Karma is Action. Karma is neither good nor bad, just action. Suffice it to say in the west we have a glaring misconception about what karma means and how it impacts our lives. Every single thing we do is karma. How you move, what you say, how you think, it’s all karma. The adage of “what goes around…comes around” is a catchy Justin Timberlake song, but not practical for our perceptions of Karma and Action.
The Bhagavad Gita goes into depth explaining the concept of Action for the sake of Action.
We have a right to perform actions, but not to the results. Also it’s better to be in the world, trying, than to hide away and do nothing. The focus is on doing and being without the worry of what happens next. Learning how to make decisions based on what is right and not by what you think will happen from that decision.
Karma Yoga is the specific practice of action without attachment to the results. Selfless service.
We start with becoming our authentic selves. When we know ourselves well it’s easier to continue acting in a way that stays true to ourselves at all times, and not allowing others to sway us in directions that don’t feel true to us.
We become compassionate and kind, clearing out the judgement of “good and bad”, acknowledging that we are not other people and are therefore not making the same choices as other. We’re all learning from our lives, try to imagine that everyone is living and making decisions to the best of their ability. We are not other people, and we deplete our energy focusing outside ourselves. Real change starts within.
Gratitude, becoming grateful for what you have. If you’re in a state of waiting for the next thing before you can appreciate what is happening now, you’ll never be satisfied. Practice being in the present moment. Practice acknowledging the things that ARE happening, instead of concerning yourself with lack.
We‘re challenging ourselves to be ourselves. To act and think and be in a way that is mindful of who we are and who we know ourselves to truly be. Karma is not a curse or a punishment, it’s a call to action. Practice going through your day in real time. Plans can still be made and goals can still be achieved, but the focus is on showing up for yourself and others, not what happens after you show up. We learn from the “good” and the “bad” and the everything in between. Life is for living and for learning. It’s hard, but it’s the right kind of hard. Take a deep breath, and try.