Ever feel like life just isn’t what you expected it to be and contentment is out of reach?
Well, I have good news! Contentment will find us when we change our perspective. Simple, but not easy.
The Yamas and Niyamas are yoga’s ethical practice and guidelines that help us live a life that is rich and full by mastering choice of our attitude, how we think and what we do.
Santosha, one of the Niyamas, is the practice of contentment. It’s acceptance of the natural ebb and flow of life by learning to be okay when things are not. I say “practice”, because it takes conscious effort to maintain a positive attitude in difficult times. We can choose to wallow in darkness and difficulty, or we can rise above our challenges and see them as opportunities for transformation.
The more we choose contentment, the more we are able to grow. It's not being resigned or giving up, but accepting the outcome of our best efforts and realizing that even though circumstances might not be what we wanted them or thought them to be, in the bigger picture, they are exactly what we need in order to evolve.
Our ego and discomfort with the present can drive us to look outside of ourselves to soothe feelings of discontent. We want to feel different, we want to be different and we want our life to be something it isn't, but we don't have to wait for a better, more improved self, financial status, or relationship to enjoy, accept and love our lives.
We can choose to see the cup as half full instead of half empty, and let go of trying to control what is out of our control. Under the guidance of Santosha, turbulence and drama that are a familiar part of our life will begin to disappear.
Maybe we have everything we need already and all the things we do to bring fulfillment interfere with our own satisfaction. Contentment can only be found in acceptance and appreciation of “what is” and the kind of joy we desire is simply a return to who we already are. The more we surrender and accept, the more Santosha will quietly and steadily find us.