Written by: Miriam Grunhaus, 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.
She illuminated my soul with the light that was radiating from her being. Maybe I am sensitive to seeing the “gold” in others, their Kintsugi gold. You see, there was a time when my own life fell apart. I mean, lives can fall apart, multiple times. We are usually able to pick up the pieces and move on, but sometimes our lives break into a million little pieces. This time, I wasn’t quite sure that mine could ever be put back together.
If I had to compare myself to an object, I would be a vase. That is to say, I would be a container of water that sustains flowers and other living beings. My life's purpose is to be the caregiver, the glue, the rock, the container that helps others thrive. Through becoming that help, I thrived as well. Now, the vase was shattered, so shattered that there weren't even pieces to pick up. It had become sand. How can you put the pieces back together when the pieces are so tiny, they are pulverized?
Then, I learned about Kintsugi. It came just in time. As I stared at my pieces, I saw a way. Maybe there was a way back to wholeness after all. It would have to be one day at a time, one good thought at a time, one kind act at a time, one connection at a time, and one tiny step at a time.
First, I would have to be kind to myself until I was able to put the vase back together and be kind to others. I would have to say no when I needed and distance myself from those who hurt me. I would reach out to those who fed my soul when I needed them. So, I did. One day I looked, and my vase was put back together. It was so completely different than the original version, but frankly, it was more beautiful, unique, and special than the first. It was filled with gold.
The new vase is worth more, knows more, and it holds more: more flowers, more life, and more water. At times, the vase still breaks into the tiny places that were still whole, but there is always more gold to mend it. This personal journey has taught me to see the gold in others, to see the Kintsugi people.
Sara is Kintsugi. It was not her bald, shining head that gave it away. It was the gold that was glaring and blinding me from within her scars. There is a special beauty that comes from deep feelings, deep fractures that were put back together in a way that those who know, well, they know. They recognize each other.
They know the pain it takes and the work it takes, the time it takes and the patience it takes. They know the shame, the courage, the effort, and the commitment it requires. They also know that it almost didn’t happen. It was almost not put together, and it could have ended very differently.
It could have been swept away with a broom and a dustpan. It could have been discarded as so many are when people see something broken, and they don’t believe that they are worth the time and effort: the work and the love, the care, and belief! We are so worth it. Each and every one of us is so worth it. We are everything. We are a special creation. We are well thought out and made with physical and emotional attributes that are miraculously working in synchronization day in and day out. Some days are better than others, but all are special and unique. Sara taught me so much when she shared her story with me. She gave me the biggest message of hope that I feel strongly. I must share it with the world.
Sara was depressed from age nine, just a child! In excruciating pain, it came from the depths of her being. She was certain without an ounce of a doubt that she did not belong in this world or on this planet or anywhere. Feeling extreme anxiety, she began methodically plucking each and every hair, first the eyelashes and the eyebrows, and then her head. She would find hairs that didn’t match-- they were thicker, pluck. Then, there were the ones that were thinner, pluck. The hairs that were split, pluck. Any hair pluck pluck, pluck.
The pain caused relief. Before she knew it, she looked in the mirror and saw a monster staring back at her. There was screaming without words, sharing the agony, asking to end this and go to another dimension. She wanted to go to a dimension where the birds sing, and the flowers stand tall, and are bright and colorful, and the music, Oh! The sounds are the most magical ones; they caress you and transport you through the clouds where you experience only kindness, and love, and joy. And it is calm and pain-free.
But she stayed.
She gave herself the time and the effort and the love.
She put the pieces back together with a lot of gold.
One day, she looked at herself in the mirror, and she did not see a monster. She saw beauty. She saw the light. Then, one day she saw herself in the mirror, and she did not feel pain. One day, she looked at herself, and she knew she belonged.
She knew what she had to give and what she deserved to get. She could show her creativity and allow others to enjoy the specialness she brought to this earth with her art, with her music, with her imagination and her soul. She was no longer depressed, and she wanted to stay and be involved and show up and fight and step into the rink and give her all!
She was no longer depressed, no longer suicidal. She wanted to BE. We are so lucky that she did. Sara is Kintsugi. I am Kintsugi. I bet you are, too. And if not yet, maybe you will be after you see what is possible when you put your pieces together and mend your shattered heart with pure gold
Kintsugi in Japanese means golden Joinery. It is also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, "golden repair"). This is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the breakage areas with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of an object's history, rather than something to disguise.
Miriam’s first book, Heal with Gold, is launching in October 2020.
Miriam Grunhaus, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
After working for 25 years as a marketer with expertise in Ethics and Compliance, Miriam Grunhaus, native of Brazil, entered the world of Fashion Design. Miriam’s commitment is to the women she serves. After learning about Kintsugi (the Japanese art of mending pottery) and feeling empowered by its message, Miriam decided that her brand will be a source of hope and support for women. Mikah’s mission is to empower women to accept themselves with all of their imperfections and limitations. We want women to “wear their scars” with pride; to understand that each one of us is a unique work in progress. We want women to know that they are beautiful; not despite their circumstances, but because of them. We want to empower women to own their struggles - and in doing so - to own their strength. Miriam’s first book, Heal with Gold which is coming out soon. Tal Ben Shahar, PhD have endorsed the book. Dr. Tal ben Shahar is the author of the New York Times Best Seller Happier, and founder of the Happiness Studies Academy. Coming out by the end of 2020 is the extension of the book, a course on healing with a Kintsugi spin.
Sara Meucci – Sarah is an Italian model, living in London. She is currently free from depression and focuses on being a role model for others with Trichotillomania and those who suffer from mental illnesses. She wants to share with the world a message of love and hope through her creativity. She also is an amazing singer.
Anna Lavo – Originally from Russia, Anna lives in NYC and is a published stylist and fashion influencer. She shares her talents with the world by inspiring people to be creative with fashion and teaching people how to dress through her Instagram account.
Anthony Payne – From Brooklyn New York, he is a published hairstylist who creates art with hair and wigs like no other. Anthony was challenged to create Kintsugi shapes with hair waxed with gold which was then applied on model’s head.
Candice Rios – Candice is a New York make-up artist, published in many magazines like Oprah, Simply the Best and more. Candice also works with corporations like Pepsico and others. She is a volunteer with Lipstick Angels.
Michael Oliver – Michael resides in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Florida, Michael has Caribbean roots. He is a published photographer whose photos also appeared in photo contests, as well as online interviews. He brings his warm island vibe to the shoots, making everyone feel very comfortable.