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The Art of Being Broken

I know - another sensationalist blog title to tempt you in! I once wrote a Facebook post announcing 'My sister is out in the garden, burning her brassiere!' and inviting people to click the link below for a photo. Of course, she was actually in the garden, burning rubbish in her brazier, but - as a wise man once told me - never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Anyway, I'm digressing so back to the real, serious point of this blog. Kintsugi and the art of being broken.

If you have never heard of Kintsugi, it is the Japanese art of gluing broken pottery pieces back together using the finest gold resin, so rather than throwing the item away or trying to hide any flaws, they instead highlight the imperfections and create an even more beautiful (and strong) piece of art in the process.

This concept really appeals to me and I very nearly called my business Kintsugi Pilates because I could see parallels in how Pilates can rebuild your 'broken' body (and mind). However, I was unsure if people would think it was a martial art form, so I plumped for the delicious 'Strawberry' title instead - because who doesn't love a big, juicy strawberry?!

Anyway, back to the matter in hand...

I love how the principle of Kintsugi can be applied to ourselves - our bodies AND our minds. Many times in life, we feel we have been chipped away at and broken, whether through physical aches and pains (even literal breaks), or mental anguish, anxiety and hurt.

During those times, we have two choices - we can strive to hide our flaws, ashamed of their very existence, using an 'invisible mend' to gloss over the fault lines and hold ourselves together. But this never feels right and it never feels secure - almost as if the gentlest of pressure will expose these cracks and we will shatter into even more jagged pieces, each time becoming harder to put back together. This option is exhausting.

Or we can choose to dust ourselves down, take stock and start the careful process of repairing and rebuilding, learning to embellish our flaws rather than papering over the cracks -and begin to celebrate being unique, warts and all.

The gold resin of choice can be anything that feeds our souls and helps us to heal from our knocks and scrapes (yes, I'm very deep, I know!). I like to strengthen my body and mind ONLY with activities that bring me joy. For me, I choose self care in the form of nutritious food, bubbly baths, good sleep, catching up with family and friends, setting aside time for reading, walking in nature - and of course, Pilates!

However, I also often choose chocolate, crisps, cakes, binge-watching Real Housewives box sets and the odd glass of wine - purely because they make me happy too.

Whichever methods we choose to restore and renew ourselves, the idea that we can embrace our imperfections rather than turning the broken side away from the eyes of the world (or simply consigning ourselves to the scrapheap) is rather joyous!

And of course sometimes in the process of repairing things that have been broken, we find we can actually create something stronger, more resilient and even more beautiful than we had before. We are all a work in progress - truly one of a kind.

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