my husband, my children, my brothers, my sisters, my dad, friends, and I am sure there are some random people that are nodding their heads remembering that time I lost my cool or spoke out against something I felt was an injustice or maybe something that was just plain stupid.
I do not claim to have it all together. Shit, I barely have it half together but I do have an honest heart, and I will tell you exactly what I am thinking.
Once or twice I have (jokingly. Or maybe not so jokingly) been told yoga must not be 'working for me' because I was overreacting. And often I personally feel that Yoga must not be working for me because I'm not skinny enough or peaceful enough or nice enough or whatever--enough.
Well, guess what...maybe yoga is working and what you see when I overreact is me not totally losing it...only half losing it. And maybe yoga is working because at 40 I am aware of how my body is changing and I can adapt. And maybe yoga is working because I am nice…most of the time. You should all be super glad I have been doing yoga for 20+ years-- there is no telling how crazy or lazy I would be otherwise.
I do not claim to be happy or peaceful all the time. Who is? That is an unrealistic expectation. And one that can only lead to disappointment and suffering. Also, do you really trust those people who seem to always have it all together, those who think everything is peachy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? I don't trust those folks. I find them inauthentic. And I am nothing if not authentic. (which means you get to witness me being reactive at times...you are welcome)
What I am trying to work on is acknowledging whatever emotions I am feeling without actually acting on them. (I'm WORKING on it, that's why we call it a PRACTICE)
Santosha is the Sanskrit word for contentment. It is one of the Niyamas, a yogic observance or habit on the 8 limb path of yoga.
Doesn't' that sound lovely? Contentment. <Sigh>... look at how content I am. How perfect everything in my life is. I have no complaints at all... everything is perfect, lovely, and peachy...
(excuse me while I vomit a little)
This idea is both comforting and problematic, for me. I love the idea of contentment, I just don’t often feel content. So Instead, I try thinking of Santosha as stillness. Stillness when things are smooth AND stillness when things are not. Allowing the turbulence of your life to be there without struggling against it. AND allowing the beautiful, peaceful moments to be there without you questioning or dissecting them.
I'm not a big Bible quoter but "Be still" is in there somewhere. "Be still and know that I am God" is how I think it actually goes. I think that means practice santosha or contentment in ALL things. Not just the good things. The crappy, confusing, scary, mean, lousy, sad, shitty, stupid, imperfect things too.
Here is something else you may already know about me....I have no filter. Seriously, zero filter...I really think I should have a medical alert bracelet or something. That means I will frequently say exactly what is on my mind....sometimes that works out for me.....sometimes, not so much. Sometimes it looks like an overreaction and sometimes it is just-- if I think it, I say it. I’m working on that too.
I also have a crappy memory so that means I don't hold a grudge....mostly because I can't remember to. That is good news for my husband and for anyone who might think I’m not ‘zen enough’.
Thankfully, I am not perfect or 100% Zen-- ya'll would be so bored with me if I were. I like to think of my imperfections as a public service. When I show you my issues and imperfections it allows you to breathe a sigh of relief and realize I am human. And hopefully you realize that you are then allowed to show your humanity too, and then we can both work at feeling content despite our imperfections.
Life is messy, but it is beautiful too. Santosha is hard, but it is beautiful too.
p.s. I tried more than once to fix a few spelling errors.....weebly apparently wants me to practice contentment with these errors going unfixed. sigh.....