Living our life on purpose seems to be the buzzword of the decade but what does it actually mean and how can we all get there?
What is Dharma or Life purpose?
In Sanskrit dharma means life purpose and loosely translates to righteous living. The word itself has a far deeper meaning than its direct translation. The Vedas which are ancient Hindu texts describe Dharma as inner wisdom or cosmic guidance that governs not only the individual but the universe itself.
According to the Vedas, bliss is something we bring with us to this life and take with us to other lives we may have in the future. It is inside of all of us. Bliss is the true state of the Self – however, our mental state in each moment determines whether we feel it or not.
“One who is happy within, who rejoices within, who is illuminated within, that seeker attains absolute freedom and achieves the Self” Bhagavad Gita
Your dharma is your true calling – what you were put on earth to do.
So for someone to live their life purpose or follow their Dharma, all they need to do is follow that inner guidance or knowing. Sounds simple right? Why is it then that most of us find it so hard?
Why don’t we listen to our Dharma or our inner voice?
The reason why most find it difficult to listen to that inner voice is that there are so many other layers competing for your attention. Humans are afflicted with a spiritual forgetfulness that keeps our minds from accessing the infinite and bountiful nature of our Self. Our minds become identified with and then engaged and enabled with whatever they encounter through their senses. This clutters the mind and leads to unhappiness rather than the infinite potential to become what we truly desire or live our dharma.
Your ego or Ahamkara (in Ayurveda) is the sense of “I am”. The Ahamkara is the function of the human experience generated by 5 senses (inner and outer), it is what makes possible sense of individuality and warrants apartness from other individuals. It also provides our construct for how we see the world, and how we see ourselves. It is the part of your mind that identifies with traits, beliefs, and habits. During your life, you were taught values around things like intelligence, achievement, preferred emotional states, relationships and other people. Your greatest need is to receive love so you learn to identify with these values even if they are not possible.
Many adults have not evolved past the ego or Ahamkara state. Many continue to look outward, not inward, and remain committed to the fulfillment of promising objects or relationships. Many of us are busy trying to control the uncontrollable, rearranging life circumstances, manipulating or pleasing people, hoarding, selling, worshipping or serenading money, sex partnerships whilst all along their relationship with their inner potential remains unexplored. They still believe things are happening to them. If you believe you have no control in your life or that outside events are controlling your life ego work will help you become more in tune with your inner voice.
“… for the ego gropes in darkness while the Self lives in light…”
According to the Sankhya tradition, a dualist school of classical Indian philosophy, each person’s identity is an assemblage. You are the construct of a conscious Self (the subject or knower of experience, Purusha), and an unconscious body/mind (which serves both as an instrument of awareness and an object of experience, Prakriti). You have a body, but your body is not the entirety of you. You think, but your thoughts are also not the whole of you. Within each of us lies a pure inner witness—the knower, or consciousness.
Top 10 ways to discover your life purpose or Dharma
Here are my top 10 ways to how to find your true Dharma. You can adopt all or one of the following, it is recommended to just change one thing and do it every day for 21 days to embed the habit into your life. When you start to make changes consciously, you will find that the right opportunities will start to present themselves and pull you I the right direction. Walking this path is not about success, but about harmony with yourself, your words and your actions.
This is the easiest to achieve. Think about what makes you excited and alive. Is it food, travel, reading? Wherever you find joy that’s where your purpose lies. Your soul speaks in emotions, so slow down and listen to them. When you are faced with a choice between fear and joy, always follow joy.
“follow your bliss – it will always lead you home”
Pay attention to Synchronicity
Life is very good at guiding you if you just pay attention. Notice who or what keeps showing up in your life. Its likely this thing or person is linked to your dharma. Synchronicity is a sign that the universe uses to show you are on the right path, the one aligned with your dharma. When you truly listen and trust your inner knowing, it will illuminate these synchronicities. The universe or god will always guide you and provide synchronistic coincidences which should be observed as your path to your purpose.
Letting go is the most essential step. The more cluttered or busy your life is with things that no longer serve you, the more you don’t have room for new things, people or events to show up and serve your true purpose. Each day make a conscious choice to let go of something unessential, so your life has the opportunity to open up to receive, recharge and realign with your purpose.
“when one door closes, another opens..”
Path of practice
Meditation and yoga is an essential daily practice to incorporate into your life. It is an ancient Vedic practice that provides techniques not only to maintain a healthy body, but also to make you more conscious and connected with your buddhi or your soul. It is imperative that this becomes a daily ritual, so embedding this into your schedule is important for success. Other activities such as gratitude journaling, painting or playing an instrument could also be beneficial.
Paradoxical to the step above, where practice means action, it is just as important to make time in your day for non-action – doing nothing – simply being. The more you are watching the clock and the busier you are, the less time you have to connect with your soul, or listen to your inner knowing. The quality of your ‘nothing’ matters. Watching TV, flicking through your phone, checking your emails do not count. You must shut off everything and get out in nature. Build these pockets of ‘slowing down’ into your every day. This provides you with the opportunity to align with the cycles of nature, the energy of the universe and the centre of yourself.
Callings are those things you feel deep inside guiding you that don’t necessarily make sense to anyone else but you. You feel a direction to do something, but its not through your mind. These callings are preparation for your personal dharma.
Understand when its time to go
If you feel its time to move on, you are probably right. Your mind or Ahamkara (“I”) will be the one to fight you based on the construct of your experiences or expectations you have placed on yourself, but your soul knows best – follow it.
Meditate and use affirmations
Use the following affirmation in your meditation to break any attachments and bring yourself back to Self. Make this your primary belief by repeating it to yourself.
“I am enough (because my joy, power, wholeness, and love lie inside me)”
Understand that timing is everything
The path to your dharma will happen when you are ready, not when you desire. Trust in the process and understand that everything unfolds exactly when its meant to. It helps to surrender to the moment and trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Cultivate personal awakening through self-knowledge – or moksha
Whether its yoga, meditation, or walking in nature, its important to connect with a source greater than yourself as this is where you will find the information about your dharma and the steps you need to take.
When we practice using our joys, talents, and gifts to express ourselves in the best way possible, to fulfill our potential and purpose, we will create and participate in our dharma. Start by accessing your inner knowing or guiding voice – we all have it. It is as simple as listening to it. Through this, you will find your true purpose in life – our dharma.
A mantra to help you let go of attachments.
Place both hands on your heart one on top of the other. This is the wholeness mudra or hands heart gesture that will connect you with your own indwelling Self and awaken your sol memory. Repeat the following mantra:
“my wholeness lives inside of me, my joy is right here in my own heart, my fullness lies right here. I can feel it. My Self is unconditional love, love is flowing through my heart”
A bit about my experience
From personal experience, I spent decades living in a fog or sleepwalking through life. On the surface, I was achieving in my career, coping as a single mum, and keeping fit by going to the gym every day. My reality was I was deeply lonely, I had failed miserably at my relationships and continuously chose toxic, emotionally unavailable men and friends who were energy draining and destructive. The drama was a constant, like a dark storm cloud following me around ready to strike at any time. Unhappy in general and going through the motions, I was making bad lifestyle choices, drinking too much and not comfortable in my own company.
The patterns I had created an embedded as my ‘life’ were far from ideal and negative relationships and events kept playing out over and over again. I ignored my inner knowing and kept in the busy distracting myself and convince myself that I was achieving, but I was not. I had lost my soul memory and had corrupted inner wisdom and I believe I had somewhat lost the ability to make correct judgments. It wasn’t until I slowed down, added stillness and became comfortable with my own company that I was able to begin my rebirth.
My inner voice was calling and slowly I began to make changes. I started with changing small things. I reduced the gym visits and replaced them with a dawn walk or yoga, I included meditation in my morning. To fit all of this in around working full time and getting my daughter to school, I began rising with the sun… 5:30 was and still is my new time. My newfound moments of nothingness opened my mind to my inner knowing and messages and visions started to flow through.
The call got louder. I kept feeling like I had more to give to the planet, the people around me and others. I was guided to start seeing a kinesiologist and healer and my journey to healing began. My inner voice became loud and clear – you need to explore a healing modality or potentially a few. So I took the leap and began studying Kinesiology, Reiki and Ayurvedic practices and here I am today. Today, it is my mission is to help as many people as possible unlock their true potential by upgrading the four cornerstones of longevity your MINDSET, SOULSET, HEARTSET and HEALTHSET. Together we will set strategies that are simple and doable as well as mind-blowingly effective.
I can help you find your Dharma. Make a booking today!
Author – Kinesiologist, Carla Kaine from A Life in Progress.