Yoga off the mat contemplation cards to inspire your practice

Practicing contentment does not mean we can’t work towards change

This moment now is the one you have, so you have a choice to be content or not. Why not be content right now?

This doesn’t mean that you can’t work towards change (if you think that is desirable). Yes you can plan. You can figure things out, have goals towards change, do some work. And also be content with reality as it is right now, be content with the moment you have right now.

If your circumstances are not as ideal as you think they should be, or next time something doesn’t go the way you think it should, maybe you could bring this contemplation to mind and simply choose contentment?

  • Stuck in traffic? Can you be content? Maybe you can be okay with the slower pace and therefore not rushing? But that doesn’t mean you can’t also plan to allow longer time next time. Can you see how both these things are responses to the situation but you can still be content?
  • Waiting for someone? Instead of feeling frustrated and annoyed can you simply be content with your own company? Use the time for contemplation or meditation? Look around and see some beauty in the world around?
  • Don’t have your ideal job? Maybe it isn’t wise to walk away from it today, or maybe it is. If need be you can plan your next move, look around for what will work better for you. You can also be content with this moment right now. Your equanimity doesn’t have to be disturbed.

I know these examples are superficial but they are relatively common examples of daily life. Your circumstances might feel much more worthy of complaint than these.

The thing is, your external circumstances do not have to dictate your inner contentment. You can work towards changing your external circumstances if you want, and that does not have to affect your inner contentment and peace. It is always a choice you can make.

What about more difficult situations than the ones I described above? Maybe you are dealing with the untimely death of a loved one, or the diagnosis of a terminal illness? These are things we could expect to happen in life, they are the way things unfold, and some circumstances are much rougher than others. I am not meaning to come across as glib or suggesting for a moment that there wont be sadness and grief. Of course there will. These are life experiences that we all face.

Feeling intense feelings does not mean you can’t also be okay and find contentment.

That may seem surprising.Instead of asking ‘why me?’ perhaps the thing is to say to yourself, ‘why not me?’. And then get on with somehow accepting reality and finding contentment.

Now for a quick note about stress. With all the best will in the world to be content, we will still find that we can get stressed when life happens and things don’t turn out the we thought they would. Do take some time to practice long slow exhalations and ideally yoga, meditation and relaxation or whatever works best for you to counter the stress response.

While stress is a natural response it is not healthy to have those stress hormones running through your body, so it is important for your long term health to figure out some ways of countering it. Please let me know if you need some guidance with this.

Practicing contentment is a choice we can all make. I wish it for you.

Much more meaning than is teased out here can be taken from these cards, this is just a start. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia.

The gorgeous original picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art.

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Be content right now, in this very moment

A series of blogs arising from picking a contemplation card from my deck

Where are you right now?

As I write this (back in August) I am sitting on a plane almost 2 hours into a 17-hour plane trip home. Believe me, travel is not as glamorous as it is made out to be. I can chose whether to be content or not, as can you right now too. I could be caught up in my head about the rest of the flight, the upcoming 6-hour delay in Perth that we have been told about and then the long trip across the country to Melbourne before negotiating our way though the airport and travel home.

Or I could make the choice to be content. To be fully present and okay with the situation I am in.

Okay, so what if you don’t have the luxury of having been on a holiday and then being in a plane?

Maybe you are stressed to the eyeballs with the juggle of work, home and maybe people demanding more from you?

It might sound hard to believe, but you can also make the choice to be content.

Maybe your boss is yelling at you, can you make the choice to be content? In fact it might be empowering to react with calmness rather than yelling right back.

Maybe there is friction at home. Or ill health for you or a loved one. Can you make the choice to be content?

Whatever the circumstances – oh and I know we could come up with much more horrific ones – there is power in being okay right now and you always do have the choice.

I am not suggesting that you put up with circumstances that you have the choice to change, or that things have to stay as they are for ever. But right now for this moment you have the choice to practice the Niyama of Santosa, or contentment. Patanjali suggested this practice as a method towards removing the afflictions and towards an experience of Union, of Yoga. It is an inner attitude over which you have control.

Even when shit is happening, you have this superpower to remain content.

You don’t have to be drawn into misery around you if you don’t want to be.

Try it and see for yourself!

I’d love to know how your practice of contentment goes.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. Much more meaning than is teased out here can be taken from these cards, this is just a start. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

Share and Enjoy !

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