This question came to me this morning as I quietly pondered what to share with my beautiful community today in terms of insight. The answer is an absolute mystery to me if I was to be really honest!
Santosha, or true inner contentment is a thousands-year old concept, and according to the yogic tradition, an integral part of our path to freedom.
What I seem to notice in myself, my partner, my children, and seemingly…ALL of humanity, is that we are bound by a lifetime of searching, as we seek the answer to the question, Will I ever truly be happy?
We are always being told that happiness is not achieved by acquiring material possessions, but somehow we do still crave the feelings of joy that are born out of acquisition, whether its new tights or a new house! In addition, we are somehow clouded by the belief that these material possessions will perhaps lead to the attraction towards the perfect job, the perfect friends, the perfect partner, the perfect life.
So why is it that no matter how seemingly ‘perfect’ our life may be, we are always seeking more? I suppose it is in part due to the pressure brought upon us by society to meet the status quo, to keep up with the Kardashians so to speak! And I also believe that perception can be very deceiving, in terms of seeing what others have and assuming that surely because they have those things, or that job, or that partner, or that ‘street cred,’ that they must be way happier than I.
I had an experience earlier today in the shopping mall (yikes!) which is ALL ABLAZE with Christmas decor, and chocka full of holiday ‘must haves.’ Boy, the advertising agencies have most certainly capitalized on the market of ‘this will buy you happiness.’ This year at Christmas, we have decided in our house to relish in the simplicities of life, and attempt to remind our children that the true meaning of the holiday season doesn’t lie within the overmarketed, overpriced sparkly attractions at the shopping center!
As this year winds down, and 2019 lies in the wake, I am left, pondering, the answer to finding the sense of true happiness within me. 2018 has been a bear of a year, I will be thrilled to bid it a fond good riddance! But as I look ahead, I realize that contentment can’t always be something that we search for, but rather, something that we sit with in the present moment.
So perhaps take some time today, or tomorrow, or on the weekend to sit, in gratitude, with the simple joys in your life…maybe they DO equate to true contentment…maybe the answer to the question is right under our nose.