The Japanese and the Germans tend to have words and super-short phrases that cover a wide swath of unique situations. These can be translated into English, albeit imperfectly, to convey their message. For example, schadenfreude from the German — pleasure/satisfaction/joy in learning of another’s failure or humiliation.
One particular Japanese phrase brought to my attention in an audiobook of the same name is Ichigo Ichie. This phrase translates, more or less, to mean “only this one time” or “once in a lifetime.” It is very much rooted in the notion that a given encounter is a matter of the moment, and that it will never occur in the same way again.
Ichigo Ichie is all about recognition of the moment. You will never encounter precisely the same circumstance ever again. It occurs but one time and one time only. Similar and like situations may occur, but they will still be different from this one specific moment.
This is the recognition that every instance in your life is totally unique. Moments come and go. Acknowledging this is a major source of positivity.
Why? Because when you are having a bad day you will know that it’s just a moment in time. As such, it will pass and will never occur again.
One instance to the next
Life is in a constant state of motion. No matter how much you hold onto any given thing, good or bad, it’s going to shift and change.
I used to have a lot of issues wrapping my head around change. When things were good I wanted to hold onto that forever. On the other hand, when things were bad I frequently didn’t see how to let them go.
Practicing mindfulness has helped with this a lot. Ichigo Ichie is a phrase completely rooted in this idea, as both are all about the now.
This moment, this instance is unique. It will never happen in the exact same way ever again. This is good because if this moment happens to be less-than-stellar it will pass and be gone.
Keep in mind that it is impossible NOT to experience bad things. Negative occurrences will happen. That’s because of several things.
Firstly, everything outside of your headspace is beyond your control. Other people, weather, random happenings are beyond your control. Period. Because of this, things will happen you can only react to and not plan for.
Secondly, life ebbs and flows. You will experience good and bad because of this. Things will make you happy and sad and every emotion in-between. There is never one singular straight-forward life experience for anyone.
Thirdly, to know positive you need to know negative. Most things happen between the extremes of life, but they exist in balance to one another. Up/down, short/tall, black/white, good/bad, and so on. But the vast majority of the world occurs somewhere between these.
You only ever get stuck in one place when you choose to be stuck there. And yes, the initial occurrence that takes you somewhere negative may be outside your control — but staying there is on you.
Choose your life’s course
This is why finding and creating positivity is a choice. You are going to have negative things happen, like it or not. As such, you get to decide if your overall approach to life and mindfulness is from a place of positivity or negativity.
Mindfulness is how you determine this. Being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions is a product of the moment. The now. Ichigo Ichie recognizes this and gives it a label. This singular moment can be celebrated and acknowledged for what it is — or it can be forgotten and declined.
Either way, you move on from this moment to the next. But the choice of moving to a good place or bad is a matter of a negative or positive outlook and approach. You get to decide which you will choose, and nobody else can choose for you.
Every instance of your life is unique, and where you go from there is your choice. Seeking, finding, and creating positivity is an option you can choose — or not.
Thank you for reading. Ichigo Ichie.
Experiencing positivity isn’t hard, but it does require action
Knowing that every instance of your life is unique, you can choose how to experience it, and recognize the power of it only happening one time — Ichigo Ichie. When you let the moment just be, good or bad, acknowledge and move on from that it, that ultimately empowers you. When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that tends to spread to people around you.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve any number of aspects of your life for the better, generating even more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, and that is some major positivity right there.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on March 9, 2020.