Keeping on track with your goals and resolutions is a powerful way to ensure you have a great life in the upcoming months. But how do you know if your goals are taking you in the right direction?
Having a sense of purpose about your life is an important key to self-worth. Without direction, life can become one long slog of sleep, food, work and play. But… why are you here? What is the reason for your existence? These are the big questions that have been asked by seekers for millennia.
In the yogic tradition you’ll come across the word DHARMA. There is no one-word literal translation for dharma but the concept is that we try to live our life in a way that upholds truth, or to engage in ‘right living’. It essentially means that we're doing what we are 'meant' to be doing and in the best possible way. This is the basis of many of the ancient yogic texts including the Bhagavad Gita.
“The dharma of the sun is to shine, the dharma of a river is to flow and the dharma of human beings is to uphold that which is true to our higher nature – our life purpose. The Gita invites us to discover our svadharma – our own personal dharma, that which is ours to do in this life and ours alone, then to stand up and have the courage to follow it.” Patricia Brown
To live a life aligned with dharma we first need to discover our unique purpose - and then to live it to the very best of our ability. Doing the right things, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people can be seen as dharma in action.
So - what does ‘right living’ mean on a day to day basis? How do I know if I am aligned to my true purpose?
- Am I excited about my day when I wake up in the morning?
- Do I feel joyful when going about my day to day tasks?
- Do I have a sense of gratitude for everything and everyone around me?
Never? Sometimes? Always? Wouldn’t it be amazing to wake up with total passion for your life? To appreciate and value the people around you all the time AND to feel a deep sense of joy in everything you do?
When you are connected and in alignment with your path you’ll experience symptoms such as joy and euphoria.
The question we need to ask ourselves therefore is: “What is it that makes me feel like I’m making a positive contribution to the world? What makes me feel amazing?” An innate sense of joy is a symptom that comes when we are aligned to our higher purpose.
Interestingly, it’s often when we are using our unique gifts that our joy bubbles up inside; e.g. playing a musical instrument, painting, speaking, listening, organising etc.
Take a look at your day-to-day activities you perform every week and ask yourself, “When do I feel most joyful?”. And be honest here - I don’t mean snuggling up on the couch with a glass of wine! How about in the past? Or when you were at school - what subjects or activities were you were naturally drawn to? The answers to these questions can give you valuable clues as to your innate gifts.
You’ll discover over time that using your innate gifts for the benefit of the people and the world around you will bring you ever closer to living a life of dharma.
When you live in dharma you life becomes a seamless flow of selfless actions performed for the benefit of the whole.
Discover the Bhagavad Gita - Online Master Class:
The Bhagavad Gita can help you to reframe your life so that you feel more aligned with who you truly are. In this webinar we will explore how it can infuse both your yoga practice and your yoga teaching with a new level of depth and meaning.
If you’d like to explore clearing away any habits or thoughts that are stopping you from living your dharma - try one of these classes:
Designing your life:
If you’d like some ideas and yoga support on designing your life take a look at our Goals and Dreams theme.