Resolutions, Sankalpas, and Being Who We Really Are
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
This post was originally on Facebook at the very beginning of 2019, but I love it still so much, and I figure we're all to the point of slackin' on our Sankalpas and resolutions anyway. In the beginning of the year I was in a yoga class my friend Kris was teaching, and she talked about New Years resolutions versus Sankalpas. If you're not familiar, a Sankalpa is an intention formed in the heart and mind, focusing on a specific goal. She mentioned that often resolutions are formed with the idea of changing something we dislike about ourselves or our lives, while Sankalpas are goals based on true love for ourselves.
For example, your Sankalpa may be, "I eat food that fuels my body because I want to take care of it for a long time," while a resolution may be, "I want to eat healthy so that I can lose X amount of weight."
Before we move on, let me be clear - there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose weight and I am not saying it's impossible to make that choice with love for yourself in mind. What I am saying, is if we want to set lasting goals that we actually continue to do for a long time, we have to be careful about the way we set them and the words we choose to use.
So hearing this difference really clicked something in my brain. It reminded me of a page in Siddhartha* when he realizes that everything in the world that could possibly happen is, in a sense, already happening right now.
~Bear with me~ At this point he says, “Buddha is waiting in robbers and dicers, the robber is waiting in the Brahmin," meaning that if a robber was to at some point in life become the Buddha, he already has that in him now. He mentions how in meditation we can see all past, all present, all developing life as coexisting now. This shows that at our cores, we are exactly who we want to be already.
Hang tight! Doesn’t mean there’s not work to do.
So, if we take on this mindset as we go into the new year, I believe we should set our resolutions/Sankalpas accordingly. Rather than setting a resolution/goal/intention for what you want to START doing, to make you the person you want to be, imagine you are that person already, even if it’s way deep down. Now the work we do, what we focus on, is not adding things into our busy lives or schedules or anything to further promote feelings of inadequacy, but instead removing the things that act as a barrier to who we really are, what we really want to do.
Say your resolution is to be on time. Instead of setting your alarm earlier, sleeping less, skipping breakfast if you’re running late, focus on what continually makes you late, and make your resolution around THAT. So maybe my REAL intention is to be on time, but my goal for myself is to spend zero time on my phone in the morning (if that’s something that trips you up.)
Say your resolution is to lose 10 lbs so you want to be at the gym more frequently. Instead of focusing on that, focus on what keeps you from being there. If you’re too tired at the end of the day, maybe the resolution changes to finding ways to sleep deeper, or eat in a way that gives you more energy.
Too often we see resolutions that aren't sustainable, set goals that aren't attainable, and feel like we failed yet again when we can't seem to meet the bar we set for ourselves. The reason, though, is not that we aren't trying hard enough. It's that we are trying and working at the wrong things. We try to become this person who does this habit associated with being successful, and we hardly ever factor in that we are those people at the heart of the situation, if only we remove what is hindering us.
I won’t give examples for every single possible resolution. The point is - everything you want to do you can do. It can happen right now. This mindset helps us to focus on what keeps us from our inner Buddha, our inner badass, rather than how we can get to be that something we feel we are not. You already have everything you need. Anything else you might need is on amazon or google. GO.
LASTLY AND VERY IMPORTANTLY. THE WEIGHT LOSS INDUSTRY IS AN ALMOST $70 BILLION INDUSTRY. YOU KNOW WHO IS NOT A $70 BILLION INDUSTRY? Your local farmers !!! Take some time to learn how you can invest in good food that will keep you alive and make you feel like your best self, rather than in a giant business that profits off of you thinking you could be something better. Take some time to learn what movement feels best for your body. The more you know yourself and your body inside and out, the more you efficient you can be - because what helps and heals you will most likely be different than what helps and heals the next person.
Boom bitch byeeeeee!!!!!! Love y’all be safe now ya hear 🖤🖤🖤🖤
*a wonderful, beautiful book by Hermann Hesse in which the main character is named Siddhartha.