Have you found yourself outsourcing your inner work to someone else?
Within each of us there is an unbroken flow of intuition, knowingness, courage and clarity. We usually look for these qualities in someone outside of us; a trusted teacher, friend or guide. All of these qualities are eternally available within ourselves.
The yoga tradition offers a profound formula for realizing your heartfelt desires and listening to your inner guidance: it’s called the practice of sankalpa, or resolve.
Deep listening cultivates a very therapeutic relationship with the inner workings of our mind-body network, and over time, the compassion inherent in that listening relationship cultivates a lifelong dialogue that leads to greater overall health over the long term. And if feeling better isn’t enough of an incentive, that work that we do in cultivating a kinder and more tuned-in relationship with ourselves transfers into the relationships we cultivate with others.
So why do we fill our time with social media and numbing habits? What is our resistance to a healing practice?
For most of us we are avoiding pain. We are not motivated enough or inspired enough to practice. We find ourselves spending more days avoiding our practice than we do practicing. Inspiration alone is not enough. We must "just do it."
#1 - Just Do It: Don't wait to be motivated.
Our vow or sankalpa to ourselves is to know our own strengths and weaknesses. You are the master of your gifts. It is our job to create a habit and do it even when we don't want to do it.
Ask yourself this question, how do I feel after I have moved my body, meditated, connected to nature, journaled or spent time in contemplation? Usually if you are like me, I feel:
The benefits of meditation have been well researched.
But "I'm too busy" you tell me. I will then ask you, if you cannot find 10 minutes in a practice that you know will bring you the benefits listed above and so much more, "are you living the life you really want to live?"
In yoga, you can use a sadhana (40 day practice) to help create a new habit. This allows you the ability to dive deep. A sadhana practice is one that that happens consistently, over a long period of time and with love or reverence.
#2 - It takes Will Power: Step on the path and do something. It doesn't matter how much you practice yoga and meditation, you just need to do something. Show up.
One of the best tools to help me with a daily meditation practice is Rod Stryker's Sanctuary App. I have access to many meditations, asana practices and yoga nidra or enlightened sleep practices. Pick one and stick with it for 40 days. Go deep.
Don't outsource your inner voice. Listen and understand. Be patient. You got this.