Where am I looking for contentment outside myself?
Last week I had the above question staring at me all week long, written up on my whiteboard. Multiple times a day I would read it and multiple times a day I found myself at a loss.
Santosha, the second Niyama, means Contentment. For the first week of Santosha practice Deborah suggests, “This week notice when you find yourself getting ready for the next thing or looking for contentment from something outside of yourself”. Maybe after 3 days of I’ve-got-nothing feelings about the above question I should have turned to the first part of her suggestion and noticed when I found myself getting ready for the next thing. This, I believe, builds right on top of the work I was doing (and continue to do) with Saucha; slow down and do one thing at a time.
I’m still working on that. As I mentioned before, I’ve gotten better at this, but I still feel the need to attempt to multi-task when I feel overwhelmed. This has been going on for years so I don’t expect it to stop within a couple of weeks. Granted, I’ve been taking more notice of this for about a year now, but it’s really only been the past 3-4 weeks where I’ve really noticed how much work I still have to do.
Anyway, when am I getting ready for the next thing?? A lot. Often. Maybe the question is, when am I NOT? Is it that bad? I’m not sure. Yes, I do think that for many tasks I’m there, in the task and not thinking of what I need to accomplish next, but when I’m doing housework or chores the answer is a firm yes, I am definitely thinking of what I have to do next.
I feel rushed. I feel overwhelmed. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize until I just typed this right this second that I probably feel overwhelmed because I’m rushing myself…………I feel overwhelmed because I am rushing myself. I just wanted to that to really sink in….Wow. Do you do this too? I wonder what would happen if I stopped thinking about the next thing I had to do. I wonder what would happen if I stopped looking at my huge list and thinking about it in one large piece. I wonder what would happen if I stopped rushing myself and therefore overwhelming myself….
Alright! Well there’s my work for this week! That and Deborah’s second question regarding things we like and don’t like.
Do you rush yourself? Does it make you feel overwhelmed?
Are you looking for contentment from something outside yourself? Are you using food, tv, friends, alcohol, video games to make yourself “happy”?
For those of you who keep up with these posts, you may have noticed I didn’t write about my experience with nightshades last week. I’m still avoiding them, but not as studiously. When I have them, they are in VERY small quantities and the one thing I haven’t had at all is bell peppers. I’ve had a few bites of pepper jack cheese, but other than that, no hot peppers either. I LOVE hot sauce, so this was (is) hard. I’ve been using Colman’s Mustard as a replacement for my typical Tapatio and I’ve been fine. I attempted to give up cheese one week and this was extremely difficult. My husband and daughter have zero diet restrictions and they both love cheese so this made it very difficult. Too much cheese makes me gassy and uncomfortable, but I notice if I have it in moderation it’s ok.
What I’ve learned from this experiment is that, for the most part, I can have small amounts of these foods I find inflammatory and be ok. If I have too much of them or if I have any at all when I’m stressed or anxious, that’s when I have a problem. This is good to know. Plus, it was easier to notice other foods that didn’t mix with my body when I cut out the nightshades. I also haven’t had a full meal with pasta yet either, but have one on the dinner menu this week. I’ll be paying close attention to how I feel afterwards.
That’s all for this week. I hope you are all having an excellent week so far and have a great rest of your week! <3