Being Content

Strangely, this may be a daily struggle for us who already have all we need. Unlike an incredible amount of people around the world, who have to fight for their survival everyday, we lead very comfortable lives, taking much of it for granted.

Aside from the physical well-being that is provided through access to potable water, food and shelter, I believe that we must also be grateful for the relationships we have with the people in our lives.

When we first meet, we feel overwhelmed by this gift of giving and undivided attention the other person is offering us. Of course, this state of ecstasy cannot and is not meant to last forever. As we travel through, it becomes a question of finding and nurturing this fine balance within our relationships.

However, recognizing and embracing the subtleties of the gifts can be very difficult in a world of such abundance. It may sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t.

Just as we discard material goods, it sometimes seems much easier to flee and avoid relationships then it is to face difficult and fearsome situations. Our history as a species has made us risk averse. We want to feel a certain level of comfort and have control on the outcome. As soon as we are faced with controversy, the Ego tells us that we do not have to deal with this situation.

We have to learn to live with and accept uncertainty as the only certainty in life. Only then can we fully live our lives from one moment to the next. Of course, we have to recognize and discard abusive relationships, having confidence in Life that the space we create in doing so will soon be filled with new relationships and friendships for which we have formulated an intent.

“When there is love and two centers have met and dissolved and merged, and a new alchemical quality is born, contentment is there. It is as if the whole existence has stopped — no movement. Then the present moment is the only moment. And then you can say: Ah, this cake is delicious. Even death doesn’t mean anything to a man who is in love.” – Osho

So take another look at your own relationships with others, friendships, family bounds and loved ones. Become aware of what these people mean to you, remember how important they are and why you have chosen them to be a part of your life. Practice contentment as a way of life and you will never be deceived.

Namaste

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Conscious Breathing

Your breath reflects the way you feel. Take a moment here. Close your eyes and just notice your breath. Is it quick and shallow? Is it forceful? Is it characterized by long inhalations and exhalations? Don’t try to change anything, simply notice. “Self-Observation Without Judgement”, as Swami Kripalu teaches.

In the practice of yoga, we focus our attention on our breath as we move through the various postures. As we hold more difficult postures, we put even more emphasis on the breath to help us keep the postures longer. Breathing consciously can be calming and relaxing. Bringing full awareness to the breath, is also a form of meditation.

Your breath can tell you much about yourself and how you are feeling. For example, I know that when I am going through a set of strenuous moves while rock climbing, I get out of breath. The result being that as I come out of a crux (the most difficult portion of a climb) I have difficulty breathing. This is because I simply don’t breathe when I make those moves!

How is this relevant to anything? Well, for climbing or any other strenuous activity, it is very important. The body’s priority is to provide oxygen to the brain first. This means that if the body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs because you are retaining your breath, it automatically starts channeling what it has left to feed the brain leaving the muscles and the rest of the body without oxygen, making it more strenuous to move and eventually leading to hyperventilate or to faint.

And so, in daily life situations, when we get angry or nervous, if our breath becomes fast and out of control or if we restrict its flow, we quickly become physically ill. This being said, becoming more conscious of our breathing can affect positive changes in our lives. So take a deep breath, notice your posture, your heartbeat, relax and let go.

Namaste.

Conscious Abundance

Look around you, Spring is here, anything more beautiful than the whole world coming back to life?! Sure, I’ve got some nasty allergies, but I am so happy to see all this life, the leaves on the trees, my garden blooming and heck, even the mosquitos!! (well, only because they bring dragonflies and that I love dragonflies!)

Conscious abundance is about realizing all that surrounds you. Abundance is health, friendships, sharing beautiful moments with those you love, knowing that there is plenty more to come while just enjoying the Now. We live in a world of such abundance that if one cannot even get a glimpse of all that beauty, then perhaps it is time for an eye exam!

So many people around the world do not even have half of what you have – no food, no home, no running water, no shoes, no security, no health, you name it. Yet, many of those who live in “need”, well at least to our Western standard, have something many of us here are struggling to get. Can you guess what it is?! Yes, happiness. Simple happiness.

Happiness comes from acknowledging and being grateful for what you have, but it also stays with you much longer if you do not take it for granted (and this includes the people around you). So, take a moment here to be grateful and become conscious of the abundance around you. I hope you enjoyed this long weekend with friends and family.

Much Love.

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