An Intentional Life in the New Year
Resolutions may not be something we all practice; statistics show that most people set a resolution and by March (if not earlier) they have completely forgotten their aim and are back to living their life as they always have. From a yogic perspective, this is living unconsciously or experiencing life through one's samskaras. However, the point of living is to do it intentionally, not to live on auto-pilot.
We can start to change our samskaras or unconscious habits by simply reflecting, which is one aspect of meditation. When we reflect on ourselves openly, honestly, and even objectively, we begin to see what choices served us, what choices were purely out of habit and the different directions our choices have taken us on our path.
In spite of how objective or detached we may be in reflecting on our life, I think it's human to feel something when observing our life pass by. What rises up within us is something strong and true--maybe deemed only a desire--but a heartfelt desire. And this, from the yogic perspective, is called a sankalpa. Sankalpas could be compared to resolutions or goals, but they're much more powerful because they come from deep within us (or even high above us) as powerful, innate drivers for what our heart and soul want. A sankalpa is beyond social influence, pop culture, culture as a whole or even tradition--this is YOUR truth bubbling up from a place of connection (meditation) asking to be fulfilled. And THAT, my friend, is way more f#$%ing powerful than a mere goal stamped on the mirror for the first few months of the year.
What would it look like to live an intentional life? What would it look like to live intentionally for a year? My invitation is to take 15mins or even your next savasana to simply sit back and reflect on this year of your life that has passed. What comes up may not look like a goal or a resolution, it may only be a sensation, but you can work with that and mold it into a direction for at least this month, if not this new year.
Practicing this myself, I came upon the overwhelming sensation and need for peace. 2018 was an exhausting year and I learned a lot about boundaries, more about stress and what life is like after PTSD and the important recollection that I have the power to make the decisions in my life. Which is why I've put all projects and events on hold for January. I've got lots of things planned for February, March & April, but I'll be honoring my sankalpa for peace these next few weeks.