Tonight I attended Liz’s Gentle/Restorative yoga class after a day long adventure to Ojo Caliente. When Liz offered up the invitation to move into contentment I found that it was not hard for me to step in to such a feeling after having a quality relaxing day. Relaxing and taking the time to do activities one enjoys, from my perspective, is an important piece to the overall puzzle of a happy and meaningful life. Hot springs, yoga, chocolate, lots of sleep, good movies, quality time with those I love, these things are important to me and add to the overall feeling of content I experience from day to day.
Santosha is the Sanskrit word for contentment, it is also a fundamental practice in the eight limbs of yoga. Practicing contentment is easy when life is easy, like a day at the hot springs, yet contentment requires mindful effort when life is throwing you through the ringer, like the sudden shock of loosing someone you love. Fortunate for us life is not always the same, steady, easy, clear, and without challenge, if it were, I think it would become quite boring. Rather, in the undulations of the ever changing state of what is, is the ever enhanced opportunity to respond to what is however we choose. When we learn that we can respond and not react to the experience we are having in the right now, then we are really setting ourselves up for happy, meaningful, and successful lives. If we constantly live in a state of I have no control, and reactionary to the world around us, then we perpetuate an inner cycle of discontent. Choosing our response to the ever changing-ness of the world does not mean that all things will always be outwardly awesome, it just means that we can say “life is good” no matter the experience we are having, and this is the embodiment of Santosha.
And “life is good” for it is a blessed, short, and fleeting gift. We are here today with all the potential to enjoy right now however it shows up, and well, this moment and what we make of it is all we have before we are gone tomorrow, or the next day…or whenever our expiration date arrives. I hope it does not arrive any time soon for any of us, and in the meantime may each of us continue to choose quality of life in all the ways that make our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies happy.
Enjoy your evening with a contented heart.
Love, always, in all ways, for giving,