Every week my students inspire me to think a little bit deeper about life and I am very grateful to them. This week was no different. This week were discussing Santosha – contentment, one of the niyamas, yogi qualities we would like to be present in our lives to make it more peaceful.
How often are we content in our life? How often do we stop and appreciate what we have? Contentment means being happy with what you have. It’s about not creating expectations. If you have no expectation, you cannot create disappointment, hence we can avoid unnecessary suffering.
One of my students said, “life has got its own rhythm”. Everything has got own rhythm, our breath, our heart, our body, our mind. When we find the rhythm of the life and we learn how to adjust to this rhythm, we stop fighting and we go with the flow. Once we accept the life as it is and not trying to make the life how we want it, we achieve inner peace, inner stillness and the feeling that everything is like it should be and everything falls into place.
For me contentment means lying in front of the fire, with the book and hot cup of tea. What is your idea of contentment?
And then I think about Christmas. The most beautiful day in the year. And how commercial it became. Somehow Christmas became about presents. We are overloading ourselves which things which most of the time we don’t even need. I have a big family, so one year we decided we will buy presents only for children. And when Santa came, they were overloaded with gifts. And I still remember my 5-year-old niece, surrounded by presents, and how she decided to take few teaspoons from the table and play with them.
Let’s think about the impact on environment and the waste. By cultivating present obsessed Christmas, we increase the amount of waste every year. The amount of plastic being disposed over Christmas is horrendous. And I am not saying stop giving, but what I am saying is maybe idea of secret Santa could be introduced this year? Maybe there should be an amount of money assigned per person like £20? Or maybe we could make the presents?
I remember my Christmas as a child. My parents didn’t have a lot of money so most of the time I was getting one big present. But awaiting this time and appreciating this present was something I will never forget. It was such a magical time for me.
And also, this Christmas just stop running for a moment and look around you. See the smile on children faces, smell the wonderful smell coming from the kitchen, smell the Christmas tree, listen to Christmas song, hug your closest, tell them how much you love spending time with them, and feel the contentment in your heart. Because really what is important this Christmas is to be together.
And if you are on your own this Christmas, then wear your favourite jumper and warm socks, lit the fire, make hot chocolate and listen to your favourite music. Get absorbed in the rhythm of your favourite song. Read your favourite book. Paint, sing and spend some time with you! Because you are the best company you will ever have.
Being content with what we have, even if we only have a little.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!