The Japanese tradition of ikigai, the Swedish concept of lagom, Turkish keyif, Hawaiian ho’oponopono ... Let's talk about the practices of the world that help us to become happy. You can find something valuable for yourself in every philosophy!
Happiness is difficult to measure, evaluate or divide into professional and personal. Everyone puts their own meaning into this concept: a feeling of satisfaction, peace, and harmony or simple little joys. Therefore, some nations have their own special keys to happiness.
Happiness is a simple thing: you can become happy just by running a series of chemical processes in the body, thanks to serotonin, dopamine and a couple of other components. But the point is that their level almost always depends on how their master - that is, the brain - responds to one or another life situation and this means only one thing: you can learn to be happy.
Japanese ikigai: find your aim!
Ikigai is a Japanese tradition of finding goals in life. In Japanese, “iki” means “life,” and “gai” is the result of an action. That is how the researcher Dan Buettner describes examples of ikigai: “A 102-year-old karate master wakes up every day to teach his students, 100-year-old fisherman - to bring a catch for his family three times a week. Ikigai of a 102-year-old woman is her great-great-great-granddaughter. ”
The meaning of the word "ikigai" can be formulated as follows: an important reason that makes you wake up in the morning.
This philosophy helps the Japanese to remain a nation of long-livers. “The Japanese believe that everyone has their own ikigai - the meaning of life. Some have comprehended it already and others are still searching. Ikigai lives inside each person, but patience is needed to find it.
Tip: To find your ikigai, you need to understand what makes you happier, and try to do it more often. And for starters, just end the sentence: “I wake up in the morning to ...” or “The reason I get up in the morning is ...”
The Swedish lagom – know your limits in everything
The Swedes often call their country Lagomlandet, that is, “Country of Lagom”. Lagom is freely translated from Swedish as “not too little, not too much, just right” and means a balanced and modest approach to life. Lagom practice is sufficiency, moderation, appropriateness of the situation and reasonable consumption. Lagom is about a balanced attitude to life.
The Swedes know how to keep a balance between stress and rest, “I want” and “I need”, modesty and confidence.
Tip: To master the concept of lagom, go through the cabinets in the house and give all the extra things to a charity fund. Buy only high-quality things and when you really need them. Separate the waste and start working on everything that is “too much” in your life.
Turkish Keyif – self-absorption
The Turkish word keyif translates as “pleasure”. This tradition has much in common with mindfulness, the practice of calm relaxation and existence in the present moment. The Turks get a little happiness from immersing into themselves at every opportunity. This is not just tea-drinking, lying in a hammock or contemplating nature. This is an opportunity to look at the world with different eyes, to catch the state of inner harmony.
Tip: Do you want to feel keyif in the middle of the everyday hustle and bustle? Try to find a few minutes during the day in order to be alone and relax. Turn off your gadgets, make tea and get ready for peace of mind. Favorite meditation practices are also welcome!
Hawaiian ho’oponopono - forgive and let go!
This practice teaches forgiving and letting go of grievances. The tradition comes from the words ho’o (do) and pono (right) and means “make an order” or “fix the mistake”. Hawaiians believe that it is important for the health and well-being to clean up relationships with family and other close people. The crucial point of ho’oponopono is to take responsibility for everything that happens in the world. In fact, the technique of ho’oponopono consists of repeating simple words: “ I'm sorry, Please, forgive me, Thank you, I love you ".
The power of change is in each individual and everything is interconnected. Therefore, when working on yourself, you change the people and space around.
Tip: Having noticed some kind of “mess”, start by asking yourself the question: “Why did I attract this situation?”, and then sincerely repeat out loud or silently several times: “I'm sorry, Please, forgive me, Thank you, I love you ".
South African ubuntu - we are part of one whole!
One scientist offered a game to an African tribe. He set up a fruit basket and said: "The one who first reaches the basket will receive everything." The children held hands tightly and ... ran all together, and then ate fruits with pleasure. The researcher asked why they did this. To which the children answered: “Ubuntu! It is impossible for one to be happy when others are sad! ” Ubuntu translates as “I exist because we exist.”
Africans believe in bonds of community and that our actions can affect the lives of others. A person who lives according to the principles of ubuntu is open, accepts others and is confident being a part of the whole. Therefore, he feels bad when others suffer.
Tip: To practice ubuntu, it is worth volunteering, doing charity work, or just becoming more compassionate to others.
Via Positiva – the philosophy of the Spiritual Journey to harmony
In healthy surroundings, our first spiritual moments are the moments of respect, wonder and happiness. The mystics call this the Via Positiva. When we allow these gifts to penetrate our souls we receive in response gratitude, reverence, and joy.
The mysticism of nature, whereby one considers the divine in creation, is another type of affirmative path (via positiva). Here, through the spirituality of matter, we can rise to higher states of consciousness.
Kristal Parks, M.A., is a speaker, biologist, author, and environmentalist who published an amazing book where she harmonically combines the joy of the Via Positiva with demands of justice, titled Re-Enchanting the World: A Call to Mystical Activism.
In her book, she wrote: “Our work for the earth, the whale and the honey bee must come out of profound adoration, ecstatic delight and a vision of the bursting splendor that is reflected in the tiniest ant. Such work and actions must be grounded and arising from joy, ecstasy, bliss, humor, delight, and freedom. Not fear. Not urgency. Not desperation.”
Tip: To practice Via Positiva we need to remember the profound gift of existence, the gift of life, that is ours to cherish, to live fully, to pass on to others and to share.
Here are some more useful tips on how to learn to be happy:
Take the best from each philosophy, and may all your life be filled with happiness, love and harmony!
“The very purpose of our lives is happiness and joyfulness. That is very clear.” Dalai Lama
Read the entire 'Unveiling the Mystics' blog series here:
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