Can you find contentment in the smoke?
For those of you distant from Canadas Western provinces of BC or AB you might need some explaining. This year, like last, has been a tough one for wildfires and smoke. Unfortunately, we are still in the middle of it.
This situation is actually the perfect time to talk about the yogic concept of santosha, or contentment.
In the middle of our trials, being evacuated, under evacuation orders, seeing grey skies and no sun, breathing in smoke, having our livelihoods or homes threatened or consumed can we be okay with where we are?
Can we still find daily joys and moments of gratitude (safe loved ones, support found in unlikely places, firefighters or even a smile from a stranger)?
Finding contentment now will be challenging, but the more you look for the joys, the more they will multiply.
Santosha is the second of yogas niyamas, the tenants of how we relate to ourselves and like each of the tenants before it has substance that might surprise you when you actually sit down to experience it.
Santosha means contentment and the ability to find it even when challenged by outside events or environments that might be perceived as negative. Don’t misunderstand it to be that this is where you choose to remain, we can always act on actionable items to shift but, it is simply an understanding of what is without throwing up resistance or a longing that takes you away from presence in your daily life.
A quote from my constant companion book, “The Yamas & Niyamas”, “As long as we think satisfaction comes from a external source, we can never be content. ”
Have you ever said or heard, “I could be happy just if ” or “Everything is perfect except…”. These types of comments are what santosha speaks to.
Another meaty quote from Y&N, “Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment.” The moment is only that moment, and could never be anything other that what it was/is. When you stop seeking contentment, it appears.
Instead of going on about santosha I will leave you with the customary exercise to experience it a little (I have done this with all the Yamas & Niyamas, know that all exercises are in the book, “The Yamas & Niyamas”.) For at least a week practice gratitude and nonseeking. Be okay with each moment as it is presented to you. It sounds simple but, that doesn’t mean easy!
I would love to hear your experiences with santosha. The good the bad and the ugly. Meantime lets act on what is within our power to mange the current wildfire challenge and pray for rain!
Just for fun…here you go, I always liked the Eurythmics.
Oops for the keeners out there here are the historic posts on the Yamas and Niayams:
The Yama Posts
The Niyama Posts