I took a break from social media and emails for the past week so I could organize the house and get rid of stuff before my kids went back to school. I tend to start feeling overwhelmed this time of year so it really felt good to give away so much old stuff that we were no longer using.
While I was going through everything I kept thinking about how great I will feel when I was done cleaning and organizing the house.
Then I came across a article about Santosha among my yoga papers. Santosha is Sanskrit for contentment.
The article talked about how we are all trying to obtain contentment by thinking things similar to:
“I will be happy when
– my salary is larger.”
– I lose 10 pounds.”
– I go on vacation.”
– this rough patch is over.”
– when I get my house organized.”
The thing is, once you reach a “when” another one just pops up. And, honestly, probably 5 more.
The article went on to say that the key to creating that happiness we are looking for means being content with your home, car, belongings, money, health, friends, job and family.
Sounds easy, right? Ha! But it sure gives you a lot to think about doesn’t it?
How can you take something that you considered a negative and see it in a more positive light?
Here are some of my examples:
1. Feeling behind on emails and projects because I spent a lot of time with my kids this summer.
Feeling grateful to have kids, feeling lucky to have the opportunity to spend so much time with them, feeling excited that I have projects and ideas to work on and people to email about bringing them to life.
2. Worrying about the health of family members and friends.
Feeling blessed that I have people in my life to be concerned about and that their health isn’t worse than it is.
3. Waiting to be happy once all of the organizing I have/want to get done is done.
Feeling grateful that I have all these items to organize, feeling fortunate enough to have received a lot of them as gifts and that I have a lovely home in which to organize.
So, this is my challenge to you. Think about your “I’ll be happy when…” and try to put a positive spin on it. Write it down if that feels good. Smile at the fact that you can see the good in your current situation.
Does this sound nice but leave you still wanting a bit more? Good! Then you will love my favorite part of the article:
Being content with what you have does not mean you cannot discriminate and seek to progress in life. It doesn’t mean that you should not use your willpower and fulfill your plans.
Life is meant to be lived joyously.
It does not mean that you should not become upset while you are striving toward your goals, frustrated or unhappy if you do not get what you want. The best striving is to keep pushing along the natural unfoldment of positive trends and events in your life, your family life and your business.
Contentment is working within your means with what is available to you, living within your income, being grateful for what you have, and not unhappy over what you lack.
Practicing contentment, or santosha, would be finding happiness with what you have… with your lot in life. Of course, you can work to improve it! The purpose of contentment is to help you see that you are exactly where you are to be right now. Know that there is something to learn from everything, everyone, and every experience that crosses your path.
So go after your dreams, feel your feelings, find the beauty in your life and learn the lessons presented to you.
It won’t always be easy but I’ll be doing it right alongside you and it will be worth it!