“How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life – our capacity to succeed in relationships, healing, intuitive skills and business. Self-understanding and acceptance, the bond we form with ourselves, is in many ways the most crucial spiritual challenge we face. In truth, if we do not like ourselves, we will be incapable of making healthy decisions. Instead, we will direct all of our personal power for decision-making into the hands of someone else: someone whom we want to impress, or someone before whom we think we must weaken ourselves to gain physical security.” ~ Caroline Myss (thanks to Vivette Jeffries-Logan for sharing this on Facebook today and inspiring this theme).
“It is better to die doing your svadharma [life’s work] imperfectly, than to live forever doing someone else’s perfectly.” –The Bhagavad Gita
It sounds intense, right: must you die in the process of doing your work? But think about the bigger picture behind the message: your invitation in this life is to be your best self, to create the fullest expression of your pose on the mat—and the fullest expression of your life in the world. This also means letting others do the same for themselves as well.
The message is ultimately freeing. It frees you from the confines of other people’s definitions of success, of other people’s expectations of how you should live your life. It also frees you from spending your time and energy attempting to “help” others in the ways you think they need.
While you might not consciously be living your life by someone else’s rules, you may ask yourself if you are consciously living by your own. Whose dreams are you working to create? Whose healing are you trying to facilitate? Whose freedom are you working towards? In whom are you investing the potent energy of your life? If you are not at the center of your work, then who is?
Finding and pursuing your svadharma—your unique life’s work, that path which the Universe created you to traverse—is the most liberating practice there is. It is listening to the song of your heart—composed by the Universe and infused into you—and letting that song inspire you to live your life to the fullest.
This is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world: to know yourself deeply and honor yourself fully enough to embody your heart’s song, which is the will of the Universe. By honoring your deepest desires you are contributing to more freedom, fullness, and beauty in the world.
You are, after all, the only one who can do it—the only one who can offer the fullest expression of your heart’s desire to the world. And when you honor yourself by following your path and not someone else’s, you give the rest of the world the space and freedom to do so as well.