Life Motherhood Parenting

The Anxieties of Motherhood

Motherhood. It’s something that I truly adore and equally abhor at the same time. Not really for the reasons you may think. I enjoy my role as a mother. To me, being present for my two boys is a priority and yes it does give my life more flavour and meaning. 

But what I find hard to swallow is the impossible and unattainable social construct of motherhood that is constantly shoved down my throat; whether consciously or sub-consciously. 

I’m entering my fourth year into my life-long ‘employment’ as Mum, and it has been quite a ride. The funny thing is – what started out as theoretical ideals in my head (formed from my own understanding of what it means to be a mother from my own upbringing) started dissipating as quickly as you can say ’super-mama’. More often than not, I really do feel like I’m a fail-mama. 

Anxieties are a norm, especially when you care deeply about something or someone. You fear that your actions will jeopardise the progress and final outcome. Naturally, when it’s a human life you’re responsible for, the stakes are really quite high! And that’s where it gets really tangly, and it has definitely given me much to think about over the past year.

Precious time out to the playground. My favourite way to just be with my kids.

2020 kicked off with me returning to work after the birth of my second child. It was also a year where I invested a lot in my own growth – mental and physical. Pushing myself to look at challenges, opportunities, hopes and dreams from all angles.

One overarching theme was ‘How can I be a better mother’. I have faced this question with several lenses. As a result – I undertook many mini-missions to make sure I was progressing to that goal-post. They include (among others):

  • Engaging my children with open-ended toys/play
  • Connecting with them emotionally, being empathetic
  • Potty train the elder one 
  • Bake/cook with them
  • Speak more Mandarin to my children
  • Feed them well
Little tyke, my soon-to-be 2 yo.

They are all small steps and with the fierce support of my husband, I think I have done okay. In spite of a raging pandemic, and the working from home situation, I believed I had levelled up. 

2021 has just begun and I think I am making good strides in my mum job. I was however thrown for a little loop-de-loop when last weekend, I was told I needed to work at being a better mother. 

It came from family, so I know it was well meaning. But that comment spiralled into my negative self-thoughts like an asteroid. I took it quite hard. My mind became a report card and I started grading myself with each action I took. Washed the dishes = +1. Fed the kids = +2. Didn’t manage to put the child down for a nap = -2. 

Oh what a catastrophe that was. My mind was bubbling and stewing with so much negative self-talk that even Daryl noticed and probed to find out more. A meltdown ensued. Even I did not realise what was coming. I got sucked into a ridiculous expectation. I allowed guilt to fester and overflow because of my over-reaction to a simple comment that I hung onto and filled in the blanks. 

My family certainly meant well. But what wasn’t constructive was a sweeping statement that made it easy to misunderstand. And then I realised why I was feeling the way I felt.That’s because the existing social construct of motherhood (a.k.a. what it means to be a good mother) is this:

Excel in your career. Be with your kids 24/7. Continue to be happy and grateful even if you never have time for yourselfBe a good wife. Keep the house clean. Do it all on your own and don’t complain.

Now that’s quite impossible to achieve and honestly rather absurd. I do believe that as a society, we’re getting better at being more empathetic but I think we can do more. Us mothers could do with more support and definitely more affirmation. 

After some reflection, I put pen to paper (and now here) to remind myself that I am a mother to my children and therefore should be focussing on excelling at motherhood on my terms and via goals I decide on (instead of trying to prove something to others): 

  • Raise, kind, caring and resilient children with values and morals
  • Equip my children with the tools to be emotional literate/intelligent
  • Encourage my children to do their best in whatever they do (thus focussing on effort and not primarily A* grades/outcome), to build grit
  • Be consistent (this is useful when disciplining)

There is no textbook to motherhood and there shouldn’t be. Every child is unique and we are not here to prove our mettle but rather act as guides as they navigate through life. 

To all my dear fellow mamas, I hope you know that you’re not alone. As mothers, we are the lighthouse for our children, but let not others affect how you shine that light. As long as you’re guiding and lighting the path, that’s good enough. Everyday is a brand new day to do our best and let not others dictate what ‘best’ looks like. 

Life recipe

Eleven Madison Park Granola

As a self-professed foodie, I am on a constant hunt for memorable food experiences and flavours. The same adrenaline rush a climber gets from a successful ascent on yet another peak, that’s the same feeling I get when I cross paths with an utterly life-changing meal. To most, this sounds like a mighty exaggeration. Perhaps if you know me, and the fact that I live for food and what it stands for, you won’t be surprised.

The year I turned 30; a milestone marker for most, where we reflect and ask ourselves what have we achieved and done, I decided to take life by its horns and book myself a ticket to New York. Known to be a buzzing mecca of culinary delights and legends, New York had been calling out to me and this time I decided to jump out of my comfort zone and eat up New York.

Travelling alone is actually rather intimidating but when you’re at the cusp of 30 (I was 29 when I arrived and 30 when I left New York!), the world really seems like one big fat amusement park. You go on the most exciting rides, even that big rollercoaster you’d usually avoid.

The first ‘assignment’ you’re given after you’ve taken your seat is to punch out one ingredient from this card. This will have an impact on your dishes.

The highlight of my New York birthday present to myself was my visit to Eleven Madison Park. Having placed a reservation months before my arrival, I was gearing up to having a meal to remember. At that time, Eleven Madison Park was ranked 4th by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and that was a big deal (and a huge splurge) and arguably the highlight of my trip.

At the back-of-house, the kitchen, where I requested for a tour prior to my trip because I couldn’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The meal itself was very theatrical – just imagine yourself watching a culinary Cirque Du Soleil, where the servers and chefs are both storytellers and ‘acrobats’, manoeuvring their way around the kitchen and even the diner’s tables, serving up food that spoke volumes, in texture, flavour and beyond.

One of the my favourite course – the picnic basket. I really wanted to ask if I could buy their basket, and ceramic plate.

One of the things you left the restaurant with, other than an incredibly filled tummy and happy tastebuds, is a bag of treats – a chocolate bar and a whole mason jar of their iconic granola. Yes granola, and it’s nothing high brow. It’s really just homely hearty granola. But there was something about this granola. It was both sweet and tart and savoury, all at the same time. Super tasty and incredibly addictive. I finished it within days.

Since then, I have yet to savour a granola as good as theirs. I’ve always wondered what made their granola so special. I only found out years later – thanks to NYT Cooking. Sam Sifton, New York Times food editor posted the much coveted recipe to Eleven Madison Granola a few years ago and because of that, I was able to relive my New York trip and at the same time, share the joy with my family. Daryl agrees that this granola is pretty bad-a**. He doesn’t usually like granola (especially commercial ones) because they’re just too damn sweet. I’ve also made several minor adjustments, which can be found at the recipe below.

The granola mix, pre-baking. Remember to only put the dried cherries last, after it’s baked. You don’t want to risk burning them.
It’s hard finding nice plump dried sour cherries so I am pretty stoked with the ones by Eden Organic.
All mixed in!

The pistachios can be substituted with pecans if you wish. I know not everyone is a fan of pistachios.



  • 2 ¾ cups rolled oats (I used 3 cups)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (I used 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup dried sour cherries  (I get mine from iHerb – The Montmorency Tart cherries by Eden Organics is perfect) 


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkinseeds and salt.
  2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.
  3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.
  4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.
A whole lotta granola! This will last you 1-2 weeks tops.
Childhood Life Parenting

Manners and Tantrums

Babies are manageable but when they become toddlers, that easy math equation of obedience minus tantrums = compliance does not compute. I am not good at playing ‘bad-cop’. It stems from my own childhood – I was brought up by typical South East Asian standards, you get whacked if you don’t comply. End of story, no bargaining. 

Soft parenting was my go-to technique. A whimper and thick hot tears got me in a fix and I would rush to carry Ciaran and comfort him. When he turned 2, and as all toddlers do – he discovered that he could say No. A shake of the head, stomping of feet, running to a corner, curled up in a bowl and cries that could rival a banshee. Wooopfh. I dreaded that. Daryl is the firm one and he would not stand for any tantrums. I started deferring to Daryl whenever Ciaran got into his Oscar the grouch mood swings/tantrums. Deep down, I knew this was not sustainable. Parenting is a two-person (or a village) work.

Ready to Go! is a brilliant resource for parents.

Thankfully I caught on, and I started to seek out techniques to help me be a more responsible parent. Of these, a one great resources is a series of books my sister bought me under the ‘Ready to Go!’ set. Bless her heart, she got it  in hopes of helping me deal with a headstrong toddler. The one I found most useful and have applied with great success is the on Manners. Written by a clinical psychologist, it fames out 4 key factors that influence the way children learn and choose their behaviours:

Key Influences on Children’s Behaviour

  1. Copying: parents need to model best behaviour for children to imitate
  2. Cues: signals, reminders, arrangements , rules and routines
  3. Consequences: reward and punishment 
  4. Compassion: being understood and listened to = caring communication 

The book goes in-depth into each point and provides practical tools to aid parents like me in our attempts to ensure we bring up children who respect and are considerate of others’ feelings. 

This was the turning point for me as I flipped through the book (which has a separate book for your kid too) and as Ciaran turned 3 and I started to make a concerted effort to help my son chart out what it means to have manners. 

This book recommends using Time-outs to navigate toddlers into understanding what is acceptable.Two other techniques we’re using now are also Option 1 or 2 and a good ‘ol analog Responsibility Chart . If there’s anything I’ve learnt on managing toddlers it’s these three things and I’m using them to the best of my ability. Here’s how:

1. Time-Out

  • Children need firm discipline and the assurance that they are loved. 
  • When your child starts acting out – i.e. a tantrum or being rude, put them in a place (we use the stairs) where you can see them (don’t shut them in a room) and set a timer. 2 mins for a 2 year old, 3 mins for a 3 year old and so forth. 
  • After the timer beeps, take them out and hug them tight and spend some quiet time together.
  •  Once your child has calmed down, explain what they did ‘wrong’ – misbehaving, screaming, being unkind, kicking etc. 
  • Emphasise how they can be kinder, better behaved then move on. You don’t need to dwell too much on that incident. 

2. Option 1 Or 2

  • If your child is not listening to reason or just doesn’t want to do what he’s told, pause and give him 2 options. 
  • Both options need to be something you can deliver on. They should not be what your child is demanding from you.
  • For example – your child wants to watch Youtube but he’s already had his 1 hour limit and is screaming your ears off.
  • You can offer him Option 1: Playing with his robot toy (pick a fav toy of his) and then he can get say 30 mins of cartoons later in the evening OR Option 2: Continue crying and get NO screen time for the rest of the day. 
  • Put it to him that he needs to pick only 1 Option.

3. Responsibility Chart

  • We love Melissa & Doug’s stuff, they’re well made and well-thought-out. Daryl bought this chart and hung it in our living room.
  • We picked out priority tasks we wanted Ciaran to take responsibility of – clearing his toys, stop whining and saying please and thank you.
  • We told Ciaran what’s expected of him should we want to get a ‘Bravo’ or ‘Good Job’ magnet. It works brilliantly; and he would come to us at the end of the day and we assess how well he had done for the day and award him accordingly. 
  • Affirmation helps children understand what they should do more of. I prefer this to yelling and being militant.
  • The Manners book also comes with really cute posters and stickers you can get your child to paste when he is polite, respectful and well behaved.
Ciaran sticking on a star he got for being polite.

These tools has worked well for us so far. But as with every chapter of the age-old Book of Parenting, every day is a new day. Ciaran is better behaved and knows his boundaries. He communicates better on why he’s frustrated (i.e. hungry, need to use the potty etc) instead of throwing a hissy fit. There are still days when he gets into a scream-fest, but those instances are much reduced.

As tough as parenting is, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Being parents have made us better people because we are relearning so many of the basics. The basics that make us human – and what is truly important; our family, our love for each other which fuels our efforts to make a brighter future.

Useful links to buy tools mentioned in my post:

Life Parenting

On Motherhood

“Motherhood is not a GCSE level examination that I can study for or ace at by following the textbooks or rulebooks. There is no one perfect guidebook and there is no such thing as a perfect mother (or parent)”

Motherhood – it’s a much lauded rite of passage experienced by many (duly blessed) women. Loving, patient and nurturing mothers are celebrated while short-tempered, agitated and anxious mothers are seem to ‘not-have-it-together’.

Can I tell you an honest truth? 80% of the time I belong to the latter. Every day is like a new challenge on Ninja Warriors; I used to start my day by anticipating meltdowns even before they happen so that I can deflect and prepare myself. It was quite a doom and gloom situation. Like dark looming clouds cueing an impending storm.

Dark clouds that reflected my gloomy mind.

When your actions don’t align with what is expected of you as dutiful mother, that grand ‘ol mum-guilt starts to snowball. I had serious cognitive dissonance because I had grandiose ideas about the fantastic mother I’d be. The thought that I could possibly suck at that one role I thought I would excel at made me feel disappointed.

A mother’s disappointment, as I have since learnt is more commonplace than I had realised. Just do a quick google search or look at your fellow mama-friends’ Instagram and lo and behold, a community of mothers’ sharing their grievances and challenges. Thank god for #strengththroughvulnerability.

My one biggest learning in this parenting journey of mine is this – don’t be afraid to lean into your partner. Daryl is a fantastic partner and (in my opinion) a super dad. He can see when the wheels of doubt are doing some double-duty churning and inward dwelling.  “What are you trying to prove and for who?” was a question he posed when I was regaling him about how there’s so much more I could be doing for our sons and I can I do more. 

And that’s when it clicked. Do more, be more, achieve more – that’s great, but by whose standards and to what metrics? Motherhood is not a GCSE level examination that I can study for or ace at by following the textbooks or rulebooks. There is no one perfect guidebook and there is no such thing as a perfect mother (or parent). 
It took me almost 2 years to come to terms with the fact that being present for my children and giving them my time is all there is to it. So simple, so dummy-proof. 

I have since been at peace, knowing that I should confidently parent at the beat of my own drum.  There are 3 main areas of focus right now for us at home, what with the on-going circuit breaker:

In no way am I an expert in any of this but I would like to share the knowledge and wisdom gleaned from articles/books I’ve read and from experience. Hopefully they will be of use to any of you who may be parents. Here’s my post on dealing with Manners and Tantrums.

Life Parenting Relationship

On love and communication

No matter the culture, race or religion, I truly believe food is a universal language of love. 

Now more than ever with varying levels of #lockdown all over the world, relationships of all kinds are put to the test. Parents and children, husband and wife, partners etc living in a bell jar with so much space for tension, and feelings – this can often lead to raised voices and agitated arguments (sometimes over the simplest things). 
I speak from experience.

Daryl and I have had more friction than usual and having 2 kids vying for our attention does not help the essential communication channel we usually have (no more running away from the kids on a Saturday afternoon for a nice 2-hour brunch😕). 

We decided to nip this ‘barrier’ in the bud by implementing a 6 min catch up everyday. All you need is some down time in between your kid(s) naps. Each of you gets 1 min (use your phone timer) of air-time to talk about your day or what you’re feeling and when the time is up, it’s the other person’s turn to share. Do this 3 times each. 
In theory, 6 mins is short but when we did it, that quality time felt longer! It has helped us feel more connected and less testy with each other and I wanted to share this since it may help anyone in a similar situation. 

Also, don’t wait for a once-a-year public declaration day to shower your partner with love. Cook something for him/her whenever you feel like it. One of the best ways anyone can express love to their special someone is through food. As food is sustenance, a homemade meal is telling your partner, “I appreciate your existence in my life and I want to feed your body (and soul)”. No matter the culture, race or religion, I truly believe food is a universal language of love. 

Breakfast plate Daryl made this morning.

Assembled from the brioche and gratin dauphinois he made earlier in the week, this plate here is the perfect ‘thank you and I love you’. I had another hairy night soothing our 7mo baby (he’s teething and having sleep regression) and was feeling crappy and this made me feel appreciated. 

If you think you need special ingredients to celebrate, think again. Just think about what comfort food your partner enjoys the most and if you can’t make it, buy and  assemble it nicely on a plate. It’s really the thought that counts. Husbands, wives, partners, lovers – your time is what matters most! Have a lovely Sunday and keep safe 💗🌟
#relationship #love #celebrate #thesimplelife 

Life recipe

Peanut Butter Cookies

A mother’s food memory of baking and having fun in the kitchen.

Before I became a mother, I had many thoughts and ideas about the kind of parent I’d be to my kid(s). Like most, these ideals stemmed from my own childhood. Food is a big deal in our family; Dad had always been a terrific cook and my earliest food memory is of the ubiquitous belachan (fermented shrimp paste) aroma that permeated our kitchen (and our whole apartment) whenever he made my favourite sambal belachan. I used to compete with my siblings to see who could tahan (Malay for tolerate) the most amount of said sambal. Oh the beads of sweat that would trickle down my temple as I shoveled down that tangy, briny and very shrimpy chili staple with copious amounts of rice and whatever was on our dinner table.

Though not much of a baker, Dad would whip up some gloriously light and fragrant orange pound cake whenever my school had a fund-raising carnival (fellow Convent girls will know what I’m talking about). You see, we each had to contribute to our class ‘stall’ and my dad’s slices of pound cake would always sell out by mid-day. At $0.10 a slice, it was quite a steal.

To this day, any mention of pound cake and I think of that citrusy rendition that I associate pound cake with. With my eyes closed, I catch an imaginary whiff of that orange scent, from all the freshly grated rind.

That cake memory may very well be the genesis of a certain fantasy I began to paint in my mind – I would own a large kitchen where I baked/cooked everything my heart desired and where I would eventually relegate my kid(s) to, training them up to be my adorable little Oompa Loompas. Isn’t it every parent’s dream for their kids to bring them breakfast in bed during the weekends?

Thus began my personal journey as an amateur baker and cook (I can’t teach my kid(s) unless I pick up some skills eh?). In 2005, I started a little blog to document my kitchen experiments, both good and not so good ones. It was an era before Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp mind you. Blogger (and later on WordPress) was the hottest platform to be on. I made so many wonderful friends (far and wide) via my blog. I used to participate in what was called “Blogging by Mail“. I’ve had hardtack candies sent to me from Tennessee, USA, and I once mailed Milo and my signature chocolate chunk cookies to Iowa. I moved my blog to a .net domain in 2009 but due to some technical roadblocks I lost my site (along with my posts) and relied mostly on Instagram to churn out more foodporn and what I’ve since been baking for my own family and kids.

Having been more nostalgic, and contemplative (no thanks to the pandemic), I re-read some of my old posts and realised that I really miss long-form writing. Instant posts on the ‘Gram or FB just didn’t cut it. There was an itch to scratch. With more time on my hands, I sunk my teeth into WordPress once more. There’s no time better than the present for me to document this chapter of my life as a mother and wife. It would be really nice for my sons to have a record of our kitchen (and other) adventures.

Yesterday, my son Ciaran walked into the kitchen and asked me “where cookies?”. Last weekend’s batch of homemade oatmeal cookies had been depleted (we are a very hungry family) and he wanted more. I asked what type of cookies he wanted me to make – “Peanut butter!” he shouted with enthusiasm. Our family goes through peanut butter faster thank you can say “peanut butter jelly time”. Our preferred brand of choice is most definitely Pic’s peanut butter. They use hi-oleic peanuts and they’ve got a salt-free option that we love.

Peanut butter – a staple we always have in our pantry.

With my jar of peanut butter at the ready, I started to prep and weigh out the ingredients. Just as I was about to combine everything, in came Ciaran with his wide smile, and a really sweet “Wanna help you Mama”. At that second, my heart swelled with pride and love. My little kitchen helper brought over his stool and he helped to mix the flour, and also the gooey peanut butter mixture.

Ciaran enjoys helping me in the kitchen.

You don’t really need a mixer for this recipe. We did it by hand, with our trusty whisk. Once the dough is formed, make sure you chuck it in the fridge so that it’s nice and firm for easy shaping later on. Now this is the part that Ciaran enjoyed the most. If your kid loves Play-Doh, this would be a fun activity!

Forming a cool pattern with the tines of a fork. Ciaran did a very good job!



  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (I substituted with coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (my preferred brand is Pic’s)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Prepare your baking sheets (or just use a silicon heat-proof mat like I do).
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of electric mixture combine the melted butter, sugars, peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract. Beat just until well blended. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Refrigerate cookies until dough is stiff enough to shape into balls, about 2 hours. Using a tablespoon scoop out dough and with wet hands shape into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart of baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork or a cookie press lightly press on the ball of dough to slightly flatten and make an indentation.
  5. Bake until bottoms are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cookies cool briefly on the pans. Using a wide flexible spatula transfer the warm cookies to a rack to cool.

    Makes about 36 cookies.

    *Taken from Williams-Sonoma Cookie cookbook.
Done in just 15 minutes. These smell phenomenal and taste like roast peanuts.

They are pretty dope warm, and fresh out of the oven but make sure you let it rest for at least 15 mins on the pan so it sets right. I had to pry Ciaran away from the hot sheet pans as he was so eager to take some once he saw me get them out of the oven.

These would be really good if dipped in dark chocolate.

Ciaran wanted 1, 2, 3 pieces and since he was such good help, I obliged.

My sweet cookie monster.

Cookie-making is a great gateway to an exciting world of baking for kids who want to help in the kitchen. My 3yo boy seems to share our passion for food. We can’t wait for him to advance to ‘bigger’ recipes – even if it’s just so we can put our feet up one day and have him cook a meal for us.

To all mothers out there, I wish you a hearty Happy Mother’s Day. I congratulate you for all you have done and even more that you will do for your kid(s)!


On Grief and Healing

The heart, though broken and very much hurt, may never be quite the same but the constant effort to mend and soothe results in a simple and vulnerable “wholeness”.

If (like me) you’re fast approaching ‘mid-life’ (that’s on an assumption that the life expectancy is +/- 80 years), you may have suffered some varying form of grief or loss; death, heartbreak, unemployment etc. Right now, the big rock we’re mourning is the loss of a ‘normal-life’, what with the on-going pandemic and our rapidly changing lives. With that much uncertainty clouding the known world, I find myself getting caught up with my grief.

I lost a loved one last year and my husband got laid off in March due to the pandemic and on most days, I struggle to keep sane in my little ‘home-office’ tucked in a corner of our gym room ‘talking’ to my laptop via the many conference calls required. I miss many things, though I have come to realise that I do not need much to survive or maintain equilibrium. This is what I have been relying on, to help me with my grief

  • Fortnightly 30-min tele-therapy sessions
  • Wisdom from brilliant minds such as Brené Brown, David Kessler, Don Miguel Ruiz (to name a few)
  • Open and honest (non-judgemental) communication with my dear husband
  • Soul-nourishing food, most of which are prepared my my chef-husband (god bless him)
  • Our joy – two sons, 3 yo and 7 mo.

Those 5 things above are what I now call my essential go-tos, to feel whole. And wholeness is a something we are searching now, more than ever.

“Grief is a time when we try to find our wholeness again”

– David Kessler

Grief may break us even when we try hard to be strong. Being broken is painful. There is a constant desire to distract with ‘happier’ thoughts and sweep these feelings under the carpet. The throes of grief causes deeper cracks as we propel ourselves into the depths of our feelings because that’s how we humans emote.

The beautiful, and ancient art of kintsugi – ©

In many ways, I think of the grieving process to be very much like the Japanese art of Kintsugi (金継ぎ) or kintsukuroi (金繕い) – gold joinery (or precious metals) to fix broken earthenware. The heart, though broken and very much hurt, may never be quite the same but the constant effort to mend and soothe results in a simple and vulnerable “wholeness”.

No two kintsukuroi are the same, much like our individual experience. Every shattered fragment is unique, and when put together, forms an irregular pattern helmed by the pattern of each broken piece.

Broken. Put together. Wholly different. I am no philosopher, psychologist or therapist, but this analogy is relevant for me right now, as I seek to understand my mind, self and soul better. 

As for dealing with loss, I realised that there is no ‘moving on’, only ‘moving forward’. Grief becomes a part of you, like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Grief ‘guru’ David Kessler argues that “it’s finding meaning beyond the stages of grief most of us are familiar with—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—that can transform grief into a more peaceful and hopeful experience”. I could not agree more.

If you relate to what I’ve shared here, about grief and loss, I invite you to take a quiet hour for yourself to think about how you would prepare your own kintsukuroi and maybe take a listen to this brilliant podcast featuring David Kessler.

David Kessler expounds about the Sixth stage of meaning with Brené Brown.

Sending you plenty of light and love, whoever and where ever you are.