And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom – Anais Nin
How would you like to live, feel and be for 2016? We all deserve to experience life in a deep, conscious, ever evolving way that leaves no part of us behind. We deserve to thrive, to feel good, be inspired and live with love, intention and meaning.
But to flourish and expand out into the world we need a strong, balanced foundation. The tallest most towering and expansive trees always have the deepest roots. To grow tall we must first dig deep. We need balance and composure – a healthy, even base upon which we can establish our own rich and beautiful experience of life. If 2015 was a chaotic year for you, why not let 2016 be one of balance and beautiful, organic efflorescence? In this blog we’ll show you how with some advice taken from the ancient yogis!
Thousands of years ago, ancient sages developed the purusharthas – 4 pillars for establishing a balanced and fulfilling life. This blog teaches you how to use them for a truly amazing 2016! But first, some reflection…
|Take a few slow, deep breaths. Settle into your body and wait for a sense of quiet to descend. Consider the questions below; take as much or as little time as you like. How was 2015 for you? Think back over the past 12 months and see what comes up for you – the highs and lows, ups and downs, major and minor events. Do any key words or qualities come up? If so write them down – whatever comes to mind is fine, be as uncensored as possible – let all your thoughts about 2015 spill out onto the page.|
Once you’ve finished take a few breaths and read back over what you have written. Was it a big year for you? Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for making it through 2015 – regardless of whether it was incredible or not!
Whether we consider events ‘good’ or ‘bad’ they all contribute to the richness of our life experience. Everything we experience enables us to evolve, to learn and grow and gain more compassion and awareness.
Can you look at any of what has happened this year with a little acceptance or perhaps even love? Can you feel gratitude for the richness that was 2015?
Now take a few more slow, clearing breaths and consider 2016.
This year, let’s steer clear of aiming for specific goals and achievements and instead focus on how we can establish balance. Let’s use the next 12 months to focus on the areas in our life that need nourishment. This is where the purusharthas can help! This concept divides life into 4 sections – kama (pleasure), dharma (duty & responsibilities), artha (prosperity) and moksha (freedom). We’ll take a look at each one in closer detail to get clear on where we may be placing too much, or too little, attention.
Kama ~ Pleasure
Kama is all about the pleasure in our life – the beauty, art, intimacy, smiles, delight, love, friendships and family. Kama is about what brings you joy and how you bring joy to the world. Unfortunately, kama can get a bit of bad press. Many people feel guilty about experiencing joy or actively put it off in favour of endless to-do lists and responsibilities. Or they can go the other way and shirk responsibility to pursue fleeting or frivolous pleasures. It’s important to remember that it is attachment to pleasure, not the pleasure itself that can create problems. When pleasure is in balance it brings much needed lightness and adds to the richness of our lives.
- As it stands right now are you enjoying your life?
- Are you happy?
- What brings you pleasure?
- What things do you enjoy doing just for the sheer joy of doing them? And how often do you make time to do the things you love?
- Do you feel content and nourished?
- Does what you do for pleasure resonate with you?
- Does it leave you feeling fulfilled and alive or empty and depleted?
- You might also consider whether you are focusing too much on chasing pleasure and joy to the point of neglecting other parts of your life?
- Are you having a good time but allowing other parts of your life to suffer?
After considering these questions, formulate a summary statement that captures the role pleasure plays in your life at the moment. For instance, “This year I have focused too much on earning money and have forgotten to stop and enjoy the simple things”.
If you’re not making enough time for pleasure, try scheduling in some time each day or week that is purely for fun and enjoyment. Practice saying yes to the occasional spontaneous outing or event. Enjoy the simple things.
Essential oils to enhance and evoke kama…
Dharma ~ Duty
Dharma translates to duty, ethics, truth, responsibility and your purpose. It is a relative concept that functions on a few different levels. On one level, it’s about being true to yourself and your unique purpose or calling. It’s about showing up for life and having the strength and drive to get up each day and do what needs to be done to work toward your life’s purpose.
Dharma is also about owning your decisions and fulfilling your responsibilities. When we’re working with the element of dharma regardless of what we’re doing, we do it to the best of our ability – no excuses.
Dharma is truth and morality. It’s establishing and being true to your own code of morals, values and ethics. It’s doing right by yourself and by those around you.
- Are there any dreams or ideas that consistently niggle away at you? If so, are you actively working toward them?
- Are they appropriately prioritised in your life?
- What about your responsibilities – are you fulfilling the commitments you make?
- Are you living your truth?
- What do you value?
- Are those values evident in the way you live your life?
After you’ve reflected on dharma write a short statement that sums up how balanced or imbalanced dharma is in your life – how are you or aren’t you ensuring the health of this pillar of life?
Essential oils to enhance and evoke dharma…
Artha ~ Prosperity
Artha is wealth, abundance and the material comfort required to live the way you desire. As with pleasure, money is something that can evoke strong emotions from people. Some are obsessed with it; some vilify it as “the root of all evil”. But it’s important to remember that it isn’t money that causes problems, but our relationship to it.
It is ok to experience abundance – nature itself is a reflection of wealth and beauty. Sometimes money is needed to fulfil the other pillars of our lives and there is nothing wrong with that – nor is there anything wrong with not having or wanting money.
- Are you happy with your financial situation?
- How do you feel about money?
- Are you spending and saving responsibility?
- Are there any negative beliefs you have surrounding money and your ability to receive?
- Over the past 12 months have you neglected or over emphasised the financial side of your life or has it been balanced?
Write your summary statement down for artha after some contemplation.
Essential oils to enhance and evoke artha…
Moksha ~ Freedom
Moksha is freedom, liberation. It’s the ability to move through life unruffled, unattached and in a way that is uniquely your own. It’s having the freedom to be true to yourself and to live your life as fully, freely and in the most elevated way possible. Moksha is also about examining your beliefs. Are they serving you? Are they even true? Even if they are, can you soften around them so that they are not tainting your perceptions or dictating your experience of yourself or your life?
Try thinking over the following questions in relation to the past 12 months.
- What do you bind yourself too? Any kind of attachment, whether it serves us or not, is still and attachment and can still block us from being open and receptive to the natural flow of life.
- Do you feel free? If not, why not? Write it down.
- Consider what activities or perceptions you’ve been engaging in this year that have left you feeling unfulfilled. Can you let go of them?
- What practices could help you release any unhelpful thought patterns or behaviours? Yoga, meditation?
Write your summary statement of moksha.
Essential oils to enhance and evoke moksha…
Now look back over each pillar and your summary statements. Is there one area in particular that is crying out for balance and attention? Perhaps you’re working so hard your life feels like a constant grind – too much dharma and not enough kama. Or maybe you’re so fixated on earning money that you’ve been neglecting your spiritual and emotional needs – too much artha not enough moksha.
We usually instinctively know which area of our life is lacking balance. Try setting a heartfelt intention for restoring balance to your undernourished area and use it as your focus for this coming year. We want our statement to be written positively and in the present tense. For instance if you have been struggling financially maybe try a statement like ‘I have a beautiful relationship with money, I spend and save it wisely and am open and receptive to abundance,’ or simply ‘I am grateful for all the abundance in my life’. Keep it strong & simple and ensure that when you say it it resonates with you.
|Many ancient traditions venerated the idea of intentions. Paramahansa Yogananada once said – ‘if you cling to a certain thought with dynamic willpower, it finally assumes a tangible outward form’ and Buddha claimed ‘The mind is everything. What you think you become.” They considered the mind to be the architect of our lives – something neuroscience is starting to evidence. When you have resolve and commit deeply, you have the power to create lasting and meaningful change in your life! Why not start now in 2016 by using intentions and will to create a balanced life from which you can flourish?!|