A message that has resonated so much with me recently has been this: “We are human beings, not human doings”. And yet, we are always doing something. We sometimes forget to take the time to just be here in the moment, to be present, and to appreciate what we have, even through its obstacles, struggles, and uncertainty.
This pandemic has brought so much uncertainty with everything that it can feel unsettling at times. But this also may allow for us to find the gifts that may be hidden in the shadows.
I like to (maybe inappropriately) joke that Covid-19 happened because I wished so hard for change in my life that we are just getting what I wished for.
I was experiencing some feelings of stagnation in my life and was wishing for some sort of change – but when Covid-19 happened, I was like, “No.. not like that!”
So, if the world is in it’s current state because of me and my reckless wishing, I am sorry!
However, through all of the economic loss, including of my primary job and source of income, I have learned to cope significantly through the gifts of yoga, and have revisited the Yamas and Niyamas of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra, and have resonated with the specific observances of Contentment (Santosha) & Surrender (Isvara-pranidhana) to get me through all this.
Contentment means to look to yourself and your own innate goodness for happiness; that is the only place you will truly find it. It also means being present. Rather than wishing for things to be different in your life, accept and appreciate the reality of what is. Do you really need things to be different to be happy? Choose to be happy now. Cultivate contentment by making gratitude a daily practice. Notice the moments you are happy, even if they seem to be few and far between. Keep a gratitude journal. Count your blessings. Remind yourself often, “I have enough. I am enough.”
The sutra of Surrender can be described in a few ways, in this case as a means of letting go of doubt and making room for faith.
When combining the sutras of Contentment and Surrender, I have found it easier to live life more spontaneously and through a positive, more present approach. I took these two concepts on the road with me recently on a spontaneous trip to Utah. This trip was initially planned to be a rock climbing trip on the north coast of California, but evolved while my husband and I were on the road, finding on our way that the plans needed to change due to Covid-19 closures of many parks and campgrounds. So then, we drove on our way to Idaho, also finding out on the way that there too were many Covid-19 closures. And so, we ended up wandering the deserts of Utah, accepting places to climb that met our ability levels, camped where is was open and welcoming for us, and learned to enjoy the excitement, spontaneity and uncertainty of where to go next.
This pandemic has brought so much uncertainty with everything that it can feel unsettling at times. But this also may allow for us to find the gifts that may be hidden in the shadows. When things become unattainable or closed off, instead of feeling limited, can we find ways to let go of the old and embrace the unknown of the new?