1. Spend time with contented people, and those who are grateful for what they have in life.
2. Choose to celebrate the good things in life, even when things are tough, or much harder than you’d like.
3. Brighten up the lives of others you encounter with random acts of kindness – and helping when you can.
4. Be the kind of person who often “plays it forward” and is caring, understanding, patient, warm and generous.
5. Live in the moment and just enjoy “right now” – and be fully present with the people in your life.
6. Think of all the people who have helped along the way, and added to your life, or have been a source of joy.
7. Make a list of all the list things that you are thankful for – from a sunset, to hot chocolate, to a warm bed to sleep in.
We are ultimately alone in our inner sanctum, our happiness depending upon our own internal fortitude, our ability to jettison vanities, and our capacity to meaningfully empathize with others that share this selfsame condition. Freedom and contentment are forever forged in solitude.
embrace every cell
tingling in a bear hug
of your words
found in misty views
caught by your lens
seen through your eyes
I meld into your vision
and we breathe together
holding hands, content
in the amalgamation of
wishart with spirits
renewed by the joining
of two hearts, two hands
touching across every shade
imagined, blues rocking
the moon to sleep.
There are four gate-keepers at the entrance to the Realm of Freedom. They are self-control, spirit of enquiry, contentment and good company. The wise seeker should diligently cultivate the friendship of these, or at least one of them.
Every moment we face the big question of what to do with the rest of our lives. Mostly, we push that question aside and continue doing what we were already doing with our lives. In quiet moments of discontent, that question occurs to us, and the possibilities and impossibilities both seem frightful.
For some, that question is all consuming. Young and old people, making major life decisions for themselves, applying for schools or jobs, choosing, changing or losing careers, entering or exiting relationships, or looking for, or facing, a change in their life will often torture themselves with the question of what to do with the rest of their lives.
The question should not be so painful. The pain is the overwhelming weight of an idea of what we are and what a successful life should include and exclude, and in wondering how it might be possible to get there from where we are. When where we are is painful, it is natural to want to get someplace else. It is not hard to imagine that, with a few fortunate changes in circumstance, we would find contentment in our lives and follow a rewarding path toward happily ever after. The question of what to do with the rest of our lives, begins with the extremely fortunate circumstance that we have a life and options. What we will do with the rest of our life is impossible to fathom.
Feeling contentment in the life that you have and with who you are is a reasonable goal and one you can begin to pursue now and for the rest of your life. Feeling contentment with your life and who you are will only help you in creating the life that you want for yourself. To find contentment now, look at your life as it is. Look without any judgement and with compassion. See what you have. Think of your friends, family and people whom you love. Think of the people who love you. Think about things that you are good at doing. Think of things you like to do. You can feel contentment, even while some or many things are not as you would like them to be. In this moment, things are as they are. You feel as you feel. In the next moment, things will change and you will adjust to how things will be then. For the rest of your life, that is what you will do.
For the rest of your life, you will have your breath and your body. Whenever you are faced with the question of what to do with the rest of your life, use your breath to remind yourself to check in with your mind and body, see what you are feeling, see what you are thinking, remember to be compassionate, and you will choose wisely about what you should do in the moment, and for the rest of your life.
My life is not perfect, and many plans have not come to fruition yet, but I’ve had countless precious moments to cherish. I’ve also been blessed with a family who understands and a supportive network of friends. For this, I remain resolute and grateful.
I know that I love him, because at night we sit, watching TV or each other, and I know that precise moment when his head becomes heavier, when his breathing slows. I tell him to stop sleeping. He says he wasn’t, but I know better. We return to what we were doing before, watching TV or each other, and that is the most blissfully beautiful moment I’ve ever known.