“Pursuit of contentment is not the pursuit of an elusive tomorrow; it is the celebration of today. In that, it is the pursuit to end all pursuits.” —Majid Kazmi
Spring is beginning to bloom in Portland this week, and so as I went on a couple of walks with the dogs, it was the blossoms that kept stopping me in my tracks: from the yellow forsythia to the tulip trees (magnolias), and even the daffodils in neighborhood yards and markets where I popped into to pick up my props for today’s segment on AM Northwest.
As I was contemplating the temporal beauty that Mother Nature gifts us with, I was reminded how so much in our everyday lives can deepen our appreciation of the lives we are living no matter what is going on if only we remember to look, pay attention and take it all in.
While in past posts I have shared in great detail how to cultivate contentment when it comes to constructing our daily lives (see the end of today’s posts for the list of archived posts), today I’d like to share with you reminders of simple things we can look for, observe and thus deepen our gratitude and ultimately cultivate a deeper contentment as we go about our days.
1.Ask yourself what is going well
Did you wake up to a warm home with a heating system that worked without worry? Did the car start today or the trains run on time? Is there money in the bank account or will be soon to start the new month? Is the air fresh and the breeze warm? So much goes well in our lives each and every day that we become accustomed and inured to how fortunate we are. For me, it only takes a daily world history lesson taught to my freshman to remind me of how far and in good fortune we are.
2. Have a positive plan for every weather reality that may arise
Is it clear and blue skies? Do all that you can to take time outside at some point and take in the warmth and the vitamin D. Rainy and cloudy? Take the gift of the weather to slip away to your favorite reading spot, visit a new art exhibit or meet with a friend to enjoy coffee. Maybe whenever a wind storm blows in, plan on making that special soup you don’t dare have too often, but every once in a while is just fine. Have a plan to do something you love for every weather day imaginable and you will always find a way to step into a good mood.
3. Cook a good, yet simple meal
I was picking up my produce for today’s segment on AMNorthwest yesterday (I will be discussing how to create a Spring Capsule Menu), and the man in front of me in line shared with the checker that he was excited to head home and cook a meal. I couldn’t help but smile and agree that indeed that is a sweet part of the day. When we know that we are going to come home or begin the day with a good meal, that is a sweet feeling. A feeling that we can cultivate when we step into the kitchen, welcome seasonal produce and without a lot of fuse, create a delicious moment to savor as well as feed our bodies well.
4. Watch or read or listen to something that intrigues you
As I type this I am watching a documentary on Alice Waters on PBS. And when it comes to books, I have a stack of biographies, historical, and a wide array of non-fiction books including travel memoirs, most focused on France, but not all, and during the 3-hour drive to Portland yesterday, I was listening to a couple of different favorite podcasts. There is always something for us to learn, even if it is in a sitting of 30-60 minutes. Similarly to having been productive each day, learning something new each day brings such peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment, and there will never cease to be something new to learn, so long as we look about or turn one more page.
5. Look for a sign of the season and revel
Whether it is spring blossoms, the first snow, the turning of the leaves, find something outside that reminds you of the season and savor it. Remind yourself as well that this won’t be but for three months and then a new season will arrive. Mother Nature has a quiet, but powerful ability of teaching us life lessons through the natural progression of her world. We need to only pay attention.
6. Take a moment to rest
Whether for five minutes or an afternoon, take a moment to remind yourself that today is right now, and all we have are todays. Whether it is sitting down with someone you love and just being in the moment, or getting to work early in order to have a moment of quiet before the day begins, take a moment to remind yourself that this is life.
Today I wish for you a beautiful day full of moments of contentment. Thank you for stopping by the blog.
~SIMILAR POSTS/EPISODES FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~The Importance of Finding Contentment, episode #181
~From Seeking Happiness to Cultivating Contentment: A Shift in Pursuit, episode #162
~15 Everyday Habits to Live a Life of Contentment, episode #93
~One Small Adjustment from True Contentment
~11 Life Truths About Contentment that Seem Impossible Until We Experience Them
Images via TSLL’s Instagram
7 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Cultivate Contentment Today?”
Thanks Shannon for the reminder. As I sit in a waiting room while my husband has a procedure, I am enjoying your past podcasts on French fashion and savoring the moment with a yummy cafe au lait!
Lynette, thank you for visiting the podcast and blog. Wishing all goes well with your husband. 🙂 Thinking of you.
This is lovely, Shannon; thank you. I enjoy all the content on your blog, but these inspiring articles are my favorite.
Thank you Pamela. 🙂
Number 2 is such a great idea, Shannon. Snow day? Hot chocolate and comfy wool socks! Blazing sun? Ice cream and AC at home. Rainy all day? How about wearing a particularly colorful accessory? It’s all about adjusting ones mindset and making the mundane special for ourselves.
Great ideas as well! Thanks for sharing. You are exactly right – we have so much more control over the quality of our days than we realize.
Lovely ideas Shannon to remind us to savour special moments every day
“Each day is a special day-Carpe diem” I have this framed by my bedside table. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up. It really doesn’t take much to celebrate something meaningful in our daily lives.