Take a look at this picture. Isn’t that flower beautiful? It looks gorgeous to me! Did you also notice the leaves under it? Well, they are part of the reason this flower is so gorgeous! Besides forming a good contrast background for the colored flowers, they provide support and food so these flowers can blossom beautifully. But I am not here to try to teach Botany to anyone, I want to talk about contentment. In this case, would you be content if you were one of those leaves instead of the flower?
This week in my kids yoga classes, I decided to talk about contentment. To my surprise, in a class for 6-10 year olds, when I asked if anyone had heard about that word, one 10-yr-old raised her hand and replied, “it means being happy and in peace”. Wow! I was shocked and pleased at the same time. How amazing that she already knows about this. Even though the dictionary defines contentment as ‘satisfaction’, you can see she got the idea about it. When you are satisfied, you are happy and at ease or peaceful.
I was also pleased because hearing the definition of a word from a peer is completely different than hearing it from a teacher. And so we talked about situations in our lives to go along with the explanation of being content. It is not an easy subject to grasp, kind of abstract and quite contrary to how the culture we live in has us feel – we are motivated to always want more, the next thing, bigger and better… Besides growing up listening to this, there is an innate feeling of questioning our satisfaction with things around us and especially inside of us. A poet once wrote: “As a rule, man’s a fool. When it’s hot, he wants it cool. And when it’s cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.”
Being the first time I mentioned this concept to those kids, added to the fact that most of them had not even heard of this word, which is normal for that age range, I decided to keep it simple. I tried to help those kids open their eyes to be able to see how much they already are and have in their lives, and that we all sometimes take for granted. Could they be content with what they had with them at that time, for instance? We focused on one aspect and took turns telling others what they were satisfied with in that area. As we shared in circle what made us content, it was a way to acknowledge it. We then performed the poses to express what they mentioned. So many things came up! Hopefully, it will take a while for them to say they are bored to their parents; there is so much to explore!