the movement towards brave behaviour, it's the direction that matters most. Move them towards brave, lovingly, gently, and confidently - because you know that 'brave' is in them, and anxiety doesn't change that a bit. When you are faced with the choice between believing in their anxiety or believing in their brave choose their brave, every time, and guard it with everything in you, because it's beautiful, and life-giving, and it's in them. 
.
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Anxiety will tell them a deficiency story - that they aren't brave enough, strong enough, powerful enough - but you know they are so much more than enough. You know it with everything in you.
.
Sometimes they will believe this deficiency story, and they will hold themselves back from doing brave, hard things. This is when anxiety will slide in and try to steal their capacity for courage right from under them, so this is when they need us to show up and stand big, as the guardians of their brave.
.
Protect their courage by believing in it so much, that they won't have a choice but to believe it too. The brain wires according to the experiences it is exposed to, so think of avoidance and courage as muscles. The ones they use the most will strengthen. If you support avoidance, their need to avoid will strengthen. If you move them towards brave behaviour - as distressing as this might be - you are exposing them to the experiences that will fortify their truth - that they can feel anxious, and do brave.
.
It's okay if this happens in tiny steps. It's not the size of the movement towards brave behaviour, it's the direction that matters most. Move them towards brave, lovingly, gently, and confidently - because you know that 'brave' is in them, and anxiety doesn't change that a bit. When you are faced with the choice between believing in their anxiety or believing in their brave choose their brave, every time, and guard it with everything in you, because it's beautiful, and life-giving, and it's in them.
.
.
.
#anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #anxietyawareness #parenting #anxietyrelief #parenthood #anxietysupport #positiveparenting #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #heyawesome #heywarrior #heysigmund
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