Dharma is our life purpose.
It is our higher calling, unique to us, and it is often something we resist.
Discovering our dharma is not a rational endeavor.
It is something that gets unveiled as we start walking on our spiritual path.
My 52-year dharma path has unfolded like following a trail of breadcrumbs.
I hear a voice that tells me the next step and I follow it. No questions asked.
The voice told me to drop out of the business school at the University of Colorado and study fine art.
The voice told me to move to Telluride, Colorado, and be a ski bum after graduating from college.
The voice told me I could be a top level whitewater kayaker.
The voice told me to make a film about women kayakers giving back in Uganda (before YouTube and digital cameras) with no filmmaking experience.
The voice told me to move to New Zealand and learn how to surf.
The voice told me to go to India and study yoga.
The voice told me to pack up my life in New Zealand and move to Bali.
The voice told me to hike alone for 30 days covering 385 miles on the Colorado Trail from Breckenridge to Durango.
The voice told me to go motorcycling in the Himalayas solo with only two weeks of motorcycling experience.
The voice told me to come to South India and study with a new yoga teacher.
And his voice told me about dharma.
“I never wanted to be a yoga teacher,” David Garrigues (DG) tells us in one of his weekly spiritual yoga talks.
“I wanted to be a surfer or a musician or even an air traffic controller like my dad, but a yoga teacher? No, almost anything but that! And yet the universe slowly worked on me and brought me around to doing the most perfect work I could ever do,” DG shared with us his dharma journey on a rooftop, open air yoga shala in Kovalam, India.
As a result of following the voice of dharma, he has helped thousands of students worldwide.
Me being one.
After 10 weeks of DG’s dharma talks, the voice told me it was time.
Time to stop hiding.
So I did.
I have come full circle and learned about business.
I have worked through my limiting beliefs that to be spiritual, you have to own nothing and live in a cave.
I have learned that by fulfilling our dharmas and coming from a place of expansion we inspire others to do the same.
If you are ready to start following the dharma breadcrumb trail, I have boiled down the dharma discovery process, as taught to me by DG, into seven steps:
Step 1: Ask.
Tune in to our guidance team, higher self, intuition, and higher power and ask the question, “What is the next step in the direction of my dharma?”
Step 2: Be open.
Once the voice tells us what to do, we need to be open to the answer we receive.
Step 3: Surrender.
We surrender to the voice. And as DG says, “Not only do we agree, but we agree to do it with gusto!”
Step 4: Take the next step.
We only need to know the next right step in the direction of our dharma.
We spot the next breadcrumb and go there.
This step requires faith and trust, because the guidance we receive may be “off plan.”
It may be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and not exactly what we had in mind.
This is all okay.
We acknowledge all of this and do it anyway.
We take the leap and the net appears.
Step 5: Trust the voice.
We may get tested on our dharma journey and this is the first test—to trust the voice.
Step 6: Value our gifts.
Just because our unique abilities may be easy for us does not mean it is easy for everyone. It is often the things we take the most for granted that actually help us to discover and fulfill our dharma.
Step 7: Gain Confidence.
Feeling confident in ourselves and what we are here to offer takes practice. We go slow, and keep moving forward, one step at a time.
Serving our dharma at our highest potential, we step up and allow ourselves to be seen. We start speaking our truth and stepping into our full expansion.
As we do this, we shine the light for others to follow their own breadcrumb trail.
This creates dharma ripples.
Our students will go on to help their students.
Our dharma is bigger than us, not about us, and already within us.
Our job is to get out of the way, and do the inner work to uncover it.
This includes dissolving limiting beliefs, clearing energy that is not ours, releasing energetic attachments from people, and learning how to connect with our inner and higher guidance.
Listening to the voice of dharma, we learn how to trust ourselves.
And after years of self-doubt and playing small, we become the leaders we are meant to be in this world.