Sankalpas: The Practice of Resolve

ghandi-my-life-is-my-message1Sankalpa (Sanskrit: संकल्प) means conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind, solemn vow or determination to perform, desire, definite intention, volition or will.

A sankalpa reflects our resolve to become the highest version of ourselves. Gandhi reflected, “My life is my message.” This kind of resolve allowed him to change the world. We cannot underestimate the power of our intention.

Intention can be woven into our normal day to day. When we go about our self-care with the practice of sankalpas, it can deeply change the way we go through the motions. For example, when I clean my house, I do so with the intention to enjoy the process and to feel gratitude for a clean space. This change in intention has diffused the normal dread and duty I feel around chores. When I walk for my daily exercise, I do so with the intention to love myself and do it out of self-regard rather than doing it so I can check it off my list.

That is the practice of sankalpa in my daily life. In my big picture life, I develop statements that reflect grander intentions for myself. “I will use this day to reach someone else.” “I will practice compassion with myself and others.” “I will honor my intuition.” When I write these statements down or say them aloud, I feel determined to live with integrity. The respect I have for myself grows.

I encourage you to take this practice and weave it into your daily life. What is your personal sankalpa?

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