Standing on Our Own Two Feet
Contentment is defined as “resting satisfied, with ease of mind.” Doesn’t that sound lovely? Happiness flows naturally when we are contented.
With contentment you can live gloriously, even magnificently!! but its not easy in a world constantly peddling something new you have to achieve.
These achievements are supposedly a gate we have to go through before we have the “right” to be contented.
Thus, we often only allow ourselves to feel contented IF we feel our lives have reached some elite external standard (fame, fortune, fitness etc). Here-in lies a slippery slope.
The truth is that living contentedly doesn’t require power and fame.
The rhythm of it is something like the stand-up paddleboard.
With the paddleboard you have to balance and paddle, balance and paddle.
If a speedboat goes by it can up-end you.
A jetski may throw you off as well.
A wave comes and you are back in the brine.
Paddleboards work best with calm and contentment. If you end up in the brine you have to haul yourself up again and rebalance to continue the journey.
Others WHOOSH by us and we lose the Zen of our own life pace and gentle joys.
We lose the tranquillity of standing and focusing on our OWN horizon as we gently paddle towards it.
The wave may be the economy crashing,
the lure of Kardashian fame,
the triathlete Mother who lives next door,
the career focused woman at your child’s school who harasses you about why you’re not back at work “yet!” or…
any level that YOU think you have to achieve before you are allowed to be happy.
If we get knocked off by focusing on someone else’s life (ie: we become miserable and start to feel inferior) we need to find our OWN board again and hold on for dear life.
Our life is our own and it’s the only vehicle that matters for our good life.
It is best to learn to ride the life you have and to ride it well.
The jetski life may have a lot of speed but it is not necessarily superior to the board unless you tell yourself that is so.
Some things like child wellbeing, family love and intimacy are best gained at the speed of the paddle.
Some might argue that the paddle board is self propelled, never runs out of fuel, does not impinge on the tranquillity of others and takes more skill to handle than the jetski…its all a matter of perspective.
Keeping our balance is more important than trying to keep up with someone else’s way of being.
If you lose your focus and get knocked off by focusing on someone else’s life or speed what matters is that you stand up again and go back to your own gentle paddling.
We keep our own balance by focusing on our OWN lives and what works for us not by trying to follow whatever is being sold by the media or culture.
Contentment is a strength that comes from knowing how to rest and revel in who you are, who you have, and what you have. It is holding onto your OWN board and riding it in ways that work for you that will give you what you want.
This is even more important if you have kids on board with you.
Some environments have more Jetski’s and speedboats than standing boards so the water we choose to paddle in (our friends and intimate circle and what we focus upon in our daily life) is critical.
That’s for another time.
For today I wish you a contented paddle on your own strong board.
Photocredits (in order): c. Depositphotos: Tomasfoto; Tomasfoto; javarman; yunlev; colourstudio.it; Shalamov; yunlev