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Accept who you are and befriend your own 'flaws'

By Joseph Pond

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a mixture of glue and gold dust. Rather than hiding the cracks, kintsugi highlights them. It turns accidents into aspects of the pottery's history that can be acknowledged and admired. It creates beauty out of flaws.

This is a great metaphor for how we should all be treating those parts of ourselves that we're not happy about. Take procrastination, for example. Many of us want to make resolutions at this time, yet never get around to fulfilling them.

I'm a procrastinator, people tell me. Yet, funnily enough, procrastinators never seem to hesitate when it's time to procrastinate. They always get that job done right on schedule.

Have you ever noticed that depressives never depress their tendency to experience sadness? They rarely depress that part of them that refuses to accept that everything changes, that life's not always going to be like this and that it's an amazing universe filled with unimaginable wonders just waiting to be explored.

The persistence and motivation with which we maintain negative ways of thinking against all reason is extraordinary. People sometimes come to me feeling like a failure, but rarely understand that the strategies they employ to get the same outcome on a daily basis are beautifully successful. It's not our strategies which don't work; it's just that the data being plugged into the equation needs to change.

You can pay somebody to point this all out to you; who will tease apart the steps and structures of the underlying patterns of your life. No doubt the more you pay the more specialised the terminology will have to be. A belly button becomes an umbilicus.

Or you can practice mindfulness for free. Sit in a room and watch your breath for about 20 minutes a day. Importantly, as you devote that time to just being in the moment, allow yourself to experience benevolence towards whatever thoughts, feelings or ideas arise. Unconditional self-acceptance is the key to acknowledging and befriending your own 'flaws'. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen (who we lost this year), it's through our cracks that the light gets in.

Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at josephpond@yahoo.com or at https://www.facebook.com/Belfast Hypnosis/ ?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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