The Art of Mending What's Broken

Updated: Apr 3

Blessed day! Happy April and the New Moon!

Today, in honor of the newness, I want to share some things I've been thinking about with you. Some things on this beautiful planet earth we call home are in the midst of breaking. Some things within ourselves are cracking. Millions of people are on the move. We're front seat to a mass tragedy that's being staged in an actual place and being fed to us direct and live through our screens and mobile apps. It's an all-hands-on-deck moment, and as we're being stretched to our limits there's an opportunity for all that's unresolved to be brought into the light of awareness for the possibility of full reconciliation.


Crisis always precedes transformation.

There's a Japanese art form called Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery") which is a practice of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and powdered gold. You take what is broken, a bowl for example, and mend it with gold. The result is a vessel with gilded lines running through it – a piece that is often more beautiful than before (see image above).

Kintsugi is a craft of re-member-ing the bowl, bringing back together all its parts, by highlighting the cracks. It is not the brokenness that is celebrated, but the redemption. This is the symbolism inherent in this art – a type of metaphor for human healing, renewal or rebirth - that strikes a chord at this time. It reminds us that beauty and strength can come from picking up the pieces that life leaves us in sometimes, and making something new.

The metaphor is clear. Our scars are beautiful. They are the places we’ve healed that have shown us our strength, our resilience and our capacity for transformation. They remind us of the full life we've lived. Sometimes in the process of repairing things that are seemingly broken, we can actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient.

It is only by being sick that we learn how to heal. It is by going through tough times that we realize our full potential. It is through great disruption that we learn how to glue the pieces back together with gold and discover what is truly important.

There is, of course, a process to all this. It begins with the awareness of what is broken, of what needs an upgrade. Here is the broken bowl. Here are the systems you already knew were broken.

Then, the acceptance. There is no going back. The bowl will not, no matter how much magical thinking you apply, fix itself. Nor will the systems. It's important just to BE with the information. This part - acceptance - may take a long time.

The next step is action. Let's keep this simple. What is the most elegant next step you can take towards wholeness? Towards a more beautiful life? Towards an appreciation for the wholeness of the moment right now?

At this new moon time I want to remind you what you already know, that you are a powerful co-creator of the life you live. That your life is a work of art. Today, on this day of planting seeds and setting intentions, make a commitment to yourself. Perhaps it's to begin a healthy habit in the mornings. Perhaps it's to glue something back together. Perhaps, in the reflection of these wars and millions of people on the move who're having to leave their lands and home place, it's an opportunity to look within.

For myself I ask these questions: How do you wage war on yourself? What are the inner battles you fight? Where is there conflict in your life that could use tending right now? How can you honor and connect to your own home place, your physical body, your mind, your families and community?

I begin with gratitude for the pieces I have. And I look forward to find the gold together to collectively mend our way back to wholeness.

I'd love to hear from you, your prayers and reflections on this. Please send a note as you feel moved. Add your comments below.