The Rolling Stones said ” I can’t get no satisfaction…” Have you ever read the lyrics? How could anyone ever be satisfied if all they do is compare? How is it possible that I feel good about myself and my life when I am constantly looking around to see what I have or have not? Of course you can’t get no satisfaction that way.
SANTOSA is the next niyama…it is satisfaction and contentment. It is being content with what we have, not focusing on what we don’t. Again, NOT focusing on lack, but instead having gratitude for all of the blessings. Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as satisfied, to be happy with one’s lot. It may seem a little selfish, but the focus remains inward. Webster’s says happy with ONE’S lot…not with everyone’s lot.
Another way to put this in perspective is to consider learning to be at peace…peace when it’s good and peace when maybe it’s not. This too shall pass, right? Santosa is the practice of knowing it will pass and knowing that there is a reason, a lesson, something that we will receive-a gift, if you will. The moment I decided to be accepting and open was the moment that many things crystallized. It allows us to experience what we need and move forward, not to be stuck in the rut of why me. Why me is happening to all of us all the time, if we choose to dwell there. But why would we? It’s rarely a pleasant place and we only reinforce negative thoughts and patterns. Accepting our life circumstances with gratitude and contentment means that we are open to the lesson without assigning good/bad or right/wrong labels. That shift alone is mind-blowing. It allows every moment to be savored. Yes, we are back to mindfulness. Funny how all paths lead from there….
If you get a chance, Google the Stones’ lyrics. I have listened to that song for decades without really considering the message. Now when I hear it, I don’t feel compelled to sing along the same way. As it turns out, I have been able to “get satisfaction.” And I am full of gratitude for that.