Nov 24 2013
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ― Lao Tzu
What IF this year you spent little to no money during the holiday season? How would that change things in our world? What do the people in your life really need right now? Better yet, what if you announced to all the people in your life that you will not accept material items during the holiday season, thereby modeling for those around you that you are practicing contentment or SANTOSHA, which is the second of the Niyamas in Yoga.
Even as some of us are finishing up our Thanksgiving leftovers, let’s face it: it’s not that easy to go cold turkey when we live in a civilization that has constant consumerism as one of its primary pillars. But as we look around at where we are going as a civilization, it doesn’t take much to see that our current way of life is not sustainable nor is it very fulfilling for the majority of us. So for now, I just want to add my tiny little stocking stuffer of a cultural meme and ask each of you to help share this idea. It’s a concept that has been around for a long, long time. I am just going to give it a little pop cultural makeover, just like how Santa Claus came to be way back in the early 1800s (or earlier according to some legends).
And for those not so ready or willing to play along, let me use a slightly different approach. (CAUTION: the following video contains both shocking and shameful human behavior!) Check out this footage of Black Friday and meditate on whether or not you want to be part of the chaos on any shopping day. Our current paradigm of spending, shopping, consuming has us in an endless DOPAMINE LOOP. It’s what makes our societal gerbil wheel spin faster and faster, without a hint that we can choose to jump off. Check out the documentary CONNECTED for a very promising look at how we can change things.
So, I hope I have a few more of you on board. Next, let’s tap into our imagination and create a NEW holiday entity based on the yoga concept of SANTOSHA, or contentment. What if this joyful figure was dressed in some fun and colorful hand-me-downs, had two dazzling eyes (you pick the color) filled with mirth and compassion? What if this being wandered around the shopping areas around this time of the year, and had a magical power that tapped into a person’s basic desire to connect with loved ones? What if everyone believed in SANTOSHA CLAUS, and we appreciated what we already have rather than overspending on material goods? What if this belief in SANTOSHA CLAUS became universal and was actually celebrated every day in every corner of the planet? How might the world be different? How might your holiday season be different?
Can you share this with at least three other people in your life that you believe in SANTOSHA CLAUS? Can you spread the word that there is something magical happening and it can happen anywhere anytime?
It doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice, because SANTOSHA CLAUS is already in your town!