I heard from a long lost friend recently. She’s a passionate soul. She’s vibrant, creative and intelligent. Then she asked me:
“I have always wanted to write. I am thrilled at the thought. Just that I cannot find the time.”
Is this you? Not able to find the time is a tried and tested excuse we give ourselves. Not to be harsh, but why are you throwing away your Dharma and sticking with something that just doesn’t work for you?
Dharma is something that you would Love to do and what you Must do. It’s a combination of passion + necessity. When you say no to your Dharma, you’re pretty much saying no to living.
What’s Your Dharma?
Is there something that fires you up and at the same time scares you like hell? Something that you are sure you will suck at, but still can’t stop thinking about? Think. Dream. Imagine. It’s got to be there. You just have to look. Hard.
Your heart just knows. “I must be doing it“. You’re no expert at it: You’re not educated or trained in it. You want to take one spoonful of it at a time — falling, learning and getting up and doing it again.
That’s your Dharma.
How to Discover Your Dharma
Your Dharma is always there: It’s there underlying beneath the obvious scheme of things (or noise). It waits to be discovered. And you’ve had a taste of it before.
For me, writing was an idea I toyed with, never to have really written. But wait, wasn’t I always writing in my journal? Didn’t I help friends and cousins with their essays? Didn’t I take exceptional pleasure in writing long emails to close ones? You bet.
That’s how your Dharma can be discovered. You’ve been in touch with it, but never really crossed the boundary of mediocre living and moved toward it. Cross that boundary and you may be surprised how long it took you to understand this is what you were supposed to be doing! That’s how it happened for me. And I learning more by each day.
Stumbling on Your Dharma
There may be several techniques to do this, but I have one for you. It’s called “First be a Giver“. In that, you help someone discover their Dharma. You give first, and think about getting back later.
Listen closely. The next time you are at a cafe with your best friend, pay attention to the words. Ask them what they’d always wanted to do. Look for clues like “I’ve always wanted to . . .“, “I wish I could . . .“, “You know what’d be cool?”.
Their Dharma may be hidden somewhere in that casual chit-chat. Note it down mentally: Music, Poetry, Rock Climbing. Don’t shy away from the less obvious ones. If there are more, tackle each one by one. It’s absolutely possible to have more than one Dharmas in life.
The next time you catch up, toss one of the key words and see what they’ve got to say. Past events, present longings, weird ideas are all welcome. Voila! You’ve just helped a friend set on the path to discover their Dharma.
Now, ask them to help you discover yours. Or, you can even self-inspect in the same way, but that may take more self-discipline and self-honesty in the beginning.
I Dare You
Discover your Dharma. In two weeks from now, in two months or two years. I don’t care. Just go. Blaze your path. I dare you.
Photo by Alexis Fam Photography.