Dharma Daze

My life recently is flush with potential. Synchronicity abounds, and the universe has been giving me nudges or full-out shoves.

But I’ve been having trouble with follow-through: Do I want to cohost retreats in the Carolina mountains? Start a corporate program? Build my private clientele? Offer workshops? Open a tea store? Every option seems like the sun on the horizon just waiting to shine.

Distracted by possibility. It can happen whether you’re looking for a job, a partner or a way of life. But when does being receptive cross into being flakey? And what makes the difference between a good idea and an actionable endeavor?

The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient spiritual Indian text, offers clarity on this issue as old as time. At the crux of the epic tale is the concept of completing your Dharma, or your life’s purpose and higher calling. It is both the easiest thing and hardest thing to figure out. Easy because it is what you enjoy, what you are good at doing and what you can offer others. Hard because it takes clarity to distinguish between what is actually right for you from what you (or others) think is right. In essence, you’re addressing the cognitive biases that cloud your real self. For years I thought I liked fashion because I was working for a fashion magazine and living in NYC, where designers and beautiful people abound. But I always felt out of my skin. It was then I started realizing the difference between like and “should” like.

So I’ve been noting what I spend my time doing— it’s a great barometer of what I actually want, what I bring my energy to and what I’m willing to stick with. For example, I spend very little time thinking about or consuming tea, but I do spend most of my time exploring consciousness through movement, breath and meditation. So even if Greenville is in dire need of a good tea store, if opening one doesn’t give me a way to express my passion, it’s not a good fit.

I’ve also had to be very honest with myself when my lack of commitment to a project is a sign that it’s not really for me or if I’m just being a little lazy or afraid of failure. That’s when the self-exploration has been the hardest but also the most self-illuminating. It is good practice to see yourself objectively but also without judgment.

Ultimately, whether you believe in the idea of dharma, synchronicity or universal intervention is a moot point. If you’re open to them, opportunities are everywhere. The bigger lesson is learning to hear what you are telling yourself and act in accordance.

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