As this year winds down and the new year approaches many of us are already thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. These almost always tie into what we think will truly make us happy, successful, etc. Things like, I’m going to use that gym membership I bought (was it two years ago?) and lose so many pounds, I’m going to update my resume and find a better job, I’m going to. . . . well you get the idea. We set goals and write it in our planners and let everyone know that this year We going to be different, better, wiser. Then life happens. Like. It. Does. Everyday. Schedules intervene with our best intentions, our resolve wears thin – I mean how am I supposed to lose weight when Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and my birthday, and St. Patty’s, and Easter?
So this year I’ve decided to try a different approach. Taking a cue from yoga (which I love) I’m going to create my Sankalpa. Resolutions differ from a sankalpa because the first assumes that we aren’t good enough, happy enough, wise enough UNTIL we accomplish said goal. It’s a sure-fire design for failure. Whether we reach the goal or not, we are left wanting. A sankalpa starts with the radical thought that we already are who we need to be to fulfill our life’s destiny. Resolutions are outward focused where as a sankalpa is inward centered. In Sanskrit, a kalpa is a vow or a rule to be followed above all other rules. San is a connection with the highest truth. So a sankalpa, then, is a vow or commitment to support our highest truth.
This will involve clearing my life of unnecessary things so I can take time to “breathe/meditate/reflect/pray/whatever-you-want-to-call-it” everyday. It will not look the same everyday. But I will commit to take the time everyday to clean out the mental junk in my life, take a few moments to just be still and find clarity with what really rings true to me. Knowing this will be a challenge at first, I need to remember that I am the most important person in my life and that I deserve/need to take this time everyday. I will have to focus my mind and connect with my innermost heartfelt desires. And most importantly, I will need to channel the divine qualities that are already within me. Doing these things will help me to find the true purpose of my life. The beautiful thing is, this is a process so I don’t have to worry if I don’t have my life all figured out in a day or week or month for that matter. As I am still and listen to my heart I will discover what my sankalpa is.
Our minds are the architects of our lives. Don’t believe me? Think about it for a minute. When we think we can’t do something, aren’t good enough or are going to mess it up, we become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let go of negative talk and those that create negativity around you. Give yourself permission to bring out the power and potential that is inside you. When you do so, you’ll feel lighter and happier. Positive energy will flow from you and radiate to others.
Remembering and time is the key to successfully realizing your sankalpa. Remember to take the time each day to develop this new direction for your life. See yourself in your mind’s eye already there.
So what do I really want? I will set aside time everyday to be still and listen to my inner voice. I will focus on what will truly bring me joy. Then I will realize the divine power inside of me yearning to come out.
For me, creating my own happiness will look different from day to day, moment to moment. Life is a journey, meant to be savored. I’m going to open my eyes, mind and heart to the possibilities that are already within. Yes, this year is going to be the best new year yet.
(Click here if you’re interested in learning more about how to create your own Sankalpa.)