What is your dharma? Your one true calling?


' To be born is to be chosen. No one is here by accident. Each one of us was sent here for a special destiny'  (John O'Donohue) 

I've recently discovered an incredible book called, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope. I've read it twice now, marked it up with about 100 dogeared pages, underlines and margin-notes galore and I highly recommend it to all my clients, friends, and family members. 

In it, the central question posed is, 'what is your dharma?" Or, "what is your one true purpose?" The argument here is that each and every one of us has a true calling. One true calling, that is. And the mission, point, and duty of your life is to find and pursue the hell out of it. 

It's not described as some sort of sweet nights-and-weekends-only kind of hobby. It is your destiny. As Cope weaves in words from the Bhagavad Gita, Thoreau, Frost, and - one of my personal favorites - the Gospel of Thomas, one starts to realize this whole 'dharma' thing isn't something to be taken lightly:

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.  If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." -- Gospel of Thomas

Um...what? Destroy me? Whaaaaat? Yes. These and other words included in the book shake you out of the sleepy habits of your life to ask yourself, what AM I actually here for? What is my song to sing? And what will happen to me if I DON'T pursue this calling? 

I'm not suggesting finding or pursing your dharma is easy.  And this true calling may not even be something you're drawn to, or something you initially want to do. That's the challenge and the real game here. Your dharma is, however, something that is undeniably almost anciently familiar when you find it. 

Something shifts into place (sometimes quite suddenly) when you're in pursuit of your dharma; things start to align as if to say - Yes! You're on track! You get that feeling of being in the 'zone,' and you feel captivated, energized and supported by some energy far greater than your own. 

So, if you've made it this far and you're wondering - what in the world is my dharma. Don't fret. There are many ways to begin uncovering it - and just being aware that it exists uniquely for you (yes YOU) is the first step.  A few ideas to help:

Whatever you choose to do, don't choose to sleepwalk through your life when your one true purpose - your dharma - is out there just waiting for you to find it. It can save you or destroy you. The choice is yours.