Today hasn’t gone quite the way I’d planned. I’d planned to go walking with a friend this morning, but I woke up feeling a little under the weather and decided that wasn’t the best idea in the world. Tonight I’d planned on going to a house concert with a friend, but those plans also changed. Part of me felt a little bit out of alignment for a while this morning. I’ll be honest–I’m a planner. I’m not a total fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. I am a creature of habit, too. I sort of like to know what I’m going to be doing, at least to an extent. Sometimes, this can be a good thing. I rarely miss deadlines, and most employers love this about me. But sometimes, this can keep me from living in the moment and enjoying today.
So since my plans changed today at the last minute, I was left with this beautiful weather and an entirely open schedule.
Instead of pouting about it, I decided to embrace it. I threw on my bikini and decided my blinding white skin might thank me for letting it see the light of day. I grabbed a magazine, some lemonade, and my sunglasses and spread out in the front yard.
I came across an article about the Japanese principle of “wabi sabi.” The title of the article caught my eye because it mentioned living an imperfect life (and I could relate to that!).
“The concept (of wabi sabi) originated in 16th-century Japan with the tea ceremony, a ritual that provided a way to step out of the chaos of daily life and reconnect with that which was simple and tranquil,” according to Diane Durston, author of “Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life. “Through the centuries, wabi sabi came to mean an approach to life and art that is in harmony with nature, one that values the handmade and rustic, and recognize the impermanence of life. It encourages us to be respectful of age, both in things and in ourselves, and it counsels us to be content with what we have rather than always striving for more. Wabi sabi has a hint of wistfulness about it.”
This definition completely defines for me how I aim to live my life right now–spiritually and realistically every single day. I know it might sound cliché, but there was something that clicked in me when I turned 30. I just felt differently about myself, the world around me, and my role in it. It wasn’t like a cheesy Oprah-like “aha” moment, but rather a culmination of growth I’d been experiencing over the past years leading up to this year. I make better choices. I don’t just fall into relationships. I strategically choose who I spend my time with and who I don’t. I pray about things before I act on them. I focus on nurturing myself and my love relationship with my God before any other relationship or aspect of my life and make no apologies about that to anyone. I strive to love people well and don’t beat myself up when I make mistakes–and believe me, I know I make mistakes. We all do. I just choose to focus on my growth instead of my shortcomings.
At the end of this article, there were a few tips for incorporating wabi sabi into your life. One of them was, “When you drink tea, drink tea.” Basically, live in the moment. Be where you are right now. Don’t worry about what you can’t control and what is behind you or what’s in front of you.
As I lay in the sun today with the wind in my face, I closed my eyes and told myself, “When you breathe, breathe.” And I just breathed.