Out of the ashes

I received a phone call last week from Natalie on the sixth anniversary of our first coaching session. Back then Natalie was confused, depressed, stressed and hopeless. She was a single mum of two boys, a three-year-old and a sixth-month old. She had plenty of challenges, including being stuck in a low paid “dead-end job.” She was surrounded by negative, critical “friends” who leaned on her emotionally and financially.

“They know how to take, but not how to give,” she said at the time. Being a soft-hearted person, Natalie was an easy target for the abuses that came her way. That was until one day, a friend stole money she had saved for her son’s third birthday party. Her mum suggested she talk with me and sponsored a consultation to talk about her Vedic chart. We first met at a local vegan coffee shop.

“Nothing goes my way,” she said. “I work hard, I care for my kids, somehow I make ends meet – just barely. I do my best, but I am surrounded by negativity. I try to avoid it, but it seems to follow me. I want a better life. If not for me, then for my kids. One of my mum’s friends said you can help me.”

“I might be able to help, but you will have to think carefully about what I am going to tell you. You’ll need an open mind and the courage to make changes in your life.”

“I’m ready to give it a try. Nothing else is working. I am desperate and feel like I am living in an ash heap.”

“OK. Let’s start by looking at your chart. I’ll then suggest new ways of thinking that can help you get to a better place,” I said. “You are good-hearted, intelligent, hardworking and of good character. Life has been tough for quite a while, probably since your Dad died. But it won’t be like this forever. You have loads of untapped potential in you. Maybe you don’t feel it now, but you are stronger than you think. You can, and will, get to a better place.”

“But how? I am feeling pretty run-over.”

“Vedic astrology is a study of time. Different times have different qualities, which can be supportive or challenging, easy or difficult. They can be short in duration, or long. The chart tells us when they start and when they stop or change. And they change all the time. Knowing what they are and how long they last, helps us navigate time. Instead of fighting time, we can work with it, if we understand how it’s affecting us.”

“Are you saying that it’s just a matter of time before things get better?!”

“That is part of it. Your chart tells us that you will soon start a new supportive period that could change your life for the better. But it will also take effort on your part. You will need a plan and you will need to make good choices. This will be easier if you understand and apply the principles of Dharma in your life.”

“What is Dharma? And what are its principles?” she asked.

“The word Dharma means to ‘hold or sustain.’ Dharma sustains us and helps us live good quality, happy lives. It’s based on four universal principles: truth, respect, purity, and effort. These principles help us make choices that lead to optimal results.

“OK. You’ve given me hope and ideas to help me. But I think I need to learn more. I need to understand the meaning behind the principles and also how to apply them in my day to day life.”

Natalie and I agreed to work together. I gave her a scholarship for my Dharma course and a series of consultations. She was a good student, learned the principles and started applying them in her life.

The first thing we did was describe who she was, her story and what she wanted. What was her meaningful purpose (truth)? We discussed her values and ideals. What was the best she could hope to achieve (purity)? Also, what kind of relationships did she want to have (respect)? And, was she passionate and committed to achieving a better life? How disciplined and hardworking could she be to realise all of this (effort)?

Natalie used her Vedic chart and the Dharma principles to design a new life for herself. She chose her friends more carefully, letting go of the bad ones. She went back to college to study nursing. It was four years of hard work and there were plenty of challenges, but she stuck with it. She set goals and succeeded, graduating among the top of her class. She passed her nursing boards and is now employed as a nurse at the local medical centre. She enjoys the comradery of her fellow nurses and has been in a happy supportive relationship for some time.

“That’s what prompted me to call. I wanted to share with you the good news of my engagement to Joe.”

“That’s great. Congratulations. And the boys, how are they?”

“They are great. And getting bigger. Joe came at the right time. He is a great role model and helps direct their crazy energy into good things.”

“Sounds like a happy ending to me,” I said.

“More like a new beginning — out of the ashes! The Dharma principles and your coaching helped me take control of my life. My education, job, good friends, happy kids and Joe – all link back to what you taught me.”

“And all are linked to your choices and the effort you made to create a better life for yourself.”



Feel like sharing?


  1. Susie

    Loving your teaching through your story telling. Thank you for gently guiding us this way with the Dharma model. I look forward each week to the next instalment! X

  2. Michael Geary

    Thank you Susie. I also learn a lot by sharing the stories with others. They become a kind of meditation that lets me go more deeply into the meaning of Dharma. Thanks for the feedback. x M


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