Role of Ibasho in Inclusion

Having ibasho (authentic relationship) is an essential aspect of inclusion. Being around people who understand you and feel the same way can provide a feeling of acceptance and belongingness.

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If you're feeling it, someone else is as well

Jennifer: I did an inclusion workshop a couple of years ago in an organisation. And we were talking about experiences when I felt excluded, and when I felt included. And one of the participants, within his 30s, a Japanese guy, said that: "People are describing these feelings of inclusion, what it's like, I've never had that in any space." And so this concept of ibasho, he's never experienced.

Nick: We should define what ibasho is. So there is this sub-theory of ikigai, and ibasho used to just mean "whereabouts", but now it translates to "your place to be." And there is this theory that I discussed with Dr. Shintaro Kono on Episode 17, where it is about this place of belonging, where you feel accepted and genuinely cared for.

And this strongly relates to ikigai. Because ikigai has this important social element. And ibasho could be the interpersonal aspect of ikigai, and obviously, this would relate to inclusion. So this example you've just offered, I think it'd be very hard for that man to feel ikigai, if they're thinking I don't belong anywhere.

Jennifer: And you're always having to put on a front to be someone else. It's so painful to even consider. And I think that it can be with this idea of homogenous society. So if you don't fit into that, then can you feel ikigai from the social aspect?

I think you have to go out and like, find that tribe, you have to go out and try to find those people because they do exist. And I do systems coaching, and one of those things is, if you're feeling it someone else is as well. 

Your voice is the voice of the system. It's never just you. And once you start to like open Pandora's box, but once you do start to open these conversations of feelings of isolation or feelings of not belonging, you start to realise so many people around you are also experiencing that.

Even just that knowledge that you're not alone. Thinking about the ikigai-9, that you matter to someone that you have meaning to someone, it can kind of open that up, that my experience isn't unique. And it's actually like a shared part of humanity.