The Japanese have a word for one’s life purpose and that is ikigai. It’s what makes you want to wake up in the morning. It’s what motivates you to push through all sorts of obstacles. It’s your reason for living.
Many people aren’t sure what their true igikai or life purpose is, even though they may be in a rewarding job and enjoy a good family life. This unsureness may be felt in a vague restlessness or dissatisfaction that has no specific cause.
The deepest callings of our souls sometimes remain hidden because the timing may not be right for us to know such information or we may not be prepared to receive such news. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to uncover the deep callings. Thomas Merton, a well-known monk and spiritual teacher suggested we may never know what our true vocation is in this life! It may be revealed to us after we die.
Dreams Can Give us Clues to Our Ikigai
Dreams, which are messages from the soul, can give us hints and even outright statements as to what our life purpose is. I remember when I graduated with my new Master’s Degree, I wanted to know how this degree would help me work toward my life’s purpose. I then had a dream in which a voice said, “The purpose of your life is to teach people how to swim in the sea.” Since I am not a strong swimmer, I knew that the dream did not literally mean for me to teach swimming. However, since I just got my degree with emphasis in Religion & Philosophy, I thought the dream was giving me the green light to teach people how to swim in the sea of life. My degree certainly prepared me for that. I have found that after forty years of working, some of the most meaningful jobs have involved helping people “swim” in the sea of life by being a teacher, life coach and writer.
Other Ways Our Dreams Try to Communicate Our Life Purpose:
- Leading us to places in dreamtime, often with a dream guide. If you find you are being led somewhere you don’t know, be sure to ask, “Who is leading me?” The person, spiritual being or animal leading in the dream may give clues about where you are going. For example, I had several dreams of Edgar Cayce leading me and pointing out the right direction to take. Edgar Cayce taught a lot about holistic health, and got me specifically going in this direction—beyond the generalized “swimming in the sea.”
- Opening a door in dreamtime. What is the kind of door and what is beyond the door?
- Going somewhere on a train, plane or boat. What clues can the symbols and processes in the dream give?