Instead of asking you…what do you want? I ask you who do you want to become, who do you long to be?
Or even better, How do you desire to show up in the world?
We often look outside ourselves. We ask for things like a bigger house, a great body, or more money. We think these things are going to make us happy and while these things are wonderful they only provide happiness for a short time.
They provide short-term happiness because they are a tangible things that we can see or touch and we can say, “I have reached my goal.”
Many people I talk to say, I have all of these things but I am not really happy.
And when I ask them what makes them happy, they either say, I don’t know or they begin to list several other “things” that they think will make them happy.
It is always something outside of themselves.
This is because we aren’t looking inward. We aren’t asking ourselves, How do I desire to show up in the world?
When I ask others that question, the answer comes from deep within.
I get answers such as peaceful, loving, compassionate, joyful, giving, powerful, etc.
These are ways of being. And BEING is the way.
What I know from working with so many people and from doing the inner work myself is that we are ultimately asking for contentment.
We want to show up in the world as CONTENT. Content means a state of peaceful happiness or satisfaction.
Do you live in a state of peaceful happiness? Are you satisfied with your life?
Really think about this.
Living in a state of peaceful happiness all of the time is impossible (in my opinion). We aren’t meant to be peaceful happy humans all of the time. We struggle, we have pain, we get hurt, we have disease, we face death. These are real human issues that cause suffering and are not peaceful and happy moments.
But we can have an overall contentment even amidst the struggles.
Once you learn how to be content within the struggles of your life, your life becomes easier. The struggles are real and you are able to move through them.
It is like a bubble that you are in. The outer edge of the bubble is content and inside, things happening and you are watching them and moving through them and feeling them.
This makes it easier to do the inner work without getting burnt-out. Without feeling like you failed and without feeling like you have a destination to get to.
Learning the art of contentment takes courage and bravery because it means you have to trust that everything that is happening is happening for your benefit. No matter what it is. And that is really really hard. It takes a willingness to surrender and accept yourself just as you are, messy and beautiful all at the same time. And it take a willingness to feel all of your emotions, all of the time, whenever they come up. It requires a lot of letting go and an openness to change.