When I began TSLL blog in 2009 I didn’t know what the word Contentment entirely meant, nor did I know what Mindfulness meant or entailed; however, what I unconsciously pursued with each post and with no other motivation than the feeling of release and peace when I sat down and typed for two years straight each and every single day was a feeling of steady calm, self-assuredness in my purpose as I gradually gained clarity and tranquility in how I moved through my days without any certainty of the next moment.
Gradually as explored and read and researched more, seeking out authors and experts in the fields of psychology, meditation, neurology, health and many other areas that contribute to a strong mind and clarity of inner peace and enjoyment of life, the terms of both contentment and mindfulness became fundamental components of living a simply luxurious life.
At the top of the blog, in the blog header, with much time, consideration and polishing over the years, the succinct definition of what it means to live simply luxuriously is shared – the art of living a life of quality over quantity – and with each post, in a variety of different areas of our lives, I do my best to share with you how to cultivate true contentment which is living a life of quality over quantity.
The “quality’ speaks to the depth of experience, meaning, feeling, purpose, connection (with others and ourselves) and clarity along with so many other core components that contribute to living well in our everydays, and it is the letting go of the idea of more, thus choosing to subtract and let go that is a skill so powerful, its contradiction of loss in order to gain boggles the nascent mind and challenges us and our approach to living if we have heretofore equated more with good and less with bad.
Today I am introducing two new categories to TSLL’s Archives, a destination here on the blog that organizes all of the more than 5000 posts into their specific categories helping you find more easily and precisely the inspiration and ideas you are looking for, and as the core principle of what living simply luxuriously is is True Contentment, I knew I needed to create a specific Contentment category.
As shared on the home page of this blog and in October 16th entry of The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment, true contentment allows us to live peacefully in our everydays no matter what the day’s events, our emotions (negative or positive) or world news. Cultivating contentment provides stability of the mind as we engage with love, openness, presence, and kindness to others and ourselves. And as this is a concept often errantly conflated with Happiness, I wanted to create a category that specifically included posts to explore in-depth this topic. To know true contentment, to strive for it, and now to exercise the key skills to maintain it in my everydays has changed my life profoundly and profoundly for the better.
Whenever new acquaintances or business contacts ask me what I do or try to ascertain what I do, the term Lifestyle Blogger arises, but I have never felt entirely comfortable with this description. One, it seems too general and all-inclusive which is unhelpful for readers trying to find a blog that speaks to their interests; and Two, it often brings with it an assumption that the blogger is offering a very specific way of living, and while the core principles of living simply luxuriously are foundational (explore the 8 pillars of living simply luxuriously here or read Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide), how each reader applies them will be unique as their fingerprints based on what each individual values, their talents, their strengths, their life experience, etc. because what true contentment means to you will be unique to you. That is the challenge we all choose to accept, but in so doing, it is the most amazing and life lifting gift we give ourselves and those we love, including the world in which we live.
And so I bristle at such a description, and while I haven’t pinpointed exactly what I do beyond a writer who explores how to live a life of Contentment, I consider TSLL to be a thinking person’s online community for cultivating an everyday life you love living and that grounds you in fulfilling purpose all the while remaining open to possibility. In other words, a blog that inspires you to think for yourself, to keep an open-mind, to forever remain curious, to find strength in your awesomeness, and find no need to compete with other’s ideas of how they have discovered they enjoy living well. In other words, it is a journey of our heart and involves the courage to explore what is revealed.
Which leads me to the second new category — Mindfulness.
The definition of mindfulness can be confusing initially, but upon closer examination of its origins and cultures that use the term, mindfulness is the practice of marrying the mind with the heart.
Beginning with the most literal definition, mindfulness involves holding ourselves fully in the present moment, being mindful of ourselves and all that is around us, holding ourselves fully present, observing and not judging, just witnessing. Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist, writer and meditation teacher further explains that “For all Asian languages, the word for mind and heart are the same. If you’re not hearing ‘heartfulness’ when you hear ‘mindfulness’ you’re not understanding. Mindfulness is not about the cognitive, cold, clinical mind, it includes the heart.”
Yet another definition, somewhat similar is stated as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.” How we do this is where we choose to become the student and learn the skills, because it does take practice, and that is why I have created a category dedicated specifically to Mindfulness here on the blog.
Without Mindfulness we will not find nor experience Contentment.
Since going back through all of my past posts and recategorizing them I discovered that many of them are categorized with both Contentment and Mindfulness because a skill of how to be mindful is being shared in order for the reader to experience contentment.
Admittedly, it took me 12 1/2 years to be consciously aware that these two categories were needed, unconsciously, both concepts have been regularly shared over the years, and perhaps my journey to understanding what I now know this blog is about parallels the journey of become a thinker, a deep and critical thinker: It is not easy, and it takes time. It is so much easier to jump to judgment, to solidify an opinion, but we do ourselves no favors when we do so. Rather, taking the time to learn how to think well will serve each of us far better as we strive forward, cultivating a life we love living, sharing our true selves with those we love and those we will never meet again but have a constructive exchange. And such a journey asks each of us to build a life built on a foundation of contentment and daily practicing the skill of mindfulness.
May your journey be eye-opening and awe-inspiring.
Explore all of the posts in each of the categories below: