This week’s assignment has to do with contentment. It is so easy to be content when all is going well for us--when the moment is meeting us just the way we like it. But what if it isn't? All too often we are investing in making sure that our needs are met. Essentially there is nothing wrong with that, but at times it can be a distraction from letting things just be what they are.
Sometimes it seems like we are always getting ready for the next thing rather than enjoying what we have. I see this while I am eating. I was raised in a family with 11 kids. Food was not abundant so a vibration of "I better get mine" was present at my family dinner table. I have always eaten too fast—often not putting my fork down to get ready for the next bite before I am done with the one I have. Then I pick up my plate the second I am done to clean up. At times I do not remember chewing my food, which is an important part of eating indeed. Once I realized this, I started practicing putting my fork down after each bite so I can enjoy it and savor the moment.
In my business there are many, many details to be done in any given day. I watch myself unable to enjoy the things I love about my business, the people and yoga, because I am compulsively worrying about the details not getting attended to. This lack of contentment has often gotten in the way of the richer moments of my business, whisking away the good life because I am worried about domestic details.
Have you ever tried something new only to spend that time thinking about what you are not getting in that moment, or how it is not like the last moment you enjoyed, rather than discovering the richness of what is there? I watched myself this weekend in Vimana Fusion class tense up when we did not do a pose I expected to do. Rather than enjoying the newness of the moment, I ruined it by not being content with trying something new. The funny thing is at the end of class, I felt so fresh and renewed! I had been stuck thinking that I had to do yoga one way in order to "get mine.” Personally, it took work to enjoy all the newness of the class, to be like a kid discovering the moment, instead of assessing and critiquing the class away. In the end, I realized that that my initial assessment was not on point anyway. I felt great in the end! Very balanced and refreshed.
Did you know that when we get out of balance we crave the exact thing that is not good for us which throws us deeper off balance? Finding contentment is often found after we do the very thing that we did not realize we needed. We are afraid to put our pleasure at risk rather than just soaking up each moment for what it is.
The gratitude lists have helped all of us with practicing contentment, but let's take it to the next level by not spending this moment getting ready for the next. Can we savor our moments today long enough to feel our breath rather than not remembering the breaths we took? Remembering the breaths we took in each moment is contentment, indeed. Let's all try this today.