Saturday, August 31, 2013

September Satya and Santosha

 Ah, a new month.

What is there to say?

Go back to my archives, the beginning of each and every new month for the last million and a half, and you know what I'm thinking. New. Shiny. Fresh. Starting over.

But I'm trying to curtail this train of thought. I am.

This is no rebirth. This is not a new journey, or even a restart. This isn't a chance to be perfect, alterna-Taylor. It's just me, living my life, trying to do the best that I can, where I am, every day.

There is no starting point to write down, something I'll look back on as my point of failure, where I had to retread the same old path. This is not about the number on the scale, there is not a goal, a plan, a strategy to tear pounds off my body bit by bit. There are just choices, and habits, and health, and wellness. Happiness.

When I wake up tomorrow morning, nothing inside will have changed, no switch will flip as I've been hoping and waiting for. I can't expect some magic to take over and make me suddenly a better person. There is no better. I am just fine the way I am. In all my struggles, in all my setbacks and stumbles, I still remain as whole and complete as ever. To use a quote from a book I'm reading called "Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic" by Darren Main, Paramahansa Yogananda said, "Is a diamond less valuable because it is covered with mud? God sees the changeless beauty of our souls; he knows we are not our mistakes." (God is the Spirit here, that's a deeper topic I can't even begin to cover. Y'all know I'm not gonna start preaching religion here.)

I am not my mistakes.

And I can move past them.

But, as

You know me. You know I like goals, and striving for things. Perfection. Achievements. It's a funny part of my nature that I can't seem to shake, considering I've never really achieved anything in my life. I always make these lists of goals, never reach them, beat myself up for failure. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm going to try to channel this particular energy of mine into my greater good, not the superficial good I've always strived for.

As I mentioned when I was studying for my yoga test, there are ten yamas and niyamas, or practices that can help you live a more peaceful, content and complete life. I figure with my focus on my yoga practice, why not focus my goal-drive on something like these principles, and see if I can't incorporate them into my existence, behaviors, and thoughts. If I do, I do. If I don't...okay? What's to measure? What's to say I didn't try? All I can do is be mindful, and conscious of two things about myself.

I can apply this mindful, conscious attitude to my food and yoga practice, too...but more on that later.

For September, I picked the yama of satya, or truthfulness, and the niyama of santosha, or contentment. Why? Well, yes, because they both start with S, but more than that, because they both really spoke to where I am right now.

I picked satya because something I've learned about myself as I've been more and more introspective lately in therapy and on my own is that I have a tendency to, well, lie. A little to a lot. Not big lies, not lies about things that truly matter, but little white ones that make things a little easier. For myself, yes, and also what I think will be easier for the other person. What I ate for dinner. If I already did something at work, when I'm just about to get to it. What I think someone wants to hear, even if I don't agree. A little story fudging to make myself sound better.

So, SATYA. Truthfulness. I must be mindful of these little white lies I tell.

The niyama I chose I think is going to give me peace when I feel stressed and anxious. Santosha is the idea of feeling content even when your surroundings aren't necessarily bringing you any sort of happiness or peace. From the same book, the quote that struck me was, "It is the very belief that contentment is the prize for winning the scavenger hunt of life that prevents us from being content." I have the hope that searching for some sort of inner...balance, or what have you, when I start to feel off center, will guide me towards a more contented life and thus better decisions for myself.

I mean, I can just imagine my inner Maria.

I got on a train yesterday morning just before 7 am, and I got off the plane this morning just before 7 am. In between, I took a number of naps, but haven't really gone to bed yet. I'm heading there soon, and when I wake up I'm not wishing for a full on recharge like usual. I don't have grand schemes and lists and plots.

But I will be mindful of being honest with others, and with myself. I will try find contentment in every decision and situation.

And I will be mindful.

And I'm going to yoga.

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