“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” - Viktor Frankl
We crave ownership of our lives; and, just as importantly, we to feel that the choices we make in our lives have meaning.
Making a living, supporting a family, caring for loved ones, maintaining friendships, dealing with setbacks both personal and professional, even coping with our great achievements and successes in life -- all of these can cause stress and negative emotions. Sometimes, it can seem as if our lives are out of control, unbalanced and damaged.
One solution is to pause.
Pause in our frenetic activity, both physical and mental, if only for an hour, if only for a few moments of our day.
There are many ways to do this. Meditation is popular and has showed to benefit us in a number of ways, including lowering blood pressure. There are structured, physical activities such as yoga or hiking. Dr. Qing Li, introduces readers to the healing practice of “forest bathing” — the art and science of how trees can enrich our lives through smell, visual relaxation and a change in environment. And Hippocrates is quoted as saying life is short, art is long. Art—whether painting, dancing or music, enriches our lives through pleasure and, studies have shown, can prevent physiological decline.
Whatever method we choose to reach our calm inner center, the goal is to find our ultimate reason for being, our true passion in life. The Japanese call it “ikigai,” which they define as the source of value in one's life, or the things that make one's life worthwhile.
Once we know the true source of value in our lives, we can focus our scattered thoughts and reorient our misspent energies. Our mission becomes clear, and once we experience this clarity, everything we do, including our true vocations in life, become open pathways to meaningful and rewarding lives.
This month's guest blogger is Viv Highton, one of Anexo Works & Events Founding Members. Viv from VLW hosts regular workshops on creating meaning in our lives. She works in groups limited to 20 to help define, structure and encourage our true passions in life. Please contact her here or learn more about attending one of her workshops here.