Ikigai

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This is Claire and Fiona. Claire actually isn’t Fiona’s Mom, she’s her caretaker. She’s also a woman who has built her entire work-life around supporting women through pregnancy and child rearing. She teaches pre and post-natal yoga, and supports families as a postpartum doula and nanny. 

Claire reminded me of the concept of ikigai. Have you heard about ikigai yet? It's a Japanese idea related to finding personal happiness through meaningful work. One common translation is "the reason for being" although a more literal, and in my opinion, helpful, translation is "the happiness of being busy." Essentially, it's a idea about creating a work life that aligns your passion and talent with the things that the world needs, and is willing to pay for. It sounds both obvious and alien at the same time, doesn't it? This diagram does a pretty nice job summarizing it visually. 

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For me, family photography is a clear expression of my ikigai. I've always loved photography and since becoming a mother myself, I’ve found nothing more compelling than photographing the special love, and bond, that exists within families. I also think family photography provides an invaluable service to the world. A film capture of a moment, during what is absolutely the “longest, shortest time,” of any parent's life, is critical for reminding parents what gorgeous meaning they’re enjoying in the present. Also, it provides a touch stone for posterity, that recognizes each family member’s unique history within the complex unit. True to the concept of ikigai, I can't think of anything more fullfilling than dediating my life to this vocation.

A text to check out, if you’re interested in delving more into the concept, is: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia.

You can learn about more about Claire and her Ikigai at HappyBabyYoga.com.