3: My Top 5 Spiritual Lessons

Doing this blog has taught me a thing or two. In many ways the blog became my life and the life became my blog, two practices intertwining with no borders. Some themes I have returned to again and again.

Thoughts:

You are not what you think you are. By this I mean that the things that go around in your head are not necessarily real and the things you think about do not define you.

Suffering:

Things happen to you in your life some good and some not so good. How you react or what happens after life happens is then your choice. You can stack your reactions any way you like but at the end of the day the amount you suffer is up to you.

Presence:

Being with what is happening right now is a sure way to make yourself a bit happier. Dredging up the past or worrying about the future is a recipe for unhappiness. The only moment you have is now so there is not much point spending time in the ones that have expired or the ones you think you are going to have.

Authenticity:

Be yourself. If you try to please others or are not acting like yourself you will live half a life. People want to see the raw uncut version of yourself. If you don’t want to show that because of some fear you have about being judged you need to work on liking yourself first.

Life:

Find out what it is that you are good at and do that or make it as big a part of your life that you can. We all have special skills or talents waiting for us to unwrap. Everything else will follow from there.

Practice for today: What are your lessons that you need to learn? What lessons have become themes in your life? Sit with what is important or reoccurring in your life and embody the teachings that these peals hold.

 

 

13: All Work and No Play

living your dharmaAs the year draws to an end it is a good time to spend in contemplation about how things are going in your life. Do you feel balanced and at ease or is there some nagging concern that there is not enough or too much of something in your life? Yoga offers four categories to question your life about, directing you to examine what it is that you need more of and what it is you need to pull back on. The perusharthas¬† mean ‘for the purpose of the soul’. These concepts help you manage your day to day life in such a way that you can support your spiritual practice and feel an intrinsic balance from the inside out.

1) Dharma: Duty. This is our calling in life, our purpose for being on the planet. Dharma refers to the actions or roles you engage in.  Some people have a clear calling as to what their life purpose it, some never find it. Regardless the key to happiness is to do your dharma well whether you are a poet or wash dishes.

What is my role in the world? Am I enjoying it and doing the best I can to serve the world, my obligations to myself and family?

2) Artha: Prosperity. Artha is the material comforts you need in this world to survive and help you with your purpose in life. It is money, a home to live in and maybe a flash car if you are in real estate. A yoga mat if you are a yogi.

Do I have enough to succeed in my dharma? Where do I place my values when it comes to money and spending? What would be the best use of what I have to help me achieve more balance?

3)Kama: Pleasure. Pleasure are the things that bring delight into our life. They make us feel good about ourselves. When out of balance it can lead to greed, addiction and laziness. We can find pleasure on our yoga mat or when we are eating pizza.

What am I most passionate about, what do I desire? Are my pleasures leading me away or to my purpose in life?

4) Moksha: Liberation. We all want freedom from things in life and freedom to do things.

In what ways do I extinguish my own inherent freedom in my life? Do the things I choose to do bind me or set me free?

We may feel times when these categories are not in balance. Too much work and we can’t serve our family. Too much lying around on a yoga mat and we can’t earn a living. Too much time spent trying to earn money and we can’t meditate.

Practice for today: The key to balance is to look at the four areas and see where you are lacking or where you are putting in too much effort. Consider which categories you need to turn up so you can find freedom in your life’s purpose, comfort and pleasure.