Right now is the time to look at our intention-setting willpower experiment and assess whether our resolution is moving toward our intended resolve, or if we are creating a practice that is not conducive toward our ultimate goals. In yogic terminology, this intention-setting practice is called sankalpa. This is typically not a linear practice where we magically go from point A to point B. Yogis call that the easy path of “Light goes on, light goes off.” If you can pull it off cold Tofurky, good job! As for the rest of us yogis, we tend to follow an instinctual circular pattern where we practice coming back to our intention repeatedly until it sticks. True, some of us are slower learners than others, and that’s okay. Sometimes we are just too young mentally to understand, and as yogis it is our duty to accept this fact and move toward the enlightenment. Move away from the darkness of ignorance and into the light of intelligence. This direct communication with the true self is key to the lock of our spiritual evolution. The rate that we move forward in most situations is insignificant, as long as we are moving in the direction that our consciousness has directed us.
Do not be afraid to repeat your sankalpa. If you have been less than diligent with your new year intention-setting, don’t fret. Simply press the reset button and set the intention again. Experience the cycle of the rise and fall and notice the subtle progression rather than fixating on the fall. When you reset the sankalpa, try to express it to yourself in a present tense rather than a desire. For example, if you want to quit a habit, like smoking or drinking, your resolution may be stated something to the effect of “For my New Year's resolution this year I will quit...” Instead try to state your resolve in a present tense. For instance, state, “For my sankalpa practice I am taking better care of my body.”
As we move forward, we may manifest a sankalpa practice in order to love ourselves and others equally on more of an energetic level. Furthermore, the sankalpa may lead to the understanding that we are love in and of ourselves, and therefore taking care of our self. Not simply loving ourselves, but becoming aware that we are love. You must have heard the philosophy “you have to love yourself before someone else can love you.” Why is this concept so difficult for us to accept?
What is your concept of love in a “normal” way?
My brain is washed by “The World of Disney.” Cinderella, Snow White, the Fairy Tale. We are led to believe that love is a thing that ends with happily ever after as “the end” of the beginning, and this becomes the beginning of the end of all your problems. If the fates will allow prince charming to finally meet princess, then maybe we can all find true happiness, too. This storybook mentality is an illusion, put out by the mind-controlling powers that feed off of our energy. I remember referring to Valentine's Day as “Single's Awareness Day.” We have been taught to think "If I am not alone on this day then I must buy candy and flowers and a special gift and consume the chocolate and candy hearts with genuine love statements (all intended to feed the money-making mind-controlling Kali Yuga hallucination). Reality without illusion is the yogic path on which we must embark. Know that you are not alone, you are at one, with all of us.
The most difficult thing about finding love and happiness is understanding that you are already happy, and that you are a being of pure love. Finding love and happiness is like needing eye glasses to find your way to your destination and assuming that they were lost or stolen or the scapegoat ate them. The accusations are flung at your loved ones and housemates right along with the pillows on the couch as you search desperately for your glasses. Although your vision is not very good, you happen to catch a blurry glimpse of a mirror in front of you that reveals that the pair of spectacles that you have been looking for have been on your forehead the entire time. You don’t need co-dependency to experience love and happiness. All you need is you. With this special epiphany we can now attain yoga contentment, or santosha, by loving and appreciating this very moment and what we have, rather than trying to attain some fabricated marketing tactic.
If you do have a special someone, try a gift from the heart, from the soul, from the creativity within your synergetic love-energy. Make a Valentine's Day card. Write a love letter, a poem, or a song; draw or paint a meaningful picture. If this is not your thing, maybe try a shoulder rub, a head or foot massage, or a full body massage. Take a hike together, share your feelings sincerely. Give a complement, blow a kiss, have a Yoga practice together - whatever it is that makes you feel wonderfully terrific together. (Remember that it's okay to be your own special someone, and treat yourself to something that makes you feel good!)
Wherever you are on this path of growth and awakening, as the life roller coaster continues on, ever changing, we begin to find contentment within ourselves and we stop trying so hard to achieve these fairy tale goals of “...and they lived happily ever after.” The positive vibe that you put out begins to attract others to your energy and you can finally live your life without attachment. Release what you are told to think you should do, and just be.
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