~This is a guest post from Malaika ~ https://smilinglittlethings.wordpress.com~
Hello everyone, this post is all about how I applied this book’s secret in my life and how my life was impacted by it.
I read Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a long and happy life during the start of this year and decided to apply its wisdom to my life. The books takes us close to being more organic and simple minded. It talks about how Japanese are able to live a long and a happy life by finding their Ikigai.
The first habit I changed about myself was getting up really late and then rushing myself in the morning. Now as many of the centenarians in the Japan do, I get up early though not very early but early enough to witness the birds chirping on the tree, notice how the first rays of sun have entered my home. I look at my plants how new leaves are unfolding, are my plants happy or sad, for which I never had any time before. Here I embrace the concept of living unrushed morning.
The second habit that I developed is about eating right by adding less but diverse food in terms of color and nutritional value. Japanese are said to eat 80% of their hunger and they eat more vegetables, fruits, rice and legumes. There is also a concept known as micro flow in the book which asks us to find flow in mundane thing. I prepare food with love every morning with the intention of making the best wholesome food for my family to find that micro flow. I try to remain as organized as I can and hence find meaning in cleaning and decluttering my house.
The third beautiful habit that I inculcated over the past three months is going outside every evening with the intention of soaking more nature, marvel the changing colors of the skies during sunset, move my body a little daily. The book lays a lot of emphasis on moving your body throughout the day as against one hour rigorous exercise at the gym. I realized that when you add some meaning to your daily activities you are able to add them to your routines without making them monotonous. I also practice Suryapranam in the morning and do few breathing exercises. This is how I keep my body moving.
The fourth change that I made in my life because of this book was being more social and trying to live in community helping people , making friends. Though I will not say that suddenly now I am at the heart of a social circle, but yes now I have few people who know me in my society, I have few people to say hello to, smile at them help them in contrast to my earlier life of me, Netflix ,malls, shopping. Also now I talk to my parents almost daily on the phone, message my relatives and old friends every now and then. Now I am more open to people around me and I found every one seeks connection and spread smiles besides all other things It makes me feel more grounded and grateful.
The fifth change that I really love is The book asks us to do some “mental work out ” on a daily basis. It says that , a healthy mind and a healthy mind are both very important so we should challenge ourselves into learning new things daily keeping our capacities in mind. I learned how to use my Nikon Dslr, also brushed off the dust from my guitar to learn more and more and it brought me immense joy.
My final thoughts or Where the crux of this book lies is that If you align your lifestyle with how Japanese lived, you will surely find your purpose or your Ikigai. For me I never thought of creating a blog ever but happened to create it. Following the Ikigai wisdom all the background noise from my life silently disappeared and I realized how blissful our lives can become if we surrender ourselves to the present moment.
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