How often have you thought, or had a friend say, I wish my life was more like (insert name here) they have (and here you can fill in the blank) happiness, a great partner, great friends, great career, their entire life together, etc.? I have heard, or overheard this comment often lately. Why is it that we still gravitate to the grass is always greener idiom? We are each human, we are made of the same stuff, why do we think that someone else's lot in life is easier/better/less emotional? And more important, why are we forgetting that the whole point of the idiom is that it isn't true? The grass is never greener.
Instead of gazing at the object of your "grass is always greener" life at the surface, examine it thoroughly with a microscope. You will see that it looks very different from what you imaged. Perhaps it might look remarkably similar to your own catalog of issues that you are hoping to run away from. Our problems are universal and the list of emotions we can possibly feel is limited to the same list. None of us is immune to the trials of life. We all must forge through the same ocean.
Life is a journey, and no one ever promised us that it would be easy. So how do we live a life with wild emotions and still find santosha (contentment)? We find our tricks (yoga, meditation, long walks in nature - to name a few options), we look to ourselves for the answers that we hold within, we turn to others for guidance. We begin to establish a trust in ourselves that we can get through anything; that we can move through whatever comes our way; that we have the courage, the faith, and the love within ourselves to break through our toughest binds. It's something that we often lose sight of, and to realize it again can be a journey in and of itself. The more we practice the easier it comes; the more we move through, the easier it is to remember that we've done it before. It may have looked different, felt different, but it took the same courage, faith, and love that we still carry within ourselves.
So remember, the next time you are looking at someone else, to see life through their eyes. To do this, simply list whatever struggles you are going through, remove the places and names for those won't be the same, but the rest will. If you are experiencing it, chances are so is the person's whose life you wished was your own. Or if they have indeed stumbled upon a plateau of contentment, ah, then you can find what tools they are using in their life to develop, grow, and sustain santosha and gather them for your own use. And don't forget to share it with the rest of us.
Jenn White, Yoga Educator, Meditation Teacher, and Owner of Embodied Bliss, began her journey of yoga and meditation in 2004 while recovering from a back injury. Feeling lost, restless and seeking something more from life, she found her path through meditation.
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