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a few grads’ stories

As I look back ..., I know that my career/ life change may not have occurred without you and your desire to help others find their true passions with the ‘What Should I Do with My Life?’ workshop. The knowledge you have shared and the interest you have taken in my life has deeply impacted me.... You are an inspiration and such a wonderful role model. Thank you so very much for everything.–unsolicited note from T.S. a year after completing the workshop
My life has been phenomenal since we last met. The changes I made were exactly what I needed, and I feel the epic shift to the life I have always wanted to live.... It's amazing how when you live authentically things come together. And it's amazing how quickly the people who don't fit that fall away. So blessed and grateful. – Unsolicited email six months after the workshop series. –S. M.
 Until this workshop, I had no understanding of what I wanted to pursue beyond taking care of my family. After retiring from the Air Force, I took expensive courses, enrolled in a master’s program, took the GMAT in preparation for an MBA, and spent big bucks being screened by an industrial psychologist, but still felt lost with nothing to look forward to but grinding out yet another twenty years. I∙ki∙gai‘s thought-provoking exercises and questions finally helped me take seemingly disjointed thoughts and motivations and translate them into a clear sense of direction resonating with who I am. Since the workshop, I've been rolling up my sleeves and moving forward. At last, I know how I will make my unique contribution to the world. I feel an exquisite sense of confidence and calm.
My work with you [more than 3 years ago] is still yielding positive actions. Grateful to you.—J.B.
 The incredibly good news is that I passed my physician’s re-certification board exam, a major hurdle down. This has been a tremendous boost to my confidence.... While it is only one step and I still have many challenges ahead ... I am grateful for the frankness and kindness that you and the wonderful people you have assembled have shared with me.... It’s provided an incredibly valuable and cherished environment for me to grow and learn from. Gratitude for all the support and inspiration I have received.—R.K.
I had been working in a very toxic and reactive environment.  I had no energy, I wasn’t taking care of myself, eating poorly, not exercising, and now that I look back, I was probably depressed.  A friend sent me the link to the ikigai website; I was skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try. Emotionally, it was difficult in the beginning, but they helped me to uncover things that were affecting me most and to realize things from my past that I had truly forgotten I enjoyed so much. They provided me with the tools to discover who I was again and find what I had lost. I was able to open my mind to alternatives and find the courage to leave a bad situation, ikigai giving me the foundation to determine what would be best for me, not to dwell, but to discover a direction and move forward. Currently, I am in a much better place, both personally and professionally. With the knowledge provided by ikigai, and a little patience, I was offered an incredible career opportunity (including a free gym membership). I am now in a healthy and stable environment and taking positive steps towards where I want to be…Thanks, ikigai. --D.H.
When I heard about this workshop, I had a very strong reaction—I got angry. In fact, it’s fair to say that I got furious. And that surprised me. At that point, I was feeling very stuck in my life. My goals and dreams were not moving forward, but as a ‘spiritual person,’ I told myself that this didn’t matter. Didn’t religious leaders of many traditions teach the futility of effort to make life more pleasant or fulfilling?  So, I raged, how dare anyone delude people with a promise of a better life! But the anger wouldn’t leave me…. I had struggled all my life, trying to figure out how to heal what I experienced as an internal split between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular.’  The workshop question had exposed the wound again, and it was as piercing as ever. Hurting, still angry, and not knowing what might happen, I enrolled. To my surprise, even before the workshop date came around, the logjam of my life broke. It was as if just taking the step to sign up dislodged a boulder, and all of what was dammed up behind it began to move and sort itself out.Now, some six months after completing the workshop, my life is very different. My goals and dreams are being realized. I have a new, much more fulfilling job, and I negotiated a lucrative contract for it. I am close to breaking ground for my new home. I am marketing my writing. My relationships with all my loved ones have deepened. And all of this energy, confidence, and joy is flowing forth organically because I finally clearly see the illusion of separation, and its power over me is gone. I am a far cry from that dismal, angry figure of eight months ago. Thanks for your brilliant, heartfelt work.
--T.M.
I felt like this workshop was something that would inspire me to shake up my foundations or reinforce them. Either way, I attended the workshop uncertain what I would discover. During the workshop, I found that, in my journey through life, I am following the right path, but it is being intercepted by some heavy weights. These weights are holding me back and keeping me from living the completely authentic life for which I strive. As a result of this realization, I have taken    these weights and started to push them out of the way! I am now fully committed to taking the         risks I need in order that I may achieve…. With endless thanks.-- J.L
I received a notice through the ‘Mothers & More’ emails informing the group of another workshop that you all have scheduled and I had to reply to everyone and tell them to make time to go, that they wouldn't regret it. I really enjoyed it and it helped to open doors in myself that needed opened. Keep up the great, inspiring work that you do. You touch many peoples’ lives every day.

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