In the Sutras, Patanjali suggests that when santosa is present in our life, we are filled with true happiness. Not the happiness of having everything we could possibly want, but a deep and stable happiness that fills us from the core. This does not mean that we wont experience hurt and pain, feelings will always come and go, but rather is provides a solid foundation for us to experience emotions without becoming consumed by them.
The first step in cultivating such a blissful state, is to notice when we feel discontent. Once we become aware of these feelings, we can begin to change them into thoughts of gratitude for what we do have. Rather than focusing on what we lack, focus on what is abundant, then the seed of true contentment begins to grow.
Next time you feel dissatisfied, make time to journal about these feelings, followed by writing about a feeling of abundance.
When you find yourself stuck in a queue, be content with this moment. Feel the strength of your feet on the Earth, notice the flow of life around you, see it not as a waste of time, but an
opportunity to cultivate gratitude.
Make of a list of all the little things that you are grateful for each day.
When I fell pregnant with my first in 2014 I knew that birth would be easy for me. My Yoga practise had taught me to trust, to listen to, and to care for my body. To me, pregnancy and birth wasn't a medical matter to be dealt with in a hospital, it was what my body was designed to do. I knew that there was nothing to be scared of.
I was shocked to come against so much negativity in my belief that I would birth easily at home and with no pain, even my Yoga teacher was dubious and suggested that I listen to how other mothers had dealt with the pain. Most films and TV shows depict birth as loud, painful and undignified, rather the gentle and relaxed. Many people felt the need to tell me that birth was painful, and how distressing they had found it. Despite all of the negativity around birth I came up against, I was sure that it would be awesome.
If you’re anything like me, every January 1st I neatly write out a long list of New Years Resolutions, falsely believing that if I stick to them all my life will be full and content. Weeks, if not hours later I find that I have already broken at least half of them, and end up berating myself on my lack of strong will, leaving me feeling disappointed and despondent.
It’s such a shame that most of us constantly feel that we are not good enough, thin enough, clever enough etc. We spend so much time wanting more and thinking about what we don’t have enough of, and