Break the Mold of Traditional “Resolutions”
Welcome to a New Year yogis!
As we set new intentions, goals and visions for the next 12 months let’s all agree that we can ditch the word “resolution”. Many people equate “resolution” with trying to change some behavior for a while, only to be met with inevitable egoic disappointment. The whole notion behind “resolutions” is that there is something wrong with us, that we are defective, and need to make some kind of big, overnight change to become complete.
I’d like you to consider, or at least hold the possibility, that you are enough. Yogic teachings tell us that there is an aspect of our being that is already complete, already whole and inherently perfect. Rather than getting down about all of our seeming shortcomings, begin by acknowledging your inborn radiance and divinity. Your Soul.
The tradition goes on to tell us that the soul has both a higher and lower nature, the paratman and jivatman, respectively. The journey of life is the journey of aligning our higher and lower natures. There are many yogic methods for uniting our higher our lower aspects, one of which is the notion of sankalpa.
What is a Sankalpa?
A sankalpa is a vow or commitment we make in support of our highest truth. A sankalpa can also be an expression of either the paratman or the jivatman so long as it resonates with the deep quality of truth. One is not necessarily better than the other, though the general path of yoga is to draw closer and closer towards the paratman.
As we navigate our way through life we will inevitably encounter material and intra-personal obstacles that will force us to act on behalf of our lower or higher natures.
How will you approach these obstacles? Who and what will you reference?
A sankalpa is like a compass, it tells us which direction to move in as we face the terrain of our lives.
As we face the terrain of the coming year, I invite you to reflect upon who you are becoming. Is there some dormant, higher aspect of yourself that you are willing to cultivate, even in seemingly small ways?
If your resolve is more material, start there, the voice of the jivatman has a legitimate place on the path of yoga, just be mindful of where that voice is coming from.
Be inspired by new possibilities rather than egoic, fear-based feelings of inadequacy.
Here’s to a fulfilling and prosperous year! – Derik