Ikigai

Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." It is similar to the French phrase Raison d'être. Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is important to the cultural belief that discovering one's ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.[1] Examples include work, hobbies and raising children.[2]

The term ikigai compounds two Japanese words: iki (wikt:生き) meaning "life; alive" and kai (甲斐) "(an) effect; (a) result; (a) fruit; (a) worth; (a) use; (a) benefit; (no, little) avail" (sequentially voiced as gai) "a reason for living [being alive]; a meaning for [to] life; what [something that] makes life worth living; a raison d'etre".[3]

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as "a reason to get up in the morning"; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner suggested ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.[4]

The word ikigai is usually used to indicate the source of value in one's life or the things that make one's life worthwhile. Secondly, the word is used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It's not necessarily linked to one's economic status or the present state of society. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but they have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are not actions we are forced to take—these are natural and spontaneous actions.

In the article named Ikigai — jibun no kanosei, kaikasaseru katei ("Ikigai: the process of allowing the self's possibilities to blossom") Kobayashi Tsukasa says that "people can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization."

Taken from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai

What's your reason for being? Your Ikigai is?

My family keep me going, although some days they bring the ultimate in despair ( :-} ), they are also my ultimate reason for living. Yes I love crafting, walking, music, art, the flowers, trees, and my Path too, is a source of joy bringing me satisfaction and peace, but my family are ALL to me.

My family...my son, my daughter, their spouses. my husband, and grandchildren are my Ikigai.

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Replies to This Discussion

My reason for being is my path, it's how I found my power center.  I love being a homemaker, and taking care of my family, though to be honest, sometimes I want to bang my head against a wall.  

I truly love my circle of friends, we are now a family.  When I made the decision to give up my extended family(mom and dad passed, estranged sister)it was my soul family that held me up.  When I don;t seem to be asked to family functions anymore(aunts, uncles, etc)because of my life path, I have my soul family.  I truly believe in another realm they are my family.

Hugs you tight xxxx

WOW! This is really interesting Elspeth.

My reason is working with my drawings, meditation, and doing my research on better information.

I too agree with you, Linda. My soul family here keeps me anchored, connected, and happy. I am always trying to add information to the groups here which I do enjoy.

When someone is sick I try my best to send healing energies to them which makes me feel I am in connection with them.

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