I don’t know where the word “Jibun-jiku / 自分軸” originally comes from but it’s a popular self-help jargon in Japan. It means “self-axis” which is an emotional/mental state of people whose inner pivot/center is balanced and self-standing by knowing and trusting themselves. In my practice as a life coach, I’ve frequently uttered this word to my coachees.
Having been born in a collective culture, I have been encouraged to see the world from the eyes of others. In such a culture, selflessness and altruism are highly valued. On the other hand, my work – coaching – is at the other end of the scale, which is the process of individualizing ourselves by identifying what we individuals truly want and need.
My original culture has always challenged me throughout my life, living, studying, and working in the western culture. I couldn’t pinpoint where my suffering came from but now, being a life coach for clients all over the world, I started to see clearly how the same reality is differently viewed by those coming from individualistic and collective cultures!
I don’t like to dichotomize simple individualism vs. collectivism because I meet people who are heavily influenced by the selfless notion in individualistic cultures, or the self-asserting notion in collectivism. I’d just like to share my experience here.
The need for individualization is now a high demand in collective cultures. One of the reasons is that I believe, a collective culture like Japan is now on the verge of ruining human capital by just relying on our traditional cultural traits of loyalty, hardworking, and quality-oriented while companies/authorities cannot meet the need for security by employees and citizens.
When organizations and authorities cannot secure our well-being, whom do we need to rely on? Needless to say, we, ourselves in a borderless world. Physically we still have lots of borders between countries, cultures, and individuals but intellectually, there is no border. We share our ideas with anyone whomever we want.
Today’s Aquarius New Moon is absolutely powerful in that sense. Aquarius signifies what it means to live in a global community. Aquarius values freedom and individuals to be themselves more than anything. Still, it indicates the need of living in communities! Aquarius doesn’t want us to be selfless by killing our wants and needs but it wants us to be how we can stand on our own feet and contribute to the communities we belong to in our unique ways.