Wishing you all happy new beginnings in every way for 2022 as we put away our festive decoration and the focus becomes on fitness and health and so many of us make new year resolutions – I’ve been there! Resolutions often start from an assumption that we are not good enough as we are and that happiness requires us to become different from who we are. New planners, organising house, getting life in order, creating structure in our life.
A sankalpa is the Sanskrit word for intention but it goes much deeper that having a simple intention or goal. ‘San’ means ‘a connection with the highest truth’ and ‘kalpa’ means ‘a vow’.
It is a vow to our soul or higher self. It is born from our deep awareness, inner wisdom and is a desire of our consciousness. A sankalpa looks like a short conscious statement that encapsulates a deep soul desire. It comes from a deeper sense of self – it’s not just based on a thought or feeling, it is a combination of the two and more.
Goals on the other hand are born from our ego with the expectation of a specific result that we attach to a positive feeling that the have when we get to the goal. Goals are coming from a space of limited information, comparisons to others or personal expectations. It is a something that we want to do/achieve where as a sankalpa is an intention with a vision. A goal is more of an ‘I will’ rather than soul intention which is more ‘I am’.
A sankalpa is associated with who we are as we move through life and rises from love and an inner guidance. It is like planting a seed in well nurtured soils and then watering and nurturing the seeds without putting on the pressure to germinate and grow into what we want it to be, we allow it to bloom and thrive naturally. A sankalpa gives passion and purpose to our life and the ‘why and how’ we do things feel different when we have an intention. We see and feel things differently when we have intention. Even the normal day to day tasks have an energy, power and meaning.
Intentions are not expectations. Expectations is setting a goal and then sitting, watching and waiting for something to change.
A sankalpa comes from a deeper place. A place of deep understanding of self, a purpose, an alignment of mind, body and soul all coming to gather at once and taking action in order to move forward in a certain direction. Our sankalpa becomes our guiding light.
How to set a sankalpa
- Keep your intention clear and simple/concise – Short intention statement or your deep heartfelt desires, expressed in the present tense – this is a reflection of our true nature and it acknowledges our will and energy. E.g. I want to be compassionate turns into ‘I am the essence of compassion’. Refer only to yourself not to other things or beings.
- Make sure that it is really important to you and that you have a drive towards it. When we are not clear we will have confusion when we approach it from fear or a mindset of insecurities. It is an intention statement formed by the heart, mind and is connected with our inner belief. We are often shifting an inner limiting belief.
- Set a sankalpa from an internal place of knowing. Understand what is driving your intention. Is it coming from a place of connection , a place of knowing, understanding, as this only comes from the depths of ourselves. If so, we will remain true and committed to it even in the face of challenges. It should not from an external driving force. Then it is nothing more than a thought.
- Allow your soul to express your deep and real needs. And you can steer life in a passionate and purposeful direction. It can then manifest in your life.
- A sankalpa includes our will and energy, the actions and wisdom needed to honour the intention and this constitutes a true sankalpa. Sometimes this leads us to let go and release things that are not aligned to our heartfelt desire.
- Be willing to hear the deeper desires of your heartBe willing to respond to your call to action as this is connecting everything together (ask yourself what is your true purpose and calling talents etc.?)
- Plant the seed of sankalpa – shift the way you think of your self into alignment with your sankalpa. Say it as a truth and believe it and make it feel natural to you. You can visualise the reality of it.
- Repeat several times a day to help the sankalpa manifest.
- Live and work in an alignment to your intention, it is like a vision, and not a strategy. It should feel right and feel like you in the flow and should not feel like hard work and it should help us with how we make our decisions, how we use our time and the actions we take
When to set a sankalpa
- Do it when you are in the right time and space (before bed, first thing in the morning or during yoga Nidra). We want to be in a totally relaxed state, when the mind is not so active and critical. Then repeat your statement regularly and take conscious initiatives towards your sankalpa without expectations or deadlines for the results. So there is an element of surrender.
- A sankalpa can take time to cultivate. Depends how long we have had a limiting belief. Can be a challenge for some of us.
- Keep it a secret (it is a personal promise to you r divine self to your soul. We generally don’t share a sankalpa. We attract judgements and this dilutes the energy of your sankalpa. Don’t have too many intentions statements. Keep focus on one area/desire of change.