Santosha

“Happiness equals reality minus expectations.”

Tom Magliozzi, Car Talk

“I am most happy and content when I cease trying to be happy and content.”

Chuang Tzu

I’ve been busier lately than I like to be. My preference is for open space, both literally and metaphorically. I don’t mean that I like to be lazy, but that the sense of spaciousness is freeing. The feeling that I don’t have to be fast, and that everything can take as long as it naturally takes. A couple of summers ago I took a workshop with yoga teacher and physical therapist Judith Hanson Lasater. It was about yoga and the shoulder joint and rotator cuff, but one of the lessons that stayed with me was when she said “no rushing.” She explained it this way: even when you have to be in a hurry, you can take mental stance of “no rushing.”

One of the philosophical principles of yoga is santosha—contentment. If I object to being busy or having deadlines, those are my expectations getting in the way of happiness. My striving to happy. So be it. I’m busy. But I’m not rushing.

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