Don’t step on the crack, or you’ll break your mothers back. Don’t break a mirror or you’ll get 7 years of bad luck, don’t cross the path of a black cat…
All superstitions. The interesting thing about them, the more we focus on the bad thing that will happen if this other thing happens, results in us focusing on the bad thing more.
Which I have discovered really only perpetuates that thing to happen. One of my mentors, David Meltzer, says all the time “Focus on what you want, don’t focus on what you don’t want.” Great advice and something that I try to keep front of mind.
Dokkōdō Principle #15: wagami ni itari monoimi suru koto nashi (我が身にいたり物忌みする事なし) English interpretation: Do not act following customary beliefs (aka Reject superstitious beliefs in order to see the world as it is)
It seems to me after reading this that they had their fair share of superstitions happening a few hundred years ago as well. Musashi is really trying to get across to his students that in order to really see things as they are, you need to reject superstitious beliefs.
If you are truly going to see things as they are, you cannot be adding a narrative that isn’t actually true. What I have discovered is that when you do, that narrative starts to become your truth. Then you have a hard time separating the two.
Which comes back to the focus equation again. Focus on what you want, don’t focus on what you don’t want. When you focus on what you don’t want, i.e. worrying, you will start to make that into your reality.
Putting this into our context around ikigai, if you want to be able to experience your true authentic self, removing thoughts around things such as this is a great first step.
Above all, I believe that Musashi wanted his students to be able to move freely through the world without feeling the burden of thoughts that didn’t serve them well. This is a part of my daily routine, to rid myself of thoughts that don’t serve me well.
Easily said, much more difficult in practice, as you may know. This truth doesn’t deter me from making an effort to do so, the more I practice this, the easier it becomes.
This is where I find life harmony starting, from a place of seeking my center. When I am true to myself and who I am, everything else in my life naturally falls into place. Nurturing those things that help me feel a sense of ikigai are what help me also remove some of the thoughts that don’t serve me well.
If you would like to know more about how you can begin to discover your ikigai, please reach out I would be happy to have a chat.
#ikigai #authenticself #lifeharmony