Santosha

a principle that challenges us to find peace in the moment; to look inward trusting that you have everything you need to be fulfilled.

how life works itself out

Journal entry from: August 2, 2016

Wow. There is something to be said about synchronicity. The universe works in strange ways.

I got off the shuttle bus into the Liberia Airport. Previous to this I met a wonderful woman named Brittany*. She’s a principal at a school in New York. We got to talking. Then, the universe got involved and I was all in at this point. The talk we had was nothing short of enlightening. Topics surrounding the magic of listening to yourself, creativity, being aware of what’s going on around you. We spoke of love and all the conditions. Pre-assuming notions and alternate values attached to the concept.

She explained relationships as something she learned from a book – as a term people deemed stagnant in their life. When it’s rather just the contrary. Relationships are on-going, active and dynamic. People act as if it’s the end of a sentence basically. A period. No sentence thereafter. Closely related to “The End.”

This is where relationships tend to turn sour. People forget that work must continuously be done. It’s an on-going process. There aren’t solely sentences after that period – there are chapters on chapters on chapters.

As a society we quickly forget the “design” (as Brittany* called it) of a relationship MUST include communication and an understanding of where each person stands. In regards, to values, beliefs, the future, etc. Nowadays, we distract ourselves wasting time because we aren’t listening to our S.O.

She spoke of a fling she had on her visit. She is newly divorced – you go, girl! But, what she did it for me in that moment was highly relevant to all the stress I’m experiencing in my current love affair. It started off light-hearted, yet as everything progressed my expectations increased thereafter. Likewise, my anxiety.

She expressed how in her situation – the pair knew exactly what the next days would hold and the agreement was enough for both. I need to get myself more align with that perspective – going with the flow. Relaxing a bit. Due to this deep conversation, I decided to share my love for The Artist’s Way. We delved into creativity. By god, that woman is intelligent and full of wisdom. She’s one of those people that if you continue listening to her, you essentially become smarter.

So, anyway, bringing this back to synchronicity. I discussed with her how I’ve been stuck on Week 6 and can’t move past it. I know there is something to be said about the sudden halt. She encouraged me to go back and find out why because we know there is a reason.

“Recovering from a sense of abundance” is the chapter. Working through issues surrounding money. This is a current serious issue of mine, lack of money. How money limits us creatively and tells us we can’t do this, can’t do that. Being wealthy should not be a determinant of whether we are happy in our lives. Yet it always sneaks its way in, causing anxiety and stress.

So when I went back in the book and skimmed the chapter, I landed on the tasks that I previously wrote out months ago. I was actually stunned. Here’s what it said:

a.w tasks for the week
– Pick flowers
– Send 5 postcards
– Look out for rocks
– Move bedroom around
– Say yes to freebies!

In the days I was not dedicating time to The Artist’s Way, I technically had been without realizing it!

1. Every day in Costa Rica I would pick flowers off the ground and put them in my hair
2. In Montezuma, I picked out postcards and sent them to family & friends.
3. From the start of my trip, I began picking up rocks at the beach because they were painted crazy awesome colors!
4. I completely changed my room around before C.R. trip
5. The guy I previously mentioned, offered to buy me a plane ticket to visit him – generally, I wouldn’t let anyone do that, but I did (and it was first class…shoot!)

This is absolutely insane how life works in mysterious ways. So even though it took me a couple of months I’m over the 6-week hump and it’s time for me to start Week 7. I feel so refreshed.

I want to thank Brittany* for making me re-open the A.W and get back to it.

She held me accountable. Sometimes that’s all you need. A little push in the right direction and some faith that it’s all working out (even when you think it isn’t).

 

*name has been changed

she

She had an outlandish thought

Nothing that could be bought

 

She felt things unlike others

Her ideas filled with unthinkable colors

 

Words couldn’t even describe the feeling

For she slowly watched her soul peeling

 

Knowing she was meant to be unique

While her ideas fell meek

 

That never stopped her fight

Knowing all she needed to start a fire was light

 

In with the unstoppable powerful punches

Out with the useless hindering hunches

 

She became her own kind of star

Flickering from afar

 

Patient for you to return

To be all of you and nothing more

For your beauty forever radiates my every day

The sadness is dedicated to you

More than ever before

What it’s like to be an extrovert by association

It’s similar to being told to swim like all the other fish in the sea. Being placed in situations where you’re forced to entertain those around you. Becoming the limelight of the room until you realize you’re meant to be in the shadows.

Growing up in a house with so many people at all times – friends and family. Strangers. Chaos. Loud noises. Dogs barking. What else is there to do but play along. Create more noise for the noise. An extrovert in training. You scream because they scream. You talk because they never fail to talk back. Silence is Houdini.

With silence comes solidarity, calmness, space to think, a place to recharge. Yet without ever experiencing the wonderful sensation – how does one know?

So you continue to play along. Did they bark Oh right, let me bark back? It’s as simple as growing up a circumstance of your environment. Learning from what you observe. Never quite learning anything at all.

Losing sight of myself is what all that noise did to me in the big scheme of things. Even extroverts need time alone to recharge. This concept was unheard of to me until I physically displaced myself from the hostile surroundings – all the way across the country to be exact.

The alone time subjected to my daily life was preposterous. I had no one to take my time away from me. It was nearly impossible for me to relax, yet alone catch my breathe. I didn’t even know I could be with myself. Now, this time, I significantly treasure.

Stretches of time to continuously grow into this physical being. Understanding my darkest pieces and my brighter ones. All the pieces that make me whole. I’m even proud of the darkest ones. I acquired the capacity to friend the parts of me that were previously non-existent to my conscious. Because I never listened.

All I was doing was dancing to distract myself from the pain. The chaos.

The difference now is my ability to dance along in acknowledgment of my dark and my light. I can see when enough is enough. I own the power of self-awareness. I am continuously becoming one with myself. If I feel as though I want to swim with the other fishies – I will, happily.

As for today, I’ll be my own empowered kind of fishie.

A New Yogi’s Take on Intentions

I recently picked up yoga as a form of exercise due to a knee injury, which is slowly cutting off my ability to run. Anyway, I’m starting to learn yoga is much different from any form of physical activity I have done in the past. It is surely more connected to a form of “emotional exercise” so to speak.

Over the past few years, especially after my father’s passing, I have grown in emotional intelligence areas. Being that I listen to myself and I feel more at ease. However, life has taught me there is constant room for improvement.

I found myself in the front row of a Hatha Star class (welcome to beginners like me). Our teacher, Sarah, was reading quotes throughout practice. In the beginning of most yoga classes, they invite you to set an intention. Mine are generally – calmness, strength, a mantra: don’t forget to breathe, or contentment.

In this class today, I set my intention as contentment. The teacher began with a quote which led into a Buddhist term called “Santosha” the origin being Sanskrit (the ancient language of India – if you’re unfamiliar) – the word derives from a meaning of contentment. My eyes peeled open ever so slightly as I peered out at her. Weird, I thought. So she continued…

“…this is one of the key components to success on the path to self-realization. It’s about accepting ourselves as just who we are and coming to peace with that. Acceptance of what our bodies have to offer, it’s limitations, and so on. It’s encompassing that what we have is enough – a sense of satisfaction with our lives”

Hm, contentment. This has been a concept that has muddled around in my stream of consciousness lately. What is it to feel content? Will one ever reach that state or is it a figment of one’s imagination?

An excerpt from my journal entry last week:

“Contentment – this was the intention I set during meditation the other day. Do people ever actually reach this point in their lives? – I feel as though this is a spectrum. All depending on the person’s expectations revolving their personal goals in life. For a perfectionist, this seems like a forever unattainable state of mind. Since leaving Los Angeles I am definitely a lot less anxious. That place was very anxiety provoking in my opinion. I hope yoga can continue to provide me with some sort of peace of mind.”

It’s a striking term to me, really. Maybe it’s all relative to the individual. What I noticed is that yoga is bringing me closer to that idea of contentment in relation to myself. I am treating my body, thoughts, emotions with tenderness. I am now coming from an understanding viewpoint rather than a critical, harsh stance.

I am allowing myself to be me. Acceptance. Santosha. Letting go of irrational fears. Making friends with peace. Deeper fulfillment in my life and my daily. Connecting more with my senses. A sensory overload, if you will, but in a more relaxed space.

So, what I am suggesting here is to start listening to yourself. Take you more seriously in a lighter way perhaps. Stop what you’re doing right now. Silence the clutter and really hear what you have to offer. You may just find out that it is more profound than anything else.

this is not a happy poem

piano keys singing to her
all her thoughts, one big blur

sprawled out on the floor
one shot, two shot, three shot – four

gaze fixated on the door
entwined in her own inner war

two years four months passed
she still embodies an outcast

one tear, two tears, three tears – four
she can’t let go, no – no more.

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