Practicing Contentment is an Inside Job

POSTED BY: Oliver Ross \ December 28, 2015
Practicing Contentment is an Inside Job

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment,
grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us,
but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach

The practice of contentment is  the persistent yet patient pursuit of becoming increasingly aware of the inner workings of our mind, how these workings affect our emotions and behaviors, and taking the internal actions which generate greater and longer lasting moments of contentment. Simply said, it’s an inside job (Chapter 3).

The inside jobs entailed in the practice of contentment involve learning about the whys and negative wherefores of our “not-enough” thoughts, those of our thoughts which when not known delude us into believing that acquiring or achieving more and more, better and better, and different upon things will give rise to contentment. This inner work also entails accreting acceptance of our unappreciative types of thoughts – the internal processes involved in acknowledging, surrendering to, and forgiving the occurrences of those of our not-enough types of thoughts which convince us we cannot be content because we are not enough, don’t possess enough, haven’t accomplished enough, and in countless other ways are basically not enough.

It is through doing these inside jobs we can put into practice the frequently quoted wisdom of of the early twentieth century U.S. Supreme Court justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who said: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” By steadfastly engaging in the inside jobs involved in the practice of contentment we can uncover our unappreciative more, better, different thoughts, accept their occurrence as part of our humanness, thus allowing us to simultaneously dispel discontentment and cultivate contentment.