10 ways ichigo ichie helped cope with lockdown

Nothing is ordinary

2020 has been a year of un-learning and un-winding, discovering, and experiencing to expect the unexpectable. What do you do when your circumstances are not in your control? We learnt how to row our boat to make the best in the face of the currents we faced.

The idea with living ichigo ichie is to treasure the unrepeatable nature of the moment, to share positive vibes, to celebrate small joys and to live life unapologetically. We are slowly growing with each passing day in this journey and that just makes us beam with joy.

Here is a little window to our living ichigo ichie during the unprecedented times.

Nurtured a hobby

Writing is a skill I have found comfort in the past to express myself. Being born in the postcard age, I remember writing them to my friends in high school, penning down poems when sad or happy, documenting my Japan travels, etcetera. But, I was never consistent.

my essentials during lockdown

In the lockdown, I made an effort to document what I loved and cared about. During the process, I have had opportunities to re-live moments that made me happy and be grateful. In fact, moments before penning this blog down, I finished a call with my friend to whom I used to write letters and we both had a ball remembering old times 🙂

Became more compassionate

I often wondered what it must be like to be displaced by a pandemic. I’ve learnt to empathise with all living beings and understood that every occasion is unique. It has taught me to pause, to listen, and to be humble at all times.

Love for animals
was most happy to have him in my arms

Experienced stillness

Imagine a jar filled with clear fluid and glitter. Shake it vigorously and observe the glitter randomly swirling around. My mind was this jar with random thoughts of past and future constantly spiralling. Ichigo Ichie helped me realise I do have a choice to live my moments the way I desire. Therefore, letting my jar (mind) standstill for a few moments to let the glitter (thoughts) settle was something I tried to achieve with the help of meditation.
It replenished my soul in the ways unimaginable.

Experience it for yourself

Became an in-home chef

As a child, I used to be a sous-chef to my mum in her kitchen. During the lockdown, I challenged myself to get back to the kitchen doing things that brought me happiness. Creating something and bringing it to life was an immersive experience – mindful of all my senses. Such a therapeutic activity – It makes me be in the moment and go along on a journey of aromas that unfold, of new textures to touch and hold, to listen to the pots bubbling away, to feel the joy of seeing something come to life.

Each moment is a gift into the vast richness of human perceptions experienced.

Watched sunset

Watching the sunset each day had been my new favourite thing to do since the lockdown. The sky is an exuberant painter who paints a new landscape with myriad colours. Sitting and watching the sky, being aware of the passage of time only to realise the nature of it is ephemeral.
Each day with the sunsets, I learnt to step away from the daily whirlwind of life and immerse myself in the beauty of nature while charging the batteries of my soul.

Pursued something I loved

As a child I have grown up seeing my mom bring alive blank canvases and clay pots with her imagination, stitching my clothes to make me look like a princess and barter them with hugs and kisses. Hence, I guess the creative streak of hers was always there within me but lay dusted somewhere.

treasured gallery (4 of these are made by me)

Inspired by her and other women artists especially Frida Kahlo, I plunged myself into oils and acrylics. It’s amazing to look back now and see how I sculptured my thoughts, emotions with colours and strokes.

Brought nature home

Shirin-Yoku or forest bathing is a beautiful concept that coins the benefits of healing by trees or green spaces. Lockdown was the perfect time to surrender to nature and experience the magic. Staring at the open skies, building imaginary chateau of soft fluffy clouds as they drift by, paying attention to the subtle rustling of leaves on swaying branches, hugging trees while listening to cheeky birds hopping from one branch to another energised and left me full of gratitude for mother nature.

my gorgeous collection, my happy place

Touched by its healing powers, I started acquiring and nurturing plants. Every nook and windowsill they touched became a happy place in my home. Have 17 now and still counting.

Celebrated moments

In addition to taking photographs, I found intimate ways to celebrate moments spent with friends/family. Painted stones picked up as souvenirs from my travels and gifted them as keeps, baked soft moist banana cakes to cheer them up during gloomy days and made a painting to celebrate dearest bonds.

The smiles I received in return made me realise that every gesture, big or small, matters as long as it is straight from the heart.

Sat and stared silently

 I often keep seeing incredible scenes out of my window where my gaze always finds itself stuck to the vast ocean, above which I often see soaring birds like kites gliding with rhythmic movements. The book sometimes I intend to read is left unread for hours because I find the world around me more interesting. And so, I sit there silently and stare at the wonder unfolding in front of me on a 70 mm widescreen.

silent stare

Found a new friend

This lockdown was all about finding a friend in my father-in-law. With his exuberance for life and his eagerness to experience the world, he has taught me a lot about how to approach life. The short 10 days we stayed together, his quest to make me smile in the smallest of ways – be it our mini coffee chats or our long walks in the park interspersed with his inspiring life stories is the sweetest thing I will cherish for life.

It has been 6 months since we started spinning the Ichigo Ichie wheel and have come to realise that it has now become a way of life for us and the people close to us. Just like you, our lives are not a fairytale, they are not perfect but who needs perfection when you can live perfectly the imperfect life and be content. 

We would love to hear your thoughts and what different did you do during lockdown.

8 thoughts on “10 ways ichigo ichie helped cope with lockdown

  1. Great post! Refreshing and so positive!! I hear you.. It delights me when we realise that it is not the big moments very year or very couple of years but the small moments very day, every now and then, that make the difference. And the best part is they happen just when you are not looking!! Just got to keep our eyes, ears and minds wide open 😊
    Wishing everyone health and happiness 🙏🏼

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. In India, we say “boond boond see ghara bharta hai”; so as you said its the string of moments that we weave together is what brings joy and contentment 🙂

  2. Great reading and seeing what you have been doing. This is blissful.
    Life long learning is so delighting and refreshing – and learning from younger “Gurus” like you helps us fill in the gaps we may have overlooked on our life journry

  3. Such a beautiful way to grow.
    It was a pleasure to see how r you making the best of this year and finding pleasure in the simple things.The ability to do activities that soothe the mind and soul are truly a blessing and being one with nature is also a great thing.Its just wonderful once you let go things and let the adventure take u where it wants.
    Simply Bliss love you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Great, you mentioned about letting go of things. Sometimes it is the best way forward.

  4. Heartning to know that you are rediscovering yourself and honing your art of writing. I totally endorse the fact that there is nothing comparable to turning to nature’s lap for rejuvinating yourself. One feels so refreshed after being close to mother earth. Once ln a while we should get away from the razle dazle of the hectic city life and embrace the serenity and solitude of the wild.
    You exuberate positivity. Continue to do so. Stay blessed.

    1. Absolutely, we also sometimes find answers to baffling questions just by observing nature. Lockdown did bruise humanity but it gave all of us a chance to a fresh start :). Thank you so much for taking out time and sharing your thoughts with us.

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