New Year’s resolutions are often made out of the guilt of consumption; so why not start our resolutions now? If we remember pre-season, we give ourselves a chance to set a grounded intention for mindful shopping, eating, drinking, and staying up too late.
But first…while it might seem next to impossible to say no to another chocolate covered shortbread cookie, some Bailey’s in your coffee (gasp!), or yet another darling gift for your sweetie, maybe it’s not a bad idea to allow yourself some concessions throughout the holidays. What’s the big deal – it’s everywhere. You might be more likely to be grumpy (or worse, binge!) if you deny yourself a little extra here and there. (Operative word here is a little).
If you really think about it, New Year’s resolutions are often made from the feeling that we need to be better at not just what we do, but at who we are. “I will stop shopping so much”; “I will become a vegetarian”; or “from now on I will be more patient.” Making a promise to ourselves that is steeped in a sense of not being good enough is like repeating empty affirmations that we don’t really believe. It also stems from misguided thinking that quitting or achieving a thing will bring us that elusive happiness.
As yogis we know that contentment is a practiced art, deeper than happiness and comes from within. Beyond the material and emotional planes, is the work of remembering.
More than Resolution
A sankalpa is like a spiritual resolution. It is more of a resolve that comes with energy, willpower, inner wisdom and heart. Starting a sankalpa begins with love. Think of this resolution as remembering your divinity.
‘Kalpa’ means vow, and ‘san’ is a derivative of the highest truth. A sankalpa then, is like a commitment in support of the deeper meaning of our life. We remember here that it’s not so much what we wish to change, but how we go about making that change. It begins with praise: “I am always already whole and loved.” From there we set our goals and intentions with a feeling of peace and stability, and our actions to achieve the goals are consistent with our innermost desire.
The beauty of this is that we can renew our sankalpa every time we hit the mat or meditation cushion, all year round. Unlike our New Year’s resolutions which we mostly abandon in a few weeks, our sankalpa is an inspired intention that we revisit every time we practice, or even every time we have a moment of pause. We can state it pre-practice or at the namaste moment.
This season, I breathe in peace, and breathe out contentment. I am healthy and whole and my deepest desire is to remember this truth.
Courtesy of My Yoga Online.