The yogic practice of Santosha, commonly translated as “contentment,” is not a singular moment of practice. Neither is it a transactional experience: ie, “If I could only find a job, I’d be content.” True inner contentment comes from a sensation of ease and connectedness to the greater world, and the inner workings of one’s soul as it navigates the path of life. When we are in a state of flow and ease, we often feel this sensation of being in touch with a greater energy in the world around us. And, you may have noticed, when you are feeling this connection — to yourself, the universe, your personal life purpose, and your community — it is much easier to feel and express gratitude.
Gratitude, in Vedic terms, is the experience of inner fulfillment, and “inner okayness.” When we are experiencing Santosha, we are much more able to experience the sensation of gratitude. It is when we start feeling “not enough” from within, or when our connection to the greater Universe feels as if it is faltering, that we have more difficulty expressing or experiencing gratitude.
In this way, gratitude represents a mind that has begun to experience life as half full, rather than half empty. It’s a choice. The practice is not to simply find areas where you're feeling unfulfillment, but recognizing a divine hand — a divine orchestration — that influences the circumstances in your life. Even difficult situations may be experiences that you need, to grow, evolve, and to become the best version of yourself in this lifetime. When we understand that this is the Universal Intelligence operating for a greater purpose of the evolution of my consciousness, we then develop a radical acceptance and with that an experience of gratitude.
Once we are experiencing life through the lens of gratitude, we are then not hindered from dropping within to find that same cosmic heartbeat within ourselves as our true self as our spiritual center. All to say — gratitude is not a practice solely for a singular time of the year, but an evolving commitment toward true soul-empowered living that must be tended to and cultivated. Watch on below for a very short practice to encourage a sensation of gratitude!