Thursday, September 26, 2013

Santosha and Dragonflies

Hello, I'm Coriander Flax Miracle according to this Yogi Name Generator. I sound more like a powerful pooper mover than someone who can help you wrestle your head to your feet in Bow pose. Disclaimer: You're not supposed to wrest your body parts into position, but it sounds way more funny this way. I'm in the midst of my fourth week here in Austin. As everyone knows, time goes by so fast. I blinked and already I'm a good way into my yoga teacher training and I still feel so wholly unprepared to start instructing a roomful of yogis into position. 

However, life has been good to me lately. Though the universe has definitely thrown some curveballs at me thank you for the broken, dead hearing aid, I've been able to find the shining rays of sunshine that keeps me going on... like dragonflies.

If you believe in such things, I have a totem animal. Totem animals are creatures that you have extraordinary encounters with. I don't mean like a squirrel coming up to you and allowing you to pet him. Even just simple but meaningful eye contact counts. Back in the spring, I started running. (Oh by the way, I'm up to 30 minutes straight, I can call it running and not "running" anymore!) On one of my "runs," a dragonfly came up to me and started flying ahead of me. It would bob up and down, zig zag this way and that, but for the duration of the run, it just stayed right there, flying along with me. I wouldn't have thought anything of it if it weren't for a good friend of mine who was noticing some of her own totem animals and telling me about them. I went home and looked it up. This is what I found:

The dragonfly is generally associated with the symbolic meaning of transformation. Here are common meanings for this animal totem:
Change and transformation
Joy, lightness of being
Symbol of the realm of emotions, invitation to dive deeper into your feeling
Being on the lookout for illusions and deceits, whether are external or personal
Connection with nature’s spirits, fairies realms (Source)
I interpreted it as a sign that I'm about to go through a transformation both internally and externally, and it's true. If you found me from a year ago and said, "Hey, you're gonna be doing this and that and look, you're going to end up in Austin for yoga teacher training." I would've looked at you like you had three eyes. 

I was cheered by my find and started to pay attention. I noticed I would see a dragonfly in strange situations: the weirdest being when I decided to get down and do some yoga in a random laundromat and a dragonfly flew straight in and hung out until I was done. If that wasn't a giant billboard, I don't know what was. Then, I got to Austin and went for a run on Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake Trail I get people telling me both names so I'm calling it TLLBL Trail now. I looked up at one point and saw this cloud of giant dragonflies just zipping around, playing with each other. They might as well have spelt out "Hey girl, you're in the right place!" (For my Isola Bella friends, "Hey girl, I'm Ryan Gosling!")

So I'm diving in headfirst. In my training, I learned about santosha. It means contentment and finding satisfaction in the good things and all the non-good things. Upon further study, I discovered it also meant willingness to take risks. Who knew? Contentment equals being openminded. I would've never put the two together, but there it was, existing in this concept called santosha. I decided then and there, that was it, I had nothing to lose and never would. Instead, I'd have the whole world- no, the universe- to gain.

Even though it seems like you're not making progress or facing one struggle after another. The universe is constantly watching over you and sending you signs. All it takes is to be just aware at one moment, and you'll start finding out your truth at every turn. Whether it's through a totem animal or meeting the right person at the right time, open yourself up and find santosha.

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