December 6, 2013

Have You Found Your Niche Yet?

What has your experience of 2013 been? Have you been able to discover more about yourself? Have you been able to do more things in your life that support your health and happiness? Are you happy or do you still feel like something is missing?

If you feel like something is missing, then “The Law of Dharma” might help you kick start 2014 in a more focused and inspired way. The word ‘dharma’ simply means ‘purpose in life’ in Sanskrit. It’s a fitting time of the year to be discussing purpose in life, as the end of a year nears and the new year looms. What purpose and passion do you want to take into 2014? 

Chopra writes “According to this law, you have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it. There is something that you can do better than anyone else in the whole world...” Do you know what unique talent you have to offer the world?

Don’t know what your deepest passions are? Think about what activities allow you to lose track of time and feel happiness and contentment? Don’t know what your purpose in life is? Ask yourself what you would do with your life if you had no limitations.

Your answers to these questions will show clearly who you are, what inspires and motivates you, and what things in life will bring you the greatest joy and success. It is these activities that not only come easily to you but also energise you. When you engage with your dharma you feel more alive, more joyful and more content.

Living your dharma is not just about doing the things you love. Using your unique talent to serve others is vital to “The Law of Dharma” says Chopra. “Everyone has a purpose in life...a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.”

How could you move into 2014 living more in line with your purpose in life and expressing your unique talents and helping others along the way? As I discussed in my article Loving Your Life, it is ideal to be in a career that that you know is your calling and which you find fulfilling, but sometimes this is not always feasible.

Sometimes you have to step outside of your ideal life and job to get by and to pay the bills. However, even if you are not working in your dream job, in order to be truly happy you have to be engaging with your deepest loves and talents in some way. For some they can do this through their hobbies, on weekends, or after work. 

If you neglect the activities that bring you happiness you do suffer for it. Often you don’t realise you are living a ‘half-life’ until you start to engage again in activities you love. You will then find yourself thinking “so this is living!” Living a ‘half-life,’ ignoring your unique talent and purpose in life impacts on your mental and physical health.

Psychological research has found people with a lack of meaning in their life suffer more from depression and suicidal thoughts. By understanding what your purpose in life is, you will be able to stay focused and positive even when life gets difficult. As Friedrich Nietzsche said “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

It can take some time and life experience to realise what your unique talents are and what your purpose in life is, but once you understand the core of who you are and begin to live accordingly you will begin to feel happier, more energised and more confident.

What Can You Do This Month To Uncover Your Purpose In Life?

    • Notice anything you do where you lose track of time and feel happy. Do more of those things.
    • Write a list of all the things you would love to do if you had no limitations. Does this list show you something about yourself?
    • If you could achieve anything in 2014 what would it be? What are three steps you can take in the new year to bring yourself closer to living your dream life?
    • Try making a dream board

Creating a Dream Board

One thing I love doing is creating a ‘dream board.’ The way I create a dream board is to start with a bank piece of cardboard and a variety of magazines. I then flip through the magazines and tear out images or words that resonate with me in some way. I don’t think about what I am tearing out, and I leave it till the end to look at what I have picked. I then stick the images and words to the cardboard.

What forms on your cardboard is a wonderful and true reflection of your life at present. Your fears, dreams, hopes, issues. Seeing your life clearly in this way can be very helpful in thinking about how to move forward in the future. You can hang your dream board up where you can see it or put it away to bring out later as a reflection tool.

Bring your dream board out 12 months later and reflect on where your life is at. Often you will find that many of your issues have been resolved and your dreams realised. Being aware of what you want in life and what is holding you back, and setting those intentions on paper is powerful. It’s a wonderful reminder to follow your dreams and to also trust the process of life.

This was the last in the series I have been doing on Deepak Chopra’s book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” I hope, like me, that you have found them challenging and inspiring.

I hope that 2013 has been kind to you and has provided you with opportunities to expand your knowledge of yourself and what makes you happy. Life doesn’t run smoothly all the time for anyone and you can find yourself in places you never expected.

With greater self awareness you will be able to weather those storms a little better, taking the lessons learned into your future. I hope that in 2014 you will be able to live just that little bit better, with more happiness, peace and contentment.

Xxx Jessica Stead xxx


December 2, 2013

Yoga For Life: Discovering Hope and Healing

Out this week, Australian Yoga Life's latest edition, featuring my article "Yoga For Life: Discovering Hope and Healing." In this article I speak with three amazing women who have found life-changing improvements to their physical and mental wellbeing through yoga. Grab a copy at your local newsagents from December 5th or from Australian Yoga Life. Happy reading.

xxx Jessica Stead xxx