In yoga the other day, the instructor guided us into some complicated pose. I think it was called half-twist Bavarian pretzel with a side of mustard. Or something like that. After we had been twisted and balanced for what seemed like a decade, she said,
“Notice where you are in the pose today. Are you satisfied?”
“Are you ever satisfied?”
(No. Damn it, why does she have to go all insightful on me when I am just struggling to not fall over and make a fool of myself?)
I walked out of the class an hour later, legs shaky and my mind still contemplating the question of satisfaction.
Do I have it? Do I even want it?
I know I have moments of satisfaction. That feeling after a good meal or the contentment I had looking at my friends on the picnic blanket last weekend. I experience it when I teach a good lesson and I see lots of “ah ha’s.” I feel it when my book sales go up or when Brock and I seem particularly close. I am satisfied with my performance in the gym when I hit my goals and with my achievement on the trails when I make good time.
So why did I immediately think “no” when the yoga instructor asked if I was ever satisfied?
Because it never lasts. Fulfillment in one moment becomes a lack in the next. The contentment is fleeting, taking over the body with its big sigh and then moving on, leaving a void behind with its big exhale. A need to be fulfilled.
Being satisfied with everything as it is sounds wonderful. One hundred percent permanent acceptance sounds like some wise yogic key to happiness.
But would that really be so great? Like eating one meal and never again feeling hunger. There would be no drive, no growth, no purpose.
To be fully satisfied would be to be completely stagnate.
My answer to the instructor is still “no,” I am never really satisfied. But that’s okay. It means I will always have something to work towards.
Like a full twist Bavarian pretzel with a side of mustard pose:)