One of my favourite moments this month was hosting my boyfriend’s family for dinner one Wednesday night. I made a yummy frittata and a simple salad with homemade vinaigrette and brownies for dessert. Everyone loved everything, but that wasn’t what made me so happy about the night. It was more of this wonderful feeling – a quiet feeling of total contentment, of feeling centered and settled, and of feeling like I can make beautiful, lovely things happen for myself and for the people I care about.
At one point I asked my boyfriend, concerned, if he thought there had been enough food for everyone. He replied by saying that it had been a light meal, just right for that evening. He said, “See! You’re bringing light to them.”
In his perfectly imperfect English, he was making a play on words. A light meal, meaning the food was not too heavy. But also, a light meal, meaning happy and easy and just plain nice for everyone involved. Not too much, not too little, just enough and just right.
Later in the month I listened to Jess Lively and Brené Brown talk about the yogic idea of santosha, which means contentment, satisfaction and acceptance of where we are right now in our lives. Jess also talks about santosha being the use of the word and instead of but to acknowledge potentially negative circumstances in our lives and then accept them.
It’s such a small change, but it really does make it easier to accept things and be gentler about ourselves and our lives. Using “and” kind of takes any negativity right out of the equation. For example, I would say: I absolutely love living in Quito and I really want to explore more and make more connections here. Or: I couldn’t love my job any more and I want to find ways to diversify my income.
To me, this is kind of like acknowledging the shadows but choosing to focus on the light. It’s a reminder that we have more than enough, even though we also all have worries and difficulties. We can want more for ourselves and also give ourselves permission not to agonize over things or try so damn hard all the time. We can grant ourselves and our loved ones a little grace while we work on ourselves because we’re worthy and enough just as we are. We’re okay right where we are and we can make plans for the future from a place of enough.
I want to try easier. I want to be more patient. I want to worry less and sit with it more. I want to find the light in this season of my life because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’ll miss this season once it’s over.
Because there really is so much light right now, and I want to notice and appreciate it all. I want to remember how sweet it is that so many great people (including our landlord!) come to our yoga in the park every Saturday morning, how it felt to wake up with my best friend sleeping in the next room, how lovely it is to record the podcast with Laura on Monday afternoons, how great the light is in our apartment when it’s fading, how much fun I have in meetings with my bosses, how it feels to get Snapchats from my family, how great it is to get to know new friends, and what it feels like to fall in love with a new city.
Let’s not forget that life’s good, and sweet, and full of light.
Sources of Light:
I’m still looking for the light and trying to document it on Instagram.
One of my favourite things right now is my 1 Second Everyday video. I can’t think of anything else currently bringing me quite as much light as watching my everyday life one second at a time.
Since discovering this song (thanks Katie!) I have danced in the living room approximately 40% more often.