Did you start off the New Year with a resolution or 3? Eager to make a change you start determined, but by the time February rolls around you’ve strayed off course. I’ve been there.
Not too worry – – it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life. We caught up with brand ambassador Leslie (@goodgroundyoga) who gave us valuable insight on changing the way we think about our New Year’s Resolutions. Read on for more, because the insight is that good!
Almost all New Year’s resolutions fail. Mostly because most resolutions start from the premise that you need to fix something. Thankfully, yoga has a way of reframing resolutions. In yoga, we call this practicing a “sankalpa”.
A sankalpa practice starts from the RADICAL premise that you already are enough. That you already are who you need to be. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desires, and channel the energy within. Basically, a sankalpa has to do with our overriding purpose for being alive on this planet. It honors the deeper meaning of our life. It is a guide that you call upon as you walk your life’s path. A sankalpa can take two forms.
The first form, known as “a heartfelt desire” is statement that reflects your true nature. Unlike a typical New Year’s resolution (I want to lose 20 pounds), a heartfelt desire doesn’t require change or action. It is literally and simply a statement of who you are. An example would be “I am compassionate” or “I am whole”,
The second form is closer to a typical New Year’s resolution. It is a specific intention or goal designed to help you live your life’s purpose. It is a small milestone or action step that you can take along the way. Moment to moment choices that help you to express your heartfelt desires.
So how do you know what is you heartfelt desire?
It requires listening to yourself. Getting quiet. Centered. Grounded. Feeling inside. Your heartfelt desire is already present just waiting to be felt. Ask yourself what do I really want? If the answer is something as simple as losing weight or stopping smoking, see if you can find a deeper need that is asking to be met. For instance perhaps the deeper need is “I want to take care of my body” or perhaps even deeper still “I love my body.”
Once you have an idea of your sankalpa, you must state it in the present tense. Traditionally resolutions or desires are stated as something I want to do, or will do or won’t do. The problem with this is that unlike a petition, a sankalpa is a vow that is true RIGHT NOW.
For example, lets say your New Year’s resolution is to make more time for you. To put your needs first rather than last. I use this example because it is my own for 2017. Instead of saying “I want to make more time for me”, my sankalpa is this: “I am worthy of time”. Why this is radically different is that it presumes already that I am worthy. If I act from the premise that I am worthy, making time for me is a natural extension and is not something I have to work at doing.
Every conscious choice you make is an opportunity to strengthen your sankalpa. We strengthen it by repeating it to ourselves like a mantra. We use our resolve as an internal compass when challenged or tested. We whisper it to ourselves enough times that we believe it to not only be true but immutable.
And when we stumble which we will, we brush ourselves off and state it again.
I am worthy. I am worthy. Simple.