I sat across the table from a friend of mine over lunch today. We were reminiscing about the good old days when we had no major concerns in high school, no bills, no car payments, and for the most part, life was good. Then we started talking about how busy our lives are today and where life taking us.
As an adult we try to find ways to bring us happiness. It might be through our children, grandchildren, money in the bank, our home or even our extended family. Let’s look at an entirely different way of being content. For example, while I was at the restaurant with my friend, we were watching a football game, and quite honestly, I really had no interest in the game, but rather spent my time watching other people laughing and enjoying themselves. It made me smile. I was caught up in a rare moment of enjoying my surroundings. The food I had ordered tasted great and my ginger ale was cold and refreshing. Looking outside I paused for a moment to take in the incredible views of the mountains and Colorado’s crystal clear blue skies. To top it off, I could hear country artists, Brooks and Dunn, playing in the background. Yes, looking back, I remember that afternoon so well.
Do you observe those places of contentment? Do you remember them from years gone by? Do you seek a place of contentment? Places of contentment are a place to call your own. My place of contentment is a 30 minute drive from my office. It’s a place I can rest my weary mind and tired body and a familiar place where the water dances with the rocks and the stream is as clear as I've ever seen. In the spring, the grass is green, the smell of wild roses fill the air and I can hear the birds singing near and far. I take a blanket and sit down by the stream and let nature console me. I need no entertainment from a radio, or a human voice. The sights, sounds, smells, and the gentle breeze calm me. Do you have a place like this where you can go for much needed rest?
If you don't, you need to find your own. The only distraction that comes my way is trying to rest my busy mind. Eventually, I find myself allowing my mind to wander to beautiful places.
What can finding places of contentment do for you?
Gives you a much needed mental break.
Gives you something to look forward.
Gives you time to think.
Gives you time to be honest with yourself and plan out some of your goals.
Gives you time to leave the stress of life behind, even if it’s only for a few hours.
Clear your head.
I suggest places of contentment that are connected with nature including mountains, the beach, parks, etc. Remember, this time is for you and you alone. So find a quiet place that only you know about.
A recent client of mine was sharing the details of his chaotic life. His wife was ill and he was overwhelmed with work and taking care of his children. He was in a tail spin. He couldn't think straight, he was exhausted, and was too tired to deal with the children. Although he wanted to take care of his wife and didn't know where to turn for help. I asked him if he ever took a few hours for himself on a weekly basis. He started laughing and said, "If I knew how to manage my time, I'd probably do that." Well you can bet with that answer, we agreed he needed to make that happen, and he did. He told me that that was the best advice he had received. Two hours of alone time was all he needed. He found his place of contentment sitting at a park by a stream watching ducks and geese. Honestly folks, this can help you salvage a busy life and create some stress relief for you.
First allow yourself at least one hour of time alone. Next, find a place to park and a place to sit down. Be sure to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, then scout an area where you can enjoy nature and get that much needed rest. This will be the place where you can close your eyes and just let go of all your emotions and feelings. You can do this, it isn't hard, just make it happen.
Do you want to know how to find that place of contentment? Are you afraid to make time for yourself? What scares you about spending time alone? Are you at that point you need to start planning some time alone and don't know how? If you answered yes to any of these questions, give Dr. Mike a call for help in answering these questions.