We were sitting on an old log overlooking the beautiful landscape; cattle grazing , drifting clouds, green fields, the sound of birds and a gentle breeze. He looked harassed and stressed. I asked him what he was hoping to feel once the project that he was working on was completed. He hesitated while thinking about the answer… Appreciation? Success? Happiness? After a pause he replied: “No. Contentment”. I asked him to listen to the birds, feel the log beneath him and the breeze on his skin, to look at the green grass, and suddenly the expression on his face shifted. “Wow,” he said. “ It is right here. Contentment is right here, right now.”
What are you seeking? What are you hoping will happen at the end of your busyness, deadline, your project? One thing I know is we don’t reach contentment by chasing it.
Often people say to me that they feel overwhelmed and they want mindfulness to help them become more efficient and effective. The belief is, “ If I can be more effective and focused then everything will be completed and I will feel calm”. Hmmm. This is a delusion. Contentment is not a result of becoming more effective, focused and successful. Experiencing calm and contentment is an inner journey and this is where mindfulness shines and leads the way.
Also, the earth does not need us to be more efficient nor more effective; the earth needs us to be in alignment with its heartbeat and to feel and embrace life and love. The earth needs us to stop, think, be aware and sense the miracle that life on this planet is and then act in deep respect for that. We all need to slow down, consider, reflect and act out of respect for what we find in the quiet intimate space of connecting, calm and contentment.
Article by Charlotte Thaarup B. Teach, DipFDR (Vic), DipMeditation, DipEd (London University) MBSR, MBEAT, CBMT. Charlotte is an internationally experienced clinical mindfulness consultant and transformative educator.
If you would like to learn more join Charlotte’s Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos – the Art of Mindful Living Specialty Retreat 28 – 31 August, 2017. For more information click here