You hear people talk about Karma more and more now days. They use this word to describe something good or bad that happened to them or to someone else. Often you can even hear this word to describe the behavior or action taken by a person and/or to predict the future consequences this person may receive based upon a particular action.
Karma is a word that has many meanings but is often translated as action, cause and effect, but karma is neither good nor bad. It is neutral energy that gets activated by the emotions, thoughts and actions we take. These actions then lead into a reaction that in turn creates more actions and the cycle continues.
If you are a yoga practitioner you probably heard of Karma Yoga,” The Selfless Service”. Many, when they hear this, immediately think of Mother Teresa or Gandhi just to mention a few names. It is true that these people were amazing and what they have done is truly remarkable and many of us may not be able to follow their foot steps.
I was really relieved when I read a book that described Karma Yoga in a way I could apply in my life. I do not need to renounce my family, my job, my material possessions to make a difference. I read that while we may choose to believe that the actions of others have the greatest effect on us, but it is our own deeds that have the most profound influence in our lives. WOW!
Karma yoga is about doing our best and not expecting a reward, praise or blame. It is doing something for the sake of doing it with devotion and as an offer to the Divine. We may continue to do the same job, activities or service we were doing before but now we are doing it without any expectations.
You may ask: What about my job? I have a family, bills to pay and I cannot just do charity work, I cannot just not get paid or work for free? I hear you and this is a quote I found that helped me so much ” Choose a job that you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” ~ Confucius. So in other words, whatever you do for a living let it be aligned with your spiritual path or beliefs so it is easier to see it as a service instead of a job. You will get up every day happy and ready to share what you love with others.
Now the best part about karma yoga is that starts with YOU! I never saw it this way and I was very excited to read about it from that perspective. It is so easy for us with our busy lives to take care of everything else before taking time for ourselves. We get so consumed by the business of our lives that we don’t slow down unless we are sick. I was reminded that when we feel nurtured we nurtured others. When we are depleted, we are unable to nurture others.
Karma Yoga, for yourself, can be as simple as taking 5 minutes to breathe, meditate, or go for a walk, etc. It is about taking the time to listen to your own needs so you can re-energize you mind, body and connect with your higher self. Take the time to see what nurtures you so you can continue to give and nurture others. ”When you remember to serve yourself first, the service of others flows forth” Nishala Joy Devi
This has helped me tremendously and I hope it does the same for you. Hopefully you can begin to live your karma yoga and inspire others to do the same.
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