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  • Writer's pictureRuby Ramprasad

Pause With Paws : Activity # 5- Ikigai

Updated: May 30, 2020

"Ikigai"is a Japanese concept, which translates roughly as "The Happiness of Always Being Busy". Our Pets are already practicing it, even if it seems like they are just taking a lot of meditative naps through the day :-). I am in love with the book "Ikigai" by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles .The definition of Ikigai and the diagram on which this is based is from the book . Would highly recommend it since there is a lot more to the book than the diagram.

It would be fun for us to explore and assign Jobs/Purpose for our Pets based on this concept, as well as exploring our own Ikigai. The diagram shared here has been modified to discover our Pet's Ikigai.

Pets love to have a purpose, inside or outside home. Their purpose could also be a job. They are already doing some jobs, whether it is obvious to us or not. They could be calming us, giving us company while we do our chores, entertaining us etc. We can use this opportunity to re evaluate their current jobs as well, as we did for Penny.

Penny, who is one of my first clients, is super popular dog in the household. Loved by her parents and canine and feline siblings. Recently, her mom contacted me and discussed about how her other dogs would love to play with Penny more and that her husband wished she would cuddle more with him. Besides playing with her siblings, Penny barks often to alert her humans. Being the guard of the household was one of her self appointed jobs. We want her to let go of that. We wanted to give her other jobs that she would love and are more desirable.

Using this diagram, we arrived at these roles for Penny. Her parents are working on helping her take on her new roles by using lots of praise whenever she does these jobs. This would encourage her to do more of these, since she sees praise as a huge reward.

It is important that the roles are something they would love to do and is not stressful. Eg: Guarding can be stressful and I am sure you would not appreciate the constant barking or meowing that goes with it either.

Let us know what roles your Pets will be taking from here on. Hope this exercise encourages you to find your "Ikigai" as well. Love your life like the way our animal companions love theirs .

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