I am always in awe of the wildflowers that grow along the side of the highway.
The other day I thought, "Well that's a crappy a place to be a flower." Cars whizzing by blowing exhaust on their beautiful little pedals, no one stopping to smell them or tell them how pretty they are, having to wait for rain to get a drink of water. I mean wouldn't they much prefer the backyard like my roses? They would be tended to and pruned, fed with expensive plant food, watered everyday by the automatic sprinklers, and admired by everyone who sees them.
My flowers seem to bloom for my benefit, to look pretty so that my family and friends can enjoy their beauty and aroma. In contrast, those wildflowers seem as if they emit a natural grace and gratitude. Those tenacious little highway flowers seem to simply bloom for the sake of blooming. While their living conditions could be considered atrocious, they bloom where they were planted anyway.
I wonder if those highway flowers would be upset if they saw where my backyard flowers lived. Would they think, "Well this sucks! Those backyard flowers have it so much better. This isn't fair!"
In the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, one of the niyamas or personal practices we learn is called santosha. Santosha means contentment. Being content with who we are and what we have in the moment can be a challenge if we are constantly looking into the backyard of another. According to the Yoga Sutras, when we find santosha, "unexcelled happiness pervades our being" regardless of the circumstances of our lives. Patanjali tells us that deep inside each of us is an inner awareness that is peaceful, happy and content. The practices offered by the wisdom of yoga can help us to remember this Divine truth.
Being content with what we have and who we are doesn't mean we are complacent. Instead as we move in the direction that we would like to grow, we appreciate and have gratitude for each step along the way.
We can learn from those wildflowers blooming on the side of the highway, and know that when we are feeling stuck by the circumstances of our lives, we should focus our attention on our own backyard, have gratitude for what we have, and make a conscious choice to bloom where we're planted.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras