Right now I am completely absorbed by “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling” by Stephen Cope, the Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
Stephen takes us on a step by step journey through the ancient spiritual text the “Bhagavad Gita” and makes it relevant for our contemporary lives. He explores the notion of dharma, the inner possibility within every human soul.
It is a perfect, and easy, read if you are feeling a little lost on your journey, if you are asking bigger questions about your life and you wish to explore your true calling. It might be that you are living fairly close to your dharma but you need minor adjustments to be fully living your life purpose. Or perhaps you have been living on purpose for many years and now it just doesn’t feel right, your inner knowing is telling you that changes are needed to live your life more fully at this present time.
“Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfil this vocation he can only be one person: himself.” stated Thomas Merton. This is so true, we each have a unique calling. We may get influenced by outside opinions such as those from parents, teachers or peers but it is only when we tap into our true calling do we experience true energy, passion and magic.
“If you bring forth what is within you it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you. And what precisely is destroyed? Energy is destroyed first. Those shining eyes. And then faith. And then hope. And then life itself.” I am sure we have all experienced both sides of this coin, when we are fully living our dharma we feel alive, we can feel it in our heart, others can see it in our face and they witness “those shining eyes”. When we are not living our dharma we may feel heavy, stressed, confused, desperate and unhappy.
I think it is comforting to know that at each phase in life we may have a different calling and sometimes we may have several dharmas running at the same time, for example your calling may be musician, parent and community activist.
What steps can you take to start to explore and live your dharma?
Allow yourself time to reflect and to ask questions such as “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”, “What am I being guided or drawn to do?”
Create quiet time and stillness to let your heart and mind speak to you.
You may get lots of answers but over time your truest answers will begin to develop.
Don’t be frightened to try new things, it doesn’t have to be huge scary life changing stuff but taking action can open the door to your true purpose.
Think of the small as large. All of our actions, however small or large, are important so do not overrate or underrate your dharma. You will know when it feels comfortable for you at just the correct balance and size.
Trust in your inner knowing!