Last night my Wabi Sabi group met to talk about transition. “Wabi Sabi?” you ask. It’s the Japanese term, originated from the beauty of decaying, ancient tea houses, that connotes the perfection of imperfection or the beauty of passing memory. So what better topic than transition because, at its heart, Wabi Sabi is all about transition: dwelling in the mysterious change and unfolding that’s always happening despite our human desire to have some sense of control. I called together this group several years ago so that kindred souls could share insights with me about how to live.
What did we learn and share about transition? Here’s what I’m remembering this morning:
- Each moment has its message, and all we need to get through it until we arrive at the next moment.
- The older we get, the more skilled we get at navigating transitions without excess stress (I mean, the transition itself could be stressful, but we don’t have to pile on it fears of how we’ll get through it as much because we know we can get through it).
- As our bodies change and seem more limited in some physical ways, they also can lead us to other kinds of grace in stillness and motion.
- Sometimes when you least expect it, you can look up from your computer and see a coyote out the window.
- In moments of great pain when there’s nothing we can do to stop the pain, we can breathe into and through it, and make peace with whatever is happening until the pain changes into something else.
- Grandchildren are wonderful, but the love and bond isn’t automatic. Even this lovely transition takes time and presence.
- Being in the flow is what calls to us as we get older much more than accomplishing goals or crossing things off a list.
- Most of us love arriving at moments and times in our lives when we will have no plans.
- When embarking on a transition, it’s good to simply let yourself not know how you’ll feel, and then ride the waves.
- Our bodies are marvelous amusement parks.
- The permission fairy lives in all of us, and gives us full permission to live our most true life, something necessary for meaningful transitions.
Thank you, Wabi Sabis, for your wisdom! May everyone find their own Wabi Sabi guidance in transition. (Picture is a Japanese tea house in the Wabi Sabi aesthetic.)