Be Here Now: A Lesson in Contentment

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I was laying in bed in a state of utter discontent, asking “What am I missing?” wondering when whatever I felt was missing was going to happen. I wondered if there was some place that I needed to be. My wanderlust was raging, feeling the sense of needing to be elsewhere; always.

The endless loop that plays in my head is like a pop song, once you hear it a couple times it gets stuck there. The world beckoned, but I was being planted. I felt myself tugging at my roots causing things to die and fall away. I couldn’t bloom in this state of agitation and fear of missing out or ‘FOMO’. I had to learn to sit still and listen.

Anxiety is fueled by discontent. I learned this lesson a while back when I found myself craving something other than what I had. I dwelt on the missed opportunities and did not see the greatness that was right in front of me. The whirlwind of restlessness prohibited me from appreciating what I had.

It is easy to fall into the trap of restless discontent. Patience is hard to come by and while waiting, our minds can create several scenarios of better alternatives. However, when I learned to ease into the discomfort and practice gratitude, it helped to lead me into a state of contentment.

Being hyper connected and seeing everything that is going on, opinions and comments take away from the present moment. Comparisons start to be made and discontent creeps in. In fact, we are training our brains to look at our phones instead of faces. Although technology is an amazing thing and we need it, taking the time to step away from hyper connectivity and sitting still can bring our minds back into balance.

In stillness I can reflect and see the things that I once wanted were actually happening. Contentment is a practice that when put aside results in impatience and anxiety. By practicing gratitude daily, contentment reminds me that being where I am is exactly where I need to be. That lesson is powerful and beautiful to me. I can watch the beauty of life unfold when I take the time to be present and understand that everything is happening when it supposed to.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

– Epicurus

Practicing Gratitude: Calibrating for Thanksgiving

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I enjoy the month of November because of Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday. I love the act of getting together with loved ones to share delicious food and offer gratitude. The act of practicing gratitude creates room for more gratitude to occur.

I began an active practice a few years ago where I wrote down 3 things that I was grateful for at the end of each day. Even on the worst days, I made it a practice to find things to be grateful for; the most important time for the practice. Whether you begin or end your day with gratitude, you will notice a change in perception over time.

The practice of gratitude creates awareness in everyday occurrences. Things that usually go unnoticed suddenly become highlighted with intentional thanksgiving. All of a sudden, I started recognizing even greater things happening and becoming overwhelmed with gratitude.

One of the first things I noticed was how bright orange California poppies are. I have lived in California my entire life and never stopped to appreciate the vibrancy the flowers provided. This memory is very distinct for me. I was waiting to get onto a highway and looked over and was amazed by the shock of orange bursting from the ground surrounding the sign post. I did a double take and realized that something so ordinary had become extraordinary for me. l felt grateful for the observation and my new found attention to every day things.

As my outlook changed, I realized that I had calibrated my mind for gratitude.

Practicing gratitude creates more gratitude. Neuroplasticity allows for changes within the brain. We can intentionally create a change by consistent practice. Our brains can create new pathways with the practice of a new skill such as exercise, meditation and diet. Over time, practicing gratitude created more thoughts and occurrences for gratefulness. Like with any change, this takes time.

Most change starts with the simple process of something outside of us altering something inside of us. If you begin the inward journey and start to change your inner world of thoughts and feelings, it should create an improved state of well-being. If you keep repeating the process in meditation, then in time, epigenetic changes should begin to alter your outer presentation.

– Dr. Joe Dispenza

I encourage you to begin practicing gratitude. Try it for 4 weeks and see what transpires. Here is a downloadable sheet: Gratitude Sheet to begin your practice. Just write down 3 things you are grateful for each day and notice the gradual change in your perception. I would love to hear about your grateful journey. Send me an email at to share your experience.