UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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March 2013: “Become a Wabi Sabi Artisan”

Let’s venture to the East for this month’s relationship practice. In Japan, there is a strong cultural aesthetic and world view called wabi-sabi which is largely linked to the concept of beauty. For the Japanese, for something to be wabi-sabi, it embodies a sense of impermanence and imperfection. This month’s practice invites us to practice how to see the wabi-sabi-ness of our relationships and to hold them with compassion. How might that look? We might give our partner the benefit of the doubt, smile instead of criticize the next time they make a mistake, assume good intentions, notice with lightness our own shortcomings and talk about these with our partner, etc. The point is we are learning to further flex our compassion and gratitude muscles and practicing both of these ways of being only strengthens our relationships.

In the next month, notice the changing, imperfect nature of your relationship. When you find yourself attached to an outcome that is missing, stop and try to see the beauty in what’s in front of you. Can you see the beauty in the humanness of the situation? Use it as a teaching moment to share a piece of gratitude that you have for your partner and watch what happens as a result.