When bad things inexplicably happen, such as the loss of a job, a serious illness or a failed relationship, it’s human nature to blame ourselves. When something bad happens to someone who has harmed others, we call it karma.

But contrary to our Western notions, karma is not about personal payback for the good or bad we have done in our lives, according to Nancy Deville, author of the new novel Karma.

“Conventional wisdom tells us that karma is cause and effect,” she says. “Something you’ve done has caused all of your problems. You do something bad and something bad happens to you. But that’s not the true meaning of karma. And this is a very healing revelation.

Karma is what each one of us adds to the world based on how we respond to the experiences we are dealt in life, says Nancy, a student of Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

Nancy offers the following four tips for how practicing good Karma can help people live happier, healthier lives and make the world a better place:

· Choose to react in a positive way in the face of negativity, hardship, and adversity.
· Share sympathetic joy with those who are experiencing good fortune.
· Offer compassionate phrases to those who are more unfortunate than you (May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be peaceful.).
· Offer compassionate phrases to yourself when you are in pain (May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be peaceful.).

When Bad Things Happen, It’s Not Your Karma — Nancy explains how practicing self-compassion makes us more compassionate with others and enables us to live with joy.

To learn more about Nancy and her work, please visit her online at www.nancydeville.com