March 21, 2010

On contentment.

Im making a blanket. So far its about 6 feet wide and maybe 2 feet wide :D Ive lost count of how long ive been working on it. It's a multicolored wave pattern. It makes me smile when i take it out to work on it...

the wave blanket thus far :)

Im noticing that ive been writing about simple pleasures alot... not that that's a bad thing, but i want to highlight other ways to enhance one's personal happiness level... hmmm...

I feel content when im crocheting or doing something creative. Contentment is defined as "the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind." I think this is the underlying feeling behind why simple pleasures are so nice. At least for me, I can slip into whatever im enjoying at the moment and kind of float mentally in it. For instance, crocheting and singing along to Musiq. I dont have to focus so sharply on either task, so my mind is eased and my body is relaxed.

Another definition I found for contentment is "a state of mind in which one's desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be." This one is a little deeper. It speaks to appreciation of what one has. It speaks to not becoming overwhelmed by desires for more. It is so much more than satisfaction or ease of mind... I imagine how different my outlook would be if, everyday, I chose to confine my desires to what i have.

Nicole Beland writes about the Buddhist Noble Truths in her book 'Girl Seeks Bliss: Zen and the Art of Modern Life Maintenance'. The second Noble Truth is: Suffering is caused by unnecessary craving.
She says, "To some extent, that includes the small stuff - vanilla chai lattes, prada shoes, a smaller laptop, a pair of jeans that make your butt look perfect. We think, If only I had that right now, I'd be happy. Which we are, for a few minutes here and there. But superficial acquisitions don't provide deep satisfaction, or prevent us from feeling sad, lonely, lost, or frustrated."
Craving things is taxing on all of our energies. Physical, mental, financial...

Developing contentment in our lives can bring more happiness. Wanting less is smiling more. Identifying the things that are truly valuable will shine light on other ways to enhance personal happiness :)

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