What is ‘Ikigai’

‘Ikigai’ (生き甲斐 ) is a centuries old Japanese philosophy of understanding what your true wants and needs really are – or discovering your inner calling – and how that leads you to a bigger purpose in life. According to Japanese culture, everyone has an ikigai.

In a recent TED Talk, Dan Buettner suggested ikigai is one of the reasons why people in Okinawa live such long and happy lives.

Ikigai is about living life with purpose and balance. Its literal meaning is ‘a reason for being’.

When you find your ikigai it will transform how you think, see and experience life.

It is the ‘Yes’ for getting out of bed every morning feeling ‘alive’.

It is a day aligned in a state of flow, deep happiness, purpose and meaning.

It’s is a sense of being at one with yourself while also offering your very best to the world.

The four elements of ‘ikigai’ are:

  • Passion – what you love to do
  • Profession – what you are good at
  • Vocation – what you can be paid for
  • Mission – what the world needs

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross,
there lives your vocation.’

Diagram by Hartley&Soul Designs

World renowned Rapid Transformational Therapist Marisa Peer says, When you do what you love, you become amazing at it; when you find what you love to do, it gives you purpose and when you share it with others it gives you meaning.

Many of us are conditioned to get an education just to get a well-paid job and brush aside what we really want to do and are good at doing. We stay in unsatisfying jobs just to get by or follow a family tradition, hating it, and it’s costing us our happiness.

“The worst stress for people is having to endure work (that is) monotonous, boring, soul-destroying; (where) they die a little when they come to work each day, because their work touches no part of them that is them” – Michael Marmot.

Doing what you don’t enjoy just to pay the bills can have detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. If you’re not following your heart’s desire or if you lack purpose, it can result in a great deal of suffering, including poor physical, mental and emotional health, culminating in chronic conditions such as depression and anxiety.

When we are enjoying and loving what we do we have an inner flow of ikigai. There is a connection between your mind and body working happily in balance. Your confidence and enthusiasm shines through in your work as you become exactly who you were meant to be and there’s no separation between work and hobby as you embody them both as one.

My own ikigai journey

From a very young age I had a strong calling to work and heal people in some way, though turning healing into a professional career never even crossed my mind!

Over the years I had a variety of different jobs and career changes, all the while feeling that something was lacking. This feeling of lacking meant that I never managed to stay in any particular job for very long.

Then in 2006, while working in a particularly soul destroying office job, I was made redundant. Instead of panicking and quickly jumping back into yet another draining job to pay the bills, this particular setback encouraged me to confront my fears.

I took a leap of faith and began training professionally as a holistic healer. A year later I was a qualified reflexologist and reiki practitioner. In a way the adversity I had experienced propelled me on the path to pursuing my heart’s desire.

It feels amazing to give the gift of reflexology to people struggling with health issues, and help them improve their wellbeing. I’m forever grateful that this practice has allowed me to support myself physically, spiritually and financially.

After a decade of personal growth and living more consciously, I’ve managed to strengthen the expression of my inner calling through Rapid Transformational Therapy, a magnificent vehicle for letting my ikigai shine through.

When you find your ikigai you will finally experience ‘a sense of coming home’ to your authentic self and experience genuine happiness and fulfilment. I am passionate about helping you on that journey towards recovery, deeper happiness and inner freedom.

So, how do I find my ‘ikigai’?

Searching for your ikigai can be a long process. I can help you find it in half the time through RTT, meditation and so much more.

Are you ready to take that leap and begin your journey?