I had originally intended to write a post about Santosha this week and my meditational practice with this Niyama from the Gates book. The idea of Santosha practice has since taken on new meaning to me. I am going to be honest, I wanted very much for much of this election season to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also very much wanted to be neutral when discussing the candidates with my children (most specifically my oldest who is almost 6). I wanted to make sure that while I instill my values in my children…..values that respect others and embrace a world in which each person has a say and a place…..but I also want to respect the fact that my children deserve the right to make their own decisions; that they should be well informed; that all discussions should not be one sided “because I’m the parent”. Many people will disagree with this philosophy and that’s okay in my book. My children are too young to make all of their own decisions, but they know what they believe is right….most children do.
My oldest son goes to a Montessori school where he is taught to make his own decisions and to respect others. He chooses who to be friends with and what work to do. He has his own interests (mostly dinosaurs right now) outside of those of myself and my husband. He is his own person and he has opinions about what’s been said on TV regarding candidates at all levels. Yesterday I told him that this morning, when he awoke, that we would know who our next president would be. He told me very bluntly that he hoped it would be Hillary Clinton. I was a little shocked by this as he wouldn’t let me vote for her when we went last week. It was my vote, but I felt good about sharing it with him. We voted for Jill Stein. I regret that decision to some degree because a vote for a third part candidate is a vote against both major party candidates. That is also the reason that I voted third party; to express my disapproval.
I wasn’t happy about the image that Hillary Clinton had portrayed in her campaign. She had the chance to be honest and up front about the email situation. She had the chance to take the high road and to not sling mud. She has so many amazing qualities as a politician, an activist, and as a woman. I was just disappointed that she didn’t hold true to those and disregard the rest. Dear Hillary, people will forgive you if you’re upfront and honest. I told my son that she had been caught in a lie. I also told him that Donald Trump was a successful business man who employed many people and cared deeply for his family. I tried to present both sides of all candidates the best I could.
His reasoning for wanting Clinton to win…..my son has lied before and been caught, but he’s a good person and his parents and friends know that. He made a wrong choice, but he was forgiven by those who believed that he could do the right thing. His reasoning for not wanting Trump to win…..my son believes that everyone deserves a chance to come to this country, that families shouldn’t be separated, and that women are as good as men. He worried that my boss would believe Trump’s stance on wives at work and take away my job. He worried that other people couldn’t find a safe place in this country. He worried that the guy who seemed the meanest would get to tell us all what to do.
My almost six year old doesn’t understand all that goes into being president or how our full government system works. What he does understand is that “his candidate” lost. He almost cried this morning when he found out. I hate that for him.
What does all of this have to do with yoga and Santosha? Santosha is the practice of contentment. In one of the recent meditations it states a quote by Judith Lassater:
We can easily practice santosa in the beautiful moments and joyous experiences of our lives. But Patanjali asks us to be equally willing to embrace the difficult moments.
Donald Trump will be our 45th President in this country. I have a choice as to how I will live my life in response to this news. I almost cried, myself, when I heard the news. I have fears for what this means for my country, my family, my children. I also know that in order to live a Yoga Life I must accept that this is the way things are and to move forward as such. To find contentment where I can and to work toward a better tomorrow.
Please click on the link above to watch Hillary Clinton’s very brave concession speech. She exemplifies the greatest test of Santosha and I admire her for it.
Can you find contentment in the hard times?
How did the results of this election make you feel?