contentment

To live a life of full contentment, one must accept everything that they are. Every inch. Every flaw. Completely surrender oneself to the unchangeable flow of the universe. We are who we are. Things will occur the way they do. This is life; learn to be content with it.
How to Live a Simpler, More Contented Life

1. Ask yourself “What’s important?” Take a step back and think about what’s important to you. What do you really want to be doing, who do you want to spend your time with, what do you want to accomplish with your work? Make a short list of 4-5 things for your life, 4-5 people you want to spend time with, 4-5 things you’d like to accomplish at work.

2. Examine your commitments. A big part of the problem is that our lives are way too full. We can’t possibly do everything we have committed to doing, and we certainly can’t enjoy it if we’re trying to do everything. Accept that you can’t do everything, know that you want to do what’s important to you, and try to eliminate the commitments that aren’t as important.

3. Do less each day. Don’t fill your day up with things to do. You will end up rushing to do them all. If you normally try to do 7-10 things, do 5 important ones instead. This will give you time to do what you need to do, and not rush.

. Leave space between tasks or appointments. Another mistake is trying to schedule things back-to-back. This leaves no cushion in case things take longer than we planned (which they always do), and it also gives us a feeling of being rushed and stressed throughout the day.

5. Eliminate as much as possible from your to-do list. You can’t do everything on your to-do list. Even if you could, more things will come up. As much as you can, simplify your to-do list down to the essentials.

6. Now, slow down and enjoy every task. Try to slow down and enjoy whatever you’re doing. Try to pay attention, instead of thinking about other things. Be in the moment. Enjoy the present.

It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree — not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself — and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.
—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13 NASB)

On top of this comes discontentment. You want more and more and more. This, in a sense, is real poverty - always to be hungry, hungry with no time to be satisfied. Others might not be rich, but contentment provides them with fewer worries, fewer enemies, fewer problems and very good sleep. On more than one occasion, when I have visited very nice homes in rich communities, I have peeked inside the medicine chest in the bathroom and found some medications to provide energy for the day and others to induce sleep at night. Contentment might do both of these jobs better since it reduces anxiety during the day, paving the way for sleeping peacefully.
—  The 14th Dalai Lama

A surprise bday present for a lovely friend of mine :) This was actually quite a challenge, because I couldn’t very well ask her “what color is your couch” or “can you take a better picture of that pillow of yours ?” ! So I had to do some photo excavating from her FB and IG accounts and make do with what I could find haha.

Now rain rattled
the roof of my car
like holy water
on a coffin lid,
holy water and mud
landing with a thud //
though as I listened
the uproar
faded to the stoniest
of silences … They piled
it on all day
till I gave way //
to a contentment
I’d not felt in years,
not since that winter
I’d worn the world
against my skin,
worn it fur side in.
—  Paul Muldoon, “Pelt,” Selected Poems 1968-2014 (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2016)
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
—  Winston Churchill (via Smile, Sugar.)