I had just finished writing my second book and was polishing the first half as much as possible so my husband could read it (and love it) while I was away and then give me his unending adoration for writing such a beautifully articulated story.
I left. I saw my family. I came home again.
But my husband did not completely love the first half of my book.
He enjoyed it, but had a few constructive critiques for me. They were good critiques - really good, and only a few. But all I could hear, deep inside, drumming like a mantra was;
I knew I wasn’t good enough. And I was right.
I didn’t touch my book again for an entire year.
So, I found yoga. I practiced nearly every day for over a year. I found buried hurts and opened my heart and fell head-over-heels in love with it. I started meditating again and listened deep down to my inner voice.
And then I took it another step further and began researching the ancient 4,000-year-old philosophy behind yoga, called Vedanta. With everything I learned, something deep inside me screamed, “YES.” The principles were everything I already believed my entire life to be true, but had no idea they actually belonged to anything. Just a gut feeling. An inner knowing.
That’s when I learned about Swadharma. It was a silent AHA! moment in the middle of a café, and it saved me -
Your Swadharma is your own, natural, innate truth. It is your unique role in life according to your natural-born skills and talent. It is why you are here. And it is your duty to find it and live in accordance to it.
The more we know about nature, the more we realize everything is as it is on PURPOSE. Its beauty and its purpose are deeply intertwined, and make this world the incredibly varied, unique and beautiful place that it is. The flowers, for example, are shaped and colored in a specific way to attract a very specific animal to pollinate. Everything in nature is here to fulfill a certain purpose.
And so are you.
So, how do you know when you’ve found your Swadharma?
Your Swadharma is that thing in your life — maybe a hobby or an interest, something you feel pulled to — that you feel completely at peace and contentment when doing. It is spontaneous, it comes naturally — unasked and unsought. It is the most natural way of being YOU.
And it is DIVINELY inspired.
Is there something in your heart of hearts that you feel a pull to? That pull is there for a reason. And there is a reason it won’t go away.
Does that mean following our Swadharma will make us rich and famous? Maybe. For some. But not for most. It doesn’t mean you’ll make stacks of cash and the world will bow at your feet — but it does mean you’ll be HAPPY. You’ll spend the rest of your life doing the thing your bones cry out for. You’ll have an inner peace when doing it. It will come as natural as breathing. And that, my friends, will make you the richest person in the world.
It is your divine right and your duty to be YOU.
One of the podcasts I listened to was lead by the minister of the Vedanta Society of California, named Swami Tattwayamananda (say that three times fast). He says regarding your Swadharma, “If you say, ‘I do not want to do that. I will do something else—it will follow you. You cannot escape your Swadharma. You will always feel restless.’”
I know this feeling all too well.
I’ve been writing for over twenty-five years, mostly consisting of private journals up until about ten years ago. When I started making my writing public, a whole new sense of grief fell upon me. The insecurity and fear that wrapped tightly around my writing was at times crippling. Every time I posted a blog, my finger would hover over the “publish” button, just trembling. My pounding heart almost deafening. A surge of adrenaline would cause my face to go crimson.
Because deep down, I was convinced I wasn’t good enough. And by hitting “publish” – the whole world would see.
But I loved writing, more than anything.
When I learned about Swadharma, there was an almost instantaneous shift. I realized,
This is who I am. And I am this way on PURPOSE.
And for the first time in my life, I gave myself permission to be ME.
I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote,
I feel like I have been unleashed.
Everything I’ve learned so far has been…
It’s everything I already know to be true.
Makes perfect sense.
So, now that I finally understand Swadharma, I feel like I have been set free.
Something has truly just happened.”
I opened my computer again.
I found my novel.
And I have set a publishing date for the end of 2020.
My issue has always been trust. I have never trusted or accepted myself. Always looking for validation from my peers that I never got from my mother. Always a tap dance number for approval, and it has never been enough. Never enough. Because approval… acceptance … must come from within.
But now. It all seems so simple now.
I am here, for a reason.
And so are you.
Be YOU with all you are. You are a gift to this world.
Just be YOU.
I feel nothing but peace.
It is a sunny Sunday afternoon as I write this. My windows are open and an assortment of birds are flooding the sky with the grace of their song.
Not a single one of them is concerned with how they sound.
They are just happy to sing.