Updated: Apr 29
I remember distinctly when I realized I was not the culmination of my emotions experience and thoughts. No question that those things made up my human being, but once I was exposed to yoga, bodywork, energy work and the personal inner development work I needed to undertake, I realized what I forgot, that I actually knew!
As a senior executive I had the good fortune to study at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma California, for all told, about 5 years. Studying group dynamics, psychology and somatic embodiment, I decided the internal work I needed to address personally and professionally were the same. I needed to come to grips with my own vulnerability, and eliminate my need for approval, while maintaining my ability to influence.
By our social standards I was successful. High ranking executive with huge responsibilities, I spent 30 years climbing that ladder. And I had fun, met amazing people, and appreciated, even more, the diversity yet the sameness everywhere!
Yet there was drama all around me and it drained my resources. Some of that drama I definitely created, some not, but regardless, LIFE was having its fun, and I wanted to better understand what was happening to me, within me and for me! Did I truly need more? I had the tendency to wanting more, always more. More responsibility, influence and fulfillment from my existence.
People love a little drama in their lives. Look at the numbers of viewers every night glued to some electronic devise. TV, mobile devices or computers, all allow people to live in a heightened state of emotion. Fight. flight or freeze can be felt through the observation of a program that sparks any emotional response, or reversely, numbs the senses. Just as easily we each create a response to dramatic events in our own lives, based on our environment, experience and discernment.
Another way to consider this is to think about the opportunity to create constant stimulation, change and excitement in ones life. People who are looking to feel "alive" often end up riding a roller coaster of emotions calling up intense reactions to events in their lives, in order to actually "feel", and this can become addictive and even controlling. In reverse, we might find ourselves avoiding situations and creating rigid boundaries that prevent us from fully experiencing new things.
Consider the family member, friend or colleague who tends to take up emotional space. They often dictate the behavior of others around them. These people might appear to thrive, when in actuality they are struggling to stay stimulated, or they may be avoiding feel alone. These people might be seen as "extreme", creating their own limited boundaries or having no boundaries at all, both to the same effect, neither serving them in the big scheme of life.
Regardless of the origin or the emotion associated with drama, I was absolutely intrigued by the concepts and associations of Drama, Trauma, Karma and Dharma!
1. Drama, we know this well. As stated above we often search, avoid, create or eliminate this from our lives. In many cases "Drama" has been associated with the negative in life but seen as positive to watch from afar!
Too bad, because to make it more or less important takes away its ability to properly fit into our lives.
2. Trauma, translated from Greek literally means wound. We clearly find these experiences to be life changing and they can make you more vulnerable to long-term issues. Not properly dealt with, processed and managed it can take over your entire existence. Denial and shock, are only the beginning. Left ignored they can impact us in emotional, physical and within our relationships in ways that are destructive to healthy lives. Loss of control, trust or emotional baggage can mess with you for decades! Unless you or someone you trust can support you in working through those issues, trauma can cripple even the strongest of us.
3. Karma, what goes around comes around, we have tee shirts, bumper stickers and common nomenclature using this word constantly. But what is the real meaning. Is it punishment or reward? I don't believe so. I subscribe to the philosophy that Karma, as defined from the Sanskrit origin of the word, translates to activity or action.
So I think of karma as the law of being present.
One cannot live in the past or the future, only the present and now.
And what you focus on, heart, mind and body will exist.
That is it! When you find things occurring around you that appreciate look inward, and ask why, if you find the opposite occurs, do the same.
4. I became aware of Dharma as I studied yoga. Defined as the “right direction” in Sanskrit, Dharma is living your "purpose". Everything you have seen, heard, experienced, read or lived, has brought you here to this point, right now. And according to dharma, you control you!
So, the outcome of remembering what I had forgotten? Drama and Trauma are real, and while often I may not have contributed to the existence of either one, the impact they have had on my path reinforces my need to find and maintain neutrality. It is my experiences that inform me but do not define me.
When it comes to drama, I have learned staying in the moment, while it might not eliminate it, drama is less likely to be apart my life.
Trauma should be addressed quickly and with someone you trust.
Karma, is a mirror, where responsibility and choices are viewed.
#3 Karma, allows you to understand the connection of past, and future, and be informed, take action, select options, and take on your responsibility for any changes you want to make.
#4 Dharma will help you to make sense of your life and live in your purpose.
Inner wisdom governs us all, given to us at birth, when we follow our hearts, letting go of things that keep us down, and finding the wisdom to practice, practice, practice, being you, finding contentedness, grounding and living authentically, you quite literally will change the world!