Setting a Sankalpa--Option Three

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

As with most things, there is another way to set a sankalpa, or intention. This way is not for the faint of heart, as it goes to the muddy depths of the ego, but as is said, "No mud, no lotus." This method is intense, but may have more meaning for you if you are willing to journey down this path and get a little dirty and raw. This method may also work better for you if you have a hard time seeing the good in yourself.

First of all, think of a characteristic of yourself you do not particularly like. Perhaps it's envy, or selfishness, or harshness, or laziness. This is what is called a shadow value, something that hovers perhaps just out of sight of most, but impacts your daily habits and decisions. Secondly, if there is a shadow value that you tend to gravitate toward, try creating the opposite intention. As one thinks, she becomes. If you tend to harbor bitterness, set your intention as forgiveness and loving kindness: "I am forgiving. I see the good in me and in everyone around me. I value everyone just as they are. Everyone deserves to be loved, to receive good things. Someone was not loving to me and I did not receive good from them. But they did their best with what they knew in that moment. I will not depend on others to set my worth by what they do or do not do to me. I am loved. I am loving. I forgive them. I forgive myself."

"But wait," you say. "I don't know what shadow values I tend toward."

Darling, you most assuredly do. You may avoid thinking about those values because it's painful, but you know exactly what they are, deep down. It takes courage and hard work to face your shadow side and decide not to live in the dark, but you are courageous and hard working.

 "If you say so," you say. "But what are the shadow values? I don't know what they all are."

To that I respond that you don't need to know them all to know what yours are. But if you need a push, think of healthy, life-giving values and then consider their opposites, or perhaps even their extreme manifestations. Here's a short list to get you started.

So, friends, what do you think of this method? Have you tried it? What other values and their counterparts would you add to this list?

How to Set Sankalpa Method 3

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