The Lesson of Santosha

The past 18 months have been developmental. An awareness of sorts rises to the surface, as it would during any good yoga class. In particular at, an awareness to strengthening my patience and developing a more full understanding of grief. The most enlightening awareness of all may be the use of the word AND. It might be one of my favorite words.

I have been using it a lot during this season. I’m a runner AND I enjoy weights. I’m a blogger AND I enjoy breaks from social media. I’m joyful AND I’m grieving.

I had been using the phrase regularly but it wasn’t until recently I realized I actually have a choice AND have room for “the both.” I believe it’s a form of boundaries. It’s also a form of grace with one’s self.

Rolls as women, wives, and mothers in my generation are evolving.

We can work AND raise children. We can be worn out AND look forward to an early Christmas morning wake up call. We can be great at motivating others to live well AND at marketing. We can have Lauren Diangle AND Nelly in the same playlist. We can eat mostly vegetables AND enjoy a steak when we need it. We can want more AND be happy with what we have.

I shared this post a few days ago.

It’s the new way of wellness. It’s my way of wellness. Use the AND. Remove restrictions. Less wrestling with control. More accepting and adapting.

This month I’ve been doing reading AND listening to podcasts (per usual). If you’re a podi (person who listens to podcasts on the reg) like me, you probably have a list of episodes you hope to get to in addition to your regulars. I had some extra drive time this week and pulled up an episode I had saved a few weeks back. The Lively Show, episode #124. Jess Lively was interviewing Brene’ Brown. The topic: compassionately set boundaries. It brought forth a lot of head nodding and the purchase of Rising Strong. In that discussion I came to learn the term Santosha. It’s Sanskrit.

My interpretation of the concept: It is acceptance. It’s permission. An allowance. It’s gratitude for what IS. A coexisting. A way to hold space for yourself and those around you without judgement or expectation.

Holding space is one of the greatest offerings. It allows the ebb and flow of emotions to occur as it comes. My tribe has done an amazing job of holding space for me this year.

I feel the art of holding space to be so important. It can be an incredibly useful philosophy this time of year.

I’m grieving our little loss AND excited for our first married Christmas AND the birth of our niece any day now. There’s room for all of it when I honor AND acknowledge the feelings. It isn’t made to be a choice. Having that awareness and dialogue is key.

So feel free to stay in your pjs all day AND be productive (or not). Move everyday AND binge watch that series without guilt. Enjoy a winter harvest salad AND your aunts famous Christmas cookies.

I find it to be a more joyous and harmonious way to live.

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