Santosha – Contentment

I am reading, really listening to, “The Book Of Gutsy Women,” by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. I am fascinated by their depiction of over 100 amazing women! Their accomplishments quietly stir up my emotions invoking me to ask, “did I do anything important for wo/mankind?” Being a senior, I know time is running out in this body and wonder if I have done enough. Maybe this is why seniors full their days volunteering OR sitting home being anxious and depressed. I refuse to do either of the latter. Volunteering – that’s a subject for another day.

My New Bible – Yamas and Niyamas

Of course I haven’t abandoned the Bible I read cover to cover – Old Testament and New. I feel the Yamas & Niyamas, as expanded upon by Adele, emphasizes how to love others as I love “myself.” A blueprint so to speak on how to love me. How can I send love when I don’t experience this love within? However, I do love me.

Santosha (Contentment) one of the Niyamas – “invites us into contentment by taking refuge in the calm center, opening our hearts in gratitude for what we do have, and practicing the paradox of “not seeking.” “…The Yamas and Niyamas. Although I keep a gratitude journal, I must remember to really think about what I am grateful for and why I am grateful. This reminds me of going to Confession as a child. Confession is a Catholic sacrament where we confess our sins to a priest so we may be forgiven. Sort of like a telephone to God. I would write a few things from a list of specified “sins” then repeat them to the priest. My gratitude cannot be a list of “things” but a memory of love.

I am GRATEFUL for my parents who loved me unconditionally. I know it’s popular today to rag on our parents mistakes but let’s think about what they got right. Mine loved me and taught me to love. This is all they needed to accomplish but here is some icing on my cake. They clothed me, sheltered me, gave me a good education, beautiful holidays, taught me to cook, and much much more. That is a great deal considering they did this every day for as long as we were together here on earth – one 41 years and the other 51 years. They were ALWAYS there for me.

I am GRATEFUL for my husband of 48 years this September 30, 2020. Sure, some days I want to leave and many days I dwell too much on the few things we did not do or are not going to do (maybe). When I lay beside him at night, maneuvering around the two dogs, I know that this is what I will fondly remember and miss the most when and if I linger here a little longer than he. I remember the love, the love making, the vacations, the homes we lived in, and most of all the children and grandchildren we helped create. Most of all I remember Love.

I am GRATEFUL for my children. They gave me my purpose here on earth. I wanted to be a mom. When I think I fall short of the women noted above, I quickly remember that my purpose was with these three precious, sometimes disagreeable, sometimes angry, most times wonderful human beings. Everything they do has some root in our, Dave’s and my, rearing. They are sometimes seeking, sometimes settled and always able human beings. I’ll take it.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ME. I came into this world in tact; body, mind and spirit. When I think I should have done something “else”, I remember why I did not. I always have a choice; free will. I have reinvented myself many times because that is what I needed to do. My divine purpose was always clear to me.

Santosha – finding contentment generates from gratitude. I not only look inside and reminisce about the many wonderful people, places and things in my life but I recollect that I chose. I chose to come here to this family. I chose to stay with this family. I chose to love and be loved. Any fear I harbor today reminds me of the many times I was fearless. Every bit of my past has made me into the person I am today. Seeking to avoid or change any of me is a waste of energy. I’ll take me.

With each age comes a new role. “Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn’t and there can’t be. The moment is complete,” Adele.

Staying present, being grateful, looking inward, and following my heart on my yogic path will enhance my senior years. Should I have gotten to this path sooner? I was busy.

“The Practice of the Yoga Sutra Samadhi Pada” by Pandit Rajamani Tigunait, PhD

This is the book or manual of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which mesmerized me. Being raised a Catholic, and I am not bashing Catholicism, I grew into fear. Fear of mistakes, sins, and an afterlife that I could not be sure I would enjoy. Living the ten commandments allows me to be good to others but that goodness did not seem to allow me to love myself.

“The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga. The Yoga Sutras were compiled sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE by the sage Patanjali in India who synthesized and organized knowledge about yoga from much older traditions.” The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali – Wikipedia

Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, offered me a mystical inner practice leading to meditation and spiritual freedom. Of course I have a long way to go but I turned from fear and helplessness to an active participant of my present life; understanding that I am a part of a divinity. This belief makes me think, “yea, I play a part in my life and I am a good person.” Positive reinforcement instead of negative. Having read more than one writing on the Sutras, I believe Pandit Tigunait’s writings brought clarity and wisdom to my yoga practice and my life. I felt as if the Sutras were speaking directly to me and I began to experience tranquility in my inner life.

I have spent years asking celestial beings and God, whom I know as Jesus, to grant me miracles, guide my track, and forgive my sins. I found myself drowning in guilt. I remember my mom saying with regards to Catholic teachings, “I never thought it was fair that I could be good all my life and do one bad thing and go to hell yet someone could be bad all their life and say they are sorry on their death bed and go straight to heaven.” Pretty daunting.

The ultimate goal of yoga, as I understand it, is in sutra 1:2, “gaining complete mastery over the roaming tendencies of the mind.” My mind at the start of this path was all over the place! Grasping for some purpose and reason for me living. Practice, relaxation, breath, meditation. This seems like what the doctor really ordered when she prescribed anti-anxiety pills. After four months in a blissful fog, I thought to instead give yoga a try.

“Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, is a modern-day master and living link in the unbroken Himalayan Tradition. He is the successor to Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas, and the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute.”

I am currently studying at the Himalayan Institute in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. The Himalayan Institute is a retreat you must experience. My studies are online and I anxiously, no, I calmly anticipate the day I can return to this institute of wisdom.

ARE YOU REINVENTING YOURSELF Where are you in your life.

My Yogic Path with Barbara

Hi and welcome to My Yogic Path! I became a Yoga Teacher recently in my 60s! I am a woman, mother, wife, sister, cousin, in-law, K-8 retired teacher, and more. As I age, I became anxious. Anxious about letting go of things that do not serve me today, what I have not yet accomplished, my purpose, my beliefs, anticipating death, and much more. I found myself progressing from a full and busy life to a less full and sedentary life wherein there is much time for reflection. I enjoyed Yoga at the gym starting in my 40s. My daughter and son-in-law became Yoga Teachers, and I love the Studio where they practiced. I decided I wanted the peace I gained being with these fellow Yogis. I also felt drawn to REIKI healing and pursued this path by becoming a Reiki II practitioner. Life has led me down and up many paths. This Yogic Path gives me insight, strength, and peace when I need it most. Enjoy this blog with me as I continue. View more posts