Reflections in Leadenhall Market, London
Note to self:
Contentment is something I've not always felt in my life. I seem to have a natural proclivity to be constantly rushing ahead, focused more on the next thing than the moment I am in the midst of, excited about all the possibilities of what might be around the corner and less prone to relax into awareness of what is currently happening.
I think finding contentment is an important part of the work of aging well.
Of course there will always be discomforts and new desires in our lives, but contentment does not require perfection. Rather it is, I think, a mixture of peaceful acceptance of one's situation, of gratitude and recognition of what is enough, of wisdom in making choices.
The work is in creating a life that fits comfortably and fills basic needs, that cultivates relationships that satisfy.
How to do that? Achieving contentment, I think, is a choice of focus.
- Be fully present in moment you are living.
- Find the balance in cherishing memories of the past, appreciating the present, and planning for the future.
- Don't compare yourself to others or to yourself in the past.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude.
- Accept that people are who and what they are, for their own good reasons. Look for reasons to enjoy them. If you can't, find other relationships.
- Be clear within yourself about what you need to be content. Start taking the necessary steps to move in those directions.
- Value the things you already have and make the most of all their possibilities.
- Accept your physical strengths and limitations with grace and gratitude.
I'm working on it!
"At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you."
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
"Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones!"
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