A few weeks ago I attended a yoga retreat led by my dear friend, Erin. While my fellow retreaters hiked and hot-springed, I stayed home in my cabin and watched and listened to the river outside. That's all I did. I stared at the river. For hours. It was delightful. Moments strung together of peace and ease.
I moved at a slow pace throughout the rest of the day and weekend and realized I had fallen into the rhythm of what Deborah Adele calls "god's heartbeat". In her book, The Yamas and Niyamas, she recounts a story of living in a lakeside cabin, solo, for a month. Throughout the course of the month, she noticed that things still got "done", simply at a different pace. The pace of god's heartbeat.
I'm working on finding that pace; however, the paradox of santocha (contentment), is that the more one grasps for it, the more elusive it becomes. It's a bit of an oxymoron to TRY HARD to relax and yet grasp relentlessly for contentment. Contentment usually arrives like a whisper.
Right now, my practice of santosha is this:
I seek out moments of peace and ease so I can better hear that whisper. I bring a blanket to the river while Greg fishes, lie on my back, and stare at the big blue sky. I take pause and spend time with my cat, Arlo. I give myself permission to do nothing. I say "no thank you" to plans. I put away my phone. Often, I simply stare at my "staring wall" (otherwise known as an altar).
Yes, I get caught up in the doing and going and achieving. And then I hear the whisper, "You are enough. You have enough. This life, this moment, this breath, it is enough."