The path of change has never been an easy one. Yet, unless we choose to resist it, change is the natural course of life. The choice to stay in one place, physically or mentally, is often the safe and comforting option, offering a sense of constancy and predictability. Thing is, as the days turn into years, complacency, even boredom, can set in. Herein lies the eternal balancing act in every choice that we make.
Finding santosha, or contentment, with every breath, is what we strive for in yoga. However at the same time, as humans–like no other species on earth–we yearn to grow and seek to evolve. So as we work to find equanimity in our body, breath and mind, we also work to find fulfillment of our spirit deep within our soul. Granted, that’s a tall order.
Not sure I have any answers, but I can say I have found myself on this balancing tightrope over and over again. Deep searching offset by the respite of recognized contentment is often where I find myself. So grateful and amazed at the unbelievable gift of one moment, and then asking myself what’s next in the very next moment. I often feel frustrated with this seemingly pointless oscillation of my mind. But as I move deeper into the recesses of my mind, I think I have begun to realize that too is just what is.
Yes, I can find contentment in most moments. But yes, I do still feel it’s important to continue to learn and grow in order to feel fulfilled and purposeful. One is not necessarily more important than the other. In fact, I’m beginning to understand that’s just how it’s probably meant to be. Santosha (contentment) and tapas (drive/discipline) are not opposing forces, but rather coexistent, concurrent, even complementary energies. Like breathing in and breathing out. One cannot exist effectively without the other.
Like memories of the simple golden days of our childhood innocence can balance the oftentimes unsettling progress of technology, we can stay grounded in what we know, and work to embrace what we do not. By stepping back and observing the times that create uncertainty, tension and stress in our lives, it allows us to see more clearly what in fact is causing the discomfort, and choose to accept it, let it go, or even use it to help us learn and grow. There is no one right answer. Each situation offers its own best solution. Because we are human, we may not always choose the easiest. Oftentimes, we will do the opposite.
But as I navigate through each ping pong match bouncing around in my head, at least now I can assure myself, it’s natural, just like breathing in and breathing out.