Wabi-Sabi – I likes to Parti

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That’s one deep wall ya’ll!

Disclaimer: This is not a blog post. Well, it is, but I’m not chatting about food today. But let it be noted that I still love food and plan on talking about it’s hold over me in future posts for your amusement.

There are few things I am more of a sucker for then a well made hype-up video. We all know those times when a song comes on while you’re at work or working out and you go into a daydream of your own awesomeness montage…usually mine include some kind of slow motion triumphiant race finish (where my legs aren’t creating a friction patch in my shorts) and the spectators begin a rhythmically slow, ascending group clap while inspired tears flow down their face. I even have hype up songs in my head planned out for different occasions. Work: Jack White ‘Freedom at 21’  Morning: Gorillaz ’19-2000′ WWE entrance: Jay-Z ‘Brooklyn We Go Hard’  Walking down the street:

Thanks to the Olympics I am able to bathe in seemingly endless rags to riches stories of athletes that “always knew” they were destined to run/swim/power walk (yes, that is an Olympic sport) and, by God, they have a montage of trials, tribulations, and awkward pre-teen pictures to prove it! So it got me thinking. What would I include in a hypeup video of myself today?

There have been whole eras of my life, or sometimes just for a day or a moment, where this question pulls me down a wormhole of insecurity. Afterall, isn’t it our accumulation of titles and triumphs that affirm our contribution in this life? “Fireman” or “doctor”, “cyclist” or “entreprenuer”, “senator” or “mom”, “activist” or “philanthropist”, “Prius owner” or “vegan” (not interchangeable, thank you) – we can all cling to these titles because we feel like we may be nothing, that our lives mean nothing without them. So, here I am at 31 having days where I feel like total dogshit because I haven’t earned enough badges to claim a fulfilling life – feeling like if I could only have a baby or complete a sub 28 minute mile or write a book, then and only then will I be really living to my potential – only then I can then hold my head high.

But what if instead of those titles defining a full life, they limit our ability to really live? And what if instead of titles bringing people together in commenality, they seperate us from one another? (i.e. if I tell you who I’m voting for, could that change how you feel about me?)

In my near constant search to answer this question for myself, I stumbled upon this worldview in Japanese culture called wabi-sabi. The ‘wabi’ refers to something that is simple and unpretentious and the ‘sabi’ points to the perfection and beauty that comes with aging. It is an idea that one can only truly find perfection by delighting in the imperfect and that the feeling of acceptance is found in the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. Wabi-sabi values authenticity above all, being giddy and irreverent for the things, the people, and you as you are NOW. And, incidently, it has a badass name that makes me feel silly and happy…bonus! What we need my friends is a little wabi sabi, a little more relishing in the nature of exactly what, where, who we are and wake up each day, turn on our hype up music, and allow that day to be the slow motion montague of true living. WAKE THE EFF UP!!


My favorite buddhist koan tells the story of two monks washing their bowls by the river. One monk noticed that a scorpion was drowning, so he scooped it up and set it back on shore, getting stung in the process. He went back to washing his bowl and the scorpion fell into the water again, so the monk saved the scorpion and was once again stung. The other monk asked, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s in his nature to sting?” “Because,” the monk replied, “it is in my nature to save.”

Don’t you love some good ol’ ancient wisdom smack down? Happy hype up my friends!

A wabi-sabi moment, thanks to the Redwood forest.

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2 comments on “Wabi-Sabi – I likes to Parti

  1. Terri Houlahan says:

    I love your wisdom sharing about wabi sabi! Love you Hayley!

  2. Awesome. All around.

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