This phrase has become one of my mantras in recent years. It may seem like an oxymoron – technically it is – but literal meaning aside, the phrase perfect imperfection has forever changed my world perspective for the better. And since it is mid-January and many of us are struggling with our new year’s intentions, I thought perhaps it might help you too.
I have a confession: throughout most of my life, I considered myself a perfectionist. “Done is better than perfect” did not exist in my vernacular. Perfect was perfect, and anything I did – art, writing music, work projects, even cleaning the house – had to be done to my impeccable standards.
But in a lot of those situations, “perfect” was unattainable, or at best unnecessary, especially when other uncontrollable factors were involved. Perfect does not leave room for others or mistakes – two factors I believe are important for personal growth. It was zapping my energy as I desperately tried to force my idea of perfection into imperfect molds.
Seeing my distress, a good friend introduced me to the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi. Simply put, Wabi-Sabi is the ability to find beauty in the “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” This concept gave me a new way to look at my home, my art, my work, and even the world around me. It prompted a greater acceptance of the things I could not control, and even gave me a greater appreciation for life’s imperfections. The legend gives the example of cherry tree flowers spilled randomly into an immaculately groomed garden. I love that example. How many of us have spent hours raking the yard clean, only to have a wind gust replace a few of the leaves on the ground? When that happens now I smile.
Changing old habits is a process, so perfect imperfection is a way to remind myself of this when I find myself slipping back into old patterns.
How can you incorporate perfect imperfection into your own life? As utne notes, it “doesn’t require money, training, or special skills.”
However, it does take practice. Here are three small changes you can make to begin to implement perfect imperfection into your own life:
1. Be kind to yourself
We all have imperfections as human beings. Try to love and appreciate those imperfections. It is part of what makes you beautiful and uniquely you.
2. Slow down
Appreciate the art of being. Appreciate your surroundings. Appreciate the fact that you are alive to witness them.
3. Start with a single item
Examine an item with imperfections, and appreciate its character. Accept it as it is.
To get you started, we are giving away fourteen tins of misprinted Sleep Balm. The product inside is perfectly good, but the tins were printed off-center. Perfect imperfection at its finest! (Please note that in rare cases there can be sharp edges or leaked product. We’ve checked these balms thoroughly, but have not broken the freshness seal or opened them.)
Enter below for your chance to win! This contest is open internationally and ends at 2pm EST on Tuesday, 01/19/2016. 14 winners will be chosen at random, contacted directly, and announced on our Facebook page. Good luck!