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Updated: Apr 16, 2022

The Word: Contentedness

Definition: Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation."

We are living in challenging times. That is why it is so important to step back, take a breath or two and embrace the good moments. Find contentedness.

My Story on Contentedness

I attended a lecture a few years ago on stress. Ironically, it was while I was on a spa weekend.

A good friend invited me to escape the real world for a weekend of self-care. I imagined it would be a time to relax, with fellow escapees and embrace a world of healthy living, meditation, massage, and exercise. And yet, when it came time to choose a lecture, I decided to attend the one on stress. Go figure!

The speaker, a woman of around thirty, welcomed us. She walked around the room, making eye contact with each attendee, as she proceeded to ask us to get comfortable in our chairs and let go of any tension we might be holding in our bodies.

Feeling the lightness around her, she began her talk by describing how even on a spa weekend, we allow stress to enter our bodies. She went on to tell the story of a woman, who was scheduling a massage. If you’ve ever gotten a massage, you know that there are many types to choose from. This particular woman had narrowed them down to two. She chose a hot rock massage over a deep tissue massage. The relaxation element, the massage was supposed to deliver was, unfortunately, lost on this woman. It was lost because she had spent most of the time the masseuse was applying hot rocks to her body, stressing over whether she should have chosen the deep tissue massage instead.

That lecture was about 20 years ago, but I remember it well and do my best to abide by her words because the words made sense. She said, BE WHERE YOU ARE! I still have the t-shirt they gave us that weekend espousing the mantra.

I think it’s fair to say that most if not all of us have found ourselves in a situation where we can’t relax long enough to enjoy where we are in the moment. With that thought in mind, let me share some good advice I was given as my son’s wedding was approaching. I was told to take time to stop and just look around the room. Take it all in. Forget if the caterer is getting the food out quickly or if the band is taking too long of a break. Scan the room, embrace the people and the celebration they’ve all come to share. Be where you are.

One last note, as the holidays approach this weekend, be mindful of why you’re together. Maybe leave politics, the war, and all the rest of the noise outside the room you’re in. Embrace the moments. Choose each other to be content with.

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