Karmacology: Mindful Living, Sacred Practice

Inner Appreciation

See, that's all you're thinking about, is winning. You're confirming your sense of self- worth through outward reward instead of through inner appreciation.
-- Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Gran Prix, 1994

This quote sums up the Yogic concept of Santosa: Contentment and the Embrace of Life. Many of us are entering a new year with typical Western "resolutions" to fix something about ourselves, reach a milestone or some external goal. While these ambitions are often noble, be aware that they can sometimes generate discontent.

We sometimes motivate ourselves through such assertions as, "I'll finally be happy whenever I have.." -- and fill in the blank. Maybe we think we'll be happy when we loose that weight, meet that special someone, or stop smoking. The motivation in all of these is very similar: I am broken, and I must do something to fix myself, or I am incomplete and need to add something to my life.

Such thinking plants the seed of the undoing of your goals. If you recognize your own mind in these thoughts, then refocus and re-center. Find your Inner Appreciation first, and set your goals with a mind towards Growth. This is nature's way. Always remember that life is a process of growth, and all experience and circumstance -- the fun and the frustrating alike -- becomes something that we can practice and learn from.