As Christmas approaches, many of us will take time off from work to be with family and the ones we are most close to. It can also be a perfect time to take some time to ourselves. A chance to reflect on the year that is behind us and set intentions for the year ahead.
The ancient vedic text the Upanishads tells us that everything that happens begins with the power of intention…“You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
So how can we harness this to set ourselves up for a great year? In a journal you could consider the following:
What went well? What will you remember?
Where there any great challenges? What learning could you take from them?
What will you cultivate?
Rod Stryker talks about there being 4 desires or drives of the soul.
Dharma – The longing for purpose. The drive to be and become who you’re meant to be.
Artha – Is the means necessary to accomplish your dharma – so acquiring the material resources such as food, money, physical wellbeing and a roof over your head.
Kama – Is the drive for pleasure of all kinds – closeness and intimacy, beauty, family, art and friendship.
Moksha – Is the longing to be free, to experience unfettered awareness, to be completely unburdened and to be free of the limitations of the 3 other desires.
Does one of these stand out most for you at this time in your life? Write down your reasons for this.
Setting Your Intentions
Write a list of your intentions for the year. Areas of your life to consider may include – career/relationships/finance goals or health objectives.
Write these in sentences as if they are already happening.
E.g. I make time for my family each day.
My new business is a great success.
I am taking time to keep myself healthy and eat well. I attend a class every week.
You may like to consider an overall desire or intention for the year. This can be particularly potent if used during yoga nidra or ‘yogic sleep’, a deeply restorative practice. In yogic terms this type of intention is named a Sankalpa. Again state this in the present tense as if it is already happening. Swami Satyananda Saraswati writes ‘Anything can fail you in life but not the sankalpa made during yoga nidra’.
E.g. I am grounded and kind to those around me. I attract abundance.
Create a Reminder
You may like to create a mood board or visual reminder of your intentions and sankalpa. Have fun using colour and materials to bring this about – either using paper and pens/paint or perhaps on your computer. Create something you will want to look at again and again. This is how your intentions seep powerfully into your subconscious and flower in reality.
Write at least 10 things you most appreciate about your life. You may like to continue this practice daily writing 5 – 10 things per day in your journal.
Wishing you all that you desire in 2019…
Anna Brook is a yoga teacher and the manager of Unity Studio.