UpPsychling

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.

2 Comments

Anon

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The move towards brave doesn’t have to be a leap. It can be a shuffle - lots of brave tiny steps, each one more brave than before. What’s important isn’t the size of the step but the direction.

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 #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #positiveparenting #neuronurtured #anxiety #anxietyinchildren
You know who I love? (Not counting every food delivery person who has delivered takeaway to my home. Or the person who puts the little slots in the sides of the soy sauce packets to make them easier to open. Not counting those people.) You know who? Adolescents. I just love them. 
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Today I spoke with two big groups of secondary school students about managing anxiety. In each talk, as there are in all of my talks with teens, there were questions. Big, open-hearted, thoughtful questions that go right to the heart of it all. 
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Some of the questions they asked were:
- What can I do to help my friend who is feeling big anxiety?
- What can I do to help an adult who has anxiety?
- How can I start the conversation about anxiety with my parents?

Our teens have big, beautiful, open hearts. They won’t always show us that, but they do. They want to be there for their friends and for the adults in their lives. They want to be able to come to us and talk about the things that matter, but sometimes they don’t know how to start. They want to step up and be there for their important people, including their parents, but sometimes they don’t know how. They want to be connected to us, but they don’t want to be controlled, or trapped in conversations that won’t end once they begin. 

Our teens need to know that the way to us is open. The more they can feel their important adults holding on to them - not controlling them - the better. Let them know you won’t cramp them, or intrude, or ask too many questions they don’t want you to ask. Let them know that when they want the conversation to stop, it will stop. But above all else, let them know you’re there. Tell them they don’t need to have all the words. They don’t need to have any words at all. Tell them that if they let you know they want to chat, you can handle anything that comes from there - even if it’s silence, or messy words, or big feelings - you can handle all of it. Our teens are extraordinary and they need us during adolescence more than ever, but this will have to be more on their terms for a while.  They love you and they need you. They won’t always show it, but I promise you, they do.♥️
Sometimes silence means 'I don't have anything to say.' Sometimes it means, 'I have plenty to say but I don't want to share it right here and right now.' We all need certain things to feel safe enough to put ourselves into the world. Kids with anxiety are thoughtful, observant and insightful, and their wisdom will always have the potential to add something important to the world for all of us.

 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #parentingtip #childdevelopment #braindevelopment #mindfulparenting #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #heyawesome #mentalhealth #heysigmund #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #anxietysupport #anxietyrelief #parentingadvice #anxietyinchildren #heywarrior #childanxiety #anxietyawareness #mentalwellness
Rather than talking to them about what they can’t do (and they’ll probably want to talk about this a lot - that’s what anxiety does), ask them what they can do. It doesn’t matter how small the step is, as long as it’s forward.
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The idea is to gradually and gently expose them to the things that feel frightening. This is the only way to re-teach the amygdala that it’s safe. Let them know you understand it feels scary - they need to know you feel what they feel and that you get it. This will make your belief in them and your refusal to support avoidance more meaningful. Then move them towards brave.
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This can be tough. To move our children towards the things that are causing them distress pushes fiercely against our instincts as a parent - but - supporting avoidance, overprotecting, over-reassuring, the things we do that unintentionally accommodate anxiety over brave behaviour will only feed anxiety and make it more resistant to change. (And as a parent I’ve done all of these things at some time - we’re parents, not perfect, and parental love has a way of drawing us all in to unhelpful behaviours in the name of protecting our kiddos). .
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The point is, moving our children towards brave behaviour can feel awful, but it’s so important. When they focus on the fear and what they can’t do, try, ‘Okay, I know this feels scary. I really do. I also know you can do this. I understand this step feels too big, so what little step can you take towards it? What can you do that is braver than last time?’

 #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #parentingtip #childdevelopment #braindevelopment #mindfulparenting #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #heyawesome #mentalhealth #heysigmund #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #anxietysupport #anxietyrelief #parentingadvice #anxietyinchildren #heywarrior #childanxiety #anxietyawareness #mentalwellness
We can’t decide the lessons our children learn and we can’t decide when they learn them, but we can create the space that invites the discovery. We can do this by making it safe for them to speak, and to wander around their own experiences so the lessons and wisdom can emerge.
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 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #adolescence

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