SANTOSHA - Contentment
In Yoga we are taught to cultivate santosha translated as contentment or happiness. My personal experience of this practice shows me that one of the greatest obstacles to attaining contentment is fear. What will happen if I'm content and happy all the time? I will loose my ambitions; I will loose my drive and motivation. I will put up with the things I like to change and I will become passive!!
I have seen that these fears are not true. When we are happy with "what is", we flow through life with more flexibility, strength and courage. Contentment doesn't mean that we let things be without wanting to change them. It means we know that what is happening right now, is the best thing that can happen to us.
Nowadays there is a lot of emphasis on "positive thinking" and what most of us are doing, is creating a thin layer of positive thought on a mountain of negativity, because we are not questioning our core belief system.
The underlying question one needs to ask is: Is this universe kind or cruel? Am I loved by existence, or am I rejected and ignored by life? I have come to see that existence nurtures me at every level and that all that happens in my life has only one purpose: To unfold my potentials and to guide me to the hidden treasures within. Everything that happens in my life is to my advantage. Everything, including all the problems and challenges of life; they have been created for my spiritual, mental and emotional growth. When I know that, instead of shivering away from my problems, I can look straight at them and find a solution that suits me best. We want to run away from problems and challenging situations as if they are the enemies. As long as we run away, we won't discover that they are our greatest friends, and they hold the keys to our spiritual freedom.
The universe is kind and intelligent! We tend to think of the universe as static, with ourselves in the middle, doing the best we can to achieve the life that we deserve. We see ourselves separate from the universe and hence we get tired, feel lonely, trapped and powerless in front of the immensity of the outside world. The universe is kind and is intelligent and you are part of that. The people and situations around you that you believe are causing you suffering, are also part of that intelligent universe. They are not separate from this kind universe that has your interest in mind. The universe is alive and it knows what we need in order to live the life that we deserve. It always wants what is best for us, and what is happening now, whether it be a financial, physical, emotional or mental difficulty, is the first step towards our ideal life.
Whatever happens during your practice, be content with it and relax into the knowledge that what is, is exactly as it should be now. Even if this is your inability to relax!!! Give yourself completely to this moment and Relax into all that arises.