Kintsugi - The Art Of Embracing The Broken
The art of kintsugi is all about embracing the broken, repairing broken pottery or ceramics to restore them beautifully. In this blog, we will talk about what it is, the meaning, and ways it can help your mental health. We will also discuss ways you can take part in the art of kintsugi yourself.
How did Kintsugi begin?
Completely by accident, according to art historians! When the 15th-century shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa smashed his favorite tea bowl, he sent it to China to be repaired, and when it returned it was covered in staples and looked rather unpleasant. Local craftsmen came up with a better solution, they filled the cracks with golden lacquer, making it more valuable and unique. That is where the art of Kintsugi began!
What is the meaning of Kintsugi?
Kintsugi- the “Joining of gold." The more than 500-year-old Japanese tradition involves the breaking of ceramic pottery and joining it back together with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold. It is an art that teaches us to embrace the broken, encouraging calm when a fragile piece of pottery breaks just as it teaches calm when we as humans are feeling fragile or broken.
What does Kintsugi teach us about life?
To apply the art of Kintsugi to your life is a truly beautiful thing, seeing the broken, difficult, or challenging parts of your life as part of your history is not something to be disguised. Kintsugi teaches you that even the most fragile parts of yourself are beautiful and make you stronger than before. Thinking you are broken but knowing you can pick up the pieces, put them back together and embrace the cracks is something Kintsugi encourages. It also encourages us to be kind to ourselves, the art of kintsugi can teach us forgiveness and self-love. Learning to love the cracks and accepting that they are a part of you that is just as beautiful and meaningful as the rest. Kintsugi also marks our progress through life, a little bit like a map of the heart. It shows us the journey we have been on and teaches us lessons, even though the hard times were tough, we manage to repair them and continue with our journeys. It also promotes a learning mindset, when practicing kintsugi we are always learning new things about ourselves and how to overcome different obstacles we face throughout our lives. Kintsugi also reminds us that our imperfections are “golden”, we often look at our imperfections as things to change or hide but Kintsugi teaches us to embrace them and show them off as they contain beauty. Think of your heart like a broken piece of pottery mended together again with lots of stunning golden cracks.
“Imperfections are gifts to be worked with, not shames to be hidden”
How can you practice Kintsugi?
Well, this is the fun part, you can either practice it metaphorically in your day-to-day life, using kintsugi to remind you that your imperfections are beautiful and each hardship you face is just another glimmering golden crack on your map of the heart. Or you can practice kintsugi physically too, yes that’s correct you can smash plates (not your best dining sets though – unless you want to of course!) and you can join the pieces back together again with gold lacquer. You can get kits online that have everything you need already prepared or you can make your gold lacquer using epoxy adhesive and gold Mika powder. The results will be magnificent either way!
If you would like to learn more about mental health and help people embrace the hardships and struggles then we run mental health first aider courses by MHFA England. We cover all aspects of mental health and teach you how to become a confident and qualified mental health first aider. You will be able to assist someone in crisis and gain a better understanding of the different aspects of mental health. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to check out some other ways of building a positive mindset then have a read of our previous blogs How Can Self-care & Self-help improve your mental well-being? & How To Manifest Your Leak Free Life
Sources:KINTSUGI AND THE ART OF REPAIR: life is what makes us | by Andrea Mantovani | Medium