Every narrative in human existence is twisted around the stiff notion that throughout our lives we are constantly in search of satisfaction. It can be emotional, financial or personal, but ultimately the end goal is to live a life of contentment. The term santosha is a Sanskrit word which directly translates to mean “complete satisfaction”. I go back and forth with the idea of whether or not money can purchase complete pleasure. Some attest that it is not necessary, but my personal take aligns more with the idea that unless you have met Maslow’s bottom tiers on the hierarchy of needs, it is not possible to be happy…or content (this is, of course, in combination with a multitude of other factors). Like it or not, in this day and age you need that comfort to alleviate the major stressors which prey on the edges of your equanimity, threatening the achievement of santosha.
Paramount to creating satisfaction for myself is control of my direct environment. I am a very aesthetic person, so when my immediate surroundings are chaotic (both literally and figuratively) it is hard for me to focus on mental well-being and general productivity. The poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar powerfully identified the importance of santosha saying: “It’s so simple to be happy; it’s so difficult to be simple…”
Enter literal Santosha, the newly-transformed, anything but simple, luxury estate on the sugar sands of Anguilla. This beachfront ode to colonial architecture has always caught my eye when I walked the seldom-traveled sand of Long Bay Beach. Now under the management of power-team Sunset Homes and Aries Capital, Santosha has been gifted its own new awakening; a second chance to make its presence known in Anguilla.
Coincidentally, cultivating your presence is one of the tenets of achieving contentment. What is difficult is that we spend a significant segment of our lives sequencing ways we have failed to achieve what we set out to assemble. According to the rules of seeking satisfaction, we should spend an equal amount of time and energy learning to appreciate the beauty of what we have in “the now”.
Often, as a resident of a tourist destination, it is hard to remember that people journey thousands of miles to find their contentment on the sand-swept shores of Anguilla. Standing on the edge of the limestone Santosha property wall, the realisation that I live this exquisite destination every day wafted against me with the lift of the Caribbean breeze.
An experience in and of itself, Santosha is an ornamentation-lover’s oasis. With breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and the continuous reminder of the Tradewinds which grant us the term “Leeward Islands”, there is no better place to feel at peace. The attention to detail on this property arrested me immediately. Everywhere my eyes fell were unique textures and elements which conjured the images of estates previously housed only on the pages of the storybooks in my youth.
Much like the individual journeys on which we find ourselves thrust us into comparison, so too does the trek to satisfaction. The second mantra of remaining balanced in happiness is to periodically find joy in “the now” by regularly checking-in and reminding ourselves to locate contentment in an aspect of our present life. It would be remiss of me to say that I did not compare my own humble abode to the awe-striking luxe level of perfection that manifests itself in Santosha, however it should be possible to covet without disengaging from the fact that you will be fine if you are never to achieve it.
The property hosts nine bedrooms between its main house, guest houses and quaint nanny apartment. Each room projects its own personality, beckoning the resident to let go and find their state of fulfilment. It would be almost impossible not to find peace in a chamber where every wall prides itself in the ownership of multiple windows to extend you the view of Anguilla’s untouched luxury.
The level of grandeur available here almost eclipses your own version of reality. To enjoy true beauty and return home is hard, even in a figurative way; things in your usual surroundings will seem to have misplaced their lustre. It’s easy, then, to allow negative thoughts to take hold. As per the lesson in santosha, however, prioritising the positives in life is only possible if we perceive that negative facets persist. When balancing the two in either outstretched palm, you are able to elevate to a plane where happiness (true santosha) is within your grasp. Walking the stairs to the top floor of Santosha Villa with my son tagging along allowed me a moment to think of the ways in which I can highlight my wins and still accept the lessons proffered by my losses.
If you truly have me in your acquaintance, then it is common knowledge that my ultimate satisfaction would be achieved dining out, but the full kitchen in Santosha is a must for traveling families. Ample space and wrap around verandahs also mean that if your culinary fulfilment rests on channeling your inner Chrissy Tiegen, you won’t have to look far for inspiration.
The final state of allowing yourself to find contentment is to recognise the difference between the mental and the material; to invite the meaningfulness of experience to take the place of possessions. Nothing is more immaterial than feeling the texture of nature engulfing your feet. The only property on the under-publicized Long Bay Beach, Santosha (and the other Long Bay Villa homes) boasts the ability to offer the isolated-desert-island experience of which every Caribbean traveller dreams while still being in proximity to all the amenities of Anguilla’s West End. Nowhere have I been more present, more at peace or more aware.