We have a nightly ritual with my son. Before we sleep we tell each other what our favourite parts of the day were. Without exception, his favourite parts are the times when we are fully present together – the ten silly minutes we laughed at his Captain Underpants book, for example.
Santosha is a concept from yogic philosophy that is usually translated as the quality of contentedness. To me Santosha is a sacred, internal resting place of presence and clarity. Cultivating Santosha allows me to meet myself exactly where I am, with gratitude for all that has come before, and all that is yet to come.
After a year full of change and ambiguity in 2018, here are three questions I’m asking myself in 2019 to nurture the qualities of Santosha which is one of the principles in the philosophy of yoga.
Are you seeing clearly?
For most of 2018 I felt like I was lost on the way to an important event, for which I was already running late. The irony of having a clear purpose and vision for my life was overwhelming anxiety at the feeling that I was not where I was meant to be. I was so attached to how the road should look, it was hard to appreciate I was already in a space that allowed me to do all the things I love – facilitate movement, mindfulness, and personal insight. Seeing clearly builds trust that life is unravelling as it is meant to be, freeing me to make the most of the opportunities at hand.
Can you be happy living a simple life?
Dr Jordan Petersen has the best perspective I've heard on the topic of comparison and purpose. He suggests that we are all the heroes of our own lives, and our call to adventure isn’t necessarily something grand and outside of ourselves. The transformation in my life circumstances in the years leading up to 2018 always came from the effort I put in to show up as the best ‘me’ every single day. What if the small problems that are really bothering me about myself are my call to adventure? Living a life I resonate with comes from courage of spirit and practical action to stay focused on putting myself together. The only comparison is to who I was yesterday; not who someone else is today.
Do you keep promises to yourself?
Self-mastery involves making promises to yourself, and being consistent at keeping them. What do you know you need to stop doing? What do you know you need to start doing? My most important tool for managing anxiety is breathing practices. When I consistently keep my self-made promise to replace the habits of escapism I had formed with intentional breathing I bring myself back to the present, where things are usually not as bad as they seem. More importantly, I renew confidence in myself – that I deserve the things I envision, and that I am capable of manifesting them.
To live on purpose is to be awake in each moment; to move and allow yourself to be moved with grace. The clarity and presence cultivated through santosha practices reminds me that meaning lies less at an end goal or destination. Meaning waits unassumingly for authentic connection with what is happening right now - being fully present with a loved one, taking opportunities as they come, aligning my actions to my vision. Fostering contentedness is the way I unbind myself from expectations of how things should be; there is confidence that all that has come before was preparation for the potential waiting in the moment.
The motto for Meltem’s business – Wellness Connection – is 'live on purpose'. Her outlook on wellness is that it must involve putting together body, mind, and spirit so that we can inhabit our lives. Combining a lifetime of movement with her corporate experience has birthed her current project; teaching mindfulness at one of Australia’s largest financial services institutions. When she is not on the mat – teaching or practicing – you can catch her at the beach with her 5-year old son, or lost in a good book.
You can connect with Meltem Comerpay @meltemwellnessco