A couple of weeks ago my yoga teacher asked us to think about being contented during our practice. Did we feel contented? What made us feel contented? What did we consider contentment? It prompted me to realize that right now in my life I am extremely contented.
My contentment might be attributed to my stage in life, mid-sixties, close to retirement, healthy, financially stable, etc., but I friends who are similar who don’t seem to be contented. I still have my moments, this past weekend I had a situation that was a little challenging, but it was not about discontent. I feel comfortable and secure with myself, with my husband, in my job, with my friends, and that leads me to feel contented.
Liking myself, not comparing myself to others, and instead acknowledging that no one is perfect helps me. Appreciating myself in the same way that I appreciate others with all my flaws and imperfections sets the stage for my feeling contented. In his book, “The Art of Happiness” the Dalai Lama states, “Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by the tendency to compare. When we compare our current situation to our past and find we are better off, we feel happy…..So we can see how our feeling or life satisfaction often depends on who we compare ourselves to.”
Taking time to meditate, eating right, getting exercise, and finding time to enjoy family and friends are the simple things that are helping me feel good about myself and my life. Letting go is so much easier than holding on. Whether it is decluttering the house or overlooking negative comments, I find I feel so much lighter and brighter these days and contented.