Updated: Jun 14
Have you ever spent time doing something or being with someone and completely lost all sense of time and place? Like you looked down and hours had passed and everything in that time felt completely right and effortless and easy?
How often do you feel that way in your daily life? What would it feel like to have that experience everyday, in everything that you do?
Seem a little out of reach? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Every person has a vocation to be someone: but they must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation they can only be one person: themself. - Thomas Merton
The yogic concept of dharma is exactly that. Dharma is the Sanskrit word for your vocation, or calling, but it means more than just your job or what you do.
Dharma also translates to path or teaching or law. It’s kind of like a nonnegotiable - your true life’s calling, unique to only you. You don’t really get to pick it, it’s always been inside of you since the day you were created. And it’s your responsibility to uncover it and live it out. To not live it out is a disservice - not only to the world - but to the Creator who designed you to be exactly who you are.
It may sound a little like a burden to uphold, but in reality, when we live out this dharma, we are our happiest and most fulfilled. Even when things are difficult and challenges arise, if we’re following our true calling, we find a sense of flow, a lovely balance of effort and surrender.
In his book The Great Work of your Life, Stephen Cope states “People actually feel happiest and most fulfilled when meeting the challenges of their dharma in the world, when bringing highly concentrated effort to some compelling activity for which they have a true calling.”
He describes this mastery as “when effort becomes effortless: joyful, gifted, unbounded” and “this effortless effort is so sublime that it draws us even more deeply into the possibilities of our dharma.”
I know this effortless effort, I know the deep pull of possibility in the work that I do. It makes me forget about revenue goals and long-term marketing strategies. It makes what I do not simply a job but the essence of who I am.
So whether I’m working in my retail job with lululemon, or parenting my almost adult children, or coaching a client, or teaching a yoga class, or being a daughter, sister, or friend, I am living into my work of empowering others to find their true purpose.
My dharma is to help others unlock their potential, to help them see what they aren’t able to see yet for themselves, to help them question the limits they’ve placed or allowed others to place on them, and to begin to uncover their own dharma - their true calling in life - so that they can live out the life that they were meant to live.
Do you know your own dharma? Are you close but not quite sure you’ve got it?
The practices and teachings of yoga are an 8-fold path that guides your way to your purpose. Following this path has given me space and time to learn who I am, who I was created to be, what God’s purpose for me in this world is, how my time is best spent, and what brings me true joy.
Want to learn more? I'd love to chat with you and see if I can help you find your purpose. You can schedule a call with me here.