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Adversity And Strong Trees

Written by: Rosalyn Palmer, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Treating adversity as a way to become strong and precious and to dazzle with your beauty.

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ‒ Leonard Cohen

My friend Liz is a talented artist. She constantly experiments with new themes and forms

A few years ago, she had an exhibition entitled: ‘Filling the Cracks with Gold’. It was based on the concept of kintsukuroi, an ancient Japanese art form.

Kintsukuroi is also referred to as kintsugi, meaning “golden repair.” This is because old and treasured items that are cracked or broken are not discarded. Instead, they are repaired with gold (or sometimes silver) lacquer. This act is interwoven with the philosophy of wabi-sabi, which means “to find beauty in broken things or old things.” This means that the once perfect item, now repaired, is held to be even more precious and beautiful than before. I wonder what our lives would be like if we viewed our brokenness as an opportunity to mend and heal and be more beautiful than ever before?

I certainly value all of the broken bits of my life.

Rather like the poem I share with clients in pain:

Strong trees do not grow with ease

The stronger the wind

The stronger the trees

The winds of adversity may blow but you can become a stronger tree afterwards.

What seems like a setback can be a means to gaining more resilience as you are forced to put down stronger roots. The trick is then recognise this and know that you are firmly and strongly rooted. Then to give yourself permission to stretch out new branches that blossom. Just the act of imagining this is super powerful. Try it. Stand up and close your eyes. Feel your feet on the ground and imagine strong roots that gone down way below you.

Now imagine all the hurts and setbacks in your life. The pain. The rejection. The self-doubt. That ‘Itty Bitty Shitty Committee’ voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it or are not up to it. Imagine each one as a gust of wind and feel the tree bend slightly in that wind and also the roots go down stronger each time.

With each strong wind they anchor you more firmly. Go through the exercise until you feel truly grounded.

Then imagine all the wonderful things you know and feel about yourself or wish to do so. Imagine feeling confident and joyful, beautiful and radiant, energised and free. Imagine each of these positive values as a leaf that is growing on your strong tree. As it becomes green and verdant then add blossom in a colour you love; a soft pink perhaps or a vibrant white, lilac or blue. Whatever you love. And now smell that beautiful blossom. It’s vibrancy and perfume fill your senses making you feel alive and vital. Now breathe it in five times. Take long slow deep breaths and then open your eyes again.

Feels good doesn’t it?

Because, just like kintsugi, what if being broken and then repaired with gold to be more precious than before became a metaphor for our lives?

What if, each time we feel like we are breaking we just remember that it is time to reach for the G.O.L.D:

G = Grow from your experiences and see them as opportunities to be stronger with deep roots.

O = Own your imperfections. People, events and circumstances beyond our control are truly sent to try us but the things that don’t kill us can make us stronger. They create golden threads of experience and small victories that lead to us feeling braver and better about our ability to face anything

L = Live and let live. Be kind to others. We are all flawed and cracked however good a mask or repair job we show to the outside world.

D = Delicate china is actually very strong. Fine china can break but that is no reason to not use and enjoy it or to repair and find a new purpose for any broken pieces.

Humans are fragile and prone to breakage.

But with Kintsukuroi in mind you can, at any time, put the pieces of your life and wellbeing back together with the added bonus that you can sprinkle in some gold each time you mend and grow. Grow like the strong tree that you are.

The golden joins and the deep roots you have laid down will remind you that you have been broken or faced adversity but that you are even stronger and more precious than before.

Follow Rosalyn on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit her website for more info.


Rosalyn Palmer, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rosalyn Palmer is an award-winning transformational coach and therapist and one of the Brainz 500 Global 2021 list of Companies, Entrepreneurs, Influential leaders and Small business owners recognized for their entrepreneurial success, achievements, or dedication to helping others. Her work combines advanced rapid transformational therapy with clinical hypnotherapy & NLP-based coaching to create deeply desired changes. She works 1-2-1 with clients and via her group courses including the 13-week The Realigned Leader and The Realigned Life transformations. As the best-selling author of the award-winning self-help book: ‘Reset! A Blueprint for a Better Life’ and three other Amazon bestsellers, Rosalyn makes emotional wellbeing accessible to all. She enables high performers to live their best lives that feel as good inside as they look on the super-successful outside. Rosalyn draws on extensive business experiences in top London PR & Marcomms (‘retiring’ as a self-made millionaire at age 40 after a stellar career helping clients including Tony Robbins and Edward de Bono) and the insight of being conflicted when the outward vision of your life doesn’t serve you. Added to this are her deeper values and life experiences born from many challenges including cancer; redundancy; bereavement; menopause; divorce; a financial loss that broke her open to finding out what really matters in life and how to live a life of balance and joy. As a natural communicator, she is the well-being expert for the radio show Girls Around Town, has a monthly newspaper column, and two podcast series: Monkey Business and Life Alchemy.



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