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How This Japanese Concept Can Help You Accept Your Imperfections

2 minute read

Hygge — the Danish trend that inspired many of us to embrace a cozier lifestyle — is one of several foreign concepts that have tickled the curiosity of Americans in need of a change. If you’re looking to switch up your home, boost your happiness or even rethink how you view the world this year, consider the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which encourages people to welcome life’s imperfections and accept ourselves for who we are.

Beth Kempton, author of Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, found her enthusiasm for wabi sabi from visiting Japan for over 20 years. She’s used its lessons to inform how she interacts with nature, her home and the people in her life, embracing impermanence — a pillar of wabi sabi.

In her book, Kempton offers tips for navigating acceptance in tough situations, whether you’re struggling with rejection, marriage woes or simply the chaotic state of your house, by remembering that we are constantly changing. Lean into this inevitability in 2019. Kempton suggests trying to live through a week without expectations, so you can stay calm if things don’t go as planned. When we realize nothing is certain, we can skip the drama and head straight to acceptance.

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Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com