Reflection: I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment. You may recall that I first wrote about this concept back in September, in a Pause message titled How do YOU Cultivate Contentment.
What is it? Mainly a state of satisfaction, an ease of being, a peace of mind. That makes contentment the antithesis of envy, striving and anxiety. It’s a state of mind in which we find a way to be at ease and at peace – perhaps even happy – with our lot in life at the moment. It’s an inward disposition – a mindset – and it’s not a choice that someone else can make for us.
In a world of overwhelm and overload, contentment is an oasis, an island of tranquility. While the feeling may or may not last long, in the moment it soothes, uplifts, and brings us joy.
You’ve probably seen contentment in the sleepy milk fed expression of a baby nodding off to dreamland. You’ve maybe seen contentment writ large across the faces of doting elders in the presence of their grand and great grandchildren.
It seems that those of us in the busy years between new life and nearer death lose touch with both the idea and experience of contentment.
My wish for you as this year winds to a close, is that you find ways to tap into contentment – wherever you are and whatever your state. It ‘s not necessary for all to be perfect, done, or as we might wish it to be. Simply appreciate who you are and what you have in the moment, and know that a sense of wonder and a spirit of gratitude are afoot.
As the new year approaches, with its new resolutions and fresh intentions, consider adding cultivating contentment to your list of goals, and see how it enriches your world.
I’ve been collecting thoughts and quotes on contentment to share with you as a way of closing out 2014. I hope you enjoy reading and reflecting on these thoughts.
May you welcome contentment into your world with open arms. Blessings to you all.
Thoughts On Contentment:
- Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness. – Pearl S. Buck
- I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more. – Henry Fielding
- Who seeks more than he needs, hinders himself from enjoying what he has. – Solomon Ibn Gabirol
- Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey
- Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. – Lao Tzu
- I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. – Walt Whitman
- We need much less than we think we need. – Maya Angelou
- The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. – Martha Washington
- Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
- He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have. – Socrates
- At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you. – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Who is rich? Those who are happy with their portion. – Ben Zoma
- For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever. – Lev Grossman
- Contentment is being happy despite the successes and failures. – Girdhar Joshi
- Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epictetus
- …you play the instrument you have. – Ursula K. Le Guin
- Want is always hungry and searching whereas contentment is steady, calm and receiving. – Bryant McGill
- In a person’s lifetime there may be not more than half a dozen occasions that he can look back to in the certain knowledge that right then, at that moment, there was room for nothing but happiness in his heart. – Ernistine Gilbreth Carey
- The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment. – Doug Larson
- Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re real quite lucky. – Dr. Seuss
- Contentment is highly underrated. – Patricia Katz