Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize
there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
When I think about what contentment looks like, I think of a purring cat. If there’s anything that illustrates happiness better, I don’t know what that would be. And it doesn’t take much for cats to be content: a sunny spot on the floor, a full tummy, a lap to curl up on – those are the ingredients for contentment when you’re a cat.
Why is it so hard for humans to reach that same state of contentment? Why do so many of us always look for the next best thing? For some people, the mindset for happiness is a never-ending cycle of always wanting more. Perhaps we’d do well to learn from our cats when it comes to mastering contentment.
Achieving a state of contentment is a mindset change and has nothing to do with making external changes to your life. Try the following:
- Practice gratitude. The energy of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance and joy. Gratitude is about being in the present moment, and appreciating what’s around you.
- Meditate. Meditation helps you to slow your thoughts, and to connect with your spirit. Taking time to meditate, or simply sit and be still, allows contentment to come to you. Better yet, meditate with your cat.
- Get out of your head and into your heart. By opening your heart and connecting with what really matters, you’ll view the world differently. One of the best ways I know of opening your heart is by allowing the love of a cat to transform you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on what is unique about you instead, and appreciate your special gifts and talents.
- Find joy in the simple things. A perfectly brewed cup of tea or coffee, a book I’ve been wanting to read, and a cat or two curled up next to me or in my lap: what more does anyone need to be content?
What makes you feel content?