It’s not always easy to be with what is, especially when we’d like things to be different. Living in a world of conflict and chaos is hard. We get busy, distracted, frustrated, angry, sad, maybe even hopeless. Instead, we might try being present with what is right here, now, within ourselves and our own lives. Contentment is a state that we can cultivate with open hearted mindfulness, acceptance (seeing things for what they are), and gratitude. When we begin to see the essence of who we are and the things that matter in our life (like relationships, pets, nature and beauty) and have gratitude, we elicit a sense of peace and ease in the present moment apart from any external events. By living with contentment we can experience inner peace and harmony in all aspects of our lives. Is contentment just a form of spiritual bypassing? I don’t think so.

Contentment really does help us live in a difficult world. In fact, I believe that a true core of inner contentment, where we are at peace with ourselves, allows us to act in the world with discernment, wise judgement, and clarity of thought. We can then respond to life from a balanced center of being and with kindness of heart. Just imagine if everyone lived in this space. We can have inner peace and contenment as our ground of being and still desire and work for change. Perhaps this is the only way that we can create change.

The sanskrit word for contentment is santosha. Santosha just so happens to be the name of the retreat center we are going to for our new “Inner Peace Retreat” in June. Taking time for yourself may feel like self- indulgence when we live in a world of conflict. However, I believe it’s one of the wisest and most responsible acts that we can do. “Inner peace creates world peace”! You are invited to join us this June.

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