Why Bother Practicing Contentment?

As long as we are alive, we are capable of learning how to bring our worried, restless, and unsatisfied mind to a place of peace and ease. Changing our perspective from troubled to untroubled begins with changing our mind and changing our mind begins with intentional practice. 

        From Discontentment to Contentment

Discontentment can have a powerful pull on our thoughts and can lead us to dissatisfaction, restlessness, and unhappiness. We could be perfectly happy right where we are, with what we have, but dissatisfaction tells us we need something more, something different, something else in order to be happy. 

Contentment does not mean we ignore imperfections in ourselves or our circumstances, but neither does our awareness of the imperfections drive us toward making things perfect. The simple fact is that nothing is ideal or flawless. Every choice we make has its pros and its cons. Though contentment does not mean we will never try to improve ourselves or our circumstances, it does mean that we can find some tranquility and delight in what the present moment has to offer us.

The practice of quieting the mind simply means that for a moment I can enjoy the moment. 

Though I have a list of things to accomplish on any given day, I start my day not thinking about my list, but rather thinking about what I have to be grateful about.  

Taking into consideration what I am grateful for helps me to apply and practice contentment in my imperfect world. For example, presently, there is stress, estrangement and confoundedness surrounding a relationship with a close family member. But instead of allowing that to dominate the landscape of my mind, I allow myself to be grateful for those relationships that I have that are stress free, filled with understanding and joy. 

Another example, I’ve recently retired from my position as a public school teacher. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my job and the income it provided, I knew it was time for me to step away from the classroom. Do I know what is next? No, I do not. But I am grateful that I can fully trust the One who does know what is next for me. 

Why bother practicing contentment?  Contentment is a state of mind that, with practice,  brings us a peace of mind, one moment at a time. 

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