Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Law of Dharma

The Law of Dharma: Everyone has a purpose in life . . . a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.
~The Chopra Center Spiritual Law of the Day

Now that my body feels awesome, I thought it was time to focus on some personal goals. To get started, I signed up for The Chopra Center's 21 Day Meditation and really enjoyed that. I liked the questions we asked each day: Who Am I? What Do I Want? What is my Dharma? As I asked the questions of myself I began to feel that there are a few things in my life that have served others and myself that no longer nourish me. I get the feeling that it is time to move on to new things. What those new things are, I don't know yet, but I trust that I will when the time is right.

One thing that still works for me is teaching. It is something that feels right to me. School was always a struggle for me. I did okay, but it didn't come easy. The struggle I experienced as a student myself has given me my strength as a teacher, I believe. As my students struggle to learn new things themselves, I can easily relate to why they are struggling and I get excited as I challenge myself to come up with a variety of ideas to teach a concept. I often get feedback from students that I am "patient" and I "show lots of different ways to learn". I think that comes from struggling to learn myself.

Deepak Chopra often talks about finding our Dharma. How can we serve others? When I go to work, I love it! (I don't always like driving or leaving my family though) I think the reason I love it is because while serving others with my own individual gift, I am also serving myself.

Last night I met with two of my past students who have now graduated from the ESL program. For the last year we have tried to meet at least once a month for dinner and also talk through email and Facebook. They are good friends.

Kanya shared that besides working on her GED, she is working 60 hours a week, caring for her family, and started guitar lessons. Salvador brought a pretest he took in his "for credit" English class. He was disappointed with his 60% and wanted me to explain each of his incorrect answers because he is determined not to make the same mistakes. After we talked for a while, I pointed out to him that he is in a class with first language English speakers doing just as well as they are. Few people did any better than him on the test.

As I listened to the exciting things happening in their lives, I realized that although both of these amazing people are being led by their own determination, I played a very small part in their success. However small my part was or is, it feeds my spirit.


When Salvador arrived he commented that I look "younger". Kanya agreed. They started asking me what created the change. I told them that my diet has been very clean and that I started on medications. Salvador said, "Real drugs?" They both know the struggle I have gone through the last few years. I said, "Yes, I am back on drugs. What you see as looking 'younger' is you seeing me without pain for the first time."

I giggle at this picture because before we left I told them if I looked so "young" I needed to capture it in a photo. I tried taking it with my iPhone, but we couldn't see if we were all in the photo. I was laughing so hard because I was the only one ending up in the picture and they were teasing me. Finally, I looked around and saw a young woman who was cracking up at us trying to take the picture. Thankfully she came over and took it for us.