Happiness Defined

“Contentment is the essential, basic and spiritual focus on my relationships and joy found in what matters most. To spend time and energy living a life that truly aligns with every good and authentic idea.”

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{ Nicole Franzen }

Days 1-9: Personal purchases (0), Gift purchases (2), Material cleansing (0), additional hobby time (1)

That is a report card “C”, as in fair but not at all stellar.  I need to hunker down and am publicly committing to hand made gifts. Ah. In my self pity party over here, I was also behind on my power sheets. Ya, those didn’t happen until last night. It was just the focus, honing and kick in the tush I needed.

As soon as I saw this photo, I was mesmerized. Not only is it a quiet, beautifully captured piece of Rome, but it immediately brought to mind the thought of planting seeds. I realized that in all of my material preparation, I hadn’t taken the time to define what contentment is to me aside from less stuff. Just like setting goals, starting a big project, saving for something and any major decision, seeds of thought and true understanding need to be planted and nurtured. This photo was my visual wake up call to do just that.

What does “contentment” mean to me? Let’s start with the dictionary definition: (from dictionary.com)

“adj. 1. Mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are; 2. assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed course of action, etc.

verb 3. to make oneself or another person content or satisfied

noun 4. peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction”

Well, that just screams authenticity and spirituality to me. Of course, simplifying and minimizing the material possessions and focus will allow for a renewed mental and emotional happiness with true needs. However, for me, this also means nurturing and investing. These were my two words for 2014 and this just brings them to the forefront once more.

The title of this post might lead you to think that I am trying to define happiness and contentment synonymously. That isn’t entirely true. As a self proclaimed type-A personality, I’m learning more and more that the best laid plans aren’t always the ones with the most desirable outcomes. Nor can you truly plan and define your life. True life and love are meant to ebb and flow. You have to continually grow, learn and be flexible. Bear with me here. I’m literally working this out as I write, partly out of ‘done is better than perfect’ mentality and partly so you can see how I arrive in this mental space.

Seeds. Someday I’d like to plant  a big garden in our yard. Why?  So that we can be self sufficient to an extent, learn to be grateful for the bounty of the Earth we are guests on; to pour love into a little plot and nurture it to grow and provide for our family. How does this same logic not instantly and naturally apply to every single aspect of life, especially contentment?

The true simplification of life is to have priorities, what matters to you, and forget the rest. So, to me that is God, Family, Love and Service-  done. Though I might twist things to fit in a pretty box that falls into one of those categories sometimes, in their most basic forms they are absolutely all I need. For the next two and a half months, this is the definition I will personally be referring back to:

Contentment is the essential, basic and spiritual focus on my relationships and joy found in what matters most. To spend time and energy living a life that truly aligns with every good and authentic idea. To be fully happy and fulfilled by the simplest of wonders, ideas and whispers to my heart. To listen, be still and trust that the simple life, complete with white space and abounding in Love and service, is the path to true unlimited happiness.

Living by that definition will help these seeds grow into a new self. Help me invest in my relationships and all aspects of life.  How do you define contentment? I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo- Jenn

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