It refers to the inner state of contentedness that we experience when we create and keep a home inside of ourselves that we can return to, no matter the circumstances of the external world around us. A state of inner peace that acts as a vessel to allow energies to ebb and flow through one’s experiences without having to control or own them. A deep satisfaction within self that does not need external validation from the world around us, but seeks to maintain a joyful mind despite the circumstances – be they painful, or blissful.
It is the second of the Niyamas, or our inner observances and practices.
Always seeming to be refined by how we react to impactful events or experiences; new, old, and uncovered alike, moving into a space that allows for this level of contentedness is an evergreen process.
If you’ve ever learned about how when we recall an experience our brain and neurological pathways fire exactly the same, recreating the experience once again inside of our physical beings, Welcome: you’re at the heart center of where Santosha holds and embodies it’s sacred space.
It is here that we begin not to separate ourselves from, but to become accepting of these experiences that will be our teachers and guides.
Are you ready to go in a bit?
Here are 2 creative visualization practices and 1 physical practice for sneaking just a bit closer to Santosha:
List 1: All of your Deep Desires
List 2: All of your Deep Fears
Sit somewhere comfy. Make these 2 lists, on the same size pieces of paper:
1.Glue/staple/fasten them together, facing one another.
2.Draw a heart on the front, and a heart on the back.
3.Fold it into a small piece of paper that is easy to transport.
4.Put the folded paper in the exit of your home to start, and change it regularly from the entrance, and the exit of the space in which you live.
Imagine this as being the way in which you allow the ebb and flow of the highs and lows of this inner state of contentedness to stay within, and to stay without. Change as needed.
Stack Them Neatly Away:
Think of someone who really bothers you, and gets under your skin. Envision each annoyance like a pop up on a screen – carefully x-ing out of them. Imagine putting each item into a recycling bin compartment until they are neatly stacked away.
Save the file of them, as if you would on a computer. Then, imagine yourself going to Power > Shut Down and turning the machine off. It is OK to keep them saved in the hard drive for all intensive purposes, but you don’t need to see their file every time you open your screen (vision) up.
Repeat with everyone who invokes these feelings in you. Create a data storage “lair” down in your headspace basement for such files, pulled out only when needed – but still allowed to be part of you without a relationship of ownership to them.
Consult The Big Ones:
You close your eyes and you stand on one side of the lake, and the fear stands on the other. You study their face, and you see in them the loss of everything you hold dear. Painful, heart wrenching, unbearable, unthinkable potential truths. There they are. The deep fears. They’re terrifying. You can barely even look at them much less face the idea that they may someday be a reality. As you are deep in study, you suddenly fall into the water.
The sound muffles and your vision fades, and you gasp for air.
Try as you may, you sink to the bottom where you are met with curious creatures who lead you to a chamber of air and stone. Somehow, you know exactly what to do, and you begin to build.
You don’t know why. You don’t know how. You just build.
And you build, and you build.
You build until you reach the surface of the chamber, and suddenly, you transform.
You look across the lake to see yourself, reflected back at you. You are overcome with a deep sense of knowing that everything that you need, is already inside of you. And for as much as you try to recognize the fear on the face of the person on the other side of the lake, you simply cannot find one line, one wrinkle, one indicator of the fear any longer.
You see the rawness that is your attachments, your layers unbound. You see this mirror and you sense, finally, that you have been the gatekeeper all along…
May your beauty be known and shown, divine one.
Em of M&M