As we all struggle with scary daily COVID-19 numbers, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety. For many, the pandemic has made it almost impossible to focus on the bigger purpose of our lives or, as the Japanese call it, Ikigai. In Judaism, we’re taught that the first thing we should do upon waking up is to give thanks for our life. This is hard to do when we’re racked with fear. Focusing on Ikigai has helped me better understand what we should be doing when we give thanks in the morning: we should be expressing our appreciation for having a purpose in life. Without a clear purpose, without knowing why we woke up today, it’s too easy to get lost in the stress of COVID-19. Having a purpose keeps us on task and puts things in perspective. It helps to quiet the distractions out there that can so easily pull us down. Ikigai empowers us to focus on what matters. It makes it possible to wake up in the morning, say “thank you” and really mean it.

If you need to be lifted up, please watch this video:

Figure out what your Ikigai is. What is it that you wake up for? Write the answer down. Put it on your night table and when you wake up tomorrow morning, on Shabbat, give thanks for another day to live your Ikigai.

Wishing you a healthy, meaningful, peaceful Shabbat and/or weekend.

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