I think I’ve been on a constant journey with twists, turns, caverns, mountains, potholes, valleys, deserts and beaches. There’s no way my fifteen, twenty or even thirty year old self could conceptualize this winding path and I imagine each of those moments were significant steps along the way. It’s shifted gears, changed direction, sought guidance, considered progress, gotten stuck and reached for paths unknown, but where it’s going is anyone’s guess.
Amidst the frenetic nature of life and the mindful chaos of the in between, the journey continues. Different than those planned adventures to hiking trails or exotic islands, sometimes I feel like I don’t even know I’m on the journey until I do. Consciously curating a community of like-minded individuals along with those who challenge goals and influence change, often times I find myself intrigued, questioning or wondering, ‘how did I get here’? I could never have imagined this path and there are definitely times I wonder if it zigged when I thought it would have zagged. There were times that there was a giant blockade in the way (that still takes work of all kinds to shift) and others when there was a fork in the road and the choice, it seemed, was mine to take. How does the journey or the Universe know where to lead?
With meditation, yoga and all things nature, there are times that I plop myself on a mat, a trail or a sandy beach and know that this is part of the journey, but don’t yet know what it means. Sometimes the message of the journey or the Universe smacks you in the face, while the other time it’s the whisper of the wind nudging you along the way or nudging you but you’re still confused. It’s a strange thing, this journey. It ebbs and flows, stops and starts, travels across rocky hills and over choppy waves yet there are times that it’s a sea of calm, filled with clarity and the ease fully outweighs the effort.
In my yogic journey, I’ve learned about santosha, contentment. Getting to that level of complete acceptance or contentment doesn’t come easy, is often elusive and seems to flit like a firefly just out of reach. The stories we tell ourselves are not always reality and telling the difference between the two is not for the feint of heart. Scrap the stories, find the space between what’s actually in front of you and what your negative thought pattern is telling you and grab that moment of utter vitality. The more moments of that contentment we find, the more we want it. Teetering on that balance, searching for more ease than effort and wading into the sea of slowing down – perhaps we give ourselves more opportunity for that santosha.
I remember when my Dad took up running. For years he was in a running club, ran marathons and then took on triathlons. After that he spent more time at the gym, then fell in love with cycling and even started taking a few yoga classes (where we’d agree that child’s pose was of course, a favourite). He may not have used the words, but those changes, those shifts were perhaps a continued search – a journey. Once you taste that feeling of contentment, we want it more often. Whether we’re yogis or not, the idea of truly living each day, smiling in the moment and riding that journey to your best self sounds great.
I don’t know where it’s headed, but I do know that santosha is never far from my mind. Sometimes I find it on the yoga mat, while at other times it pops up on a sandy beach, a trail, in a tub of frozen yogurt or in the sound of laughter with a friend – but when it shows up, it lights a spark. And like a kid on the trail of thousands of fireflies, I want to follow it. It’s all still a bit fuzzy and I’ve yet to figure out where the journey will lead – but following a sparkle feels like a good idea to me. What about you?