Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I Learned from My Sankalpa

sankalpa, open-heartedness, 2017

I'm calling it a day on Sankalpa 2017. When we first started writing about Sankalpa in 2013 (When I say "we," I mean Lee, as I didn't start writing about Sankalpa until 2014), it was determined that we'd do so for 24 days. That seems about perfect, and then it becomes time to write about other things. Here are some thoughts about my 2017 Sankalpa, which was, "I am open-hearted."

I am generally open-hearted (and optimistic) by nature.

It's my natural tendency to be curious about people and relationships. I'm generally accepting, and I'm open to twists and turns. I really like these traits in myself, which is what led me to this year's Sankalpa. 

Sometimes when you're an open-hearted person, you're also the kind of person who can have her feelings hurt pretty easily. This leads to guardedness. But, I think a defensive stance can cloud my spirit. OMG, look how emo I'm being! New-agey! Sankalpa!

Anyway, the January Sankalpa reminded me to be open until it was time to be guarded. Does that make sense? It's like when Shef was going to race some super fast kids in cross country, and he wasn't sure if he could finish first. My advice: "Put yourself in the race, and just see.  You might have to drop back," I told him, "but go out with the leaders and give yourself a shot." He did that.  In the end, he didn't win the race, but he did finish 3rd. Out of like 200-some kids! So, pretty good. 

If you decide first that something is going to be painful or uncomfortable or just not worth it - if you decide before you even try it - you might miss out on some amazingness. I think that's pretty true.

Open-Heartedness is not the same as saying yes to everything.

It's easy to confuse being open-hearted with clogging up your calendar. It's important to be curious and accepting, but smart to decline some opportunities. This year, I articulated something about my work life that I've known for a long time, but haven't made a rule. It's this: No school-night social engagements (concerts, plays, dinners) during the months of September, October, January, February, or May. That's a rule now.

People think that a teaching schedule is really wonderful with lots of free time. That's true, but the free time isn't at all flexible; and in the months I mentioned above, I'm underwater with work. I can't be open to any distractions, or else I start to lose it. You can't be open-hearted when you're losing your mind.

Sankalpa 2017! I'm adding this one to my arsenal, just like "I am intentional," and "I am a creative risk-taker." It's all good.

1 comment:

mm said...

"Open heartedness is not the same as saying yes to everything." Yes!