We ended November with Black Friday Sales and now the calendar has flicked over to December and sales continue. All signs that Christmas is on its way and that we’ll all be venturing to our nearest Westfield to bustle with the crowds to get all the STUFF! While we’re out and about doing our Christmas shopping our eyes will no doubt settle on all the things that we now need, things that before our shopping trip we were perfectly fine without.
It’s this compulsion to spend and accumulate stuff that has left me reflecting on one of the observances from yoga called– Santosha – meaning contentment. The observances are a part of the yoga philosophy to help us all live happy, healthy lives. So we practice one part of yoga in class with postures (known as asana’s) but there are other aspects to yoga for a holistic approach to health inside and out.
It’s a shame that at a season where we can spread joy and a message of hope we often miss the mark. Instead of generously giving to others as an outpouring of our grateful and full hearts we become focused on stuff, and greed can take a hold.
For me contentment is happiness with satisfaction & peace, and sometimes the Christmas season is the opposite. It’s a time when we are never satisfied – not satisfied with our possessions and and not satisfied physically – we over-eat & over-drink at parties and celebrations. We fill up our pantries with “Christmas treats” and fill up our shopping bags with shiny new things.
So how can we find contentment this Christmas season? I wonder if we focused on our blessings whether our mindset would change? Starting each day with thankfulness for what we have rather than scrolling through our fav website at breakfast for the next thing we can buy. I wonder if our hearts would be overflowing with gratefulness rather than a feeling of what we’ve missed out on. It’s not just yoga that talks about contentment – many wise people from differing religions and different cultures have come before to shine a light on being content.
One example was Jesus who said: Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Contentment is and always has been one of things we all deeply want, so…as we head to Christmas maybe we can each take time to reflect on what we can be grateful for. We could ask “How can I be content with this present moment.” Maybe you can share this with those around you.