Finding Contentment & Active Rest
“I think of well-being as the ability to live in a state of contentment. Contentment is a bit different from simply being happy. We usually think of happiness as dependent on a set of circumstances. Contentment, on the other hand, is not dependent on anything. It’s a sense of not needing or wanting things to be different in order to feel ‘okay.’”
~Jillian Pransky, from her 2017 book Deep Listening: A Healing Practice to Calm Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Open Your Heart
As we approach the rapid season of summer, I just want to take a moment to expound upon the value of rest.
And I’m not talking about streaming a movie or sewing or gardening or reading a book outside, though those can be restful (and so restorative when you choose them intentionally), I’m talking about really letting go and being open. Allowing for a state of active retreat and renewal.
Part of the reason I quit that commitment (and have now recycled all of my notes and powerpoints as an affirmation of my completion therein) was that I wanted more space for my life. It wasn’t that I felt cramped (though some days are admittedly more active than others) but I wanted more unplanned time to simply luxuriate without any to do’s or agenda.
Summer is the season of vast expanse. We have the most daylight, the hottest rays of sun, and the fullest expression of yang (expansive, active, fiery) energy.
Yang is exhilarating and great. The fiery heat lifts us all up and animates the body and the spirit.
And, this yang expression can be balanced by taking time not just to do things that feed your heart, but also give yourself time to rest. To find the present moment and to come into that sense of okayness (contentment).
This summer I’m teaching three “Rest and Restore” restorative yoga workshops at Studio 34 Yoga. They’re priced at just $18 cash/card, or you can use a class card or monthly membership to attend. I do expect these to fill so please register early. And please cancel your registration ASAP if you can no longer attend (so that someone else has the chance to attend).
This teaching is part of my 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training and I’ve been really enjoying taking portions of Restorative Yoga into my regular practice. If you’re looking to really release, these slow thoughtful workshops might be right for you. You can attend one session or all three.
May you be content.