Look to Your Dharma

Karen in ChicagoHenry David Thoreau used the word dharma in his writing. Below are some of my favorite Thoreau quotes that have been a message to me to be true to myself.

“Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
― Henry David Thoreau

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”
― Henry David Thoreau

I recommend you explore the book The Great Work of Your Life and find the song inside you!  I was inspired by this book from beginning to end. It is like an owner’s manual for your soul.

The Gifts of Imperfection Book Study – PART 3 – Got Joy?

SUNFLOWERThe book study is taking me into the frontier of joy! Here is a quote directly from page 79 of the book The Gifts of Imperfection.

“Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness. Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.”

-Adela Rogers St.Johns

Are happiness and joy the same thing?  Brene Brown tells us that the research has taught her that happiness and joy are different experiences. I love how she explains that happiness is a human emotion that is connected to circumstances in our life and joy is a spiritual way of engaging with the world that is connected to the practice of gratitude. Ah yes, the practice of gratitude.

I consider gratitude and joy spiritual practices. These are calls to action. It is not enough to just know about joy and gratitude.  My gratitude practice involves noticing nature and simple saying THANK YOU. This sunflower was growing right where I had boot camp today and I really noticed its magnificence and started being grateful for the majesty of nature. Then I found myself getting caught up in the miracle of life itself and started feeling very, very grateful. It is an out of body experience for me where I experience my spiritual essence so much bigger than my physical body. It is like my body feels like a cup of ocean water and my spiritual essence feels like the limitless ocean itself. It felt very expansive and very connected.

What is your gratitude practice?

The Gifts of Imperfection – Book Study – PART 2 – Worthiness

1365Worthiness is an interesting thing. I believe that we are all amazing human beings having a human experience and each and every one of us has equal worthiness to be loved, to be successful, to be cherished and to belong. I am confused where the decision came that some of us are more worthy than others. I looked up the definition of “Worthy” in the dictionary to glean some answers and it says – worth = the value of something measured by its qualities. Then I looked up “qualities” and its said essential character.

So being worthy is about our character. Now that I can understand! To be worthy of this gift of being alive is to live our authentic gifts and talents with great character values of honesty, trust, patience, resilience, compassion, understanding, empathy….and I could go on and on. Mother Theresa is someone that comes to my mind when I think about great character traits.

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “love is the all that matters”. In fact love and belonging are essential to the human experience.  I love in Brene’s book, The gifts of Imperfection , she begins the chapter on love with  the one things that separates people who feel a deep sense of love and people who struggle for it. That one thing is the belief in their worthiness. She tells us that when we can let go of what other people think, and our own “story”, we gain access to our worthiness.

The key to worthiness, says Brene, is to let go of who we think we are “supposed” to be. Worthiness has no prerequisites.