5 Ways to Transform Your Career Into A Gateway To Realization
Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I Really attain inner freedom while being involved with the ‘conventional’ world?”
You’re not alone. Every spiritual seeker since the dawn of time has had to confront this apparent dilemma, and the wisdom of the ages is here to guide us out of this labyrinth.
Many of us complete A yoga Retreat Or teacher training fully inspired by the philosophy, ready to progress towards spiritual awakening, but Are afraid and confused about how it will fit into our careers and lives back at home.
We may have meaningful work that we feel excited to return to, but perhaps it seems worlds apart from yogic principals and that our co-workers, friends or family may not resonate with this path. You may worry about slipping back into negative patterns of thinking or going back to stressful and unbalanced schedules. You may even wonder if the only way to stay on track is to renounce the world and dedicate all your time to your yoga practices.
Balancing KArma and Dharma
Let me cut to the chase. Please do not stop your important work. Keep offering your unique talents and skills. In fact, expressing ourselves in the external world is essential for spiritual awakening at the onset of the path according to the great Yogis and Sages.
When inner detachments are not mature and one attempts to retreat from the world before he or she is ready, suppressed inner desires can easily overcome and derail well-intentioned attempts. An aspirant must exhaust and express his or her ambitions so that they do not lie dormant in the mind and become a barrier to progressing on the spiritual path. Listen to your heart and continue to do the work the world needs from you. The key to success is to cultivate a healthy relationship to your work and to be wise about how you perform these duties.
Here are a few guiding principals to help you balance your work in the world (karma) in such a way that it aligns with your heart’s true calling (dharma).
Develop an Attitude of Service
Start by cultivating a sincere attitude to serve the highest welfare of all living beings. In this way, your work becomes an extension of your spiritual practices. When we act in the world from a place of surrender, totally ego-free, and without a personal agenda we can serve the highest good. Whatever your work may be, cultivate the feeling of selflessness, perform not for yourself but for the benefit of others.
See Your Work as An Opportunity to Purify the mind
Use every interaction you have with co-workers, every experience as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Become a self-scientist. Look for patterns in your thoughts and emotions. When do you find yourself having strong reactions? What emotions are you feeling? What attachments and expectations give rise to these experiences? Once you have recognized and labeled your emotion, see if you can sit with it, allow the pain to be there, and then let it naturally pass. Through this process, your work experiences become opportunities to purify the mind, to release your attachments and unconscious habits, bringing you closer to freedom.
Cultivate detachment from successes
One of the main themes in the Bhagavad Gita is the idea that we must not renounce action, we must only renounce the fruits of our action. Learn to detach your identity from the successes and failures in your job. Work with the feeling that you are an instrument of the universe without any desires for outcomes to be a certain way. Free yourself from the rollercoaster of inevitable ups and downs in your work life. Remain at peace when facing whatever merits or challenges come your way.
Read Sacred Texts
If you are one of the lucky few who live near your teachers or in a community of evolving individuals, keep company with them to nourish your spiritual development. For the rest of us, get your inspiration from books by great souls. Read the teachings of saints and sages and study holy scriptures. Receive regular guidance and wisdom from those who have treaded the path to keep the fire of aspiration alive.
Commit to a Daily Practice
Finally we must maintain a consistent and disciplined personal spiritual practice. For a beginner, start with a 10 minute practice daily, either in the morning or at night. Absolute regularity is paramount. Choose one practice that you know you can stick to (i.e. meditation, mantra, pranayama, asana) and do it daily at any cost. Focus your efforts on maintaining continuity and regularity. The length of your practice will automatically increase over time.
To enjoy eternal bliss, all that is necessary is already within you; you need not change your vocation or status in life. Continue to do your work with an attitude of compassion and service. Use challenging experiences as a means of understanding your psyche and purifying your attachments. Act in the moment and release your desires towards their outcomes. Read sacred texts for inspiration and community. Ground yourself in a firm foundation of daily spiritual practice. When we embody compassion, unconditional love, and truth, we spread yoga in all that we do.