the pinball effect: how to stop smacking up against life and move towards your dharma

Bam! I ricocheted off the wrong career path. Again.

Whammo! I recoiled from a relationship with the wrong man. Again.

Kerblang! I curled away from a potential future ‘friend’ who actually wanted to be a mentee. Again.

Zing! I escaped the oh-so-wrong-for-me networking group just before the hefty membership fees kicked in. Again.

Oh, I have done a lot of heading in the wrong direction. And yup, I’ve learned from it. But there came a time when I wanted to just be done with the latching on and then rifting away carrying a hole where what once was used to be. I woke up tired. Tired of making unconscious choices. Tired of reacting, instead of pro-acting. And most of all, tired of being tired—of spending my energy in places that didn’t give back, didn’t give me any return on my heartfelt investment. I wanted it to be easier. I wanted it to be nourishing. I wanted the giving and receiving to be full of love.

A tweet I sent out:

Easy doesn’t mean you’re taking the easy way out. It might mean you’ve found your dharma. #dharma #libreliving @lindsey_lewis

I don’t have career goals; I have passions. I don’t have a five-year plan; I have a dream to change the world. I don’t have a traditional got-it-all-mapped out, gonna climb the ladder map; I have big ideas and let my intuition and my body compass tell me how to get there.

Today, I recognize the pinball effect. We race out from the starting point, ricocheting and ramming up against various targets on our play field. The longer we’re in play, and the more targets we hit, the more points we get. The paddles keep us from dropping into the abyss and the bottom of the play field. The goal is to stay out of there as long as possible, to keep on racking up points. Got into a new relationship! 50 points. Left that one, got into a better one! 80 points. Oops, need to upgrade again! 100 points. Got a place to live! 150 points. Don’t like it, need to move somewhere else! 200 points. Keep going, going, going. Don’t stop. Launch yourself at each new person, each new activity, each new action-item. And whatever you do, stay out of the abyss.

But here’s the thing: the abyss is where the juice is. We find out where we’re meant to go–and what will make each of us uniquely and truly happy–by going within. When we drop into the depths of ourselves, instead of racing around slamming into what presents itself in front of us, we figure out what we really want. We begin to see how we’re always being guided towards what will make each of us uniquely and truly happy. And we start to listen.

This is why we are here. To stop ricocheting off the targets, to drop into the abyss, and instead take the easy, flowing path towards our dharma.

Dharma: duty, behaviours considered necessary for the maintenance of the natural order of things, your purpose on this planet. What makes you uniquely and truly happy.


Pause. Reflect. Take a moment each day to listen. What is your body telling you? What are your emotions saying? The non-verbal part of your brain processes 11 million bits of information per second. The verbal part processes only 40 bits of information per second. Listen beyond the words, beyond your thoughts. Move towards what makes you feel happiest, healthiest and most free. Let the stillness be your guide. Go within, to find out where to go next.

What is calling you?

Much love,


Apr 17, 2012 · Comment

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