Sometimes simply willing ourselves to be content, to connect to a state of Santosha, just isn’t enough.
Whether you are weathering a storm of salesmen this holiday season, or riding out a fusillade of family, take inventory of your environment and the choices that have brought you to this moment.
This holiday season, try creating bliss in being through a creative reshaping of the surrounding environment, and a re-creation of your experience of life. Just as doubt is a great tool to cultivate faith, be unafraid to leverage your discontent in order to bolster the conditions for contentment—utilizing those pockets of honest angst to empower a radical reshaping.
This year as you unwrap another pair of tube socks, try these technically simple, if not mentally challenging, steps to cultivate the conditions for contentment by acknowledging your discontent.
1. Take a Look. Honestly investigate your environment and identify those elements that do not bring contentment. Just like your dirty laundry, the first step in cleaning it up, is airing it out. Open the closet and rattle the skeletons within by looking them right in the face.
2. Take Ownership. From bad relationships to dispassionate, dead-end jobs, you are not a prisoner or a victim, because you created these conditions. This moment is the cumulative result of every single choice you have ever made. Own it.
3. Take Action. Having created your environment, you have the power to recreate it. Challenge yourself to take action by asking yourself, “What am I willing to do about this?”
Anger and discontent can have the effect of raising our vibrational frequency, inspiring us to create change. We should be wary, however, not to rely on this as our principal drivers for change. Anger can be seductive, burning like passion and confusing the will away from the task of creatively reshaping the way we experience our surroundings. When Granny has too much rum and eggnog and pukes in the closet this Christmas, you might ask yourself, “Does my anger serve me in this particular situation?”
Let your anger and discontent be productive, highlighting those elements of your environment that demand your attention—those key elements that deserve your intention.
Let forgiveness and love lead you through the dark, family times ahead—cultivating contentment in that bite of bone-dry turkey, and finding forgiveness in a mouthful of lumpy gravy.
Be forgiving. Santosha is a practice, not an end result. Be willing to work at it. Simply willing ourselves to contentment is as effective as wishing for it from Santa.
Be the author of your own story. Write your own ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ list.
Take time to take a look.
Be fearless in taking ownership, and bold in taking action.
Create the conditions for contentment, by never being complacent.
A recently reformed meat-head and retired amateur cage fighter, Justin brings a lifetime of travel and world’s worth of experience in battling the ego to the mat. An avid student, artist, and treasure hunter, he infuses a creativity and perseverance into his teachings, along with a distinct blend of humor and wisdom that redefines what it means to be an Outlaw and a yogi. He teaches Outlaw Yoga around the world and is happy to call Denver home. Find him on the web at www.outlawyoga.org.
Editor: Tara Lemieux