Words such as “holistic”, “wellness”, and “self care” are tossed around pretty frequently these days, but what do we actually mean when we scribble “self care!!” onto the bottom of our to do lists?
Oftentimes our commitment to “self care” can be connected to some pretty harsh demands, such as: lose 20 pounds ASAP; stop freaking out; or the somewhat meaningless, vague decree: “Be better!”
And yet the longing beneath these self directed pleas, points to the beauty of our very human yearning to become our most whole selves; to tap into an individual wholeness that organically leads to healthier relationships and reciprocal kindness with the people and world around us.
So how do we cultivate more of that without getting bogged down by the shame, guilt, and ineffectiveness of typical resolution making?
The art and practice of yoga lends a bit of wisdom. Sankalpa is the yogic process of intention setting that is typically engaged during the practice of Yoga Nidra, or deeply restorative yogic rest.
The cultivation of intention intrinsically tied to a state of restfulness… that is a change of pace from the typical, frantic New Year’s resolution setting or everyday demand to “calm down and be better!” Sankalpa digs beneath our surface level “to accomplish lists”, helps us put words to what we are truly longing for, and guides the way towards wholeness.
Stanford University professor, Kelly McGonigal, writes, “Discovering your sankalpa is a process of listening. Your heartfelt desire is already present, waiting to be seen, heard, and felt. It’s not something you need to make up, and the mind doesn’t have to go wildly searching for it. (Credit).”
To hear the soft, gentle voice of our own wisdom we need to get still and quiet enough to truly listen. That kind of quiet takes practice. How might you give yourself space in everyday life to practice quiet stillness… to cultivate and engage with your sankalpa?
If you’d like to enjoy this journey in the company of others, we invite you to join us for our weekly [Lunch Break Wellness] that includes trauma sensitive yoga, meditation, and auricular acupuncture. It’s a space to get quiet, still, and experience intentional wellness. You are welcome here!