How is 2019 going? What about your New Year’s Resolutions? If you feel like you are faltering or old habits have taken over, perhaps it is time for a refocus that includes setting a spiritual intention.
It is easier to see the infinite possibilities ahead of us when we begin a new year, or month, or even week. In reality, every moment is an opportunity to start something new, or to take a different path. But where do we start? A Spiritual Intention can support personal growth and spiritual fulfillment. This post will help you define that intention so that it can inspire you.
Before we begin, let’s take a moment to define spiritual fulfillment. We are spiritual beings living in human form, often distracted by shiny objects. We get caught up in striving towards things, belongings, and money. Society, advertising, and habit, tells us that ease and completion comes from owning stuff. After a time, we find that the things we own are not bringing us the ease, peace, or love, that we have been seeking. We can buy more stuff or we can try something different. This is when we turn our attention to the spirit, the soul, or whatever you might call that part of you that is more than this body. Spiritual Fulfillment is being aware and living from a place of deep connection to your wholeness. Your Spiritual Intention is the light that guides you to and reminds you that you are already whole.
Meditation to Uncover Your Spiritual Intention
Enjoy this short guided meditation to help you discover and uncover your Spiritual Intention, known in yoga as sankalpa.
Continuing the discovery of the spiritual intention, let’s explore some questions that may shine light on what your spiritual intention is. As you answer these self-inquiry questions, do so without thinking about the answer. You can create a list, write in complete sentences, draw pictures, whatever works for you. If you are able, you may wish to write with your non-dominant hand. Use your journal, or download a free Spiritual Intention Worksheet.
- This is what expands me:
- When I feel most like myself, I am engaged in these activities:
- This is what wholeness looks and feels like to me:
- I feel that my purpose is:
- This is what my spirit/heart is longing for:
Now that you have finished your writing, go back over your list. Circle all the items that are the juiciest, the most meaningful, or that seem to jump of the page. Because a spiritual intention is about you and your personal growth, circle the things that are all about you. From here, what is most important to you on this list?
Formulating Your Spiritual Intention
All things start as a seed. Your writing exercise gave you many seeds to plant. Now it is for you to decide which seed you want to nourish and grow. The Spiritual Intention, or sankalpa, is the seed that when nourished guides you through life, that helps you make important decisions, and that reminds you of what is most important to you. Let’s turn this seed into an affirmation, mantra or prayer.
Here are some guidelines to support you:
- Make sure the affirmation is short enough that you can remember it.
- Present tense – this is something that you are bringing into the now.
- Positive tense – this is a seed that you are growing, something that you want to increase.
- Include I-statements that make your affirmation more real to you, like “I am,” or “I have,” or “I welcome,” or “breathes through me now.”
- Use your intuition, you know what works best for you.
Once you have formulated your intention, write it down. Now close your eyes and breathe as you mentally repeat your intention three times. You may find that your spirit, or intuition, requires a subtle change in the language. Say it out loud to yourself three times. If you have someone that supports you, share your intention with this person and have them say it aloud to you three times. Hearing your intention from someone else can strengthen it at a deep level. You are welcome to post it in the comment section of the blog.
In 2016, I led a 20-minute practice on setting your spiritual intention. The video from that post, includes bellows breath to clear the space, shiva lingam mudra to awaken your sankalpa, and mantra with a hand gesture to plant your intention on the altar of the heart.
In the Yogic tradition, this sankalpa arises from the heart as a gift and remains unchanging. It is said that when the space is clear enough, we can hear the sankalpa. I bring this us as permission for those who have a spiritual intention that never changes and for those who did not find a spiritual intention during this practice. This is a journey and each person’s journey is different. If you are in a place of questioning or doubt, affirm a seed that supports you on the path to discovering your Spiritual Intention. As a suggestion, you might even do this practice weekly.