What is the reason for our discontent? If we examine this question, in the silence and stillness of our heart, and do our best to be honest with ourselves – the answer will perhaps reveal to us what is it that truly fills us with contentment. While the dictionary defines contentment as a “state of happiness and satisfaction”, I believe there is more to it than that. Or is there?
As we live our daily lives, most of us wear various hats and play various roles in our home, work and community. We deal with our own inner struggles as we walk on our path towards creating inner peace and contentment. We can call this our “internal” input. Our hearts and minds process the inputs that come our way in the form of news events – positive and negative – that may be local, national or international in nature. We can call this our “external” input. I would posit that our reaction to the sum of the internal and external inputs determines the state of our mind, in every moment. When we are in a dominant positive state of mind – fed by a net sum of positive inputs, and positive actions on our part, we add to our “savings bank” of contentment. When the reverse is true, we withdraw from it.
So, our goal seems straightforward. It would be to keep adding to our contentment savings, and only withdraw from them, if and when necessary. Eventually, the balance of our inner contentment level, the state of our heart and spirit, would be so high, that minor withdrawals – those negative moments, or hours, or maybe even days – would not affect the balance by that much. It would be like a millionaire making a withdrawal to pay for a cup of coffee – an insignificant change in the overall balance. We would have reached a state of awareness where our inner contentment becomes our sanctuary – a place where we can retreat to at will – to reconnect with our truth, our heart, our joy.
As with every goal, it takes work, and it comes with obstacles that we need to overcome. So, what is the work necessary to get to inner contentment? What are some of the obstacles? How can we overcome some of these obstacles? Is it selfish to seek inner contentment in the context that it may take us away from the path of action? What would it mean to you if you were in the “millionaire” state of inner contentment?
I invite you to join me and the #SpiritChat community as we examine some of these questions in our weekly chat on twitter – Sunday, August 18th at 9am ET. I hope that we all move forward towards greater inner contentment with your engagement. Namaste!
Update: Here are the questions asked during the chat. Enjoy, and feel free to answer in the comments… The full transcript and statistics are available at http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0818. A searchable pdf transcript of the Q and A is also available. Please leave feedback on whether you found these useful, or if you have ideas for improvement. Thank you!
Q1. Contentment. A big word with many meanings. What does it mean to you? #SpiritChat
Q2. What are signs of inner discontent? What is your typical response to them? #SpiritChat
Q3. Can inner discontent be ‘managed’? If so, how? If not, why? #SpiritChat
Q4. Healthy discontent is a prelude to progress. -Gandhi. How does this apply to spiritual progress? #SpiritChat
Q5. How do our material wants and desires affect our level of contentment? #SpiritChat
Q6. What are some healthy ways for us to practice contentment for growth? #SpiritChat
Q7: How do our families, communities get affected by our level of contentment? #SpiritChat
Q8. Action step. We can create balance of contentment and progress by… #SpiritChat