Your heart knows best.
I find it interesting and rewarding to get recognition for the work I’m doing. I guess there are well-known inspirers of the practice in every field. I never thought that I would or could achieve fame in the yoga industry, nor did I aspire to; but stranger things are happening these days. And strange is good when you’re on your path.
A funny comment I get upon a first meeting with someone who has only seen my videos or pictures is, “Oh, you’re so small… I thought you were going to be tall, but you’re so short…” They imagine I must be about 6 feet tall, somehow the pictures and videos make me look huge.
I like that idea, but not so much the “short” part; and why the heck would they go on and on about it?! I’d say I’m petite!
Another thing I get asked a lot is, “How have you become successful? What advice can you give me?” This is somewhat of a strange question because I don’t really think of myself as “successful”. I am proud of the projects that I’ve created and the path I am on. To say that I am grateful is an understatement, but I am doing what I do as an inner drive. Seeing the results of this inner drive from an external view is something I’m just beginning to take in and understand.
This is good for me and everyone involved because my intention and my impact are now more consciously aligned. With this, I’m achieving a higher quality of work and effect in the world of healing and personal development.
I can’t tell you the exact steps to take in order to achieve your goals. It’s more that I have followed my own heart and done things that made me happy.
In the beginning, I’m not even sure I intended to help others find that same joy and balance that I was receiving from the yoga and dance practice. It was the teaching and sharing that brought joy to me, and then I realized how much of an impact it had on other peoples lives.
Now, I am consciously seeking more ways to share with others the beauty, joy and love through these tools of yoga, dance, breathing, and other related practices from which I benefit as well. All of the programs, retreats and classes that I create come from a place of fun and love for what I enjoy (in-joy) doing!
I may not have an exact method on how to be successful, but I do have the biggest available to me: purpose.
I have a purpose to bring out the same light in others that I feel shine through me. It’s been through teaching health, wellness, yoga and dance that I’m able to translate this purpose. I know that just like they’ve presented themselves so far, other ways to shine and share the light will present themselves in the future.
Dharma, as mentioned in the Vedas (Indian scriptures) is something everyone has and would not be themselves without it. Some find it, share it, do it and live it. Some are lost and don’t have a clue why.
We all have a dharma, a purpose, a mission here to be in the world. My teacher, Jeffrey Armstrong, helps clarify the value of purpose and adds that “conscious spiritual beings can add to their purpose, that it is to be in alignment for the good of all.”
Here are some steps to finding your own dharma:
1. Make the most of where you are now.
It can take a while to transition into making a living from your purpose, so let’s first consider what to do to increase your well-being now.
Look at your home and work environment, and change it if it doesn’t feel warm, relaxing and inspiring to you. I am a big advocate for making my space(s) really nourishing, uplifting and sacred.
I see my space(s) as temples in which I thrive and flourish in a vibrant, healthy way. Look at all aspects of the environment: the sounds, sights, smells and, most of all, feelings. How do you feel with certain paintings, colors, etc.?
Look at your partnerships and relationships and see where you can be more in harmony and connection. I recently read an article on conscious communication and it taught me to connect to all people through my authentic self, rather than seeing through the eyes of not being satisfied where I am.
I see everyone in the same direction as me. I am on a mission to be my truth in all that I do and be happy. So is everyone else, even if their actions suggest something different. Look beyond those actions and reactions, and see the truth. This can change your outlook and create a happy moment now.
2. Dharma comes from within and is accessed by listening to our inner voice.
One way I access my dharma is by being in nature, even a patch of grass counts, or touching a tree as I walk by. Here’s an exercise to try when you have some time, perhaps an hour. Sit on the grass, the ground, a temple or somewhere quiet (surrounded by nature or not). The intention is to quiet your mind.
Start asking yourself questions:
What do I like to do?
What work/play do I dream about or intend to do?
How can I share my unique gifts through what I’m doing now?
Write down your answers and elaborate, dream, journal.
Listen for clues from the universe that will help guide you to your highest purpose. Create a daily meditation practice for about 20 minutes a day and watch yourself become increasingly receptive to creative insights that will help you discover your dharma. Add the new insights and creativity to your journal.
3) Attitude of Gratitude and Celebration.
We now have these simple tools, like taking a moment to say out loud what you are grateful for in your life. This simple exercise is powerful and provides us with self-validation that helps us grow into a healthy self-confidence.
Make a commitment to find at least three things to be grateful for each day. Start with little things like tea, almond milk, friends, your dog/cat/pet, favorite piece of clothing, etc. Then grow into things like personality, your courage, your talents… Keep going, turn it into a daily a practice for 21 days. Go!
I’ve realized that being heart-centered, purpose-based and thoroughly enjoying the good works I do with people are definitely —even if accidentally— major keys to my success.
I wish you the very best in your life because I am certain that you deserve it. Follow your heart, find and be on your purpose and do your best to enjoy every day of your life. That is the best gift we could give ourselves and the world.
(Originally published at Elephant Journal on March 2, 2012 – http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/03/the-art-of-living-on-purpose-hemalayaa/)