Flying over the snowy hills of central USA makes me realise just how big this place is. Also how when we moan about the weather in the UK we really don’t remember how hard it can be for those parts of the world that really get extreme weather. In fact being over in the USA has allowed me to see how good we have it in many respects in the UK. Somehow being away from home as allowed me to find contentment with what I have at home.
That is the trouble with contentment though, and my search for santosha, that we sometimes need some objectivity to find it. I know that for me, I am a lot more content with where and who I am, having looked at my world from a distance. Comparisons aren’t necessarily something I would encourage in yoga practice. In the day to day practice of looking inward to find happiness and santosha, why would I suggest an external comparison. However just like your mother probably reminded you when you were a child. Appreciate what you have as there are many worse off than you.
Sometimes we need that reminder.
Sometimes we need a distance from the decisions we need to make, so that we can be objective. When we are continually immersed in a situation it is hard to be objective.I had allowed my busy life and the constant movement from one thing to another to encourage a dissatisfaction with where I was. Not with my life but with something. I tell myself it is the British weather…but as I said earlier, it really isn’t that extreme. The UK isn’t really that big a place and for a small island we have a lot of opportunity. In fact I feel maybe it was just that the constant activity, the squeezing in rather than indulging in, my personal practice has meant less focus on the Yama and Niyama discussed in the Yoga Sutra. These are the restraints and observances. Basically a guide as to the way to be in the world and to treat the world around us. A way to learn how to treat yourself and how to treat the world in our constant journey toward Samadhi. Towards the enlightenment of realising who we are & who we can be.
Obviously I am constantly striving to practice tapas, using this discipline and motivation to keep moving forward. However this can sometimes detract from the practice of santosha, contentment. Enjoying where you are rather than looking for where you could be.
So for me this trip has been beneficial in so many ways. Admiring the beauty of snow capped mountains, and being glad I don’t live there! Getting the chance to really appreciate what I have at home and how much my life suits me and who I am. So basically it’s done what a vacation should do, taken me to beautiful places, allowed me to spend quality time with family and friends, and allowed me to really appreciate the life I lead when not on holiday. So the feeling of wanting to move away was necessary to realise that actually I find my santosha at home.