Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Consciously Creating Contentment

Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,“Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling 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 here! You can learn more about the program here.

Consciously Creating Contentment

When I think of being content, I think of “sinking in” and allowing what is here in my life to be enough. To not strive or to have things the way I’m sure they need to be for me to be happy— but to relax, let go, accept, savor, love my life as it is.

And, yet, I also believe there is great value in creating days of Contentment for ourselves. Very valuable, in fact, because the pace at which most of us live can be oh, so depleting.

It is important for us to set aside time—dedicate a few hours, a half day, an entire day—to doing things of "consciously created Contentment" now and then. We might call these “serenity stopovers” or a long string of mindful moments.

I created one of these for myself on Saturday and it was completely rejuvenating. I thought to myself—What would I really like to do today that will create feelings of pure Contentment, ease, joy?

There is nothing wrong with consciously creating Contentment in my view, as long as our orchestrating is suitably balanced with periods of dropping into innate Contentment naturally. As the Buddha taught, the Middle Way is a good path to follow.

My husband accompanied me on this adventure and we had a marvelous day. It began with the Farmer’s Market in our town. This simple activity brings such happiness, especially knowing that I can create healthy food from the fixings and support local growers too.

We set off in the car for a Fall color tour. The trees were at their peak—brilliant golds and oranges, stunning reds—perfectly blended to create sunset-like bands of trees as we drove.

We headed toward Lake Michigan—the “Big Lake” we call it here, and it is that: "The great inner ocean,” as Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes it. This mother lake is a grounding point for me, having lived most of my adult life on its shores. Being there always feels like “coming home.” The temperature was unseasonably high, October 9, and we could still walk barefooted in the sand and feels its grainy warmth—pure delight!

No road trip is complete without lunch and the name of a little deli on the main street of this coastal town spoke to me: "L'Chaim" -  “to life.” We ordered a sandwich to share and took it to a pretty park by the water. (We enjoy picnics and have them quite often.)

Last, a jaunt over the river and through the woods to Gwen Frostic, the business home of one of Michigan’s earliest environmentalists. She was an artist and poet whose carefully crafted woodcuts transform paper into beautiful art prints and stationary. It is a place I used to go with my parents as a child and also took my own children there, so it is full to overflowing with happy memories of family and fun and our shared love of nature.

It was a day to remember, full of pleasure and ease and savoring, especially nature, whose effortlessness of being I aspire to.  And, of course, the best part was that I got to share it with my beloved who took as much pleasure in the day as I did.

Have you considered consciously creating a “Day of Contentment” for yourself? 

What would it take for you to do so?

“The path is beautiful and pleasurable and joyful, and familiar.”

~ Meister Eckhart


LauraX said...

yes, yes...for me a drive with my beloved into the country...we pick up pastries at our favorite bakery on the way and then he drives...I tell him when to stop and snap photo after photo...we chat in between, deep conversations, silly rememberings back and forth...for me this would be a day of contentment.

Jan Lundy said...

A day of perfection and intimate connection, yes, Laura. I wish everyone had the "luxury" to have days like this ... for knowing how we "normally" live (so many of us anyway), to take a day to ourselves like this feels decadent.

My maternal grandparents were famous for taking long drives in the country. They'd pack a picnic, just talk and drive, find a little stream to dip their toes into. As my grandma often said, "I just love to count the cows." (grin) I assume I got my love of scenic wanderings from her...

I am very glad you get to have days like this too!