From drama to dharma: 7 keys to living life with purpose


By Caroline Shola Arewa

We live in a fast, sometimes harsh, notenough-time, toolittleenergy world.

Life is often full of chaos and drama. Just when you think you have found a little peace and harmony something else happens to knock you off centre.

I was coaching a client recently – Sarah (name changed, and permission was given to use this case study), who was telling me about the pain of her divorce, plus her worries about how this might affect her children.

But it wasn’t only her children; she also felt guilty about not spending enough time with her ageing parents. Plus she was under pressure at work from a demanding new boss and in the midst of all this Sarah really wanted a new direction in her life. So she was studying at home to become a nutritionist. Wow! I got quite exhausted just listening. Sarah was so tired, angry and resentful. She shared with me that she felt negative about life and everyone in it.

It wasn’t so much her situation but her response to it that got me thinking. Sarah was allowing life to really get her down, her energy levels were low, and as far as time was concerned she was in debt; she simply didn’t feel as if she had any time. Despite the fact she has 1,440 minutes every day. Just like we all do!

It seems that Sarah was slowly becoming addicted to the many layers of chaos and drama in her life. There are numerous chemicals flooding through our bodies all the time – a veritable inner pharmacy. And according to pharmacologist and neuroscientist Candace Pert, we can get addicted to these chemicals. For example when a person is angry they create a specific chemical signature in the body, and if they get angry time and time again they can become used to this chemical signature and need to find things to get angry about in order to create an inner chemical fix.

It’s not only anger that triggers these chemical reactions and subsequent addictions – it can be other emotions as well. I think people can get addicted to whingeing, complaining and feeling as if the whole world is against them. Candace Pert talks about “molecules of emotion” and her book of the same name explains how we can get addicted to the internal chemicals drama creates. 

Do you ever find yourself beginning a sentence with the words, I am always… or I could never… or That’s not really me…? All these statements limit your identity and can keep you trapped in the drama. If a life of drama works for you, so be it. We all love a bit of drama and excitement, but when it creates suffering and pain, and life seems lacking in purpose and direction, it’s time to still the turbulent waters and find out what lies beneath.

When you take time to be still, amazing sensations can be experienced within the watery depths of your being. You can touch your true essence and meet your higher self. You can tap into a power, an energy that is constantly flowing through and around you. Eckhart Tolle wrote, “You are here to allow the Divine Purpose of the universe to unfold. That’s how important you are”, and through the ages countless wise people have said the same thing.

We are here for a Purpose – a Divine Purpose. Buddhists call this Dharma. We don’t have a direct translation for the word in English, but what it generally means is holding our true essence. I think of it as living life with purpose. Living in a way that elevates your body, mind and spirit. But however we define it, simply put it means no more drama!

In yoga we learn that life is like going to the movies. When you see a film, a good one, you get involved in the story, you laugh, you may cry, you feel for certain characters and dislike others. You are living in the drama. For 90 minutes it’s so real, then all of a sudden it ends.

We have a similar experience when we dream. We feel everything as if it’s actually happening. Then we wake up, sometimes relieved to know it was only a dream. Some ancient traditions see life that way, saying that when we die we wake up and realise it was all a dream; an illusion. Even science at the quantum level suggests there is very little real substance to the solid matter of life.

So what does all this mean? Plainly and simply it means, get over it! Life is too short for overindulging in drama. Especially when you have a divine purpose to be about. So how can you put an end to the drama, and start living life with purpose?

I have developed seven steps to shift your awareness from Drama to Dharma.

1. Get out of your head and into your body

Drama is very she did – he didit’s not my fault. It requires a lot of thinking and mind games. So if you are ready to experience something deeper in your life, press the mute button and start to feel the sensations in your body. Deepen your breath and simply enjoy being alive. Despite all that has happened to you. You are still here. So give thanks.

2. Elevate your awareness

What is really going on? Feelings of hurt, pain and rejection often hide behind all the drama. Like watching a movie, allow yourself to see, feel and acknowledge the deep emotions. Then whenever you are ready, you can fast forward to love or an emotion that feels good for you. This is your life and you have the power to choose the way you want to feel.

3. Tune in to your true passion

When we are not expressing ourselves fully we create more drama. Children do it all the time. When they’re bored they create trouble as entertainment. We are no different. So ask yourself what is deeply important. What are you really passionate about? Then take steps to start honouring your passion.

4. Commit to yourself

Open your heart and promise to embrace your passion and the powerful essence of who you really are in the world. Welcome your purpose and what you are here to be, do and have.

5. Ask for guidance

Humble yourself and ask for guidance from that which is greater than you. It may be your spirit guide, angel, creator, divine essence or the universal life force.

6. Meditate

Take time to be still. Simply tune in to the constant movement of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. In the silence be sure to listen to the answers and see the signs as the universe guides you.

7. Don’t dream it. Be it

Know that you are divine essence expressing itself. Expand into that divine vision and purpose for yourself. You are pure divine spirit, manifesting as you in a physical body.

Just like the Buddha, know when you are being called to change direction in your life. Through stillness and meditation you can leave the drama behind and connect with your life’s Divine Purpose – your dharma.

Caroline Shola Arewa is known as the Energy Doctor for her pioneering and award-winning work with the chakra system. For over 25 years she has helped people balance energy and transform their lives. Shola is a humanistic psychologist, yoga master and author of four books including Energy 4 Life. She is founder of the Energy 4 Life wellness coach training. For further information, visit or call +44 (0)845 130 1918.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *