The four types of dharma
There isn’t a perfect path to finding and living our dharma or soul’s purpose. Dharma is to be the fullest expression of who you are. Chances are that your journey to this very moment may be a combination of multiple experiences that have pointed you in the direction of your dharma. Oftentimes we may even have been on our path to our purpose without even realizing it. This blog is intended to define the four types of dharma and to provide you with powerful questions so you can discover how you express your dharma in four steps. I invite you to grab your journal, find a quiet spot then reflect and journal when prompted. Ready? Here we go….
Step 1: Take a few moments and recall a time in your life when you completed a task or project with effortless ease. Whatever you were doing just felt right, you had a burst of energy and motivation while completing it, while others may have struggled.
This brings us to the first type of dharma: The natural-born gift.
The natural-born gift, whether you use it every day or not, is a talent or skill that comes easily to you without even having to think about it. And, even though you’re naturally gifted you must still work on developing it then you share it with others. Some examples include:
- Voice, musical ability
- Athletic, dance, movement ability
- Charisma, communication
- Attention to detail, focus
- Listening, relating, conversing
- Hosting, organizing
Still unsure what your natural-born gift is? It’s okay, most people I coach have difficulty acknowledging or owning their natural talents. I invite you to dive into these journal prompts:
- What have you realized comes easily to you that doesn’t others?
- What are your natural-born gifts?
- What were you good at as a kid?
- What do people compliment you on?
- What comes second nature to you?
Step 2: Now take a moment to recall a time in your life when an event or situation brought you to your knees, you picked yourself up, figured out how to overcome that situation and people are now asking you what your secret is/was.
This is an example of the second type of dharma: The Breakdown and Breakthrough Dharma. You have a breakdown that results in a breakthrough, and this is when you discover your dharma after a difficult time in your life. The key lessons in these difficult moments have given your life meaning and allowed you to help yourself and others heal.
Sahara Rose, co-founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute says “Your pain becomes your purpose, and your mess becomes your message”. Examples of this type of dharma include:
- Mental health challenges (anxiety, depression, loneliness, grief, hopelessness, etc.)
- Physical health challenges
- Identity crisis live a divorce/break-up or an empty nest
- Tragic loss, trauma
- Job loss
- Or any other “on your knees” moment
Step 2 journal prompts:
- Have you ever hit rock bottom, had a tragedy, or a time you didn’t know how you could move forward? What was it like for you?
- How did you overcome it?
- What lessons did you learn along the way?
- How could you use the lessons you’ve learned to serve others?
- Are there other people going through similar challenges?
- How can you support them?
Step 3: Recall a time in your life when you were faced with a challenge that you found a solution for. Those kinds of solutions where you had a need and solved it, are the third type of dharma.
There you are, you’ve overcome obstacles or a big challenge and now you are helping others do the same. You understand that there is no obstacle too big or too small that cannot be overcome. Examples:
- A specific product you wish existed
- Wishing you had a certain type of community/support
- Struggling with social anxiety
- Moving around often as a child and needing to make new friends
- Needing a natural remedy
- Feeling disconnected fromto your body
Lastly, have you ever solved an issue for a family member or friend around you that would be a benefit to others? Has there been someone in your life that had an obstacle that they overcome that you felt compelled to find a solution for? Maybe someone close had fallen ill and was suffering, so now you help others deal with the same. You don’t have to personally have gone through the issue to want to be part of the solution.
This is the fourth type of dharma: People around you needed something, and you found a solution to help others overcome obstacles.
- Parents having an illness or challenge
- Helping friends with their health journey
- Supporting people around you with mental health
- Issue in your community
- Environment, human rights, activism
Step 3 journal prompts:
- What are some obstacles you’ve had in your life that you’ve overcome?
- What is a need you have right now for a product/solution/service?
- What is your approach to overcoming this obstacle?
- How can others benefit from this approach?
- What ideas do you have for solving a common problem?
- If you were on Shark Tank, what would your idea be?
- How do you believe your privileges have put you in a position to be of service to others?
- What obstacle are you passionate about solving?
- What topic are you interested in learning more about?
- What are you called to study?
- What are you curious about?
For me, my auto-immune/stress-relatedstress related illness helped me learn how to manage my energy better and woke me up to the fact that I was out of alignment with my values and purpose. After I resigned from my corporate job, my auto-immune symptoms went away within three weeks. If you are curious about what your energy management score is or how you can manage your stress better take my Energy Management Quiz. Or, if you are curious about learning more about your dharma type, please send me a message and let’s connect!