What makes us wake up in the morning?

Probably the phone alarm is pretty cheeky every morning except Saturday, Sunday mornings when the phone is in "random mode" flight mode.

There are mornings when things don't look as beautiful and positive as we would like. 

Photo:Getty images

There are mornings when the world seems a hostile and unwelcoming place. 

There are whole days where meaning escapes for a bit and it's up to us to find it again. 

There are mornings when we just want to disconnect from the World and everything around us.

There are mornings...you finish.

Today I am going to write to you about a Japanese parable that every time I get lost, the direction brings me back to my "center".

"In a small Japanese town on the island of Okinawa, a young woman was seriously ill. No one understood the cause of her illness to help her. She was well known to the people because she was the wife of the mayor. The best doctors and witch doctors came to help treat her, but with each passing day life was leaving her.

The day has come. The moment came when she knew it was her last day. That's when she knew her life was gone forever. She felt that the soul was slowly separating from the body. Her soul was flying. The woman was filled with regret. It was early morning, the time she usually woke up to begin her day - filled with hustle and bustle and caring for others.

Memories of her youth, of her wedding, of the birth of her children, of their childhood, held her through her last days. Every day she reminded herself of work, of the people she had met over the years. Some things she didn't put up with, others she smiled about, others she sulked about. But there was one thing, one thing that gave her the most peace of mind, that she had been so unfairly punished by fate. Her body became as light as a butterfly.

At that moment, overwhelmed by a new and unfamiliar feeling, she heard a clear and pleasant voice ask her:
- Who are you?
- 'I am Megumi, the mayor's wife,' she replied quickly and somewhat stiffly.
- I don't ask what your name is or who your man is. Tell me, who are you?
- I am a mother of three.
- I ask you, "Who are you?"
- I am a school teacher," the woman continued uncertainly.
- Did I ask you how many children you have and where you work?

The woman felt even more confused. But the voice sounded again. There was no haste or displeasure in it. But there was plenty of love, there was all the time she needed. She felt it, but she didn't know what to say in response. She gave new and new answers, but heard the same question, "Who are you?" It felt like an eternity had passed. She no longer had any answers. She fell silent. The voice was silent. And in that still silence she suddenly said almost in a whisper:
- I'm the one who wakes up every day to love, to help my family, and to teach the kids at school.

At that moment her body shuddered and she felt her blood begin to boil, her heart beating so hard she heard nothing else. Oblivious to her weakness, she got out of bed, stepped to the window, pulled the curtain, and her face was illuminated by the bright morning sun. She glanced at the clock - it was the time she usually woke up to start her day - full of care and fuss. She dressed, walked into the kitchen, and began this new day, full of strength and life."

She found her ikigai - what each of us comes to this world for, what gives strength and meaning to our lives. That which awakens love and gives us light. That without which we feel devastated and without which our lives are slowly extinguished by incurable disease. 

Ikigai - what we wake up for every morning.

Slow down more often so you don't lose yourself.

Stanislava Pavlova - ikigai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *