Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mellow State of Contentment

Hubby thinks it is time I should write about ‘contentment’. Wondering why he wants me to write about this theme. Could it be because when ‘others’ look at me they see contentment?

Contentment is the state of being happy and satisfied. Synonyms: pleasure, delectation, delight, enjoyment, gratification, satisfaction.

Contentment is the acknowledgement and satisfaction of reaching what is desired. As many of you know, I’ve sought this feeling of contentment for a while. Actually, I believe we all, but this post is about me, so therefore I should say I seek complacency (inner tranquillity).  Contentment is marked by the complacency and satisfaction that follows fulfilling a desire or letting it go.

In many ways, contentment, which can be defined as the state of being satisfied, is closely associated with the concept of happiness.

At this actual moment I can truly say I’m completely happy with what I have and who I am. I’ve accepted that I am the type of person who will always be striving for a goal, the type of person who enjoys a challenge, and who enjoys the journey. I will always be trying to improve myself or my situation, no matter how happy I am.

Contentment not only makes me happy, but it has transformed my life the past weeks. I’m completely satisfied with what I have and that is mainly due to my new job. For the first time in ages, I’m completely satisfied with the work I do.

Now, I won’t claim I don’t want stuff or have no desires. I still aspire things and have set myself some new goals. Yes, even after only 7 weeks in this new job.

The upside of being content is that you complain less. It seems that people can even see this contentment on my face. I shine! I have a more positive attitude. I’m optimistic.

All the railway disruptions (and believe me there are a lot) don’t deter me. Okay, maybe they do on the exact moment it occurs, but it doesn’t influence my mood all day.

To improve my contentedness, I count my blessings daily, when feeling a little down I stop and remind myself what good things I’m able to do at the moment. I stop regularly to think whether it’s a need or want. Because, wanting something leads to discontentment. I also reflect on my life, and all the good things in it, on a regular basis. I have daily gratitude sessions while in the shower, during a train ride or just before I close my eyes to go to sleep.

The nice thing about self-contentment is that it leads to confidence. I lacked confidence for a while. It made me anxious! I really believed for a while that the ‘others’ had more control over me than I had myself. I’ve come to appreciate me, again. I’m able to offer myself the same respect and kindness I give to others. I am at peace with myself again and therefore able to stand up for my convictions and be myself.

Why am I content (again)? Because I’ve been able to silence my inner critic. For a while I really became good at picking out and picking on the parts of myself I really liked the least. I was able to voice my faults and undermine my achievements. I’ve rid myself of negative people and organizations. I’m surrounded again by positive people and that makes all the difference. I also work in a positive environment again, and so I feel very satisfied. To remain confident or regain your confidence, you have to ensure that you are surrounded by positive environments – emotionally and physically. So if you have a chance to change your situation, please do. I’m content because the ‘others’ acknowledge my achievements and contributions. I like working in a sphere of influence that acknowledges my accomplishments positively. 

Contentment is something stable. It isn’t as fleeting as happiness. I only hope that I can hold onto this feeling of contentment for a long time!  Can you become a ‘contentment’ junky?

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs offers many clues on how to balance desire and contentment holistically. By working on each building block consistently you can keep your desires balanced and avoid feeling dissatisfied once you've achieved contentment in one area of your life.

It is mainly because of my new job that I feel content (again). That is because all my needs are being met. What a woman can be, she must be. Self-actualization is the level of need that pertains to what a person’s full potential is and realizing that potential. In my previous two jobs, I wasn’t able to be who I was. My aesthetic needs weren’t being met. I didn’t feel appreciated for my critical reflection on ‘art, culture and nature’. My perceptive skills weren’t highly valued. it might have scared them, to see someone who is so in-tune with all their senses. Senses are physiological capacities that provide data for my perception. We have a multitude of senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. To name a few. We also have the ability to sense temperature, kinaesthesia, pain, and balance, to name some other stimuli.

Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand my world. My perception might not be your reality, but it is my reality. My new colleagues appreciate my perception on things.

What I absolutely love about this new job – I can listen less to what people say I need to do, and be able to look at what they are doing. I’m learning and can teach ‘others’ what I’ve learned.

So this was my Sunday post on my mellow state of contentment.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for” ~ Epicurus (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

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