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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Patience

Patience is something I wish to explore and further integrate into my life. The fact is, I’ve never been a very patient person. In sports, I expect to perform quickly, at work I like to get things done, and in life I sometimes have a hard time hearing people out and taking the time to really understand them.

Earlier today, I was listening to a video by rock climbing legend Lynn Hill about patience. As a rock climber I could relate to a lot of the frustration and anxiousness she was depicting. At the same time, I think there are a lot of similarities with what she was describing and with life in general.

We make a lot of mistakes because we do not take the time to acknowledge where we are physically but also mentally. We sometimes hold on to life the wrong way, forcing ourselves to move through a certain set of obstacles instead of taking a step back and figuring out what the best way to approach them will be. Some will say that we are eager and this is great if eager means enthusiastic but not if it means impatient.

Scoping out the next move, shifting your weight, balancing your body and finding your inner stability applies as much to rock climbing as it does to life. Impatience is a form of control and it can be very deceiving when it is combined with expectations.

Practicing yoga continues to help me find this balance in rock climbing and in life. I use Pranayamas (breathing techniques), which I have learned through yoga, when I climb but also in life whenever I need to regain focus. Lynn Hill talks about tunnel vision and I think she’s right; we get to a point in our lives where we become so focused on our problems that they end up taking the whole space. This applies as much to stressing out in the hard part of a climb (crux) as it does to the challenges we are faced with in our daily lives. Take a step back. Breathe.

In order to move towards a happier life we need to practice patience over and over again, as difficult and sometimes as impossible as it may seem at the moment. And so, when we stop reacting to life and start responding to it with a patient and loving approach instead, we shift our perspective from an arduous task to a simple step part of something much greater. Achieving patience and letting go of control is not easy, but it makes me a lot happier  ;)  Good Night.

Link to Lynn Hill’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxRpeFQmyQ4

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