Amy Weintraub: A Sankalpa for Happiness

Some time back, a friend asked me to look at her list of characteristics for the perfect soul mate she was “attracting” into her life. 

It made me wonder—even if making the list would help manifest the partner my friend was seeking would she be happy?  Does creating lists and visualizations sometimes keep us focused on what we think is missing in our lives, instead of what we do have?

“You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy,” said the Jesuit priest, Anthony de Mello.  “You need to drop something.” 

Yes, I know, he wasn’t looking for a human mate!  Still, isn’t it true that happiness is there when everything else, particularly that list of wants and needs, dissolves?

If I take a deep and conscious breath, I can feel it beneath the lonely mood or the worry about an approaching deadline or the uncomfortable night spent at Gate 9, Terminal A, during a Chicago snowstorm. 

Happiness isn’t even this idea of dropping something.  It isn’t an idea or a concept.  It isn’t even knowledge.  It’s visceral, and all the senses are involved. It’s total absorption. 

Some of us bring to the mat our strong will, our desire to go for the gold, to hold on at all costs.  We may see such tenacity as a sign of strength.  But yoga teaches us that true strength arises from the balance of will and surrender.  On the mat, we learn the will to hold with the willingness to let go. 

A study involving 90 adolescent girls done at the University of British Columbia a few years back found that the tendency to hold on to unattainable goals may be indicative of future illness. 

 According to the study, reported in the December 07/January 08 issue of Scientific American Mind, girls who said they never gave up had more quickly increasing levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) as compared to girls who were moderately good at letting go.  High levels of CRP often precede the development of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

So how does this jive with what’s known as the Law of Attraction, that we can attract things into our lives by projecting the right thoughts and visualizations?

The secret ingredient is being able to let go. There is no doubt that we create with our intention, our Sankalpa. Breathing our heartfelt intention, our Sankalpa, through a clear space within enables us to resonate our humbly felt intentions through the Universe. And when we project from this quiet place, without grabbing, reaching or inability to let go, the Universe responds the most effectively to allow our Sankalpa to begin to manifest in our inner and outer world.

A loving namasté,



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