April 19, 2021
Everything we do—every act, process or journey we commit to, we must approach with Intentionality. Without Intentionality, it becomes difficult to assemble into coherent growth the odds and ends that make up our often messy journeys.
What do I mean by Intentionality? I mean knowing where you’d like to be heading. Not in the sense of exact, inflexible goals. More in the sense of knowing the Intention, or, Sankalpa, behind each act.
In Sanskrit, Sankalpa, means vow or “the rule to be followed above all other rules.” It refers to a connection with the highest truth. It is a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth and honor the deeper meaning of our life. A Sankalpa speaks to the larger arc of our lives, our dharma—our overriding purpose for being here. “I know the relationship I want to have with myself. I know how I want to feel about my job. I know the relationship I want to have with my finances. I know the impact I would like to have on my community.”
Approaching your life with Intentionality means that all the small things you do – the healthy choices, managing your spending, the daily grind – take on extra power and meaning. You KNOW why you’re doing them. You KNOW where they can take you.
There are some small but impactful rituals you can adopt, to imbue your actions with meaning and bring yourself back to Intentionality.
Choose five values you want to be the defining features of the life you lead (for example compassion, growth, creativity, generosity, honesty, discovery, justice, accountability, independence, etc.). Once a day, once a week, or each time you practice, run through how you’ve aligned with these values. When you’re faced with a choice or decision, refer to these values to act as your guides. Create a mantra from them that you can use whenever you need. Get creative! Make little cards that you can place around the house, so you’re always reminded of who you want to be. Start every day with a pranayama exercise or breathing session, as short as five minutes if you’re rushed, during which you focus on your intention.
Your Sankalpa could be an Intention for this month, this day, this year – whatever you feel comfortable with! Before you start any project or perform any action, take a breath and speak your Intention to yourself. Remind yourself of the relationship between your actions and your Intention.
Below are some recommended practices to further explore this topic of Intention: