Ikigai: Your Reason for Being

Malory Graham

What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning?

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. To find it often requires deep inquiry and lengthy ‘search of self’ – a search which is highly regarded. The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”. Unpacking the word and its associated symbol a bit further, ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

What you Love (your passion)
What the World Needs (your mission)
What you are Good at (your vocation)
What you can get Paid for (your profession)

The word ikigai, that space in the middle of these four elements, is seen as the source of value or what make one’s life truly worthwhile. In Okinawa, Japan, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. Even if we are moving through a dark or challenging time, if we are moving with purpose, if we are feeling called toward something or have a clear goal in mind, we may still experience ikigai. Often the behaviors that make us feel ikigai are not the ones we are forced to take based on the expectations of the world around us, but rather they are the natural actions and spontaneous responses that emerge from a deep and direct connection to life.

(Excerpt by Chip Richards, Uplift )

Hatsu Keiko Theme

For our first aikido class of the new year, Wednesday, Jan 1st, 6pm we will explore this theme of Ikigai and how it relates to your practice of aikido. I personally find incredible value in taking the time to reflect on how all of the components of what I do with my time support the life I want. By not siloing the separate things we do but instead seeing how they all interrelate, we build rich meaning into how we choose to show up in the world. Please come to this first class of the new year prepared to reflect, imagine and sweat!
See you on the Mat!
– Malory Sensei