78 – Living with Intent: Finding Purpose in Everyday Activities with Mayumi Kojima

How can we lead a healthy and meaningful life?

Striving for both health and meaning is essential for our overall well-being and fulfilment. Several factors may contribute to this, including our relationships, the environment we are in, and even our own values. In Japan, numerous concepts offer guidance toward achieving this balance.

In this episode of the Ikigai Podcast, Nick and Mayumi Kojima delve into Japanese concepts that offer insights on achieving both physical well-being and a sense of purpose.

Embracing the Japanese culture

“I mentioned this to Aikido sensei as well. Japanese tea ceremony sensei is a Japanese sensei. But our Aikido senseis are all from Europe; Claudio sensei, and Dominic sensei, they're from France and Italy. And you were born in Australia and lived in Japan, what an honour to meet somebody like yourself and my Aikido sensei who actually really embrace and love our culture like the ikigai concept and you really tap into different types of Japanese culture. 

And I have a huge gratitude for my Aikido sensei as well. It's a really nice way to learn my culture from different backgrounds like yourself, so thank you so much.” - Mayumi Kojima

Podcast Highlights

Mayumi Kojima

Mayumi Kojima

Mayumi Kojima is a naturopath living in Cairns, Australia. She works with clients who are experiencing burnout, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and negative thought patterns. She is passionate about assisting individuals who are experiencing burnout to regain their happiness and well-being, enabling them to live life to the fullest. This includes engaging in activities that bring them joy and finding purpose in their daily lives. She also manages a Facebook group called: IKIGAI - Live Life to the Fullest.

Moving to Australia

Mayumi first arrived in Cairns, Australia, in 2000 on a working holiday visa. Her primary reason was to study English and become fluent in it. Additionally, due to conflicts with her relatives, she wanted to prove herself by going overseas.

Exploring naturopathy and health

Mayumi started studying naturopathy in 2015. Before that, she was working in the tourism and hospitality industry in Cairns. However, she didn't find fulfilment in what she was doing, and at the same time, she was experiencing difficulties in her relationship with her partner. Unfortunately, her relationship didn't last, but this opened up an opportunity for her to explore and learn something new. Upon learning about naturopathy from a magazine, she became interested in how it could help her health and well-being. Thus, she decided to delve deeper into the study of naturopathy.

Defining ikigai

Studying naturopathy and working at the same time was also stressful for Mayumi. It was during this time that she discovered the Japanese book, Every Day a Good Day, which is about a university student managing stress and finding growth through the tea ceremony.

Fortuitously, while reading the book, Mayumi became a member of a tea ceremony club in Cairns. It was then that she started to feel and talk about ikigai. Doing the tea ceremony made her feel alive. She began to realise that ikigai applies to our daily lives, which urged her to share it with her clients.

“I think the Japanese tea ceremony became sort of a feeling of ikigai; I feel alive and it just brings me joy. It brings me to this sort of moment to be mindful. So I started using the word ikigai naturally for some reason.” - Mayumi Kojima 

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Prioritising self-care

“Taking care of ourselves allows us to have the energy and positivity necessary to support and influence others. By prioritising our own well-being, we can positively impact those around us.” - Mayumi Kojima


As a naturopath, one of Mayumi's greatest passions is connecting with people. This connection is essential for creating a positive impact and fostering well-being. Prioritising self-care, both physically and mentally, is crucial for this purpose. By ensuring personal well-being, individuals can positively influence others, making holistic well-being a priority in both personal and professional life.

Five key principles for a meaningful life

Mayumi has five concepts she considers essential to living a healthy and meaningful life:

Jyonetsu (Passion)

Jyonetsu (passion) is something that propels us forward despite life’s challenges.

Shoku (The culture of eating)

Food, nutrition, and cultural background are essential in the context of health and well-being; it is important to understand one’s own body's needs for overall health. Additionally, exploring different cuisines helps us to connect with other people and cultures.

Undo (Exercise)

Exercising creates more joy in our lives, and it can be done in different ways such as dancing, walking, gardening, yoga – anything that requires us to move our bodies. It is vital to reflect on the purpose behind those movement routines and find joy and meaning in exercise.

“I see spending time in nature almost as another pillar of health. We always seem to talk about diet, what we eat, exercise, and sleep has become a topic of conversation in terms of health now, but we don't seem to talk about the importance of spending time in nature. So I think undo or exercising is a great way to do that.” - Nicholas Kemp
Time in Nature

Kankyo (Harmonise your environment)

The environment we are living in can impact our well-being. That’s why assessing how we feel toward our current environment is important, as it helps us recognize areas for improvement in our lives that can lead to fulfilment.

Seishin (Spirit)

Spirit is closely linked to passion. When you're passionate about something, you pour your heart and soul into it.

Different sources of ikigai

Running her own business has become a source of ikigai for Mayumi. Additionally, she feels ikigai by embracing the challenges and changes in her life.



The meaning we find in life is unique to each individual. The five key concepts mentioned above merely serve as a roadmap to guide us toward satisfaction in our daily lives. Our journey is shaped by the situations we encounter and the connections we nurture, both with others and within ourselves. Ultimately, it's up to us to seek out strategies that motivate us to progress in life.