This week we are studying the four basic paths for having a virtuous life. To be clear, in the yogic concept, all four paths should be followed, though one may be an area of particular concern, interest, or otherwise be a main focus for you at this time. Of course, throughout our lives, which area is a main focus will naturally change. However, to have a stable life in which a person is able to give of themselves what they can, and also to gain a sense of purpose, each of these areas should be cared for and developed appropriately.
The first of these areas is called dharma. Dharma can be literally translated as righteousness. Of course this means caring for the spiritual practice which you follow in the best way you know how. It can also mean living rightly, refraining from harming oneself or others, and generally following the path that is true to your nature. Doing good deeds, practicing selflessness, and generally being helpful to others is a good guideline. If you need to go to school in order to offer your skills as a kind person through work as a social worker or doctor, then going to school would be a part of following your dharma, as well.
Today, you may want to take some time to think of ways that you may be able to honor your nature in a way that is supportive to others. It could be that you are a painter and would be able to donate some of your work to a local hospital for the waiting room outside surgery. Perhaps you sing, and could offer your skills at a nursing home. Maybe you are a great cook, and could offer to head up a food-based fundraiser for the local kids softball team or fire department. Maybe you are just good at lending a hand and can contact the local Red Cross and see what they need. How can you offer some service? You don’t need to promise 20 hours a week somewhere to be helpful. Sometimes all it takes is one day a week for a couple of hours. And maybe just asking around, you could find something that would be enjoyable.
By the way, if you have no idea what types of skills and talents may be of worth, sharing your time is a great way to find out!
After you have thought of what you may be able to offer your community in the way of time, talent, and effort, see if you can go ahead and take the first step. Make a phone call, or show up to ask questions, and try to sign up for something. Remember that it is okay to say you only have a couple of hours a month. Just remember that using your talents to be of support to others has rewards you may not have considered. What you do can be a joy, to yourself and others.
This service contributes to a sense of purpose, a feeling of belonging, and a deeper connection to the heartbeat of our town. When you allow your life to weave into the life of your town, a new type of connection occurs, and this can be truly satisfying.
Yoga Pose of the Day: Boat Pose: Navasana
Yogic Concept of the Day: How can I be of service using my talents?