Embrace Your Dharma & Ditch the Drama

Conscious Living & Cosmic Codes

By Araxe Hajian

How do we create a life with meaning and purpose?

It’s a question people have pondered since ancient times. Miraval Arizona Yoga and Meditation Specialist Jess Holzworth teaches guests about Dharma, a Hindu, Buddhist, and Yogic concept that first appeared in India 4,000 years ago.

“It means your unique purpose in life,” Jess explains. “Embodying your dharma is to live authentically by aligning with your true nature and realizing and honoring your unique gifts to share them with others. In doing this, you are supporting and nurturing the wellbeing of the entire universe.”

Dharma is not a to-do list but more of a how-to blueprint, a cosmic code for living life.  It’s the wisdom behind our actions and a path to the higher self. Your dharma is what comes to you naturally. It might be a passion you practice to serve something larger than yourself. It might be a talent for listening, numbers, or storytelling—any natural ability or interest that you turn into a path to something meaningful.

We are all born with unique gifts. A philosopher’s dharma is to inquire into the nature of reality and find the truths of our existence. A teacher’s dharma is to enlighten and share knowledge with students. Even things have dharma: the dharma of sugar is to be sweet, of fire to burn, and of water to flow.

“I like calling it your unique life’s purpose because everyone can relate to that,” notes Jess. “Life without purpose is unfulfilling, and having one brings a sense of joy, emotional fulfillment, and empowerment.”

Curiosity & Chicken Coops

You might say, “But I don’t have a special talent!” Do you know who else said that? Albert Einstein.

Yes, that guy—the Nobel-Prize-winning physicist. He famously said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” His dharma was his curiosity, and it led him to ask questions, and asking questions leads us to find a multitude of answers. Discovering our dharma demands our curiosity. It sends us on quests.

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Albert Einstein

“The roadmap to your destiny can show up at any age,” says Jess.

Jane Goodall’s parents might have scratched their heads when they took her to a farm, and she spent the whole day watching a hen lay an egg in the chicken coop. What compels a four-year-old to patiently wait for hours like that? A deep, innate fascination with animals. “That,” explains Jess, “was the blueprint of her dharma unfolding. She devoted her entire life to studying animals and sharing that wisdom with the world.”

José Andrés helped his father prepare paella in the woods of northern Spain as a boy and explains that he “fell in love with making the fire.” This was the beginning of his career as a James Beard Award-winning chef and creator of World Central Kitchens. Following his dharma ignited a love of food and fueled his humanitarian passion for feeding the world.

Some people take longer to identify their dharma. Julia Child didn’t even know how to cook until she was in her 40s. Betty White was 51 when cast in her first recognizable role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when her first Little House book was published. Little ones and late bloomers alike can define their dharma at any time.  And sometimes, it shifts and evolves, just like we do.

Five Pillars

Jess bases her lectures, workshops, and private sessions on five pillars that help you live authentically by aligning with your true nature. Embracing your dharma is less about external influences and daily dramas and more about honoring your unique gifts, sharing them with others, and supporting a universal sense of wellbeing.

1. All Life is Sacred

Everything within us and all that surrounds us is sacred. “When you know this,” says Jess, “you honor all of life and your presence in it. You tune in to yourself and the universe.” When we are kind to ourselves, we move out of self-deprecation and self-deprivation. We transport ourselves to the magical from the mundane.

2. Self-Discovery

You can cultivate self-awareness and gain a deeper understanding of yourself when you define and align with your values. It leads to intentional living, which makes work and life more meaningful. Jess quotes Socrates to remind us that “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”   

3. Holistic Wellbeing

When you live according to your dharma, you become the creator of your inner and outer universe.

“Start organizing your organism,” Jess suggests. “Your body is an ecosystem that can be refined with simple practices like mindful eating, sleeping better, exercising, and breath work. We take 25,000 breaths daily, and we can pay attention to at least five of those. Our breath is an amazing tool to optimize health and notice patterns—and it’s free!”

4. Raise Your Vibration

Jess teaches us that all life is vibrational, and we each bring a unique frequency to it. We can do the deep work of “cleaning out our psychospiritual trash that blocks our radiance.” Release what no longer serves you (self-defeating beliefs, negative thinking, limiting patterns) to create space to access your inner wisdom. Listen deeply, look for signs, practice gratitude, and tune into the spiritual realm’s happy accidents and synchronicities. “Miraval is a container that supports these moments,” explains Jess.

5. Spiritual Alignment

Even our uncomfortable feelings can teach us something about spiritual alignment. The path to our highest joy might switchback through heartbreak or disappointment.  Release the fear and go forth anyway. Love anyway. Let your curiosity guide you and your passion protect you. Society offers a billion temptations for escape, but we feel happier and fulfilled when we stay present and connected—to our true nature, a higher consciousness, and community. As Jess puts it, “It helps us bond better with others when we like hanging out with ourselves.” It makes us want to share what we love.

Remember the AFC Richmond locker room “BELIEVE” sign from the TV show Ted Lasso? After initially ridiculing it, each team member began to discover and live by their belief and dharma—to use their physical gifts to play together and share their passions—they formed a family and found a purpose beyond the pitch.

These five pillars are a great way to stay on course—and a roadmap for when we swerve away from the practices that keep us aligned. Buddhists describe dharma as a right way of living.  They teach that you can make empowered, skillful, enlightened choices to navigate your path by taking responsibility for your life. Dharma is also love in action. It’s about showing up and showing care and compassion for yourself, others, and the planet.

Jess reminds us that we are here “to remember and connect to the truth of who you are—the higher self beyond the ego. You are here to express your unique talents. You are here to be of service to humanity by aligning with your true nature and sharing your gifts.”

IN THEIR WORDS:
My dharma is to offer service to others on their spiritual path, helping them connect to their true nature and embody their dharma to create a life with meaning and purpose. I was an artist and lived in Los Angeles as a music video director—I had multiple agents, worked with Grammy-winning artists, and I’ve always been a seeker. After a while, I decided that wasn’t sustainable for me and wanted a lifestyle change that aligned with health, spirituality, and wellbeing. I had no idea what that life looked like.

It wasn’t a linear process. I was drawn to yoga because that’s what I pictured healthy people doing. I learned that it is an embodiment practice and not just a physical practice for exercise. There is a beautiful philosophy that comes with it, steeped in mystery and as vast as the ocean, called Vedic wisdom. It derives from the ancient sacred Hindu written texts and is categorized as timeless wisdom that can be applied to modern living.

I kept coming back and studying spiritual modalities, and one thing led to another and here I am: a spiritual holistic guide and sacred facilitator. This process gave me a different sense of awareness. The biggest gift was presence—with myself—and that’s where the practice of mindfulness came in and has been so powerful. Yoga gets you into your body, and when you are in your body, you can tune into that inner wisdom and connect to your authentic self, and your dharma. When we are connected to our true nature, we are in our power, radiance, and unlimited potential.

-Jess Holzworth


Araxe Hajian is a senior writer who covers wellness stories and specialist offerings at Miraval Resorts & Spas. She was associate editor and writer at Life in Balance Magazine, storyteller at the social platform MindMeet, and author of numerous articles and Miraval Resorts’ coffee-table book Miraval Mindful by Design.

Source material provided by Miraval Arizona Yoga and Meditation Specialist Jess Holzworth. Jess Holzworth is a Spiritual Holistic Guide and Sacred Facilitator.  She uses an integrated approach from her ten + years of extensive education in the healing arts, combining ancient wisdom and modern practices that include Vedic Wisdom, Ayurveda, Buddhism, Mindfulness, Shamanism, and Personal Development.  Jess has an international fine arts background and is an award-winning music video director.

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