The drive to feel centered and healthy is central to being alive

The Elisabeth Kübler Ross Foundation posted on LinkedIn about Ikigai, a fascinating concept from Japan. 

They write:

“Japanese philosophy on the lasting health of body, mind, and spirit. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai —what a French philosopher might call a raison d’etre. Some people have found their ikigai, while others are still looking, though they carry it within them.

“Our ikigai is hidden deep inside each of us, and finding it requires a patient search. According to those born on Okinawa, the island with the most centenarians in the world, our ikigai is the reason we get up in the morning.

“There is, in fact, no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense of “leaving the workforce for good” as in English. According to Dan Buettner, a National Geographic reporter who knows the country well, having a purpose in life is so important in Japanese culture that our idea of retirement simply doesn’t exist there.”

Ikigai makes me think about both purpose as well as alignment with the outer world. To be in the sweet spot of Ikigai must be akin to being healthy–psychologically and physically.

If we are alive, we will have an innate drive to find this sweet spot, and to stay in it as much as possible. The post says that requires patience. Sometimes we have that patience and sometimes we may need to draw on those with patience to help us slow down, reflect, come back to what is meaningful to us. There are times when we need spiritual support to help us find our sweet spot in life, and feel as fully centered and healthy as we can be.

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