Finding Contentment in the Present Moment
Searching for OZ
"Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me..." ~ Lyrics from "Somewhere over the rainbow" by E.Y. Harburg
I have a feeling Dorthy, from the Wizard of Oz, is not the only one of us, who has gone searching for that magical place, of contentment outside of our own heart. Most of us, seem to get caught up in the idea that there is some magical place, that exists outside of our self that is better, brighter, and free of the struggles we are holding in this moment. But does this place really exist? What can we learn from Dorthy on our own quest for contentment?
What we can learn from Dorthy
Do you remember that giant lesson Dorothy and her friends from Oz taught us?
There is no place like home and we will find this amazing place of contentment by looking no farther than our own backyard.
Like Dorthy each of us, at some point come to learn that contentment comes from within. It comes from our being present, in the here and now, regardless of the mess before us, the weather, the gum on our shoe or if we feel we have enough money in the bank.
And just like Dorthy learned it seems, the contentment we travel far for only stretches blissful contentment farther from our reach.
Contentment is a dynamic, ever-chaning state that includes the mess and struggle
In the past few years, I have been working a lot with contentment. For me, I am able to find it, when I plant my awareness and whole being into right smack dab into "The here and now". When I do this, I feel as though my whole being, is simply, present.
This place of contentment, for me, is about learning to stop waiting for the next thing to cure or transport me away from my current state of being. And further, it is learning that it up to me to find the bliss and learning in the here and now, even with life’s difficulties and messiness.
For me, contentment has become a fluid and dynamic "place" within my own being that says "YES, AND..." Meaning, yes, I may have gum on my shoe, and the dog is barking and the house is a mess, but in this moment, I am okay, I am content.
Answering the call to find contentment
We know contentment is elusive. Even after finding our way to contentment, we still will frequently get picked up by our own personal twisters that sweep us off far from center and from contentment.
But the call and lure to find contentment is strong.
If you have ever heard it, you know what I mean. Most of us, when we hear the call of contentment, search everywhere before we look within; we shop, we sign up for month long retreats, we resort to wishful thinking and daydreaming ...
But contentment cannot be found within things or those kinds of actions. Contentment is where all of the juicy messy bits of life are held, it is where love lives, it is where the kids make the messiest, mud-pie-creations, it's where; flowers open, the sun rises and sets, and that magic place where laughter, joy, and ecstasy can take over our whole being until we lose ourselves in the moment.
Contentment- without leaving your own backyard
To find this magical moment filled with contentment, I first recommend, not procrastinating, not putting it off until you get that amazing soaking tub where you can finally relax. Contentment exists only in the present moment, it will not wait for you to join it.
Here are a few of things that I use to help me remember how to connect back in with contentment, without having to travel over the rainbow to find it.
1. Listen to your breath. Feel your breath moving from inside of your body, as it moves through your lungs, belly, back and shoulders. Breathe to be IN your body.
2. Be thankful. Look within and at all that surrounds you for which you are grateful, fresh water, clean air, the special things in life, like gravity and trees.
3. Look inward until you find your center. Center is not outside of you, not in the computer, or hidden in the wise words from someone on T.V. Your center, can only be found inside of you.
4. Feel the massive amount of support below you. The earth is a huge force of goodness, just below the soles of your feet. The earth is teeming with life supporting you and all that you are.
5. Drop your to-do lists. Let your "to-do lists" and "what’s next lists" will begin to fade away, let them go.
6. Simply, let yourself be. When you find contentment, the world within you and around you becomes balanced, your thoughts, and energy around you slows down and becomes calm and soft.
7. Breathe deep into your center, enjoy the perfection of this messy, joyful moment. You have arrived. Welcome home.
Joanna is the author of Energetic Boundaries 101. She is a shamanic practitioner, animal communicator and mentor. She works, writes lives and tends to the important matters of spirit-energy with playful, transparency and honesty.
She works with clients all over the globe from her healing studio that is lovingly nestled between Mt Baker and the Salish sea, in Bellingham, WA.