A Tale of Contentment
"Wish Fish, Wish Fish, come to me." Sounds familiar doesn't it. We have so much to be grateful for; family, friends, our health, yet we are always wishing for something more. We say to ourselves "If I only had this or that...then I could really be happy." We never seem to have enough. It is human nature to want more, but things and circumstances can never bring true happiness. Happiness comes from a place of contentment within each of us. Oh to be grateful and content!
With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas right around the corner we couldn't have told a more perfect story this season. "The Wish Fish" is our adaptation of the classic folktale, " The Fisherman and his Wife." Our story begins with a fisherman and his wife living in a simple grass hut by the sea.
One day the fisherman catches a glittering, golden wish fish. The fisherman kindly releases it and when his wife hears the story she tells her husband to go back and ask the fish for a stone house, she is tired of the grass hut. Her wish is granted and and she is happy for a little while but soon becomes greedy and asks for more and more. The sea gets stormier and stormier each time the fisherman calls to the wish fish. Eventually everything gets washed away in a mighty wave and the fisherman returns to his simple, peaceful life where each day as the sun rises he rows out onto the ocean and gratefully casts his net. Some days he catches several fish and some days only one, but either way he is content.
Many opportunities for interaction presented themselves with the story. Each time the fisherman paddles his boat we paddled our arms side to side, and as the wish fish swims alongside the boat we made a swimming fish motion with our hands. The children loved calling out, “Wish fish, wish fish come to me.” And could hardly believe the greedy wife asking for more and more, “She should be happy for what she has,” was many a response. Warrior II became our fisherman, boat and fish pose were obvious choices for the little boat and the wish fish. Mel and I enjoyed coming up with poses for the wife’s wishes as well as the stormy sea; low lunge, Warrior I, gate pose, wide angle forward fold, extended side angle, and of course, goddess pose. We ended the session with a grateful Sunbreath.
Gratitude is a hallmark of well- being. It affects not only our happiness but our health. Gratitude changes our perceptions. It changes our experience of life. Fortunately we can cultivate gratitude through story and yoga. Our story is our response to our life experiences. It is not only what we say and do it is also what we feel and think. Through the practice of yoga we become aware of our thoughts and feelings. Not only do we begin to notice our strength, flexibility and balance increasing but also our levels of gratitude and contentment.
Appreciating what we have is everything. Everything is a gift. Gratitude actually makes us feel good. It is the feeling that we have enough. This feeling that we have enough brings deep feelings of contentment; it calms our bodies and our minds.
Gratitude, like everything in the universe, is a form of energy. The energy of gratitude draws unto itself. Being grateful for what we have opens the pathways of energy allowing more abundance to come into our lives. Being grateful is a powerful transformative tool and we can transform our lives by being grateful. So let’s cast our net with gratitude and we just might draw in a glittering golden fish, but either way we shall be content.
Moving Tales; Kathe and Melanie, tandem yoga storytellers