September 2023

Japan, ikigai and equilibrio

Travelling is always a source of inspiration. Did you explore another country this summer? I was lucky enough to travel to Japan with my family and want to share some experiences with you today. What immediately strikes you in Japan is the peace, safety and cleanliness. The streets, public toilets and parks are extremely clean, even in Tokyo, although there are hardly any public trash cans there. And even the world’s busiest railway station, Shinjuku, which is visited by 3.6 million people every day, is quiet and harmonious. In many ways you sense that in the Japanese culture the collective is more important than the individual and that each individual takes responsibility for the community. This mutual consideration is also reflected in language. On the train, for example, it is not “No talking”, but “Refrain from talking”. For the good of those around you, please refrain from talking. So, do as the Japanese do, enjoy a few minutes of silence and inspiration and let yourself be taken to Japan in this blog article.

ikigai. the key to a long and fulfilling life

The Japanese live extraordinarily long lives. One of the reasons for this is the Japanese art of living ikigai (literally “iki = life” and “gai = meaning”). This principle of life, deeply rooted in Japanese culture, is a conscious focus on what is worth living for. Ikigai has many facets. It can refer to the small things in everyday life as well as to the big events in life. What is decisive is that people with ikigai consciously shape their lives and therefore become less ill and older.

The Japanese brain researcher Ken Mogi takes a scientific look at the Japanese art of living Ikigai and uses many examples to explain how you can find your own path to a healthy and fulfilled life. It’s good to read. See for yourself.

the five pillars of ikigai*:

*From „The little book of IKIGAI“ by Ken Mogi

ikigai and equilibrio:
brothers and sisters in spirit

There are many overlaps between the principles of ikigai and our work. For sustainable personal development, it is important to start small, set realistic goals based on the status quo and take the development journey from there step by step. Where do I stand? What do I want to work on? What is my commitment? And what exactly am I planning to do in the near future? 

In the equilibrio workshops we train mindfulness for the small things: the sound of the wind, the gesture of another participant, the posture and reactions of the horses. You are in the now. During the coaching, supported by the work with the horses, you learn to be open and present. You develop your natural leadership and can consciously lead yourself (and your team) into the future. 

With equilibrio you find out what is worth living and working for. Talk to us about your participation in our Natural Leadership Programme. 

the equilibrio art tip: yayoi kusama.
an artist who has dedicated her life to circles.

The circle is a symbol of wholeness and balance, it also stands for community and a sense of unity, and as the “circle of life” it is an important element of equilibrio. When I saw works by the world-famous artist Yayoi Kusama in Japan, I was immediately fascinated. The artist, who is now 94 years old, has spent almost her entire life working with circles. She covers her works with “polka dots”, sees herself and others as circles, invites us to dissolve ourselves and the ego and become one with the universe. And this is exactly what she makes us experience with her installations, infinitiy rooms and paintings.

Yayoi Kusama From 1945 to the Present | 2023
Spain | Guggenheim Bilbao | 27.6. – 8.10.2023

The famous pumpkin sculpture “Yellow Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama stands on the footbridge of the Museum of Contemporary Art on Naoshima Island. The artist associates childhood memories with this work: She once played in the pumpkin fields that surrounded her parents’ house.

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