Dear Homegrown Yogis,
Santosha is a Sanksrit word that roughly translates to contentment or satisfaction. It is one of Yoga’s ethical principles and until recently was the most elusive of any of them to me. Then two weeks ago I was driving home from the studio and had a moment that literally made me pause – I realized I am totally content. Nothing external has changed in my life yet suddenly I’ve had a significant shift in my perspective.
Now not to bust this cheery bubble, but there are things in my world that I am working to grow and transform – increased attendance in our classes (hint, hint!), greater depth and intimacy in my relationships, and more stability and ease in my yoga practice just to name a few. Really the list could go on and on! Yet I’ve begun to distinguish between contentment and complacency. I can be content with how things are even as I work to transform them; and really, that may be the key to transformation. As the expression goes, “what we resist persists,” so it makes sense that contentment is the first step to making changes in life.
One of my own yoga teachers once said that if you truly hear someone’s story and see them exactly for who they are, you cannot help but fall in love with them. Take a moment to think about that. I know I have and since doing so, I’ve made a sincere effort to listen to people’s stories and to see them exactly as they are. Without fail when I have done so, I have fallen in love with them. It’s why you’ll hear so many of us say, “I love you” at the studio. Not because it’s just something we say but because it’s an acknowledgment that we see and hear each other exactly as we are. Messy, unfinished, sometimes neurotic, yet absolutely perfect and complete.
I’ve realized that my life is exactly the same way. Once I saw it exactly as it is – with all the messy relationships, unfinished projects, and yes, even painful experiences – it was impossible not to fall in love with it. And with that new perspective, I am totally and completely content.