Back when I was in school (many, MANY years ago!) I looked forward to my classes in Greek and Roman mythology and classical literature. As we move into a new year, my mind habitually travels to the Roman deity Janus: the god of beginnings and transitions. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one looking to the past, and the other looking to the future. In order to envision our future, we must learn from our past mistakes and successes, joys and disappointments. In this way, we can create a vision for who we wish to be as we begin another year.
That being said, in many cultures, it is believed that we are who we are, and the becoming of who we want to be is already happening. The catch is that we have these mental-emotional-spiritual limitations-- perhaps created by circumstance, through negative experiences, through our ancestry, culture, relationships and so forth-- which blind us to the truth of who we really are. Yoga Nidra meditation addresses this conundrum through setting a Sankalpa, or resolve.
In a way, Sankalpa is an answer to the broad question "what do I really want?" Encompassing more than the material comforts of life, what is your heart's deepest longing? Is it overall health and well-being, a healthy relationship, success through fulfilling work, an awakened spiritual potential? You may look at your past challenges in order to illustrate something about your core being that you would like to be improved upon. However, formulating a resolve starts from the radical belief that you already are who you need to be in order to fulfill your life's purpose. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your heartfelt wishes, and channel your divine energy within.
While many New Years Resolutions begin with "I will," Sankapla begins with "I am" or "I deserve," "I manifest," "I release," "I invite," and so forth. It's not a request, it's a statement of truth. Some examples of Sankalpa:
"I am healthy and whole, just as I am."
"I deserve positive relationships."
"I release fear and anxiety over that which is beyond my control."
"I give and receive love freely."
"I treat myself and others with compassion."
Once you have formulated your Sankapla, repeat it to yourself --with conviction! --three times. You are planting the send of truth into your mind, body, and spirit. It is already happening! Having this awareness, every conscious choice you make is an opportunity to strengthen the truth of your Sankalpa and become who you have always been.
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May the New Year lead you ever closer to your true nature, your pure goodness, your Divine light. Remember you are already who you need to be in order to fulfill your life's purpose.