Women’s Journeys of Self-Transformation

Is it possible for a difficult situation to alter your sense of self?

Jamila Rodrigues shares how women who have endured traumatic experiences perceive the world through a different lens and gain profound self-insight.

Learning from traumatic experiences

Nick: Let’s lean the other way and go back to one of the points, and that was self-realization. And I'd like to quote you:

Ikigai and its embodied experience may serve as a coping mechanism for women, dealing with personal crises, to process and assimilate changes, leading to growth and personal fulfillment. These experiences transformed women's sense of self.’

So I think that relates to self-realization, obviously. So, would you like to touch on what ways or how these experiences transform these women's sense of self?

Jamila: So like I explained, because some of these crises are related to identity, cultural identity, or social roles, some of these experiences transform their sense of identity. So they might feel more useful in society, or they might feel that their career has changed, and they found a better career for themselves.

It also can be a big, deep personal experience, and transform them at a deep level, when people go through clinical conditions, that transforms them, and the way they change their identity from a so-called healthy human being, to a so-called unhealthy human being, a person with a condition.

So that transforms a sense of who you are, but on the more positive aspects, there's a sense of inner calm or being at peace with themselves. And I think through trauma and learning how to overcome this trauma, women became more aware of the world around them, as well.

Things that work and that don’t work, what sort of actions lead to certain decisions. And that is all part of self-development, and self-development then transforms your sense of self. I think when you make conscious decisions to change your life, it's scary, some of those decisions, right?

It takes a lot of time. Am I changing jobs? Am I divorcing my partner? Am I letting my child go to somewhere that I want to go? Or do I do this operation? Or do I take my parents home? Or do I put them in a elderly home?

There's always, you know, we’re bombarded with decisions that we have to make every day. So, having some sort of ikigai might help you to navigate through those decisions.

Nick: There are all these elements of growth, maybe sometimes stepping out your comfort zone, acceptance. But ikigai might ask as this stabilizer or just help you balance things and keep you grounded.