Are You Living Your Dharma?
Today we conclude our conversation on Primary Foods, with our focus on Career. (For more on primary foods, check out The Four Areas of Your Life You Need to Be Feeding).
Have you ever thought of your career as a primary food?
According to Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director, Institute of Integrative Nutrition,
“Finding work you love is essential to living a healthy, balanced life.”
One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Deepak Chopra, shares the concept of dharma in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. This little guide has been my go-to source for inspiration and clarity for several years now. In fact, I began using it daily around the same time I started practicing gratitude.
Dharma is a sanskrit word that means “purpose in life.”
According to Deepak, everyone has a unique purpose in life. There is something you can do that no one else can do, and when you match this gift with the intention of serving others, you achieve “the ecstasy or exultation of (y)our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.”
In today’s world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on career. Our sense of worth gets all tied up in your career or job and the amount of your paycheck. But dharma is so much more than that.
Your dharma has 3 components:
1. To discover your true self – this is your spiritual journey
2. To express your unique talent – what is it that you can do better than anyone else in the world as a result of your unique talents and experiences?
3. To match your talents with service to others – how can you share your gift in a way that helps others?
Practicing gratitude supports these three areas. As we’ve already touched on in a previous post:
Practicing gratitude helps you stay connected to your true spirit
and help you stay focused on what brings you joy.
This helps you prioritize those things in your life and consciously — or unconsciously — seek out opportunities that make you happier. With this goes opportunities to share your gifts and help others.
This doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every minute of your job in order to be healthy and happy. What it does mean is that becoming more aware of yourself and your sense of purpose in the world, through practicing gratitude, can help you shape your life in a direction that is in alignment with who you truly are.
Sometimes this turns into a paying job, sometimes it is a hobby or a calling, and sometimes your dharma is simply being there for the people in your life, again and again and again.
When my Mom passed away in 2010, I was surprised to learn how many people she had helped at her job as a school secretary. Unbeknownst to me, she was the person at school people confided in and she found great pleasure in helping them find peace and clarity in their personal lives. Her talent for caregiving went beyond her family and was a true example of someone living her dharma.
If you haven’t yet figured out what your dharma is, don’t worry. Pay attention to the voice inside and trust that it will guide you to a place of joy and life satisfaction. Let your gratitude practice be the tool that connects you to your true purpose.
To give you an idea of how this works I will share a testimonial I received from a Gratitude To Bliss journal user. After practicing gratitude for several weeks, this person began noticing that she often wrote in her journal about how she enjoyed being around people of different ethnicities. (This is why I always say that repeating is OK.) This made her realize a career option that involved working with different ethnic groups and she was quickly able to make a job change that became much more fulfilling for her.
So if you’re looking for a more satisfying career but don’t know where to start, start by practicing gratitude. It will lead you to wonderful things!
Find out how I connected to my dharma.
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