Have you ever had those days where you wake up and just dread your day job?
You know those days I’m talking about? Where you struggle to drag yourself out of bed and just can’t imagine doing the same thing for yet another day…
Whether it’s a job you commute to each day or it’s being a full time parent. Some times we can go through a stage where we struggle waking up on repeat, doing the same thing over and over again…
Some days are like Groundhog Day. How many times can you do the same thing yet again?
But it’s not easy to just say “ok I quit” because we know our daily role comes with a sense of responsibility.
You know that you have a role that you need to fulfill each day.
You know that if you don’t hold up your end of the job, it affects others and can also have a snowball affect. If one part of the big picture isn’t doing their job well, it affects all the other parts from running smoothly.
It’s this sense of responsibility that often keeps us going instead of just giving up.
However, some days it can all feel too much and you just feel like quitting or breaking the cycle.
I’ve struggled with this from time to time. In many different roles. How many times can I wake up and teach a group of children with a big smile despite any personal struggles I am grappling…
Or teach a yoga class when I’m feeling unwell or just not up for it.
And now, as a mother, I feel like my responsibility is endless. There’s little down time from the mental pressure I feel daily raising 3 little people and running a smooth household.
When I feel this way, I am often called back to this concept of Dharma and it helps me get back on track.
Dharma can be defined as “life path”.
Put simply, it means finding your calling – your life’s purpose.
Dharma is about finding what role in life is meant for you. Something you’re good at. Something that you feel called to and the big ingredient here is – doing it well.
So whether you feel called to be a teacher, cleaner, parent, lawyer, bus driver, manager…. find the joy in this role and do it perfectly. Do it with all your heart.
Seek the joy in being the absolute best teacher you can be. The absolute best barrister. The absolute best cleaner, absolute best mother or father…
Have you met someone who you just know is completely happy living their dharma?
You can tell someone is living their dharma when a person outwardly reflects an inner joy in whatever role it is they’re doing.
When I worked at Kmart many moons ago, we had this incredibly spirited door greeter, Fred. His role was to greet customers and check bags as people entered and exited the store.
To many, this role may sound tedious and quite boring if done all day, every day.
But not for Fred.
I watched him each day greet people with a smile, making small talk, laughing and building rapport with the customers of the store. Fred was always smiling, helpful and did his job better than any other door greeter I have come across. People knew his name and would pop over just to say hello to him.
To me, this man was living his dharma. He had a role in life and he truly did it well. He brought joy to his role and to those around him.
You know you are living your true dharma when it has goodness at its core.
It’s in the service of our dharma that we find joy.
When we serve others, we are actually serving ourselves.
St Francis of Assisi says in his renowned Instrument of Peace prayer, “it is in giving that we receive”.
When we are able to be of service to others, it usually makes us feel great inside and makes us want to continue to do good for others.
In the Bible, it says to find a life worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1). In other words, find a role in life that is nurturing to you and that you’re good at. One that you feel called to do. A role that you were designed for. A role that can also nurture others through the service you put into it.
For we know that when one part works well, it makes other parts run smoothly. Like a tree. It grows well when it is planted in good soil, is regularly watered and has regular sunlight. If we remove one of these parts or don’t do it well, it affects the health of the tree. If it doesn’t get enough water, it begins to have dry leaves and eventually will die.
“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts to grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16).
In the Bhagavad Gita, we are warned that living a life that is at odds with your dharma can cause you a great deal of suffering.
We are encouraged to do something in life that we are drawn to. Something we love. Sometimes this may be in conflict with what we think we should be doing or dream of doing despite it not being your true dharma.
It’s like you have to find a balance between what you’re meant to be doing, what you are doing and the fantasy of what you want to be doing!
Khrisna says not to waste our time on false dharma. And that your true dharma will always have goodness at its core no matter what that role is.
For me, my dharma is teaching.
Regardless of what I teach – I was born to teach.
When I was a child, I was teaching my younger sister to read.
I always knew that I loved leading, teaching and bringing others to a better understanding.
For me, it’s my dharma to teach. I find absolute joy at the very core of teaching and I light up when I feel I’m helping others move to a better understanding of themselves.
Yes, I have groundhog days.
Yes, sometimes I want to quit my day job.
But overall, I know at my core what I am called to.
I’ve heard this saying that you just need to look at what you enjoyed doing as a child to get in touch with your true dharma.
Could this be true?
Is it true for you?
What’s your dharma?
I would love to hear about your dharma….
Perhaps what you are currently doing, your fantasy of what you want to do or perhaps what you know you should be doing!