I get so excited each week as I sit down to the computer. “Takin Time Out” and releasing those dreams, desires and expression I want to share with you in this blog. This has been such good therapy for me and I hope I leave you with some little nuggets of joy or laughs along the way but most importantly you find a connection and you too are takin a time out from your busy schedule and reflecting on what is truly important to you. Yes, I know some of you may be thinking I need to sign back up for some additional counseling sessions. Oh well here we go with another post…
As I have mentioned previously in a couple of my posts. I choose a Word for the year and “Contentment” was the second word I chose back in 2008. At that point in life I was happy and had been working on finding true joy (my first word of the year in 2007) but I wanted a sense of peace. Peace that I felt I could only find in “Contentment”. That year I did not find the word glaring me in the face like Joy but it was an incredible journey and something I still strive for each and every day. If you set your mind to it and take deep breathe you know what it is right there in front of you…yes no matter the situation you can find “Contentment”.
For the most part our world and the general makeup of our culture are driven on materialistic things. We work very hard to buy certain items, drive certain cars, live in certain communities or have certain zip codes. Others work towards certain degrees to have a title or initials behind their names. I compliment or commend those folks who have accomplished so much and I think this is well and good for the most part as I am a firm believer in striving to meet each of our God given talents and the gifts he has given us to use while on this earth…Until it becomes unhealthy, unbalanced and we put more emphasis on the things, titles, going and doing rather than living or being “Content” and building lasting relationships with those we love.
I am definitely a goal oriented person, I always have my eye on the next plan of action, I am a believer and a dreamer. I love to write things down on paper, I make lists and get really excited when I cross things off. I think I learned that early on from my precious Mother, as she too makes lists for everything. Maybe it is my type A personality…How many of you make lists? Have you ever added something to that list just so you could cross it off? Lol, me too! This past year through my coaching sessions Michele quickly taught me a very valuable lesson…not to strive so much for goals but for the possibilities! Goals can be too structured and sometimes causes stress but possibilities add excitement and a new twist! I love it… So no matter whether you call it goals or possibilities there are times we are so focused on reaching it we forget to really live and enjoy the moment. Living in the now…enjoying the age and stage we are currently in…breathing in and really relaxing. Takin a Timeout!
This week I want us to take a true look at our life…Are you “Content”? Or are you wishing you had this or that? Or you shoulda, coulda, woulda, done this or that? Well I say STOP IT…take a deep breath, get centered or focused. Take another deep breath as we so often forget to really breathe…count your blessings, name them one by one. Now answer the question again are you “Content”? If not why? Is it because life has gotten in the way? Is it because you are striving for that next goal or stage in life? So many times we let the buzziness of life rob us of living for today. I am going to use my life as a prime example. Looking back I have not always been “Content”. Things just happened, or they looked a little bleak, I wanted more. I wasn’t “Content” at all with the way things were. I couldn’t wait many times. The circumstances had some things to do with it but most of all it was my attitude or outlook in life. We all have a choice. We can be happy or unhappy…we can have a positive outlook or a negative one. I am going to be completely honest, you know No one else can change this but YOU…it’s all in the ATTITUDE!
Now I know many of you may be going through a very difficult time, some of you may have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease, or you are taking care of someone who is very ill, helping make decisions for aging parents, raising children, adjusting to an empty nest, have a job loss or job changes, or in a financial difficulty. Just reading the newspaper or listening to the media can cause anxiety. I truly get it! Life is not a bed of roses, well maybe it is and the thorns are getting in the way. All I am saying in the midst of our day to day lives whether things are smooth or bumping we still have a choice in how we react or respond to things. We still have the power to find true “Contentment”.
“Contentment” can transform your life in many ways. “Contentment” gives you pure peace; it can be a positive energy when surrounded by others. Have you been with someone who is “Content” it just changes the whole dynamics and gives you a sense of calmness even in the midst of a storm?
Please remember “Contentment” is not a destination. It’s a manner of traveling. To be “Content” doesn’t mean you don’t desire more it means you are thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come. I love Dean Jackson’s quote “Contentment” is not out there at some other place in some other time under some other circumstances. “Contentment” is being fully present and grateful in any place at any time under any circumstances.”
I remember I used to think I couldn’t do certain things or entertain because we didn’t have this or that or our house was too small, furniture was to old and worn out compared to other friends. Until one day I woke up and said WHY…Why do I think this way? That’s really stupid (yes Mom I said it)…my friends or family really don’t care what we have or don’t have they care more about being together, having fellowship and makin memories. I hope you too realize that! We take what we have and we make the best of it, if God has blessed us with more, that is great but I know several friends that have allot of material things, big houses, the finest décor and never entertain or when you do go to their homes you feel uncomfortable and like you might mess something up…that’s just not me. Let’s be “Content” with what we have, where we are and most importantly living in our own skin…with all the imperfections!!
God talks about this several times throughout the Bible. Just a few verses I want to share are found in Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be “Content” with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 “Now there is great gain in godliness with “Contentment”, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be “Content”. 2 Corinthians 12:10 “For the sake of Christ, then, I am “Content” with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” There are so many more it is truly a gentle reminder God’s plan is perfect and in his time not ours.
Hmmmm, I am sipping on a cup of savoring Hot Southern Peach Tea (mmmm good) while listening to a beautiful solo piano on Pandora …this brings such “Contentment” and warmth to my hungry soul on this cool October evening. I don’t want to confuse “Contentment” with complacency we still need to strive to do better and stretch ourselves but enjoy the journey while doing so. As I have been reflecting on my busy work schedule and how crazy life has gotten in our industry. There is so much confusion and insecurity. Something completely out of my control but I am so thankful to have a job, I have the ability to learn, I have the ability to make a difference in the lives I touch and there are teachable moments to me this brings joy and true “Contentment”. No, life is not perfect. No, I do not necessarily agree with all the changes. But Yes, I am “Content”. I know God has a plan and I know he is in control and for that I am forever grateful. So as we wrap up I hope you are truly “Content” and if you are not maybe during your next “takin time out” you can decide how you are going to find it! Life is way too short to let it pass you by without being “Content”…Blessings abound until next time my precious friend!
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. Buddha
Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, grace, contentment, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. Sarah BanBreathnach