Light In The Darkness

Be Well Be Happy

As we enter into December, it is a time of darkness with winter and longer days. At the same time, we celebrate the miracle of turning darkness into light, winter solstice. This is a season of blessings when darkness births light. The Jews celebrate Hanukkah, the miracle of Light when due to a war, the oil lamp in the Temple was about to go out and miraculously, it continued to burn for eight days until new oil was found. Christians celebrate the same miracle of Light with Jesus’ birth. There is much to celebrate in the season of light!

At Ocean Bliss Yoga, we chose the focus to be on contentment and forward folding in poses helping us to go inward and be happy with what we have in our present life. December can be a stressful month for many reasons, so perhaps knowing we already have everything we need, will help. 

So often we lose focus on why we celebrate these holidays. Perhaps, this year the focus could be on spending quality time with the ones you love. Be happy with what you have and give the gift of your presence. The practice of forward folds allows you to go deep inside, finding peace and quiet. Invite this darkness into your wellbeing. Without darkness, there would be no light. 

The definition of contentment is: “an emotional state of satisfaction that can be seen as a mental state, maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind. Contentment could be a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a milder and more tentative form of happiness.” Is it possible to be content when you are not happy or healthy? Is acceptance part of this equation? Can we accept who we are, what we are doing and be content with who we already are? Sometimes we are striving for more and yet we have all that we need. As humans, we are always trying to improve our status no matter how happy we are.  We are goal oriented and often striving to better ourselves.

“Santosha invites us into contentment by taking refuge in a calm center, opening our hearts in GRATITUDE for what we do have and practicing the paradox of not seeking.”- Deborah Adele. If we are content, we are happy. If we are full of gratitude for this life, we will be content and happy. You cannot be happy if you are not content. You will not find contentment in life without gratitude. 

Here are some keys to the success of being content in life:

Count your blessings. Take time to really appreciate this life. Catch the sunrise or sunset,  go for a walk on a winter day (when there is no wind!), hug a person, take a few centering breaths, smile at someone that could use some positive energy, learn to enjoy the simple things in life such as going out to dinner with friends, catching a show, taking a yoga class or fitness class together. Simply learning to enjoy what we already have.

“Happiness is self-contentedness.” My mom, Mary Timlin, was way beyond her years when she said to each and every one of us:  “Be content and you will always be happy.” It took a long time for me to truly embrace this mantra but it’s beginning to settle into my bones. I hope you can find contentment and happiness.  It’s a choice you can freely choose. I choose to be happy even on dark days.

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