Finding My Contentment
Santosha or Contentment is one of the niyama's (personal observance) highlighted in the Upanishad's and Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali.
In January , I packed my bags and bid a moist goodbye to everything that was a part of me in Singapore. Friends, my Yoga community, the different locations within Singapore that I explored as part of leading Yoga classes and my beautiful home. This intangible place was also special. Very Very special. It had that soothing grounding comfort. Very inviting and inspiring. The very first look at it and I had fallen for it. I would find myself on the meditation cushion even after a long day. Nothing use to tire me. I use to spend some time by myself watching the shades of the setting sun, the free fall of the rain drops or at times just experiencing the breeze pass by me. It use to fill me with its unending zest and lustre. The day use to end on a beautiful note too, watching the phases of the moon.
Moving into this new space, nothing was familiar. We had no acquaintance , no friends. Intially I use to feel very empty with so many new things around me. Furnishing this new house and converting it into a home was also one of the primary priorities.
I had prepared myself for the seeming relocation challenges, but 9 years of firm rooting in one place had build up a sweet comfort. Here there were no huge residential complexes or condominiums which meant that it was just us. All the time, until we make some friends. No in-house facilities of swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, nothing! It felt like I had to reinvent the whole lifestyle and begin from ground zero.
Kids and the supportive spouse blended so seamlessly well into their new routine as if the new school and office had always a space for them and they just had to fit in.
Commuting by public transport took much much longer.The cold weather and long hours at grocery store started to feel very restrictive. Everything around me was a test for my inner sanity.
Obiviously not very happy with all this I use to mentally visit the comfort of my comfort zone. Comparing notes on how beautiful and convenient it was back then. How picture perfect everything in life was - my small yoga community, classes and friends. In the weak moments questioning the rightness of my decision to move. To move beyond that known space to start everything on a fresh note. A typical state of vikshipta-citta ( A state of mind which is occassionaly steady and at other times easily distracted).
Now six long months have passed by. Inspite of all these challenges I was able to complete my residential advance yoga teachers training in India, start up the Yoga practice here, got to know some of the nice people around and through all these situational experiences, transforming the stumbling blocks into stepping stones, I have found a new strength, a new me.
What kept me grounded was gratitude and contentment. To be thankful for what I have. I feel they are two sides of the same coin. Reminding myself to be grateful for what I have, to be contended with courageous patience (Saburi) in what is there. It required practice. A lot of mental practice.The mind is so strongly trained to hold on to negatives and it was so easy to be drifted in that which was not a part of the present moment.
There have been some very challenging times and there have been moments when a stranger has gone out of their way to extend a helping hand.
Now I have come to terms with- google translate, broken deutsch (language classes in progress!)and sign language as a part of daily life. Trusting my instincts more while experimenting with grocery shopping , parting ways with reading the news paper in a traditional way and watching movies in cinema's will be on hold, atleast for a while now.
Today I as look back the phase of hesitant steps seems to be over. There is more stability and firmness in my steps. Today I trust more in the Universal plan to bring me here and to do what I am doing.
It is so much into our perspective of looking and analysing situations. Contentment need not be always in relation to something outside me. In my experience I have come to believe that even in adversities there are growing lessons to be grateful for. Gratitude brings in contentment and Contentment leads to gratitude, technically the glass is always full.