Blogger and creator of the Chakra Cards, this website has something for everyone
"What if we are all constantly chasing this “life purpose” or “mission” when in-fact all we need to do is be in the present moment and enjoy it, rather than fulfilling a designated purpose designed by an all-seeing God?"
I came across the Japanese concept of Ikigai* on social media in the past few weeks. Interestingly at the same time, I’ve been trying to find balance in all of the things that I love and thinking about my past, present and future, particularly around blending my life and career. I’ve seen the image of the Ikigai before and it means “reason for being.” It asks you to think about your passion, mission, vocation and profession by asking the following questions; what you love, what you do, what you are good at and what the world needs.
This journey to find my Ikigai is probably not so much find, but to explore the concept. I don’t necessarily want to find an end result, but instead to find a way to integrate all that I love into something that can both help the world and provide money while capitalising on what I’m good at. As a friend said the other day, “it is not a bad thing to want money.” I think somewhere in my head, I associate extreme wealth with selfishness and disconnectedness from the Earth.
What do you love?
A few months ago, I wrote a list of the things that I’m passionate about, and there were more than 30. My good friend, who has been offering me some business planning advice, said that to be effective, you need to pick three things and put your energy into those. How can I pick my favourites when I love so much? To ask someone to pick their top three passions is like asking to pick a favourite child!! Well, it is for me, I cannot chose. In each one of my passions: writing, circus, yoga, tantric energy and sex, family and friends, history, reading, literature, research, travel, adventures…it goes on…how could I possibly put each of those into one purpose for being?
What if there is not ONE passion, one thing, one purpose? What if it’s a false belief? Perhaps the energy for our various passions rise and fall in waves and we are like flotsam floating with what feels good. Maybe we don’t have one passion but many? Human beings are multi-faceted complex beings. I’ve got so many projects and ideas in my head and of the things I enjoy doing, I can’t possibly narrow it down to only to one or two things and put my passion into that. I like having my attentions and interests diverse and varied and makes for a diverse and interesting life. But the downside is that I have all these half-started projects that I’ve never seen through to finish and I’m not making any money from them.
What are you good at?
It’s easy to identify what you’re not good at but I think sometimes we don’t and can’t identify things that we ARE good at, the things that other people can see so well. We are often very self-critical and hard on ourselves. My good friend and mentor Jeannie Lovel taught me the following this week: “I embrace the part of me that feels…” and it has been so empowering. We don’t need to remove or change the parts of us that we don’t like, but to embrace them and love them for teaching us. We need to embrace both our light and our darkness, the things that we are both good at and not so good at.
What can you be paid for?
I can and have been paid for teaching, it has helped me to raise three children on my own and I’m so very grateful for it, but I am done teaching in schools in anything more than a casual appointment. I’ve been working with two friends who have been offering me some business mentoring and it has shown me how very little I know about how to run a business. (Look up Diane Lloyd An Authentic Life on Facebook, she is very good at this if you need some help!) It is a work-in-progress to turn all of my ideas, inspirations and projects into something that can generate an income. Yet a part of me wants to make things affordable for people who are struggling and who most need it, but my time is valuable and I am worth it. Finding a balance between these two things is a challenge for me that I need to embrace the part of me that is resistant to abundance.
What the world needs?
The world needs so much: connection – to each other and the Earth and its inhabitants, compassion, self-love, kindness, sustainable homes, more trees and wilderness and fresh, organic food… The Internet and social media is an amazing resource that we can all tap into to create the world that we want to create, join us on Facebook at the Feed the Love community if it is a vision that you would like to share.
My journey to discover my Ikigai has been very interesting and I encourage you to do the same if you are feeling lost or as the energy feels at the moment, clearing off the dross and being clear, authentic and present. As you can read by this blog, I’ve not come to any real conclusions and like life, my journey to Ikigai is an ongoing process. There are literally hundreds of articles online about finding your passion and fulfilling your purpose (or mission), but I wonder if what if there is no mission greater than just being authentically, truly, you? What if we are all constantly chasing this “life purpose” or “mission” when in-fact all we need to do is be in the present moment and enjoy it, rather than fulfilling a designated purpose designed by an all-seeing God?
I love being in the moment and sometimes in life, it is hard to do when you have competing demands on your time, friends, family, work, housework, etc. When I’m going with the flow, I meet the best people, have the greatest adventures and these things bring me even more happiness. My unhappiest moments are when I feel obligated to do things because another person/organisation expects it of me.
If I look at the yogic literature it actually says that the only reason for being is to be aware of the mind but know that we are all one. I’ve enjoyed the process of exploring my Ikigai, it is a fantastic tool for self-reflection, but I already know my reason for being…and that is to just BE.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2016
All images, videos, products and texts Copyright ©Alyssa Curtayne 2014-2017