Just a couple of weekends ago, I participated in a workshop on the yogic practice of Sankalpa. In this practice, you pick something that you truly desire to see happen in the next 6-18 months. It is akin to a New Years resolution, only it goes far deeper. The practice invites you to connect to your higher purpose for being on this earth and acknowledge that you already have everything that you need. None of the usual — I just need to eat less, exercise more, work harder before I do that thing I’ve always wanted to do. You do it because it is your higher purpose — plain and simple.
I admit that I was reluctant to do this workshop because I thought this practice might be too much like a usual New Year’s resolution. I just don’t do those much any more. I prefer (like the practice actually invites) to discern how God is leading me and move into that place. If I want to develop new spiritual practices or habits, I would rather do those at particular times of the church year, like during the Christian season of Lent.
Even though the workshop facilitator put aside my resistance to the practice simply by explaining what it really is, I still struggled. Tuning out those negative voices in your head that would separate you from your higher purpose is just damned hard. The “I can’t” mantra in our heads takes root like an ear worm from a popular commercial jingle or song from a 1980s one-hit wonder.
Fear stymies us. Reflecting on this practice reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from author Marianne Williamson that talks about how we fear shining brightly much more than we fear failure. In this New Year, I hope and pray that you overcome that fear, realize your true purpose and calling and find a way to make that dream manifest. I know it will be scary, but I know you can do it. You already have all you need. God made sure of that.