I sneezed my way through leading a yoga class on intention setting today, while procrastinating committing to my own. First I needed the right markers to set myself up for success. And the elusive perfect journal. After much deliberation, the pens, I ordered. While I remain indecisive on the book to hold 2018, I feel my intentions taking shape.
Writing. I’m going bold: I want a book deal in 2018. In yoga, we put intentions in the present tense to plant the seed, so in other words: I am a published author. To manifest this goal, I have work to do. I can’t meditate my way to publishing, but visualization is an important motivational tool I use each morning. I see the book in print. I feel the weight in my hands. Envision myself at Politics and Prose, reading to a friendly audience of family and friends. In response to the omnipresent D.C. question what do you do I respond, “I’m a novelist.”
Wellness. Time to get back in the fitness saddle. Forty spin classes may not seem like a lot compared to what I used to achieve, but it’s 38 more than I took in 2017. To that tally, I’m adding 100 yoga classes—as student, not teacher. Teach. Take. Absorb. Grow. Sign up for a silent retreat. Namaste.
Wit. Life—or rather, the world around it—feels heavy right now. In 2018, I vow to laugh more, spread the light, and open my heart to possibilities. I resolve to spend more time with friends. Take more outings with the boys. Get outside, no matter the season or the weather. Furthermore, I want to stop gripping onto narratives I create in my head. As I say when I teach: relax the shoulders. Did I mention laugh?
And that’s all she wrote. For now…
This week, to bolster my chances of keeping the goals/resolutions I set for myself, I attended two yoga intention setting workshops.
The first workshop was held at Capitol Hill Yoga on New Year’s Day. I had no idea what to expect. I went in thinking, “drink less bottled water, be more outwardly and innerly graceful, finish writing my novel.” I came out with my higher purpose.
CHY owner Stacey DeGrasse initially threw me off-guard by explaining we weren’t there to set resolutions but to determine our sankalpa. What the hell is a sankalpa, I thought. Now that I know, let me explain. While a resolution is a determination to do something, a sankalpa is a vow we make to support our higher purpose. Your sankalpa has to be heartfelt, authentic, easily stated in a simple phrase, and able to be stated in the present as if it is already fulfilled. Stacey recommended to the group, a mix of people who had never made a resolution to those who set numerous ones each year, that we focus on only one sankalpa. But definitely no more than two or three. (I mean, really, one? This is DC after all.)
It didn’t take but a millisecond for me to realize my sankalpa. While the action required to achieve it is the goal I went into the session with (to finish writing my novel) my sankalpa is: I am a writer. Once it was clear, I felt energized. I did an hour of hot yoga to seal the deal and came out eager to get to my computer. I’ve barely left its side since then, clocking about 6,000 words (and hours of editing) over the last few days. Not that they’re all quality words, but in the moment I’m all about quantitative progress.
I almost canceled workshop number two, held at Flow Yoga Center. When you know your higher purpose, you know your higher purpose, right? However, teacher April Puciata’s workshop was also valuable in helping me root my sankalpa. Her session actually felt like a continuation of the first workshop. She walked us through a deep meditation from which I emerged with my sankalpa firmly planted in my core. I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.
And I got a little nap in too.
I’ve called them resolutions. I’ve called them goals. I’ve constructed “goal boards” where I pasted images pulled from magazines of how I want my life to look and feel.
Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t, though I don’t like to use the word fail here. As I wrote in my review of the 13 in ’13, goals can evolve and be replaced by other laudable intentions.
Intentions. A yoga class on intention setting in the new year caught my eye, so now I’m taking it at two different studios. I mean, the reinforcement can’t hurt right? So in advance of all that bendy self reflection, I came up with a few intentions for 2014.
Just say no to jobs that make your face grow numb from stress and relationships that aren’t fulfilling. Drink less bottled water. Play more board games with the kids. Finish writing my novel. Experiment more. Complain less. Be better.
Happy New Year!