Thoughts about ‘If only’

Whilst having coffee with a dear friend, we got to talking about moving away from Umina to live more remotely, closer to Mother Nature. Now while I connected with the sentiment, as we were talking I realised that this was a case of ‘If only…’, a perspective I am familiar with.
This occurs when we are feeling dissatisfied, looking into the future and imagining a day when life will be perfect. The danger of this mindset is that we get caught up in a cycle of believing that our happiness is dependant on making that change in the future. Instead, to break the cycle, we could consider what we can do today to tend to our inner world so we feel more comfortable and content with life. It’s good to have a dream but not at the expense of our reality.

‘If only I had more money, was thinner, younger, more successful etc then life would be so much better.’ Switch that to gratitude, acceptance and living in the present with eyes wide open, remembering life is so short, we must make the most of every day. That doesn’t mean being busy, or always feeling happy, but it does mean making time for yourself and adding whatever you need to your routine to feel content. Just got to let go of the ‘if only’ and practise what we call Santosha in yogic philosophy.
Santosha means contentment. While the translation is a simple one to grasp, the practice of Santosha is a challenge for many in today’s world. In the yoga context, contentment refers to detaching from our desires and cultivating an inner peace and joy that is not dependent on what is happening in our lives.

Living here I feel like we have the best of both worlds. Maybe because I lived in London for 15 years so am still in awe of the incredible beauty here. When I miss city life, I catch the train and go to art galleries and theatre for a culture fix, and can easily find my wilderness walking through the angophoras to Box Head or spending time on an empty Tallow beach with fresh salty, sea air. Santosha is a conscious, consistent practise.

Love to all, Helen