I recently remembered a moment that happened just a few weeks ago in my shower, when I said to God or the Universe or whoever–“I just want to feel well. When I am well I will enjoy every moment of wellness, every single part of me that is free from sickness.”
You see, my winter season was one long blur of illness. Thankfully nothing at all serious–just many colds and a flu that sort of bled into each other like watercolors: one would start to lift just a little and then the symptoms of the next would start. “Oh a sore throat now.” “Ah, how novel: a headache this time!” And always “more tissues, please.” I’m blessed to be in really good health most of the time, so it was a new and frustrating experience, but I tried to continue with my yogic practices of being with what is (satya) and appreciating the parts of my life that were going well (santosha). It made me a bit more thankful for all that wellness I’ve enjoyed all these years, and I assumed that it would make me feel just amazing when I finally got to experience that wellness again. But y’know what? I am well again–no sniffles, no nausea, no sore throat–and I have no idea when that happened. Some time between that moment in my shower and today. But that’s all I know. And I practice tuning into myself as a profession! (Well…I practice helping others tune into themselves as a profession. These things are not actually the same, as I am reminded today.)
So what’s up with that?!
We all do this all the time. We have a very keen eye on what’s not working, what’s not enough, what we don’t like. There’s not enough money in my bank account for X. This situation isn’t fair. So-and-so sucks and here’s why. Why is this line taking so long. I’m irritated that he/she isn’t listening to me. And on and on and on and Good Lord…I’m talking really on here, people. After all, here I am, weeks later, feeling peace, feeling ease in my body, feeling a lack of symptoms, and also feeling no gratitude at all–worse than that, not even awareness! It’s as if wellness feels like nothing. Wholeness, health, abundance, enough-ness, happiness, trust, warmth…it’s as if they’re “neutral” and don’t make it on to our radar screens at all. Only the bad gets to make actual appearances.
I imagine that if I didn’t practice yoga, even more time would’ve passed before I noticed…and so I give thanks for that. And I imagine that I have a lot more yoga to practice to help me fulfill that vow I made a few weeks ago–to celebrate the wellness, to dance and rejoice in my own little ways, to embody my strength and give thanks. To actively practice santosha: perhaps one of the very hardest of the Yamas and Niyamas to practice.