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With Outstretched Arms, We Can Lose It All

Often times, we become so focused on what other people have around us that we take for granted all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our own lives. The 2nd limb of yoga are the niyamas which are considered the inner disciplines. There are five niyamas with the second being Santosha, meaning Contentment.

When we constantly look at the lane next to us, and take our eyes off the road ahead, we start to veer into other lanes, crashing, hitting barricades, causing accidents, and oftentimes causing us to come to complete halts. Funny enough, when we think we have everything we want, we go out searching for more. Unbeknownst to us, there are people who wish they had the very thing that we take for granted.

My favorite example is a meme I saw years ago.

It starts with a person walking, who looks over at a person on a bike, and says, “I wish I had a bike”…

The person on the bike looks over at the person in a car, and says, “I wish I had a car”…

The person in the car looks up to the person in a plane, and says, “I wish I had a plane”…

The person in the plane look over at a bird, and says, “I wish I had wings”…

We are forever looking for more, unsatisfied with what we have. Why is that? I often think it is inherently engrained within us to always want more, always searching, always pulling. Historically, the early settlers wanted more land, more power, more riches, and stole the land from the Natives who were currently inhabiting the now United States.

In a world driven by material possessions, I often ask myself why the need to satisfy ourselves with “things”, and why do we allow the world to constantly drive our feelings, telling us what we need in order to feel accomplished, satisfied, and full?

If you are not careful, you will spend your whole life with outstretched arms, and will lose the very things closest to you. You will be so focused on the NEXT big adventure, your NEXT big break, your NEXT house, your NEXT job, your next 100 followers that you will allow time to pass without allowing yourself to bask in the moment, in the now. Often people say “Time is going by so fast”… which is true! Want to know the secret of slowing down time?

…take a breath…

We can easily blame social media, the media, celebrities, and everything else for creating these feelings of discontent. I always hear “it’s the media!” Well, it is time to take ownership and responsibility, and create our own narrative of happiness and content. We decide what is fulfilling in our lives!

You can also apply this to immaterial things such as knowledge, relationships, and other intangible qualities that we strive to have. Did you know that you already have everything you need instilled within you to accomplish your mission on this earth? What God has for you is for you, and everything will come when it is supposed to.

2 Peter 1:3 “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us by glory and virtue…”

This same feeling of discontent is oftentimes recognized on our yoga mats. We see these beautiful poses, and think “If only my practice looked like THAT”, or “If only I could do THAT pose”… We become disgruntled with our own progress that we often stunt our own growth, becoming fixated on… the mat (lane) next to us, forgetting that the reason why we practice yoga is to LET GO. Let go of expectations, and learn to enjoy the moment, being content with where we are on our mats.

I am not at all saying that having possessions is a negative thing, but my only question is… Why? What will you gain, once you have that “thing” that you desire the most? And if your reason is valid to yourself, then “ok”!

I am also not saying that you should not plan for the future, think ahead, want more, or dream bigger - All I am saying is that to whom much is given, much is required…and we have been given so much! Learn to enjoy the process… because in the end, we have to give it back - cars, clothes, money, yoga poses, and ALL.

1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it…"

Learn to slow down, enjoy the journey, find contentment, and…

…just breathe…

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