A few months ago, I had the opportunity to be on a panel with Candice Kumai at Thrive Global and Quaker Oats’ Rise & Thrive event. Once we met and became familiar with one another’s work we shared our surprise: how hadn’t we crossed paths until now? There is such synchronicity between the very concept of Kintsugi Wellness and Middlescence.

Kintsugi is the 400-year-old art of golden repair. Because Japanese design philosophy values marks of wear by the use of an object, (something us middlescents struggle to accept), the illusion of perfection is not valued as highly as it is in other cultures. Therefore when an object cracks or becomes imperfect, repairs are simply seen as an event in the life of that thing, rather than an excuse to retire it.

In fact, the scars are highlighted as part of the design, filled with a shimmering golden lacquer that accentuates the experience and uniqueness of the piece itself. The act of golden repair takes something that has been through hardship, wear, and tear, and actually makes it more beautiful and valued in society. I can’t think of anything as more beautifully resonant with the very concept of aging with grace, than Kintsugi wellness.

When we claim Middlescence, this is exactly the same mentality we embrace. Rather than hiding our stumblings, missteps, and falls, we show them to the world, confident that they make us wise, tell our story, and grant us the permission to create something beautiful and unique in the world.

In her book, Kintsugi Wellness, Candice weaves personal stories with traditional Japanese values like wabi sabi (admire imperfection) and kansha (cultivate sincere gratitude) that inspire everyone to understand their most authentic identity. Candice’s rawness and realness as a person is the kind of frank honesty we Middlescents ought to apply to our own lives. Because it isn’t until we strip away the roles we’ve been living in for so many years and show our golden marks of imperfection, that we can begin to choose a better path for ourselves.

We’ve chosen to highlight Kintsugi Wellness this month as we launch the Five Essential Elements, which addresses how to produce breakthrough results with your energy and help you be happier by doing so. By understanding standing exactly where you fall short, you will have the power to identify steps to create positive change. It’s a wonderful companion piece to begin.

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A Look at a Book is a series I’m hosting to help keep you informed about the latest books having to do with adult development and middlescence. A Look at a Book is an efficient, enjoyable way to stay informed. 

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