The New Year always feels like a great time to start making positive changes in ones life. Letting go of the old to make room for the new! The problem is that we enter the New Year with a belief that we are not ‘good’ enough. We list many of the things we don’t like about ourselves and then get discouraged if things don’t go as planned. Why do so many of us fail to follow through with our resolutions?
We are missing the key ingredient.
In yoga there is a Sanskrit term called Sankalpa. This word means ‘resolve, determination, purpose.’ It offers a refreshing approach to making positive and long lasting changes in our lives. As opposed to coming up with a long list of our inadequacies, Sankalpa asks that we look deep within ourselves to explore how we would like to feel in our life in the upcoming year. Sankalpa becomes the intent behind our aspirations. It is the vow and intent we make to achieve our highest goals. Our thoughts become our destiny.
For example, rather than saying one wants: more money, to lose weight, to be successful in ones career, to find love etc., one needs to first explore why these goals are important. Perhaps making more money will make you feel more confident and give you more freedom to make choices. We identify what we want and state our Sankalpa in the present tense as though we already have what we need. So we say ‘I am making more money this year and I am confident in what I have to offer the world.’ We can start and end our day repeating our Sankalpa three times. We are planting the seed and need to tend to it regularly.
One often tends to embrace the misconception that happiness comes from getting what one wants. With this in mind, I would like to close with one of my favorite quotes comes from Rabbi Hyman Schachtel.
‘Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have.’
To create a Sankalpa that is right for you, it is important that you have time to be quiet and reflect on what comes to mind. Nourishing the Kidneys, according to Chinese Medicine is a great way to calm our nervous system. Our Kidneys represent our root, who we are and our will to live. When this system is in balance we feel motivated and excited about life.
Kidney 1: ‘Bubbling Spring’.
Massage this point to help relax the body. It’s the only acupressure point that surfaces at the sole of the foot. When walking or standing this is a great point to draw our breath into to help us feel grounded and connected. Keep feet warm and massage often to help draw our mind down through us into our roots.