Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Countdown to Contentment ~ Day 17

Loving ourselves and life from where we are 

I’m counting down to contentment — to the starting date of my new sacred journey course,Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which begins Sept. 15. For one entire year we will travel together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life. I hope you will join me! You can learn all about it here. 


I love to start my morning with absolute quiet.

Each day, as best I can, I spend 20-30 minutes (sometimes longer) in the stillness of the hour. No radio or TV. No computer for mental noise. Just quiet.

To savor the lingering silence from the night before is such a treat, a delightful companion to my morning coffee ritual. A period of morning silence helps me ease into what will be a busy day ripe with noise and input.

Not this morning. I had approximately 5 minutes of quietude and contentment before it was shattered by one of nature’s own—a duck.

For nigh on 15 minutes, this duck quacked. Quack, quack, quack! As loud as any duck I have ever heard. When it didn’t stop, I went to the window to see what all the racket was about.

A lone duck with two smaller ones off in the distance was all I saw. It didn’t seem like much of anything was going on but you never know in the animal kingdom. Likely there was some perceived threat—a competing duck, a nest in danger, a hawk or eagle overhead.

This duck was not a walking quacker of contentment; she was disturbed. And her anxiousness was causing me to be disturbed!

As soon as I named my inner experience—agitation, dislike, wanting to move that duck on to other shores so I could have my contentment back—I was able to shift emotional gears and make a better choice for myself.

Grasping, I was grasping. Wanting everything to be just so in  my world so I could have the peace of mind I desired.

Grasping creates inner tension. And the more we grasp, the more our peace will elude us.

Truth be told, the duck and her state of being did not make me experience discontent this morning. I did that to myself. 

When we hold tight to how we think our world should be—so that we can have a specific experience or feelings—we are setting the stage for own disappointment. No one causes us to feel anything. We choose our contentment or our angst.

So often it seems that the Universe exhibits a stellar sense of humor in situations like these. The tighter we hold onto an idea of how something should be, the thing we want more than anything moves away ... or in my case, gets louder, more persistent. More quacking.

So I stepped away from the window. Took a breath. Let go of my current idea of what contentment should look like.

I relaxed. Let go.

And I bet you can guess what happened next.

The duck swam away. Just like that ...

And silence returned. 

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ 
Let us be silent so that we might hear the whispers of the gods.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Register for the "Creating a Life of Contentment" course soon! 
17 days and counting down to the sacred journey of a lifetime. Learn more and register ...


Carolynn said...

How did you get to be so wise...? *smile*

LOVE the quote.

Jan Lundy said...

You are too funny, Carolynn. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes described wisdom once as "What works." I'm inclined to agree. xo

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

What an asbolutely fabulous learning, Jan! Non-attachment - varaigya in Sanskrit - can be challenging, but these reminders are good teachers, aren't they? I try to emulate Kwai Chang Caine (Kung Fu TV show); the character had such a marvelous way of being grounded and moving through the physical world as a witness/observer.
I LOVE your morning ritual! What a beautiful, strong way to begin the day. Have a beautiful morning tomorrow ... and tomorrow ... and tomorrow ...

Jan Lundy said...

Rose, it seems you have a very role model for non-attachment and equanimity. I am happy for you. :-) There are never-ending lessons on non-attachment, non-clinging, letting go, yes? The lessons never end and can be found in the simplest of situations, yes? And I could NOT function without my morning ritual, that's for sure. Or is that a form of attachment too? (wink)

Deborah Carr said...

I've also been starting my day with silence (since December). And some of my readings have awakened me to just what you've spoken of..our need to make things 'just so', then our irritation when we can't wrestle our ideal into reality. I'm learning, to let go, too, Jan. And what a blessed class it is.

Jan Lundy said...

Deborah, I am celebrating your move into morning silence. Truly, nothing I have ever done has had such a dramatic effect on my life in terms of spiritual practice - other than perhaps, breath...I am very glad you find yourself in this place of letting go and receiving the gifts ...

Love your website by the way. We are both deep nature lovers it seems. xo