Is it possible to always be content in life no matter what the situation?
This is the 6th of ten principles for living happy. Ancient yogis advise that ‘Santosha’ or contentment is a foundation to our freedom, to our happiness.
Contentment is not the same as happiness. It is not the same either as complacency. Contentment rather is to be totally present in a situation, any situation, and not feel the constant pull of your desires and expectations for that moment to be different.
I think it helps to develop patience, gratitude and our ability to share with others.
To be content does not mean to give up on what you want, accept unhealthy relationships or working conditions or tolerate violence. It does challenge us, however, to be patient, present and open within every experience so that we can grow, evolve and then take steps to better our circumstances.
- Tip! Next time you find yourself in a challenging or uncomfortable situation, notice how you react. Is there: resistance? fear? doubt? blame? anger? victimhood? running away? giving up? or a readiness to pause, take a few deep breaths, connect with yourself, acknowledge the feelings, and find ways to stay true and authentic in yourself? Perhaps by softening you can find beauty and learning in the situation. Perhaps you can act with patience and ease, taking steps to gradually move toward what is right for you.
Santosha also means to be grateful for what we have and to notice what is real NOW.
We spend so much of our time living out complete soap operas in our minds linked to the past and the future. We relive events and we imagine experiences including all the related emotions and body tension. It is no wonder that so many of us end up with tense muscles in our backs despite not related to any physical exercise!!
- Tip! Write a list of what you are grateful for. As you step out into your day, bring your awareness into the NOW. Notice what you can see, feel, smell and sense around you in nature and in other people without a layer of personal judgement or analysis. Before you go to bed, remind yourself of at least 3 things you are grateful for from your day. Sweet dreams!
Sharing the moment
How heart-warming it is to share in someone else’s happiness or success, to laugh out loud with a friend, to cry for joy at the birth of a child or amazing human feats? I can’t help but cry at airport arrivals and train stations as I see total strangers greet loved ones. I must admit I tend to cry even for some very cleverly emotion-wrenching tv adverts!
I think it can be beautiful though to share with others the emotions of deeply tragic moments and inspirational human stories. I love sharing the depth of the emotion with others. It makes me feel human, connected and alive. It allows me to get a sense of a deep sense of contentment in life despite all its challenges.
Here’s a beautiful story that moves me to tears every time. Have the tissues at the ready!
What are your favourite clips and stories that make you laugh and cry and feel alive??