The past decade of my life has been dedicated, more or less, to the pursuit of the answer to one question: What do I want out of life, and how do I get it?
I believe I have a fairly good idea of what it is that I want. But I have been struggling with the second part of my question, how do I get it?
Lately I have been thinking a lot about balance between the various aspects of life. I have begun to suspect the answer to that troublesome part B lay in that direction.
I have swung between the extremes. Working so much I have no time for anything else, working so little I have no money for what I desire. And I've been thinking very hard about how to find my middle road.
Recently I received the February issue of Yoga Journal in the mail. In which is printed an article titled "Aim High," by Hillary Dowdle. The focus of the article is the yoga principles known as purusharthas.
The purusharthas divide all the aspects of life into four categories, which according to the article, "offer a yogic perspective on how to engage skillfully with the world."
The four categories, or "aims of life," are: dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha (the pursuit of liberation).
At first I was a little unsure what I thought of the four aims, but I have come to think that they are a wise division of life. I had only been making two distinctions in life, I was treating dharma and artha as one and the same with kama and moksha.
I have yet to grasp all of what the extra divisions mean, but the breaking up of dharma and artha will have an impact in how I approach life.
The article in Yoga Journal was a well-timed breath of fresh air.