Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki (生き), referring to life, and kai (甲斐), which roughly means “the realization of what one expects and hopes for”. In the culture of Okinawa Japan, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life.
The practice of social action applications of expressive arts therapies is somewhat like the practice of finding one’s ikigai. While applying expressive arts, we may also hold larger dreams for how expressive arts can change lives in other ways.
If you are interested in finding your reason for being, use your imagination to envision your expressive arts “Ikigai” by creating a mandala/circle design with the following elements in it : 1) that which you love; 2) that which you are good at; 3) that which you can be paid for [yes, it is okay to receive money for good deeds]; and 4) that which the world needs.
You can use this multi-circle design [simply trace four circles in an overlapping design on a sheet of paper] or create a four-quadrant circle to create an image in which you can depict the four elements.
This is the template I used and what my results were. WARNING, these are very authentic powerful feelings without naming barriers or paths. Enjoy! You may find our calling.