We all say we want to be happy. Happy feels great. It seems like the goal to shoot for, but ultimately happy isn’t where you want to land.
Because the state of being we call happy is often contingent upon getting something or someone, whether it’s the love of your life, the money, the job, the house, the car, the designer handbag, courtside tickets or something else, and eventually the happiness will disappear and we will be left disappointed, frustrated, or yearning for the next shiny thing.
The secret sauce to a great life is not about happiness. It’s about Santosha, an ancient Sanskrit word that means utter contentment.
When you find, and ultimately live, Santosha, you are in a satisfying state of contentment that is not dependent on anything or anyone.
Contentment is being willing to accept both your happiness and your lack of it at any given moment.
To love what is. To be able to just BE with the good, the bad, or the ugly, and to remain centered and utterly content in appreciation and gratitude.
Does this mean you give up your goals, dreams, and desires? Do you just throw up your hands and hope for the best? Yes and no. It’s a paradox. Your desires and dreams are important, and I believe they come with a promise of potential fulfillment.
So, yes, dream big. And while you are moving forward, learn to stay detached and surrendered from the outcome itself. Be content with where you are right now and allow yourself to deeply feel how good life is. Be grateful for the simple things. Do you have fresh water to drink? Clean air to breathe? Friends and family who love and support you?
Learning to be with not knowing and uncertainty, is perhaps one of the hardest things to master in this life. This means that we allow ourselves to be okay with what is happening and stop ourselves from endlessly worrying about an unpredictable future.
It requires a big act of faith that something larger, grander than us is at play here. It means paying attention to the whispers and callings of our own souls. And we must be willing to sit patiently in the sea of uncertainty, having faith that the Universe always has our back.
There is an old Zen story about a wise old farmer whose only horse ran away. His friends came to console him, saying, “What bad luck! You’ve lost your horse, and now you’ll have to do all the work on your own.” The old farmer simply replied, “Maybe, maybe not.”
A few days later, the horse returned to the farmer leading a herd of wild horses. The friends, witnessing his sudden fortune, came to congratulate him, saying, “What great luck! Not only did your horse return, but it also brought you many more horses. Now you’re a wealthy man!”
Again, the old farmer replied, “Maybe, maybe not.” Sometime later, the farmer’s son fell off a horse and broke his leg. The friends, once more, sympathized with the farmer, saying, “What terrible luck! Your son broke his leg, and now he cannot help you.
How will you manage?” The old farmer, still maintaining his composure, replied, “Maybe, maybe not.” Shortly thereafter, a war broke out and all the young men were conscripted to join the army. Due to his broken leg, the farmer’s son was exempted from military service.
Amazed by the farmer’s good fortune, the friends expressed their awe, saying, “What incredible luck! Your son is spared from the horrors of war.” Once again, the old farmer replied, “Maybe not.”
This story illustrates Santosha, the unpredictable nature of life, and the value in remaining content despite the circumstances, reminding us that what may seem like misfortune can sometimes turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Wishing you love, laughter, and magical kisses,
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