Samtosha: 50 Things I’m Thankful for in 2015

This is the time of year when people think “shit, it’s December already?” This is where I found myself at 1 a.m last night. 2014 was a difficult year for me, and I thought it would be important to remember that 2015 was not half bad; in fact, it was pretty darn awesome. It reminded me of one of the niyamas from the eight limbs of yoga: Samtosha, or contentment.

Often we hope for a particular result to ensue from our actions, and we are just as often disappointed. But there is no need to despair – rather, we should accept what has happened. That is the real meaning of samtosha – to accept what happens. – T.K.V. Desikachar

In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, it says that “contentment brings unsurpassed joy”. I’ve always been a glass half-empty person (working on it!) so as a way to practice this niyama, it’s important to me to be content with the ebbs and flows of 2015 and remember the great things that happened rather than letting the not-so-great things eclipse the good.

In no particular order, some generic and some less-so, here are 50 things I’m thankful for in 2015: from the heart (and stomach).

1. The people I love
2. Ringing in the past New Year with friends in Hong Kong
3. Ringing in the upcoming New Year with friends in Sri Lanka
4. My relatively sound health
5. Quitting smoking
6. The opportunity to live and work in San Francisco earlier this year

7. The ability to recognize and let go of what was not right for me
8. These furballs

Sam and Lola

9. The dogs making it safely to and from San Francisco (honestly, one of the most stressful experiences of my life)
10. Making new friends and catching up with old ones
11. My trip to Sri Lanka earlier this year
12. Learning to surf (in warm water too, such a luxury)
13. Being asked to be one of my BFF’s maids of honor
14. Yoga teacher training at the Yoga Garden in San Francisco

15. The teachers at Satori, the Yoga Garden and the Yoga Room who have all helped me to develop my practice
16. Overcoming the fear of kicking up into a handstand
17. My trip to Morocco and setting foot on the continent of Africa for the first time in my life
18. Keeping in touch with good friends even though everyone is spread out around the world
19. Visiting friends around the world, and having friends who let me crash at their houses
20. Having friends who are willing to travel hundreds and thousands of miles to visit me
21. Whatsapp and Skype for making it easier to keep in touch with people
22. The opportunity to travel and see new parts of the world
23. My home
24. Making mistakes and learning from them
25. Starting and having a place to write and get my thoughts down
26. Sunsets

27. Wine
28. Pimms
29. IPA (Ok now I’m just listing alcoholic drinks)
30. Finding out there is a Harry Potter sequel
31. Finally making the trip over to the Amalfi coast
32. Yoga pants
33. Spotify Premium
34. ASOS
35. Slowly winding down my ASOS shopping addiction
36. Really good food and restaurants, and living in a place where I’m able to taste a bit of everything from cultures from around the world
37. The Internet, in all its glory
38. Being able to see the sky, stars and moon (sorry, Beijing-ers)
39. Living in a country where you can truly experience four distinct seasons
40. Going to Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour (yes, really)

Taylor Swift Concert

41. Pizza
42. McDonald’s
43. All the mentors, past and present, who have taken the time to stop me from tripping over my own feet
44. The opportunity to continuously deepen my yoga practice
45. Naps
46. The opportunity to continue to learn
47. The snooze button
48. When selfie sticks were banned from Disneyland
49. Cheap airline tickets. $1100 return business tickets with Qatar Airways. Croatia, Greece, Turkey, we’re coming for ya!
50. This skyline

I’m sure there are things I’m missing, but this was a really fun exercise to remind myself to be conscious and acknowledge both the “good” and the “shitty”, but more importantly practice abiding in the here and now.  Bring on 2016!

What are you thankful for this year? Let me know below!

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