A Gift to Yourself

The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on your journey. Although some of you may be busy with holiday planning, many will spend another quiet Christmas. Maybe this is an opportunity. Rather than bemoan the fact that holiday festivities are once again paired back why not spend time reflecting on your past to prepare for your future.

Instead of the usual travel, visitors, excess food and spirits, late nights and large credit card bills, maybe this is the year to give yourself time to be still, time to contemplate and tap into what you really want from the upcoming year.

Our lives are so busy with the daily trappings regardless of who you are or what you do. It is difficult to pause, take stock and plan for the future. But this is an essential element if you are in pursuit of a life of purpose. Why not make the most important gift you give this year a gift to yourself - time to reflect and plan.

You can do this in a number of ways but here’s one I recommend: Make a pros and cons list of the things you’ve liked about your life and those you have not. It’s not a bad idea to do this after yoga practice and meditation when your mind is clear. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and be as free-flowing as you can while creating your lists. Review the lists when they are done and simply sit with the content for the rest of the day. Come back to the lists the next day after a peaceful walk alone in nature. I recommend it be alone so that it’s a quiet time with no chatter and distractions. Then review the lists and identify the things you want to move away from in the future and put a line through each of them and circle those you want more of in your life. It’s okay if you change these later if you feel the need.

The second part of this process involves creating a future list. After yoga practice and meditation, compile a list of desires for your future. Don’t be scared to dream large. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and let the ideas flow. When you’re done read the list and once again leave it. The following day, come back to this list after a walk or another practice and identify the items you want to work on in the new year. Pick up to three items, fewer if that’s more realistic. With each of these, do a brainstorming exercise to identify a few steps you’ll need to take to make it happen.

Once you’ve nailed your plan for the new year you can create a sankapla or intentional statement that you repeat consistently to build the power and force of your intentions. Remember to use present tense language and to write a sankalpa that is memorable; you’ll be reciting it often. For example, “I am living in Victoria. My online yoga business is thriving. I have a loving partner.”

The sankalpa can be repeated at the end of your daily practice, at any point during the day when you are turning away from an unconstructive habit or thought pattern, or at the end of the day before sleep, for example. Repeat the sankalpa like a mantra at least three times. The more the merrier.

Don’t forget the items you’ve crossed out and no longer want in your life. These too may be worked into your future planning. Frame them in a positive light, that is what you want to replace them. For example, “I am no longer working as a program officer for the union and am thriving in my digital yoga career.”

I know this all may seem like a lot to take on over the holiday season. You may want to simplify the process to one that better suits you. If you are serious about moving forward in your life you must be intentional about it. It’s easy to let life pass you by, year after year. This can result in regrets in the final stages of life. And that would really suck.

I encourage you to make this a holiday season where your main focus is you. Does this sound selfish to you? Don’t let it. You deserve to look after yourself and move your life in the direction that’s going to bring you more freedom, fulfillment and joy.

Remember if you are not pro-actively creating your future, your past becomes your future. For some of you, that may be just fine but my hunch is that most of you want to step into your full power - even if you’re not quite clear what that is - and become everything we were meant to be in this lifetime.

If this sankalpa concept resonates with you and you are ready to dive in but need a bit of instruction, why not reach out and book a free 30-minute consultation with me. Consider it my gift to you.

If you don’t hear from me before, have an amazing Christmas and holiday season. And if it’s more quiet than normal why not bask in that!

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