The Five Stages of Dharma
Deepak Chopra stated in his book The Spiritual Laws of Success – “Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.  Success is the ability to fulfill your desires with effortless ease.”    
Deepak continues “There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component.  Moreover, success is a journey, not a destination.  Material abundance, in all its expressions, happens to be one of those things that makes the journey more enjoyable.  But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and a peace of mind.”
My journey as a hula hoop instructor and in becoming a Certified Dharma and Spiritual Life Coach has given me the understanding and language to help clients find grace in their own journeys in life.  Finding flow in your career and success in life is not a linear straight line but rather a spiral. Sahara Rose, co-founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute states, “seeing your dharma as a spiral shape rather than a linear line – it forever continues and deepens. There is no such thing as taking a step back – you are simply moving next to the next iteration of your dharma.”
I invite you to grab your journal, sit in a quiet area and get ready to do some self-reflection, as I gratefully introduce the Five Stages of Dharma as written by the Dharma Coaching Institute!
Stage 1: Self-Awareness
This is when you realize something needs to change, and when you realize that your life is not in the place that you want to be. You may start questioning what else is out there. 
The goal of the Self-Awareness stage is to become, you first must become a vibrational match for your dharma by taking care of your mind and body first, otherwise, you will not be in the energetic state to live your dharma. 
Stage 2: Self-Improvement: 
You start exploring the world of self-help and self-development with your mind and body. This stage helps you raise your energy so you can match the vibration of your dharma. You are more than a mind and body and soon discover that you are not broken, and there is nothing to fix, improve or “hack”. This stage is about getting to know yourself and deepening your connection to your true nature. You understand that your dharma is so much more than yourtheir career or job, but rather your their mission statement that connects everything you do. 
Stage 3: Spiritual Awakening is when your focus shifts from “fixing yourself” to getting to really know yourself. You dive deeper into all practices that allow you to know yourself at a deeper level. You find the tools and practices that work for you. At this point, you may feel frazzled, burnt out, unintegrated, “me against the world”, alone or crazy. In this stage, you realize that you are a part of this world and have a role to play. This is when you find the tools and practices that work for you and discover modalities that resonate with you. This stage requires focus, commitment and reclaiming your energetic sovereignty. 
Stage 4: Dharma Development helps you find more grounding in the way you see the world. You understand you have a special role to play in the world. You look for the ways to develop and live your dharma. You discover your own unique way to approach the world and start to share it. At this point, you know deeply about your area of interest but may not have found your own voice or interpretation of it. 
Stage 5:  Dharma Embodiment is when the “inner you” and “outer you” merge. Your focus shifts from “me” to “we”, on the ways you can be of service to humanity. Here is where you have to let go of control and learn to trust in the guidance of your Dharma. At this point, you are already living your dharma. In this stage fear of giving up/being judged/pivoting shows up here.  
Journal prompts:
  1. What is your greatest need? Mind? Body? 
  2. What is your morning practice/ritual? Exercise routine? Evening practice/ritual? 
  3. Are your daily habits supporting or inhibiting you in living your dharma?
  4. How do you speak to yourself? Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself?
  5. Do you have boundaries with family, friends and co-workers? 
  6. How do you practice self-love? 
  7. What is exciting to you right now? 
  8. What are you curious about? 
  9. What is no longer in alignment? 
A gentle reminder that you are safe to change. Everything in life is always changing. Your dharma is to be the truest expression of who you are now.  You are not tied to your past – it was an experience to guide you into what is meant to come next. 
Founder of Marcie Walker LLC in Reno, NV, Marcie is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist; Practitioner, Neuro Linguistic Psychology; Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach; Certified Life Coach; and an intuitive leader. Her area of specialization is working with people who are having difficulty living their lives to the fullest including those who have developed immune disorders and those who have experienced trauma.  
Practicing living her own life to the fullest, Marcie is also the Founder and inaugural Reno Chapter Director for POWHer of WE, a women entrepreneur and business owner membership community; a Hula Hoop Dance Instructor teaching weekly hula hooping classes allowing people to relax and relieve stress while getting a fun workout; and is in the process of actualizing her lifelong dream of creating a holistic wellness center.
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