A Sankalpa Practice


Namaste! Welcome to a new moment, a new day, a new week, a new month, A New Year! And to the energies of a Super Full Moon – whose feminine presence reminds us to take time and space to nourish our deepest heart-felt desires. The Sanskrit translation is called a Sankalpa and speaks to the larger arc of our lives. This is also a time to release and surrender into the present moment with pure awareness. These are some of the beautiful Yin qualities of the Lunar Prana.

What a gift! to come to the realization that we are lovable and worthy just as we are. I mean, that’s how I feel towards my daughter when she comes to lie in my lap, giving me permission to just hold space for her and whatever she may be experiencing at the time.

Yet, there is the other human side to us that has this aching desire (especially at the beginning of a new opportunity) to create goals, set intentions and resolve to grow to our fullest potential.

A Sankalpa practice however starts from the “radical premise that we already are who we need to be to fulfill our life’s dharma,” which honors the deeper meaning of our lives and overriding purpose for be-ing here. This can be a challenging thought. In fact, it might be helpful to re-read that statement. 🙂

I find that I have a tendency to forget this Truth because it’s masked by my habitual patterns of thoughts and feelings about myself and my life. So my Sankalpa practice begins by choosing to show up for myself. Gifting myself time each day to be more conscious of the quality of my mind and the “storyteller” who has taken up residence there. I can’t help but smile at Rumi’s insightful Poem, “The Guest House”.

As it’s my Sankalpa to be of service, I would like to share a 3 step process that helps build a foundation for creating and working with a Sankalpa Practice:

  1. Focus the mind on the Divine Life Force that surrounds you and flows through you; entering your body through the awareness of your breath. Mary O’ Malley uses the technique of observing the arising and receding breath by silently saying, “In…Out, Deep…Slow, Calm…Ease,” as you ride the waves of your breath. The breath of life begins to unify the Mind/Body/Spirit paradigm and prepares you for the next step.
  2. Connect to your most heart-felt desire which is a statement in the present tense that reflects your true nature. For example: I am Lovable, I am Worthy, I am Capable. I am Radiant Health. I am Peace, I am capable of giving and receiving love.  I am…. Soham!
  3. Align your moment to moment choices with your Sankalpa (heart-felt desire) by setting specific intentions to help reinforce your statement. Such as creating a wellness program that might include daily walks, an exercise program or yoga routine, mindful eating, purifying speech, volunteer,  Take “5”  (a simple breathing program I wrote for Women’sMovement.com), etc…

Now, when that “storyteller” begins to chime in with those habitual patterns of judgment, shame, attachment… pause… and if you can remember take another “5” and sit in the lap of the Divine Mother. Give Her permission to hold you wherever you are, whatever you may be experiencing and Trust you are not alone. Then slowly and steadily return to the three steps of your Sankalpa practice and ride the waves!

Loka Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu 

May all my thoughts, words and actions contribute in some way to the happiness of all beings.






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