While speaking at a wellness meeting recently, I was introduced to the concept of ikigai. Ikiga is an ancient Japanese ideology that has been associated with the nation’s long life expectancy. A combination of the Japanese words “iki” (生き), which translates to “life,” and “gai” (甲斐), which is used to describe value or worth, ikigai is all about finding joy in life through purpose.
This ideology sits at the intersection of what you are good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for (even if that payment is in the form of love or respect from your family or community).
I love that this ancient practice helps make a very abstract concept of discovering your life purpose more clear by providing concrete direction to begin unpacking what this may look like for you. I have long used three journal prompts with the cancer warriors I coach as we delve into the pillar of purpose. It’s important to explore purpose from a perspective that removes the expectations of others or our worldly responsibilities such as paying the bills. These journal prompts frame the questions from the perspective of you as a child. This is an important approach because it helps you decipher what your innate passions and talents are versus what you’ve adapted to based on influences outside of yourself.
1. What did I enjoy doing in my youth?
2. What am I naturally good at, especially thinking back to childhood?
3. How can I combine these two things to make an impact on the world?
If you’re looking for more tools on your journey toward awakening your soul-aligned life, you can download my free ebook. This ebook covers a powerful Purpose Essential Oil Blend to unlock the wisdom of your subconscious and intuition, which often gets drowned out by life's distractions.
You can also hear more on this topic from one of my trusted mentors and coaches, Erica Carrico. I had the honor of sitting down with Erica on this week's podcast. She shares how she defines a soul-aligned life and why she's so passionate about helping others discover this for themselves. Erica provides amazing tips to begin your own journey toward purpose. You don't want to miss this! Tune in here or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Finally, I’d like to challenge your concept of purpose. The American way of doing everything bigger, better, and competitively has left its mark on our approach to purpose as well. I think we often miss the beauty and fulfillment of purpose in the day-to-day (even if that means folding socks), while we’re too busy looking for this grandiose life purpose.
While I have big dreams and aspirations of changing the narrative for strong cancer warriors, I never underestimate the power of purpose in the mundane aspects of life as well. In its simplest form, living a soul-aligned life for me means making true soul connections. Don’t overlook the impact and purpose you can have by truly seeing those around you. In our most primal human desire, we all long to be seen and valued. There is tremendous purpose in pausing to sincerely thank your grocery store clerk. Or stopping what you’re doing as you get eye level with your 2 year old as they ramble on and on about a story that may seem insignificant to you, but they are longing to be seen and heard. I challenge you to pause and find purpose in these moments of life that matter.
I’d love to hear from you! How do you define and discover your soul-aligned life?