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Santosha, off the mat

Welcome back! Last time I talked about Santosha in yoga practice, on the mat. In this post, I will talk a little more about Santosha off the mat.

How do you practice Santosha off the mat? Don’t compare yourself to others! Hey, that sounds familiar! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of looking at other people’s lives and feeling less happy about our own. The thing is, we typically only see what other people want us to see. We all do this to some extent. We want everyone to think we’ve got it all figured out and everything in our life is perfect.

It’s important to realize that just like there is no perfect yoga pose for every body, there is no “perfect life.” We are all doing the best we can with what we have. No one has it all figured out all the time. We all struggle, we all start over, and we all need help sometimes.

What is difficult for some of us is admitting that we don’t have it all figured out all the time. We want people to see us a certain way. Maybe it’s because we think it’s what is expected of us. Maybe we think everyone else has it all figured out, so we had better “fake it until we make it.”

Life is not a competition. When I say that I don’t mean to imply that competition is bad. It’s not bad. Competition can be good. It can be healthy. We all compete for some things. We compete for a job, we compete for the home we want. Chances are, everything that we want, is also wanted by someone else. If I make an offer on my dream home, and I don’t get it, that just means it was someone else’s dream home, too. If I don’t get the job, maybe it’s because I wasn’t the most qualified. We all compete for some things, but we don’t need to compete for everything.

If your neighbor or your friend or your family member seem like they have it all figured out all the time, and are “the golden child”, be happy for them. Be happy for their success, and if you see a small crack in the surface of that success, have compassion for them. Recognize that they may be struggling underneath and not know how to ask for help.

Get to know your feelings. Talk about what you are experiencing, journal and take the time to reflect. Get to know YOU, skip the judgement, and accept yourself. If you have a pet that loves you, you are totally cool and an awesome person. Trust me, pets don’t lie!

See you next time, for a wrap–up of Santosha.

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