What is happiness?
One of the yoga principles is Santosha, which could be translated as “contentment”. Patanjali wrote The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (translated by Alistair Shearer), and says that “From contentment results unparalleled happiness”. My teacher, Katie Manitsas, writes in her book Spiritual Survival in the City:
Santosha – contentment
- Working against the feeling that you are not good enough (whether in practical or spiritual terms, or in terms of your relationship with your own body).
- Understanding that we do not always know.
- Knowing when we have done our best – not pushing, pushing, pushing.
- Making our best effort and then letting go.
What makes you and your family happy? What are some activities/rituals/routines/special experiences that you do together that bring happiness? What experience did you have recently that made you all laugh and fill you with joy? What’s an important part of your culture that evokes happiness? What does “happiness” mean to you?
Here’s what Heidi Gill had to say about what happiness means to her family:
“This summer we were fortunate to be able to visit some dear family friends in South Lake Tahoe. On our first day there we completed a five mile hike at about 9,000 feet! My kids got to see snow for the first time (I know – I hate to admit that).
It was a tough hike considering the altitude, the warm weather, and the occasional bugs landing on our skin, but it was so rewarding to see the happiness and joy it brought to my kids when they completed the long hike. The reward = ice cream!
Our family is most happy when we are all together.
My husband and I both work from home and that allows us to spend a lot of time together as a family. We eat almost every meal together, we are able to watch every sporting event, every school function, and that I feel is HAPPINESS!
We are also very lucky to have two wonderful families that our children are able to visit during school breaks and create happy memories with Grandparents, Cousins and Aunts and Uncles.”
The Gill Family – Jag, Heidi, Jacob (5) and Hannah (9) at Lake Tahoe
Carson Pass Trailhead at Mokelumne Wilderness
What’s your story about happiness? Please email me at giselle at kidsyogastories dot com before Thursday, August 8th for an article I’ll put together with all your thoughts from around the world.