When practicing the Niyama* of Contentment, in Sanskrit (yogi language) we call this Santosha, it’s easy to fall into laziness and blah-ness of life. Because if you have everything you need right now, then why strive to improve? Why strive to reach for your dreams? Keep reading to find out more…
*There are 5 Niyamas. These are like internal ethics to think by, do by and be by.
Contentment = being at peace with all that you have and all that you are. The knowing that in this moment you are whole, you are complete, you are enough. All of that stuff you’re looking for, it is already within.
We like to link this philosophy to the practice of self-acceptance. By translating Santosha to acceptance rather than contentment, we can understand the clear action involved to create the feeling of contentment. It’s easy to say to someone (or yourself!)… you need to be content with what you have… but a statement like that leaves the person wondering well how on Earth do I do that?!
When we choose the word ACCEPTANCE – the action is clear. The action is to accept. And when we learn to accept, we welcome in contentment. And it is from this place that great change can happen.
Eckhart Tolle, one of the world’s leading spiritual masters, explains that change can only happen from a state of acceptance. That we must first accept all that we are before we can change anything.
The reason for this is if we change without acceptance, then we’ll NEVER be enough. We will make the change and we’ll still feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied.
We remember when we were in our toxic whirlwind of fad diets. Our core mission in life was to lose weight and be skinny. No matter how much weight we’d lose, we’d still want to lose more. We didn’t accept ourselves in the moment before change, and so when we’d make a change, we still didn’t accept ourselves. And now we maintain healthy weights. We’re strong and fit not skinny, we look and feel like us and don’t look like Instagram models, when we do Yoga/Pilates our skin and a bit of fat does roll over and poke out between our leggings and crop tops. But we LOVE it all. We accept it all. And it feels GOOD.
Perhaps you can relate to our now or the latter?
Another great example is when going for a promotion or wanting more money. Forever wanting more, more, more, what you have right now isn’t good enough but even when you get the promotion or earn more money, you simply want more still.
You can probably think of some other examples that show up in your life too? Maybe it’s not so materialistic. Maybe it’s that you want to be more patient. Because you hate how you’re impatient, it’s just not ‘yogi enough’ of you. So you go on the mission to be more patient all while still telling yourself how badly impatient you are. You are so focused on your impatience that you fail to miss any moments of patience or any moments of change.
The big aha to keep in mind, is contentment does not = complacency.
The obvious reason for this is that contentment and acceptance is a daily practice. The more you practice the easier and more habitual it will become but there’s still work involved.
Especially when it’s so easy to compare our lives, our bodies, our jobs, our families, our everything to others (open up Instagram and if you’re not being aware, you may fall down the comparison trap within moments!).
The fact that you are practicing contentment and acceptance is PROOF that you’re not being complacent.
Contentment is not your inner voice saying back to you ‘I don’t need that dream job… I’m content just where I am.’ That in fact, is your ego keeping you in check. That’s your ego living in fear of change. That’s your ego telling you all the reasons why you WON’T get that dream job.
Contentment is your inner self saying back to you ‘that dream job sounds wonderful, look at everything I’ve already created, I have so much, I am already complete (I’m grateful for it all!), but YES, go for it! Go for it! Dream big and go for it!’
Contentment is not your inner voice saying back to you ‘I don’t need to eat healthy or move my body… I love my body just as it is, even all the pains and niggles!’ That again, is your ego talking. Afraid of change.
Contentment is your inner self saying back to you ‘wow, my body is amazing, look how it takes me on life’s journey. I accept and love and respect my body right here, right now. That’s why I’m going to choose the best food to fuel and nourish me, that’s why I’m going to move because I CAN! This will all make me feel AMAZING!’
You can see the difference here. Through the practice of acceptance and contentment, you also welcome in the feelings of joy, delight and happiness into your present moment. Because acceptance is KIND. It is LOVE FILLED.
When we practice acceptance and contentment the real power that is realised is that joy, delight and happiness is a choice we get to make. A feeling we get to create wherever, whenever we want.
If you can practice acceptance and contentment, then any welcomed change or aspiration met will simply add more joy and delight to all that you have now.
If you’re wondering HOW to practice acceptance, then MerryBody is the place to learn. Yoga, Pilates and Meditation are the most powerful tools we have found (and now share) to create this knowing of acceptance and contentment.
The truth is, as we shared above… you are enough, you are whole, you are complete, you are actually AMAZING just as you are. Right here, right now.
It’s easy to forget this though. That’s why MerryBody classes are built on the foundation of self acceptance and JOY (i.e SANTOSHA!). When you do a MerryBody class, you can expect to transform your body. But perhaps what you didn’t know, is that you’ll also transform the way you feel about yourself and the way you see yourself. You’ll also learn self acceptance.
Every time you roll out your mat and press play on your MerryBody yoga/pilates class, you’re taking part in a ritual. A ritual for yourself. A moment in time where you get to move your body. Where you get to breathe deeply. A ritual that invokes self acceptance YES because of the intention you put into it but also because of intention WE put into it.
Doors are open RIGHT NOW. Join now here and feel the MerryBody magic.
We can’t wait to welcome you in.
Emma + Carla
Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash