Content Stillness


*in a state of peaceful happiness. *satisfied with a certain level of achievement, good fortune, etc., and not wishing for more.
I was recently discussing the topic of ‘the state of being content’ with my cousin. We both tend to work at a pace that can often feel machine-like and un-human. We just tend to keep going. While it has some benefits, such as opportunity, prosperity, savings, and satisfaction of a job well done, it does have a downside as well. One may ask, “When is it enough?” You begin to sense that satisfaction has a deeper connection to time than it does to material gains. When a pace becomes all-time-consuming, you feel that absence of time in your life. You realize that all you have is here and now, and though striving for the good things in life and for the future is intrinsically good, we must not lose sight of the present moment. In our discussion, we identified this missing element. There was a point in our lives when we had that peace of mind and content stillness of heart. We were always Type A Personalties and ultimately, ‘strivers,’ but we had more balance, and a lot more time. We had time to dedicate to activities and hobbies such as Martial Arts. At one point we were attending six Martial Arts classes per week. Obligations are different now, and six days per week would be a great deal of dedicated time at this stage in our lives, but we now find it difficult to attend one class due to time constraints. That’s exactly what it is, ‘time constraints.’
The day after our discussion, I was reading the EWTN news letter that I received in the mail. In it, Father Joseph Mary Wolfe stated the following,”Think of the last time you were deeply content,…that deep settledness of good conscience, that sense of stillness that allows the heart to rest and listen.” Talk about perfect timing! That statement arrived at the moment that I was pondering the issue.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been attempting to execute a more balanced pace. I’m taking more time to do some of the things that I enjoy, to be outdoors, to walk in nature, to hear the the sounds of the ocean, to listen to good music, and to hear the sounds of my children laughing. I’m also going to dedicate more time to writing. I have a few writing projects that I’ve kept on the back burner long enough.
I think that all of us tend to get caught up in a frenzied pace at times. Some days can be filled with common chores and seem overwhelming, especially if we don’t consider taking a moment to breath or the time to unwind from our wound-up selves. Even things like social media contribute to the ‘checklist’ of things that we have to get done. I’m all for checklists, but within reason. Sometimes, our concept of time and the actual reality of time might be comparable to someone’s eyes being bigger than their stomach, and preparing a lot more food than can be consumed. I’ll still make checklists, but from here on, I’ll keep them shorter on a daily basis. If we take that little bit of time each day for some unwinding, and maybe even one full day per week for some real unwinding, we’ll probably be very refreshed and better for it.  A great speaker that I met, Matthew Kelly, (,) uses the term, “Carefree timelessness.” That’s something that many of us long for nowadays. Summer is probably a great time to begin this kind of self-reflection, and self-examination. I feel that I’ll benefit from stepping outside of my self, getting off of this ride, this frenzied pace, and just taking a moment to contemplate if I’m truly content with my life. I may conclude that I’m very content, but that there’s more to do, but I’ll at least pace myself on a better course of time. After all, I’m always dreaming and setting new goals, but I just have to remind myself that there’s no deadline. A little bit per day of striving, and a little bit of recharging to find that perfect balance. I think that’s what many of us are seeking. Do you?
Although it did not pertain to Nutrition or Exercise, both of which balance is a necessity as well, this Blog post was more of a Remedy Reflection. Every now and then we must tone and train the mind.
Until next month,
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, & a Happy Summer to all!!!
~ John D.