Lately I have been thinking about the vows, the promises, we make to ourselves and to each other. This line of thought came about after having recently completed The Four Desires workshop with Yogarupa Rod Stryker in Carbondale, Colorado. In this training, it was emphasized that on one level or another everything in our life is the result of a series of promises, one could say decisions or commitments, we’ve made time and time again. Thus: everything we are, everything we have, is simply an external representation of the internal choices we’ve made accumulated over time.
Keeping this in mind – as well as the more sobering reality that in order to change the direction of my life I need to change the choices I make on a daily basis – I have found myself wondering which choices are ultimately going to serve me and which are not. Using the two sanskrit words he identified with this concept, I continue to ask which of my daily actions are in alignment with my sankalpa (the desires, the vows of my heart, and thus my dharma) and which are manifestations of my vikapla (the desires, vows, and commitments that create separation between me and my heart’s desires)? What things in my life are leading me closer to the type of fulfillment, peace, and ease, I want to ultimately return to and which are only driving me further and further away?
To answer these questions, it seems that the only thing to do is to go inwards and listen to that inner voice that lives deep within each of us. For this is one of those things that each of us can only answer for ourselves. With that being said, the question that I have for you, the one that I am attempting to answer for myself right now is this: If your future was to continue on the same trajectory that is right now, would you like the direction that you are headed? If the answer is anything but an overwhelmingly enthusiastic yes, are you willing to put in the work to start to make the small and subtle changes that will change the course of your life?
Unfortunately, no one can answer this question for you nor can they make the necessary course correction. However, you are not alone. Each of us is here to help one another learn a series of lessons. By you learning yours, you help me learn mine (and vice-a-versa). By doing you, by being your fullest, brightest self – i.e. by living in harmony with your sankalpas, the intentions aligned with your heart and your dharma – you are offering the world the biggest and best gift you could possibly give: the whole, real, you.