Tuesday, February 1, 2022

CONTENTMENT - Eleven Points

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by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

Contentment may not be as simple as we'd like. Searching for it, longing for it, dreaming about it, and hoping to find it continues to be a life-long treasure hunt for many. Although circumstances often create roadblocks to our contentment, there are a few coping strategies we can consider along the way. Contentment is a dynamic condition, and one that is worth pursuing. Here are a few ideas to get you started. I look forward to hearing your ideas too. Let me know where you are in your adventures and shout out a few of your own resources here.

Choices - It helps to consider more than one way to reach your goals. Often, we box ourselves into a one and done method. Give yourself permission to release yourself from this limitation. Choices open our eyes to new possibilities. Work, relationships, and financial matters can be linked to our choices. 
Opportunities - Find moments to expand your circle of resources, get out of your comfort zone to network with others, research new careers, and sign up to learn something new. If we stay "stuck" in our current position, we risk losing our flexibility for change. It's easy to remain in what becomes familiar long after it is healthy for us, simply because we are afraid to move forward. Change can be difficult for many of us. Practice seeking out other opportunities to enhance your experiences in life.

Numerous adventures - Adventures do not need to be elaborate, expensive, or intense to be meaningful. An adventure can be learning something new, going on a hike, exploring a section of town you've never seen, or planning a short road trip. Adventures offer a range of experiences that can enhance your feeling of connection to family and friends. They can even provide a way for you to enjoy time to yourself. Getting away from your typical schedule or routine can boost your brain and recharge your energy. For anyone who has anxiety when veering too far off a routine, you might choose to have some quiet time. Your adventure is whatever you need on your way to contentment. 

Tenacious decisions - When faced with serious circumstances, life-altering situations, and season-of-life desires for change, remember that perseverance and consistency create the path toward our goals. Research your resources, write down your strategies, and evaluate your progress. Make those tenacious decisions! Expect to be nervous and scared. Change, even good change, is hard and uncomfortable. Lean into that discomfort and keep moving. It is within these moments of change that we begin to find contentment.

Encouragement - It can be difficult if not impossible to infuse yourself with inspiration. Sometimes we struggle to find the motivation, strength, and endurance required to push forward. This is when you find your team of individuals who add positive energy, uplift your spirit, and emotionally support your plan of action. If you find that someone is pulling you down with all the reasons "that can't work", it's time to reduce your contact with them and recognize they are one of the reasons we sabotage ourselves. Encouragement can come from many sources. Find what works for you.

Nourishment - Commit to healthy food, drink, and physical movement. Start with small changes and remain consistent. When we are accustomed to doing things a certain way for a long period of time, rewiring our brains to do something different takes time. Give yourself grace on the days when you feel discouraged. Keep working toward your goals and schedule reminders throughout the day to inspire follow through.  

Tranquility - Find moments throughout your day to breathe, release tension, and be at peace. This is often one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. We are all so busy and often over-scheduled.  Even a few seconds to close your eyes and visualize a place where you feel calm can make a difference. If you have a 30-minute lunch break, consider taking the first 5 minutes to decompress and the last 5 minutes to re-energize your mind before returning to work. Visualize a box where you "store" your concerns for that period of time. It doesn't mean you're ignoring the tasks waiting for you. Instead, think about this as a temporary parking spot where you have to turn off your engine. Breathing and counting exercises can also help. 

Movement - Short breaks throughout your day to get up and move have been proven to increase productivity, enhance creativity, improve brain function, and decrease stress.  More intense movement where you increase your heart rate improves cardiovascular health. Lifting weights improves muscle tone and enhances overall sense of well-being. Whether you choose to move several times throughout the day for quick brain breaks or schedule in a workout, movement is an important strategy in your quest for contentment.

Education - The process of learning has the potential to boost confidence, enhance sense of self-worth, and improve opportunities to make an impact in your chosen career field. The more we engage in learning about the world in which we live, the better we can understand ourselves and the people with whom we come into contact. Embrace new strategies, methods, and techniques as you commit to reading, research, and activities.  Take time to boost your mind and challenge your brain.

Negotiation - There is a fine art in learning how to appreciate individual differences, understanding how people engage in discussions, and discerning what it takes to work toward mutually beneficial outcomes. One of the best ways to develop your negotiation skills is to develop a strong enough sense of self that you can put aside ego and personal gain. Be willing to compliment others and appreciate what they have to offer throughout your negotiations. As with any fine art, successful interactions take time and plenty of practice.

Teamwork - Collaborating with others to share resources, develop strategies, and create programs in a supportive environment can lead to satisfying experiences whether at home, in the workplace, or in a sports arena. Teamwork involves planning, negotiations, contracting, timelines, and the ability to follow through on projects from start to completion. The dynamic pull of teammates as each variable is incorporated creates an energy and flow. There is satisfaction in seeing a plan grow and materialize. 

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You are appreciated!


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Wishing all of you many adventures,
solutions to your challenges,
answers to your prayers,
& resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!
(And... a good dose of ranting to release the stress once in a while)
Kindest Wishes,
~ Mary


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