“Searching outside ourselves for happiness in any form, whether it be substances, people or possessions, just leads to yet more searching” ~ Ekhart Tolle
I find so much peace on the islands. Hawaii makes everything easier. I came here to lead a yoga retreat, and spend time with my family. I am leaving with a huge dose of island medicine. These islands heal. The Hawaiian waters (WAI) and breezes have a medicinal effect. Blood pressure lowers, stress has disappears, my mind is clear. How can I take this home with me?
It’s easy to be content and forget things like cancer when you’re looking at this view, breathing this air, surrounded by incredible humans, and feeling extreme gratitude. It’s like cancer is a part of my home life, and I came here to take a vacation from ALL of that. But home we must go. I want to share a yoga philosophy that is helping me be in the middle of this hard thing, peacefully.
Santosha is one of the Niyamas, 5 suggestions from the Yoga Sutras for living more “Soul Fully”. Santosha means contentment. But not a passive “I’ll be happy when” kind of contentment.
To me, the practice is this…”I am content AND…this is happening”. First and foremost, I am committed to being content, along with what’s happening. I am content and it’s raining on my vacation. I am content and it’s sunny. I am content and this person is being disagreeable. I am content and I have cancer.
The AND is everything. It’s not ‘content even though’, or ‘content in spite of’, it’s content AND.
Contentment is different than happiness. I see happiness as situational. External. Something to search for. Contentment is internal, and always right here, just under the surface. Just like Hawaiian medicine, Santosha is medicine for the soul.
Try it on. What hard thing are you navigating today? “I am content…AND…” It’s powerful medicine.