Episode 3. The effect of digestion & stress on hormones

Age 50 is a big mile marker, for men and women alike. Half of life has passed and a deep questioning phase naturally arises. “Have I done everything I want to accomplish in this lifetime? Am I doing what I really want to do?” It is not uncommon for people to quit corporate jobs in favor of more meaningful work in a non profit organization despite less pay. Some quit their householder life altogether and pursue a spiritual life in an ashram or other spiritual setting.

Finding one’s life purpose, or dharma, ain’t easy especially if you don’t have a roadmap. Many people get stuck, frustrated or disoriented along the way, longingly wanting to arrive at their one god given mission. Annie enlightens us that dharma is not static but instead dynamically changes and evolves as we shift, grow and change.

Annie Barrett and I shoot the breeze on how to step into the second half of your life courageously, dynamically and with a sense of deep purpose. She explains in detail the 4 pillars of dharma by Stephen Cope that will help you arrive at your purpose. Reference these steps to follow the conversation more easily.

Step 1: Look to your dharma: Dharma is the sanskrit word for purpose or god given mission. It refers to the core essence of who you are; it is the reason you are on the planet. Dharma is your soul’s expression in action. In more practical terms, Dharma is the intersection of your  talents, skills and gifts with the call of the times. Finding it requires discernment, as well as naming and embracing that which is calling to you and through you. It involves finding out who you are and trusting your gifts.

Step 2: Do it full out. This step is about putting your energy, thoughts and actions towards realizing your dharma and creating your life with purpose.

Step 3: Let go of the fruits. Focus on your dharma and your intention but be detached from the outcome. Whatever becomes of it is not your responsibility.

Step 4: Turn it over to God. Your dharma is your way of staying connected with your True Nature and it’s your particular offering to the world.

What you get from tuning in:

  • What is the essence of dharma or purpose?
  • Are you doing what makes you come alive?
  • The impact of ignoring your soul’s calling on your body’s health
  • The importance of being creative with how you organize your life
  • The 4 pillars of dharma and how to use them to find and work with your purpose
  • A reflection practice to help you find your dharma

You may want to reference:

  • Annie’s favorite dharma book: The great work of your life by Stephen Cope
  • The word bhaavanaa: This is a practice of contemplation and inquiry. Sit quietly for some time. Then drop a question into that silence and listen for insight. This practice is powerful in cultivating your capacity for deep listening and arriving at answers for your next step. Annie has more details for you in the podcast.


Annie Barrett is an educator, yoga teacher and teacher trainer, a certified yoga health coach, spouse and mother of two amazing teens. She models and teaches folks how to thrive in body, mind and spirit, and how to live a purposeful and passionate life.

She has walked the householder path of yoga for 25 years, and has a true gift for making the wisdom teachings of yoga accessible and relevant to daily living. As a Certified Yoga Health Coach, she is trained and practiced in the daily habits and health principles of Ayurveda. She is all about coaching and guiding you into up-leveling your health and reaching your full potential with proven habits for vitality, health and happiness.

Her family divides their time between the evergreen forest on the edge of Olympia, WA and the Andes mountains of Pisac. Some of her favorite pastimes are: traveling, being outdoors, hiking, cooking, speaking Spanish and enjoying live music. www.vibrantsoulful.com   

Winslow Passey

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