In the process of our move across country, I find myself getting wrapped up on what I want and don’t have for the new house.  Since leaving the corporate world (and a comfy paycheck) I often times get wrapped up in what I want and what I don’t have.  Wait, who am I kidding!  I did this even when the comfy paychecks were coming in.  It’s human nature to desire, to want more.  And in the age of immediate gratification, it is soooooooooo easy to get wrapped up in it fast.  We become attached to our material world.  After all, there is SO MUCH out there, right?!?

Desire can serve us well, helping us to better ourselves when the task at hand is challenging.  But this is more strength of will.  The type of desire I’m talking about is the (as my mother used to put it when we were kids):  “I WANT, I WANT, I WANT!”. Think kid in the candy store.  And yes, the only difference between those kids and us is our candy store is much, much bigger.

Santosa is the niyama that translates to contentment.  Contentment is HARD WORK.  It can also be misinterpreted, as one may get contentment mixed up with lack of will.  Santosa has more to do with taking a step back on a regular basis and thanking God for all we DO have.

The challenge is can you do this when you feel everything in your world is going wrong?  This is where we really become grounded in gratitude, as we are rewiring our thinking.  Think about it…most the time we are suffering it is because we are not getting something “we want we want we want!” (just had a flashback of my sister and I as kiddos at the grocery store). Again, I am not saying do not act or persevere.  But before acting, take a step back and remind yourself all the things you already have…love in my life?  Check.  Food on the table?  Check.  Roof over our heads?  Check.  Clothes on my back?  Check.  And the list goes on.  Once you do this, whatever is going wrong in your life might not seem so extreme.  You may even change your course of action.

To bring santosa into your daily life, here is an exercise Nicole Shaw, my teacher at Sunstone Yoga taught me…

When you get up in the morning, before you even move from your bed, thank the bed for supporting your body. Then stay in bed for a few extra moments to reflect on all that you DO have.  When your feet hit the floor, thank your home for supporting the floor and for the earth for supporting your home.  In the shower, be thankful you have running, drinkable water.  In your commute, be thankful for your transportation.  And the list goes on…it’s the little things that add up to one big, grounded thank you:)

What are you thankful for?