Discovering My Dharma at Fivelements

Just as the sun must shine and the bees must make honey, it is said that all beings must accept their dharma for order and harmony to exist in the world. If an individual is following their dharma, they are pursuing their truest calling, serving all other beings in the universe by playing their own unique role. In Buddhism, it is said that acting in this way is the path to enlightenment.

It can be difficult to grasp from a Western perspective, but I feel that living your dharma means to act in accordance with your divine purpose – you may even call it cosmic destiny. Since dharma is also closely related to the concept of duty and service to others (and in the Bhakti tradition, unconditional love), I feel that one's dharma can never be selfish.

My own dharma became known to me over the past 10 years, via little whispers from my inner voice, serendipitous connections, and transformational shifts. It has been a long and winding road but every day brings me closer. Perhaps the first time I felt that 'cosmic calling' towards the healing arts, was during my stay at Fivelements back in 2012. I had never experienced a place of healing and renewal such as this before; never had I taken a yoga class, nor tasted vegan cuisine. And, whilst I hesitate to use such a cliché phrase, it truly changed my life.

Nestled on the banks of the mystical Ayung River, Fivelements gave me the space I needed to allow deep healing to unfold – physical, emotional and spiritual. After just 3 days I felt a clarity and purpose like never before. I was glowing, of course, from the divine healing food, the peaceful natural surroundings and beauty treatments, but I was also (finally!) able to hear my inner voice. She was calling me to make a life change; to begin healing myself and others.

On my return to Australia, I immediately enrolled in a holistic nutrition course and took up yoga. I became a vegan and, soon enough, my dharma expanded to include protecting the innocent. I felt a growing responsibility to defend the rights of our animal brothers and sisters, creating change through vegan cookbooks, pop-up dinners and my blog. Today, I am a certified Holistic Health Coach, Shakti Spirit Guide and Yoga Teacher, hosting transformational wellness retreats across Asia. I teach yoga, meditation, mantra, art therapy, creative visualisation, beauty rituals and plant medicine ceremonies – all designed to help others to heal, transform and bring more love into their lives. Every day I wake up grateful to have discovered my dharma, and I have Fivelements to thank for showing me the light.

What's even more exciting is that I'll be returning to this heavenly retreat in May – back to the place where 'Jungle Shakti' was born! I hope you'll follow my adventures in Bali next month as I take you on a journey back to where it all began.

Nancy Chalmers, Fivelements Valuable Guest

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