Did you set a new year’s resolution? Is it the same theme as last year? Where’s it coming from? Your ego and pride? Expectations of society, the groups you associate with, or the social media you absorb yourself in? Does it come from a place of not being good enough? Not eating well enough, not exercising enough, not doing enough for others, not earning enough, not taking enough time out for yourself enough? Or something else ‘not enough’? I hope not, but this is often the case. It’s not surprising as our culture supports this mind set and we’ve been bought into thinking that if we ‘just change this’ or ‘just get that’ we will be happier.
And in all of this we end up consuming more stuff (physical and services).
Imagine, instead, you set your 2019 resolution, from a place of being perfect just the way you are. From this place of being more than good enough as you are, consider what quality you could cultivate in your life that will bring more satisfaction and contentment to your life. This approach comes from checking in what your heart desires for you, rather than what your head, and critical mind have to say.
In yoga our intentions don’t come from a place of needing to be better or different in an ego driven way, nor even external achievement. Yogic intentions, or Sankalpa’s are in complete contrast to our New Year’s resolutions. A sankalpa, (the ancient Indian Sanskrit word for resolve), or heart’s desire, comes from a place within us of already being enough and already having all we need to fulfil our life’s purpose. There’s no need to strive to be different from how you are now, but to cultivate who you already are.
How do I do this? You listen to your heart. How do I do that? Here’s one way:
Set aside 5-10 minutes.
Close your eyes and either
· listen to a short guided meditation (there are many on apps like Insight Timer, Smiling Mind and Calm. I also have recorded a few on youtube) or
· DIY - take a few slow, gentle, deeper, belly breaths…with a slightly longer exhale than inhale. Allow the body and mind to relax and settle before closing your eyes and taking your awareness to your heart centre and posing the question ‘I am listening. What is your deepest desire, deepest longing, for me?’ It may help to add ‘I love you, I am listening’?
Sit with this. Refrain from searching for the answer. Pose the question again, without any expectation or attempt to answer it; remaining open to an answer or a sense, to appear.
It may come right away, maybe not… it may appear when you’re least expecting it, in a still moment, when the question has settled, it may quietly appear – as a word, or as a sense, or some other how. Notice if you can be okay with that; not needing to problem solve intellectually, but rather trust your intuition – your gut, and your heart, to speak to you.
The answer will come, when you take time to listen. Listen to your heart. Become clear on where, and how you want to spend your time and energy, in your lifetime.
In Yoga, setting yourself a resolve or an intention is not about changing who you are but rather nurturing your strengths and aspects of character that serve you well and are your unique talents, to share with the world.
Sankalpa’s are most often a quality, or an attitude you would like to cultivate; or an intention to guide you through the next day, month, year, or your lifetime. It may be a behaviour, or character trait, you can continually practice, or aim to model? It takes the form of a brief, positive statement, in the present tense, as if it’s already happened or happening.
Some examples are: Peace is my true nature, I give and receive love freely, I am accepting of my experiences, I am open to all possibilities, my true nature is joy.
You can do this anytime, not just for the new year. There’s no right or wrong and it may change as you start practicing tuning in to your heart. Over time it may evolve to be the same phrase which guides you.
Resolving this week, to live with intent. To listen to your heart, for where to focus your energy.
Along with weekly yoga classes for which this is our weekly focus we also offer:
· Meditation courses and a weekly meditation session
· Corporate wellbeing workshops based on mindfulness and healthy habit creation
· Individual and group coaching for lifestyle, wellbeing, mindfulness and meditation.
If you want to know more, email Nicky on firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAPPY MEDITATING :)