Feb 20, 2019

Ikigai: Today and Every Day

Ikigai ("Uh key gay") is a Japanese concept meaning a purpose for being or "a reason to get up in the morning."

Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding this deep meaning, this purpose in life can vary for all of us and it can change as we journey through life. But it usually requires a deep and often lengthy search into one's self.
 And like all journeys, in the very end, it is often that journey that is more significant than anything, or everything one may do, or accomplish, or even achieve in their lives.

For the journey can often be the purpose. It can be the meaning and the reason for getting up every single day and allowing the spirit of wonder and expectation to enter. To focus the energy of being, the spirit of wanting to learn, to know, and to grow to enter. And then to access that deep inner energy, that drive, that creative impulse to center and to ground to become one with that spirit.

For me, my 'Ikigai' has always been about using my gifts..physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally....in service to the greater self. And the greater self for me, is expressed in helping others.

Sometimes, it has been someone I already know and care about. And sometimes it has not. Sometimes, people are directed into my path or found along my journey. Sometimes our meeting is for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime. I never know which until the path unfolds.

This journey has always been a challenging one for me. I always know what I had to offer and it can vary from day to day. I always know what I want to give, to do, and to be in a greater sense.  But that has so very often conflicted with what I had to do, or to give, or to be in order to fulfill this purpose, this meaning, this greater destiny of spirit catalyzed into action here on earth.

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 to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable.

It is this combination that creates the spiritual impetus for doing good for doing that deeper spiritual impulse's purpose in this life, through love and not ego.

The term "ikigai" is composed of two characters : iki and kai. Iki refers to life and kai is a suffix meaning roughly "the realization of what one expects and hopes for."

As we mature, as we realize our own courage, our own deep need and our abilities to survive beyond all that which we think we are capable of, all that we think we can achieve, and are often surprised to discover that it might not have been what we originally thought we were meant to do, to give, and to be in this lifetime.

And so today, I share my doing, my passion, my being, in one tiny little form..creating from fabric and bringing forth the manifestation of a greater gift..the gift of love, of giving, of doing and creating. Not just for myself, but through myself for others.  My reason to get up in the morning.

I work online on many sites in so many ways. Using my gifts, my  writings, my heart to help others, to try to do good in the world and to help people, to help my family, my friends, my causes.

But like all of us, but very often it is the women,the mothers, the grandmothers, the heart and the hands of the home,  who have trouble making time for ourselves. Our bodies ache, our minds are in endlessly loops of overdrive, our heart miss being first because we are so used to putting others ahead of ourselves. 

I made this little embellished art quilt when my mother was still alive.  My mother who loved all things Japanese, all things with deeper meaning, never knowing that one day, her own family, my own extended  family, would have several members of Japanese descent marry into our family and begin the process and finalization of the healing of many wounds from World War II.

A war that cost one of the five members of my Alaskan family his life by the hands of one once seen as the enemy but now seen as part of ourselves, our family, our earth, our humankind.

I honor that journey, this earth, and the grounding that I find along the way... that balances the darker shadows of life and its challenges as I always do...with the brilliance of the light within...the desire to do more, be more, and give more.

We make space for ourselves, we hold space for others. We breathe in goodness abd we breathe out the old, the tired, the depleted. We release all that does not serve our soul's journey or our spirit's deepest needs.

We find our mojo, our ikigai,  and we go forth not only refreshed, not only renewed, but reborn into ourselves once again.  A journey and a process and a joy created through love.

Ikigai--today and every day.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

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