A Powerful Strategy to Become the Best You
As I child I was told early on that I asked too many questions and had too many needs. My father was constantly angry, and he told me it was my responsibility to not make him so. So my response was to belittle my needs, and try to be less demanding.
Recently, I found myself in a similar pattern in a project I was working on, where I felt like I was walking on eggshells to fulfill the needs of someone else. I dismissed my own needs in favor of theirs and began getting resentful.
Yet I am a firm believer that we need to stand up for our rights and what we believe in, and that if we stay silent, we will lose our voice and our power.
I realized that I am caught in this conflict of not knowing, when is it OK to speak up, and when is it better to shut up?
I’ve recently noticed the pattern that people with healthier relationships do speak up. They feel more entitled to being treated well than I do, and there is even research to support this.
I was in the midst of pondering this conundrum, when I showed up for my yoga class. The teacher talked about setting an intention for our practice, but said that to face our current times, we need something deeper, something more long lasting, we need to concept of the sankalpa.
What is the sankalpa?
It is an inner mission statement that drives how you show up in the world.
Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga says:
“that kalpa means vow, or “the rule to be followed above all other rules.” San, he says, refers to a connection with the highest truth. Sankalpa, then, is a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth. “By definition, a sankalpa should 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.” The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide your choices.”
I realized that once we decide on this Sankalpa, we have a framework for making decisions about how we want to be, and how we want to be treated.
This resonated strongly with me, as I had seen the differences when my intentions were clear for my clients in my business. While most of my relationships with clients were good, occasionally I got people who did not trust my good intentions. While I believed their difficulty in trusting me had little to do with me, being clear about my intentions to have their best interest at heart helps set our relationship off on the right foot. It also gives me a guiding principle to return to as needed.
Knowing your intentions with friendships, housemates or potential partners can make a big difference in those relationships as well. You can choose to go through the motions of relationships and respond as necessary, or you can choose to uphold a value throughout the thread of your relationships. When you have a sankalpa, you know where you stand from the outset of the relationship. Because you are pledging to act in alignment with you want to show up in the world, your sankalpa will be your guiding compass to drive you back to those intentions. How you frame your own behavior will also be determined from how well you acted in alignment with your sankalpa.
Need help in finding your sankalpa? Check out this article here.
I decided that my Sankalpa for my relationships would be to do everything I could to create a win -win situation for all involved, including myself. In knowing and being clear about my Sankalpa, I shared it with my others on the project, and asked for an underlying intention for the project and relationships in turn. Knowing where others stood gave me vital information I needed to know, so that I could decide about how and whether I wanted to proceed to work with this team.
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