Navigation Menu+

Cultivating Contentment in the Era of Coronavirus

Posted on May 10, 2020 by in Blog | 0 comments

Cultivating Contentment in the Era of Coronavirus

Yesterday I felt myself sliding into another funk as I listened to the news.

April brought the highest unemployment rate in U.S. history.

Over 1.3 million Americans suffering from coronavirus, over 80,000 dead.

Worldwide, over 4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Even though my prayer and meditation practice has been quite strong, the latest news felt like a bit much to take.

I went for a walk with my dog Dixie and called my BFF Nina Lynn for advice.

Catherine and her black and white cocker spaniel Dixie

Catherine and her black and white cocker spaniel Dixie

I knew this wasn’t a situation for St. John’s wort, a natural healing herb for depression, or Gorse, a Bach flower remedy for when one has lost all hope, although either remedy could be prescribed for anyone wanting to try to scratch the surface of what I was feeling.

No, the answer, I knew, wouldn’t come from taking anything but from a deep shift of my inner attitude.

“I know you’ve been meditating…”Nina observed.

“And I know you feel grateful.

“Make a list of what you truly feel happy about,” she advised me.

Nina Lynn and Catherine Carrigan at the Point du Guard in France October 2018

Nina Lynn and Catherine Carrigan at the Point du Guard in France October 2018

Finding our way mentally emotionally during this challenging period of global change takes more than one approach.

Although I have taught yoga for 25 years it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I started meditating as if my life depended upon it.

I had broken up with my fiancé and the city of Atlanta construction crews had damaged the road in front of my home.

My house was literally shaking.

You could stand in my back driveway during the day and feel the earth shake.

My neighbors and I all had earthquake meters on our phones.

In the middle of the night large trucks would literally rattle the house when they drove by at 2 a.m., waking me up from the deepest sleep.

There was nothing I could do except meditate for hours and hours every day.

After meditating hours and hours every day for months on end I woke up one morning and noticed I felt happier than I had ever been!

A lifesaving habit had been formed.

This morning, after my prayer and meditations, I began to ponder what Nina had been advising and remembered the yogic principle of santosha, or contentment.

What is santosha?

Santosha is the second niyama, or yogic precept, recommended by Patanjali, the founder of yoga, in his Yoga Sutras.

“By contentment, the highest happiness is attained” is  one translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sutra II.42

Another translation of the same sutra goes “Joy is attained through the practice of gratitude.”

Seems paradoxical, right – feel happy and all those thoughts of people who are sick and those who have died and lost their jobs won’t bother you so much. Really?

Seriously?

When I first started teaching yoga 25 years ago I devoured practically every book I could find about yoga philosophy.

Many of us falsely believe that when we cultivate an attitude of contentment we might become complacent or lazy or unmotivated to make continuous improvement.

Paradoxically, the yogic texts advised me, when we cultivate contentment we become not only O.K. with all that is, this feeling of deep inner peace empowers us to ride the waves of profound transformation with ease and grace.

When I was studying natural healing, I learned about the acupuncture meridian for the stomach that is governed by the same principle as santosha.

The emotion of profound contentment strengthens your stomach meridian.

You can read about the emotions that strengthen or weaken the major meridians in our body at this link.

The emotions that weaken our stomach meridian include:

  • Criticism
  • Disappointment
  • Deprivation
  • Greed
  • Emptiness
  • Sympathy
  • Empathy
  • Disgust
  • Bitterness
  • Doubt

When we fall into the trap of feeling there’s never enough, no matter how much we get or spend or try to fill ourselves up – whether that be with food, distractions, activities, legal or illegal drugs – never enough is never enough.

So this morning as I lay in bed after prayer and meditation I followed the sage advice of my dear friend Nina Lynn and began to make a list of not just what I’m grateful for but what I feel truly happy about.

Not least on the list, today being Mother’s Day, I’m so happy my 83-year-old mother, a true treasure to humanity, is still alive and that she and I are so close and have so much fun together.

Catherine Carrigan and Jane Espy in New York three years ago

Catherine Carrigan and Jane Espy in New York three years ago

As I began to not just think about what I’m grateful for but to feel how happy I feel about all the many blessings of my life, I felt my heart open once again and my natural energy and enthusiasm come roaring back.

No doubt I will have to repeat this exercise many times in the days, weeks and months to come.

Like my prayer and meditation practice, another lifesaving habit is being reinforced.

What is healing? Healing happens when we feel happy about all the many blessings of this life.

To set up an appointment for a medical intuitive reading or healing work, email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or call 678-612-8816. If you are outside the U.S., please call via WhatsApp. I can work with you from anywhere in the world by phone, Skype or Zoom video conference.
Coronavirus Survival Resources 
I’ve been searching around for ways to help everyone get through the Coronavirus, an illness known to attack the respiratory system, hinder breathing and adversely affect people’s lungs both during and after the virus.
We added an extra Saturday morning 10 a.m. yoga class on Zoom. You can find out about joining us at the link.
Turn to Mushti Mudra to release emotional stress when you don’t think you can handle any more anxiety, depression or loneliness. Find out by reading this blog.
And above all I know how profound the breathing exercises in The Little Book of Breathwork can be.
I wrote the book and produced a series of FREE videos of these exercises because I know you can usually cut your anxiety in half in a mere eight minutes. That’s why I called the breath work routine “Eight Minutes to Inner Peace.”
When it’s 2 a.m. and you can’t call your best friend, you can practice the breathing exercises, affirmations and hand mudras to feel better.
When you’re experiencing shortness of breath, anxiety, high blood pressure or don’t know what else to do to make yourself feel better, these are simple tools you can turn to for FREE.
If you are sick with Coronavirus and notice yourself having trouble breathing, you can turn to these breathing exercises, hand mudras and affirmations to redirect your chi and hopefully open up your airways.
To join us for yoga and qi gong classes via video conference right now, email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or call 678-612-8816 to receive the code. Yoga classes meet via Zoom.us on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30 to 9 p.m. EST and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST. Qi gong meets on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. EST. Saturday mornings 10 a.m.

 

 

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *