What is your "Reason for Being"?

Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigaiThe 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.

What would your "All Fine Place" say to you?

If my “All Fine Place” could talk, it would say that it flows like water and as I get closer to being to the place where I feel calm or even when my body knows I will be close to the beginning of the calm moment, the feeling of excitement gets brighter and bigger. During this journey as I’m in the midst of my all fine place, the feeling begins to mature as the leaves and calmness comes. My “All Fine Place” does not want to dwindle down in the shape of an inverted triangle and stop, but instead transform into water and flow into a slow river to follow me through my days until I am able to visit again.
My body feels the bright orange as a form of a tingle, goosebumps, smiling cheeks and excitement in my brain. The next feelings of calmness surround this orange during the calmness and turns to water shaping my entire body. It allows me to feel the waves of emotions, my mind is open to what matters most in life and hear things such as owls, birds, the leaves swaying and the rain as it falls.


The visions and feelings of these shapes, sounds and movements is the pause that I revert back to as I smile during hardships or difficult times of anxiety and growing into tough situations that would normally break me.

I truly love this exercise. First you remove all of your worries and draw what you would do with them. I decided to burn them in a bonfire and use them to keep me warm. Next, you draw your “All Fine Place” and allow it to talk to you as you only use colors, shapes or lines. After this, you draw the feelings within your body while in your “All Fine Place”. Finally you write down what your “All Fine Place” says to you. This process may take the entire time while you’re at the beach, on vacation or in your glory, but it helps you understand more about yourself and why you enjoy being in this place. One more step in the world of Focus-Oriented Self-Therapy using Expressive Arts.



What does your "All Fine" place look like?

My “All Fine Place” although this image is not perfect, it is perfect in the sense that it makes me feel fine. When I’m in this “place” I am free from judgement of others, free from the critiques around me. I am free from my own self and am perfectly qualified to be me, without feeling inadequate. Here, I can be my authentic self. 

Your “All Fine Place” is the place you create once you remove all of your worries and the feelings about your worries.

Why keep a calm face?

 What’s the biggest parenting challenge for you? If you’re like many parents, it’s keeping your cool when your kids are getting on your last nerve!

Why is it so important to at least look calm and collected as we provide consequences for our children’s misbehavior? Because…

•    Anger creates resentment and rebellion.
•    Empathy ups the odds of genuine remorse and responsibility.
•    Anger says, “I can barely handle you!”
•    Empathy communicates, “I’m such a great parent that I can handle you without breaking a sweat!”
•    Anger creates kids who get sneaky and do irresponsible things behind our backs.
•    Empathy creates kids who are more likely to behave even when we aren’t watching them.