In Sanskrit, san means something that’s born from your heart, that comes from deep within you. It’s not intellectual; it’s born from your heart and can be formulated into words that you can ponder and think about. And kalpa means something that unfolds over time. So a sankalpa is a deep intention that unfolds over time that you carry with you into your life and throughout your lifetime.
Sankalpa is your heart’s innate desire or purpose, your life philosophy. Living your heartfelt desire leads to joy, resiliency, peace and unchanging wellbeing. Thus, it’s good to know what it is and keep it top of mind.
To help you identify and clarify your heartfelt desire, ask yourself the following:
What is it that you want more than anything else in life?
What gives your life a sense of value, purpose, and meaning?
What are the guiding values and principles of your life?
What is the overarching theme that sums up the code by which you live your life? (i.e. authenticity, spontaneity, truthfulness, non-harming, compassion, kindness, love, gratitude, equanimity, joy, service, or spiritual integration)
Now take this information and distill it down to one statement in the present tense. Your brain only knows NOW, not someday, not once you loose ten pounds, not when you the get perfect job. Life is a series of NOWs. Thus state your sankalpa in the present tense. Here are some examples:
I am authentic and truthful in every moment.
Love flows through my thoughts, words and actions.
I live my life with compassion and kindness.
I am creative and courageous.
I live a life of balance and harmony.
Now close your eyes and repeat your sankalpa to yourself. Notice where you feel it in your body. Where is its center? Where is its periphery? Sit for as long as you’d like with this sensation.
To weave this into everyday life, recall your sankalpa and feel it radiate throughout your body when you wake in the morning. Then set an intention for the day that will help you stay connected to this true north. For example, I maintain healthy boundaries. I live in harmony with my environment. I eat for health and energy. Or, I say yes when I mean yes and no when I mean no.
And if you should wander from it, don’t judge yourself! It happens. You’re human. So when wandering happens, notice and feel it, then reorient yourself and reaffirm your sankalpa and set an intention that gets you back on track. Like your yoga and meditation practice, it’s a practice. It’s NOT a ‘perfect’ or a performance. When we fall out of balance on the yoga mat, ski hill or in relationship, it helps to come back and reconnect to our core, to realign and once again find a sense of harmony with our environment.
Another way to stay connected is through iRest Yoga Nidra practice. Sankalpa is integrated into every practice of iRest. I will be offering more and more classes and workshops throughout 2020 (see my schedule HERE) and love working one-on-one with individuals as well.
Wishing you peace and joy! I look forward to seeing you in 2020!