Most of us have heard the word Dharma before, but what does it actually mean? Dharma can have multiple meanings, but roughly translated, it can be; our lifes purpose, order of happenings in nature, or your duty in life. Every human on this planet is unique, and therefore everyones Dharma is different. It is impossible to have the same Dharma as anyone else, and is impossible to copy anyones life purpose.

One of the more difficult aspects in our life journey is finding and cultivating our Dharma. For some people, this happens early in life, and your able to align yourself early on. For others, we can spend our whole life searching for our life’s purpose. According to our Philosophy teacher, Sunil Sharma, the best way to cultivate Dharma is by internalizing our awareness. This means, turning our awareness from the external environment, inwards. Becoming more aware and sensitive to our being, which will lead to greater self-study. The more awareness, and self-study one creates, the more their true personality will unfold. You will start to see the beauty in yourself, which is unique, rather than comparing yourself to others, and following in someone else’s footsteps.

Following someone else, or attempting to be like anyone else is a very dangerous path. You will lose sight of who you are, delay or stop your own personal growth, and delay this life process of cultivating Dharma. We must take all our energy, internalize it, and focus on our own individuality, strengths, and what we enjoy…versus attempting to copy someone else. We must do what we can, at this particular stage in our life, and find the beauty in it. Make mistakes, and learn from them.

Unfortunately, today we are so poor experientially. We want everything handed to us, and do not want to experiment and fail, we just want the answers and thats it. This will not bring about growth and everlasting change. Yoga is a great way for us to practice experimentation. Every asana, every breath we take, we are experimenting. Every asana, practiced with full awareness, takes us deeper into the pose, and we continue to learn. This is the process we must go through, each time we experiment in life, we gain more and more experience. Each new experience, and awareness of what we have learned aligns us closer to our Sva Dharma.

Many times in life we run from negative consequences, instead of taking responsibility for our actions. We externalize our problems onto others, instead of looking for change within. We see making a mistake, as failure, versus a learning experience. Once we do see these challenges as learning experiences, we can increase our awareness and continue our personal growth. We must take accountability for our actions and learn from such experiences.

There is no running from our actions. Once this becomes clear, the journey becomes internal. We can become our friend, or our foe. We can learn to love ourselves more, or produce more self-hatred. Instead, we must turn our awareness inwards and take responsibility for our actions and reactions. Take all this scattered energy and center it internally. Once this happens, Sva Dharma will flower inside us. The problem, and the solution all lie within.