Contentment

As spring finally blooms in the American Mid-West, Lisa explores how trusting and believing in the present moment can help us find contentment on and off the mat…

Lately, I’m feeling a bit anxious about the future, and this anxiety is interfering with my ability to find balance between contentment and my feelings of indolence.

You know what I mean – It’s a cloudy, rainy day (well, for you desert dwellers maybe it’s a hot and sandy day), you’ve finished your chores and would love to curl up with a book, but doing just that would make you feel antsy, like you should be doing something more. But being content does not mean we are lazy.  Contentment is satisfaction. It is trusting, knowing and believing in the present moment.

Take the daffodils in this picture. I planted these last fall. Truth be told, it was a very cold and rainy day at the end of November, as I tend to leave things until the last minute.  But nevertheless, look at them now! I planted the bulbs lovingly, and then packed up my garden tools to let Mother Nature do her thing. They might come up and bloom, or the squirrels might run off with them. Knowing I had done my part, I could relax and let go of any attachment to the results of my actions. Finding contentment is powerful and gives us a sense of freedom.

It’s like that in yoga, too. Can we learn to be okay with the likelihood that many of us will never put our foot behind our head? Can we stop trying so hard and appreciate that every time we stretch our hamstrings, hips and backs, that yes, we are indeed getting closer to sneaking that foot back there, but we are also doing something of much greater importance?  Contentment is faith that focusing our intention, stretching, breathing and meditating, all plant the seeds of something much more powerful than any physical shape.

As Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, always do your best. And I say once you’ve done that you’ve earned the right to rest in contentment. And that’s not being lazy.

I never think of the yesterdays and I never think of the tomorrows. That leaves me just a small moment – the present moment – unburdened, uncluttered, clean. Free. – (Osho)

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