“I need a plan”

“I’m feeling flat and a bit aimless. The spark went out of my life after the breakup of my relationship a few years back. I feel displaced because I am not happy living in a big city any more. And I am ready for a job move. I want to live in the country but have recently met someone compatible and attractive. Problem is, he is tied down to the city. In short, I feel stuck. What do you think?”

Gina is a successful 40-something HR professional who took a year off to travel and “find herself.” She told me, “I hiked the Santa Cruz trek in Peru as well as Machu Picchu and visited other South American countries. It was life changing. I reconnected with what’s important to me. But now that I am back, and ready for a fresh start, I am finding it hard to fit my new ideals into a workable life plan.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Well, my direction and focus may have changed, but my standards haven’t. I’ve always had big expectations. I want to live in the country by the sea, but I also want to advance my career. And while I feel good about my new relationship, I am worried about getting hurt again, which brings up trust issues. In a nutshell, I want it all, as soon as I can get it.”

“Let’s have a look at your Vedic chart to see if it gives us an idea of what’s going,” I said. “At least it will identify the themes at work in your life now and suggest ways you can make the most of it.”

The chart showed that Gina was in a Saturn period, themed by the Dharma principle of Effort. This suggested her need to simplify, focus and prioritise.

“This means accepting life’s limitations and compromising in order to gradually achieve what you want. It will take patience. Saturn cycles slow things down. However, harmonising with a slow growth cycle has its advantages. It takes the pressure off for finding immediate answers, which allows greater freedom to express your passion. It helps you live in the moment and be attentive to the ‘signals’ in your life and this helps you make better choices – because you are seeing things the way things are, not the way you think they ought to be.”

The look on her face said it all. “I knew you were going to say something like that!”

“OK, so we agree on the big principles. Let’s create a framework that helps you prioritise the different parts of your life and identify where you might need to compromise to move things along.”

We met a few times to create her framework using the Dharma principles. We discussed what was most important to her and how she defined her meaningful purpose in life (her Truth principle). Using a reference list of values, I asked her to identify what values described her best (her Purity principle). We talked about what she wanted from a relationship (her Respect principle). And we discussed her career expectations and what she felt passionate about (her Effort principle).

Once we had the framework, we imagined different possibilities. We looked at the ideal outcome and decided it was possible but unlikely. We then considered less optimal more doable scenarios that she could improve on over time. Using the framework, we looked at the compromises she might need to make to get things going, and whether she was comfortable making them. We agreed to keep in touch and monitor her progress. We recently met after she had made some important choices. I asked her how things had played out in the year since we last met.

“The Dharma principles helped me focus on what mattered most. They kept me on track when I got confused or drifted. The headlines are that I made self-reliance my top priority which helped me decide on a new job I am happy with. It also gave me greater confidence to invest in my relationship. As for living in the city, I’ve moved, not to the croft house in Scotland I previously imagined, but to the green belt outside of the city. It gives me a manageable commute to work, to my partner and easy access to nature.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Two things. First, that the Dharma principles grounded me and gave me a structure for organising my thoughts and connecting with my feelings. So, that was a big deal.”

“Secondly, I still use it. And I recommend it to others, especially when they are having to manage change in their life.”



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