WHY “IKIGAI”? (icky-guy)

You may be wondering why in the world I would choose such a strange sounding word for my business. A few friends advised me against it, saying things like: “Really? Ikigai? I mean, it sounds like “Icky Guy”. Is that really the image you want to bring to mind?An icky guy?

First off, I say to that: I try not to take myself too seriously. If someone can look at my business card and get a good chuckle with their friends, great!

Laughter is good medicine.

Secondly, I think obscure looking / sounding words can be a great way to pique interest. –I’m not above clever marketing strategies as long as they don’t compromise my ethics.

Lastly, “Ikigai” perfectly describes my offerings. —There are no easy to pronounce, catchy english words that convey the meaning of this Japanese term which literally means “reason for being.”

Beyond a term, Ikigai is a philosophy which states that you will discover the meaning of life and your reason for being when the following overlap:

  • What you’re good at
  • What you love
  • What you’re paid for
  • What the world needs

I am blessed to be able to say that these four things do overlap for me. –This is represented by the four overlapping circles at the center of the Ikigai Healing Arts’ logo, and expressed in my offerings to my community:

The rest of the logo: a circle embeded within a square, embeded within a triangle, embeded within a larger circle is a symbol known as The Philosopher’s Stone, or The Stone of Wisdom.

Alchemically, The Philosopher’s Stone is a metaphor for transmuting base metals into gold.

Psychologically–and this is the context in which I am using the symbol–it is an archetypal image for Wholeness, where the lower / unconscious apects of The Self can be likened to base metals, and the Realized / Actualized Self can be likened to gold.

Though far from being “Actualized”, always I am striving for greater self awareness, health, and wholeness. It is this striving that has led me to work within the healng arts and developed within me a capacity for holding space for others that have chosen to embark upon a healing journey.

Holding space for others, working closely with Nature, and getting paid to do the things I love and am good at is an honor and priviledge. I am blessed to have found my Ikigai, and I wish the same for you.

Much love,

Riley

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