Contentment. Focusing on the positives and being happy where you are – easier said than done right?
How often do we use the phrase ‘I’ll be happy when…’? Or ‘I’d be happier if…?’
Although there is nothing wrong with wanting to grow and expand our minds, or push ourselves towards a goal, we mustn’t let it consume us – we need to understand that to place our entire happiness on this goal will only consume us and stop us moving forward in any other part of our lives.
Contentment or Santosha (the second of the Niyamas of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of yoga) doesn’t mean idly sitting back not doing anything, it simply means accept and appreciate what we have already and where we are today – on and off the mat.
So whether you are able to go into a full wheel posture or you are still working on your bridge – be happy with where you are, and don’t compare yourself to others.
Your practice is yours alone, and even just turning up is something you should be proud of, and little by little you will make small improvements that through time, will start to show.
Once we compare our practice to the next person’s we steal contentment from ourselves – we take away the joy we have of yoga – we lose sight of happiness.
You are enough. Remember this.
Whether we can walk on our hands or struggle in Downward Dog – there will always be somewhere else we can go in our practice – that is why it is called a ‘practice’.
Be content with where you are today.
Similarly, off the mat, once we have fixed a goal we can become fixated with it: we want to lose weight, or get a new job or buy a new house – but isn’t the decision and the drive to make change enough to make us happy? Knowing that we are already making huge changes even just starting to be more active, applying for jobs, or looking at house brochures?
Be content with the steps you take – be happy with the actions you make – no matter how small.
It’s important to remember also that we have no control over the things around us, so if we are constantly relying on them to make us happy, we will struggle to find happiness.
Be happy in yourself, in the song in your head, the spring in your step and the peace in your mind that you are you – so uniquely you – and you are and always have been enough.
Peace and happiness lies within, find contentment in the small things, and allow them the breathing space and time to grow.
And always, always remember that you are enough.