letter to a friend: on contentment

dearest,

R + A are gone to Kentucky, T is asleep so I've got a quiet hour.  

s a v o r

I've been thinking of your question: How do I make myself content?

This question has provoked so much of my journey in parenthood that when I first heard it posed from you it made me pause.  Am I content? 

How?

I am learning that contentment isn't an accomplishment.  Rather, it is a constant surrender to the present.  A gratefulness for this very life breath.

And this one.

And this one.  It is finding myself utterly nested in the now.

But how?  How does one do such a thing?  I think this must be why your question lingered in my chest.  There isn't really an answer, only an unfolding metaphor.  

I'm picturing a tangled mess of two threads.  One thread holds the dialogue of your soul.  This string is slippery, its end perpetually intangible.  I can't give much instruction on the "how" of this thread, it's between you and God.  It is the passage toward contentment but I can't give you the directions only encouragement toward asking.  

But there is that other thread.  This one's beginning is easily found and following it lets you glimpse that other more mystical string every so often.  This thread is one of spiritual disciplines.   I think its texture and color must vary from person to person but its aim is always to provide moments of vision that inform our dailyness so that we might find ourselves content and grateful no matter the circumstances.

Maybe this is a little helpful?  Perhaps sharing the specifics of my own second thread might help further:

Meditation - Just breathing.  Noticing what is happening within me, outside of me; and acknowledging the boundary between the two.  I imagine myself lying on the ground watching my thoughts cross the sky like clouds.  I don't chase them, I just let them pass.

Praying the hours - Pausing seven times throughout the day to find the spaciousness of now.  I drink a glass of water too.

Parent's Day Out - I've identified nine areas that I want to be intentional about during this time away from the boys.  This helps give room for enjoyment during the rest of the time when most of my energy is poured out for caregiving.  I focus on only one area (business, painting for the love of it, exercise/body care, misc. to do, social health, spiritual well-being, our marriage, household, or listening to my desires*) per PDO window.

*this focus shifts with the seasons

 marriage and motherhood.  the best and the hardest for me

marriage and motherhood.  the best and the hardest for me

Hope this is fruitful.  Also I want to be clear that I'm not always content.  I'm continually working through all of this.

Okay, we can talk more.  Thatch woke up...

I love how you show up to life wholeheartedly.  Thanks for asking such good questions, I love walking alongside you.

and I love you,

A