I love using the earthly natural cycles as opportunities for contemplation, growth, and setting intentions. Today marks the winter solstice; the shift of light and darkness around us. This seasonal change provides a guide for allowing our energy to shift from external to internal. I often contemplate my dharmas in life and here I am, again, looking at this concept with fresh eyes today.
Dharma means “duty, responsibility and purpose,” which includes work and career, but also encompasses much more. Dharma comes from the Sanskrit root meaning, “to support.” It is said that if you support dharma, it will support you and your role in life. It is almost like a force that prevents something from falling down and that can pick up what has fallen.
We have many dharmas throughout our lifetime—dharmas to our families, to our jobs, to our education, to our society, and to our other relationships. Often, it is not clear what one’s dharma is. Action is needed to understand and discover your dharmas. You cannot sit around and ponder; it is through action, exploration and observation that they are revealed.
It is also important to be cognizant of your dharmas at different points in life, because they will change. If you are pregnant, for example, you have a dharma to your pregnancy. Your primary responsibility is to take care of yourself, perhaps like never before, and the baby growing in your belly. But life is often not simple, and you may have conflicting dharmas. At the same time as you have a dharma to your pregnancy; you may also have a dharma to your family, to your partner and to your career. If you had a significant professional life before pregnancy, it may be difficult to shift gears to make your health and that of your growing baby the highest priority. You may need to adjust your diet to incorporate important prenatal nutrients or take five-minute breaks from sitting at your desk to stretch and breathe. Staying up late and eating on the run may wreak havoc on different levels of your system that were not apparent before your pregnancy.
Prioritizing your goals, with your dharmas as a reference point, is immensely helpful. In today’s world it is easy to lose the idea of responsibility or dharma. Brew up something warm & yummy and take out a journal. Ask yourself:
- What are my different responsibilities and duties? To what and to whom?
- How can I fulfill them?
- Do I feel supported in my dharmas? How? If not, what steps can I take to support my dharmas?
Write down your ideas. Light a candle and close your eyes. Use this as an opportunity to reflect and set a new intention. I wish you happy dharma dreaming!