A couple years ago my husband and I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I recently revisited this book because I’ve begun to find myself needing a few reminders about what happiness means and how to find happiness in our life, especially when things become difficult for us.
So I decided to pull the book back out and revisit the chapter, November. Keep a Contented Heart is the heading for this chapter. I started reading and thinking about this idea. What does “keep a contented heart” mean? Well literally, according to the dictionary, “contented” refers to happy and at ease, and “heart” is the organ that pumps our blood and is also the central or innermost part of something. So having a contented heart means to be happy at your core. Would you say that you have a contented heart right now? My immediate answer is no, but after some more thought, I would answer yes and I am sure you might too. At first, keeping a contented heart can feel like a giant task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact I think it can be easily attainable.
I think one of the most important things that leads to happiness is attitude; which Gretchen writes about in the chapter. I believe attitude speaks volumes about how to achieve a contented heart. If you can master a good attitude about whatever comes your way, good or bad, it can go a very long way to building your happiness level. I work daily on keeping and maintaining a positive attitude about life, even when I feel derailed or when life gets hard. I awake each day with the mantra, “It’s a great day to be alive” and work hard to live up to that mantra by trying to achieve greatness each day.
And when I refer to greatness, I do not mean having power or wealth. To me, having greatness can mean something a little different every day. It can include setting small, attainable goals that I set for myself.
attempting a new arm balance
running a faster mile
PRing my deadlift
acknowledging someone’s hard work
It can also mean having the courage to stand up to injustice and the ability to help and be kind to all (i.e. people, animals, the environment).
being a vegan or vegetarian
not polluting our environment
offering support to someone who needs it
being a voice to the voiceless
As a former learning consultant and now yoga teacher and studio owner, I have spent my career caring for and teaching others. I believe in the importance of helping, supporting, and being kind to all beings and share that belief with my students through my words and actions. I try to not take anything for granted and appreciate the small gifts in life. This positive attitude, will, and desire to live a good, strong, and kind life has helped me to work towards achieving a contented heart. I believe that it is important to be grateful for the things we have, tell the people in our lives that we care about them, and do something each day that will challenge us and help to make us better, because we never know if this day will be our last. Live it up!
November after all is the month that contains Thanksgiving, and it is a great time to work on having a contented heart. It’s a month that focuses on gratitude, thankfulness, and counting blessings both big and small. What better time to work on this? There is no time like the present!
What can you do today to help you have more of a contented heart tomorrow?