How to kill a cactus

I’ve always had a pretty green thumb. Pretty sure it’s partially inherited, since my Dad kept & keeps lots of plants and had a beautiful fish tank when we grew up, whereas my poor Mom could kill a plastic plant. My partner built me two great big garden beds, which are overflowing with produce and pretty flowers. 

In my Yoga & meditation room, I have a few varieties of plants: pothos, a money tree, and some succulents. Side note: all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. But, I digress…

The other day, while watering the plants, I noticed my poor cactus’ stem (trunk?) was brown. Upon touching it, it kinda exploded. As brownish goo oozed out, I cried out, “Nooooooo!” It was upsetting, to be sure, but it begat some thoughts. The yellow tops looked okay, so into the dirt they went. (Here’s hoping!) 

How does this pertain to Yoga? For me, this is me not observing Santosha, the Sanskrit word for Contentment. The cactus was in a pot with another succulent, which seemed to like more water. I was not happy to let it be, but it tried to force it into a different watering schedule. The plant felt discontentment; I wasn’t paying attention. 

How can this be incorporated or integrated into our everyday lives, on and off the mat? How can we be “okay” with what is? The cactus notwithstanding, it doesn’t mean to give up and resign ourselves to “it is what it is.” How can we recognize situations as they are, and not try to fit them into our narrative? How can we respect the cactus for not being thirsty, or for a friend for not wanting to chat? 

For me, it means treating people how *they* wish to be treated, which contradicts the Golden Rule. The cactus wanted less water. The owner, yours truly, wanted to give it a good drink, as would a parent who knows when you’re thirsty. How can the cactus be met where it’s at? 

Note: this is before I came along 😦

How does this show up in your life? How can we practice contentment? Feel free to comment below! 

Published by yogabymeredith27

A Yogini since 2k, you will find her on the mat, at the mic (for karaoke) or on the couch (reading or napping.) Classes for every body & everybody - come play! In times like these, it's especially important to practice self-care, on and off the mat. Be well.

2 thoughts on “How to kill a cactus

  1. Thank you for the reminder. Santosha, one of my favorite Niyamas. It’s easy to forget to practice contentment when things are not “normal.” But during the recent power failure due to the hurricane I found lots of opportunities to be grateful which leads to contentment.

    Liked by 1 person

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