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Taking Control of your Self Image

Apr 21, 2019


create a powerful self image from the principle of Kintsugi

Usually, what I talk about is drills, techniques and exercises that you can do to engage with your children while teaching them at the same time, and having fun. But in this episode, I want to have a discussion about you.

 Specifically, I want to talk about your self-image.

 There is a Japanese concept that I find can be used to approach the discomfort of facing one’s self-image that so many adults have, especially parents. It is called Kintsugi, "golden joinery”. Oftentimes, kintsugi is characterized as beautiful bowl that's broken, shattered, and instead of just discarding it for an easy replacement of another, the bowl is put back together carefully. The cracks and imperfections created by it’s shattering  are actually used to make the bowl become more beautiful, and entirely unique.

 It's carefully pieced back together with a stronger mortar, and then gold is added along the crevasse of the breaks, and the pieces no longer present due to damage. It is the imperfections, created by wear and use that allow this broken tool to transform into a treasure.

If you follow the popular motivation gurus of the day, they encourage their students to say your morning affirmations to the mirror.

Good advise, I suppose.

The goal is in saying these affirmations to yourself, whether you create them or your guru does, it should help to carry yourself to a destination or goal you are committed to fulfilling.  The problem that I have with this model, is the definition of your self-image, hasn't quite been defined yet, has it?

Who’s doing the work of the affirmation given, the naked dude in the mirror?

If so, how do you feel about him?

I wonder, given the circumstance.

I'd like to share with you a profound moment that I recently had. It was the loss of one of my dearest friends who suddenly died.

At her funeral her entire family and friends had come together to celebrate her wonderful life. To me, something stood out… I wasn't so sure that she'd be happy with a lot of the images everyone was sharing.

Now, I get it… we want to show who we are in life, the different stages of life and how fulfilled we lived. As well, a few funny photos to show our humanity and humor. All these different experiences throughout our life shared with those most important to us after our final day has passed.

But for my dear friend, I felt, "Wow. I really wish there were photos of her that truly expressed how beautiful and wonderful she was."

Granted, it was a sudden loss, and her loved one did the best that they could in short time. But the experience gave me the realization that I want to have control over this moment in my life, how I show up for that last time everyone comes together who have been important in my life to see me off in celebration. 

So, I want to have control over that final image, the last reference.

As well, I want to have control over the actual image that I have of myself and I mean the actual physical image.

The real me.

Not the person in the mirror I program with morning affirmations. I have to BE capable of looking at my naked, true self with appreciation, confident and happy with who I am.

The reality is, not so many of us are. This is where the principle of Kintsugi comes in.

 Stay with me here, I want to put you to task.

You see, we can say all the affirmations that we want, creating imprints in our mind to a path that we want our lives to move in. But, I challenge you instead to first take a step forward toward finding yourself the absolute best professional photographer.

First, have a deep discussion with that photographer about how you wish to show your cracks. A true professional photographer will appreciate what you are saying and be inspired to work with you.

You want to show your imperfection, your true age and your scars. By doing so, your photographer will be able to express Kintsugi, the beauty within your imperfections, the mortar that makes you more unique than you ever realized, more brilliant than you ever imagined. What you will realize is how much you have taken yourself for granted. 

Let this all come out in your personal, self-image. It is who you are, celebrate it.

Too often, we use the filters on Instagram to make us look younger, or we photoshop the dark circles under our eyes to look healthier, the scars, the blemishes … anything to look a little better. And that's the root problem with how we use social media; it becomes who we think we want people to see us as. It’s actually quite sad.

 Where in the world are you most passionate about spending time?

Is it your old hometown when you were a kid? Possibly a favorite surf spot, or club you spent years going to?

I want you to go there, where you can show up as the most honest, real you. And have the best photos of you taken in your space, your comfort, your flow.

I challenge you to create the actual images of who you are, (not who you think the world wants to see you as.)  Once you have that and once you're able to express kintsugi within those images, you will find an overwhelming sense of being proud of the scars that you wear, proud of the weathering in your face, proud of your knuckles, proud of the weight you carry, Proud of everything that you have in you.

 This is your power. It is your story.It is what your children will look up to.

Importantly, this now gives you control over that final discussion, final impression and last reference that the people who you most love, the people who will be there for you until your final day, that they’ll have of you for the rest of their lives.

 It is your legacy, create it.

Build the images that your great-grandchildren, your great-great-grandchildren will surface when they recall you, when they talk about who you were. It is the last mark that you will be able to leave on the world.

Once again, I challenge you to find an incredible photographer and do this. Not someone that you're related to. Not someone that you're friends with.

Rather, someone who doesn't know you. This way they can look at you with a fresh eye, free of bias and preconception.

Once you do this, you will experience a personal transformation of new found confidence and levels of inner-strength you never knew existed. Your children will see this immediately and it is what they're going to model and follow.