Find Contentment Through the Adventure
I would like to reintroduce you to a couple of words that have changed my life: contentment and adventure. If you’ve read any of my other posts, or visited my website you would discover that I proudly call myself the “Contentment Coach”. What do you think of when you hear the word contentment? I would imagine you think of an annoyingly happy person. Or maybe you think of a place that you have been or a moment in your life that fills you with warmth, joy and inspiration. And if we were playing a word association game with the word adventure, what other words would fill your page? My world has shown me that the words contentment and adventure have a special bond.
Allow me to share my own definitions with you.
Contentment- the state of a balanced spirit, mood and presence despite the roller coaster of life
Adventure- the planned or unplanned disruptions of a normal routine often extreme and out of the ordinary ,yet humorous and ridiculous(sometimes after the fact).
For me, contentment is a choice not an emotion. I have navigated through some beastly and tumultuous water ways that disrupted my spirit, mood and presence. I have always had the choice of how to respond when hit with a sudden wave. I can honestly say that I haven’t always been proud of my responses.
My raw and untamed self has complained in abundance, but that’s not my worst response. Picture me on a raft and a rapid overtakes me and knocks me overboard. In the worst of moments, I have been guilty of remaining in the deep, dark water for too long; giving in to the seemingly insurmountable.
Being happy all the time is not balanced and neither is giving in to negative emotions. The school of life where I am enrolled has offered me a course that I have failed on more than one occasion on the topic of consistency and balance. I am currently receiving positive feedback from my instructors and I think I am starting to get it.
Life is most definitely a roller coaster or a white water rafting experience. You choose your metaphor here. But in the former, the ride will be a head banger at times, or a 250 foot drop. I can expect a roller coaster to have some highs and lows, right? Those are the things that I cannot control. But what I can control is my response to these surprises. I can be so overcome by fear and anxiety that I can keep my eyes closed and grip the over the shoulder restraint or lap bar with all that I can muster or I can open my eyes and allow myself to take in the terrifying and beautiful sight while working through all of the negative and positive emotions that are flooding my psyche. Those are my choices.
In order to experience this balanced spirit, mood and presence is to face the challenges head on. Now, I am going to replace the word challenges with adventures. What I know about life is that many unplanned things happen, causing disruptions and irregularities. Some amazing and planned like a zip line excursion and others more devastating like a sudden loss of a family member or income source.
Choosing contentment is to be honest with how I am feeling and allow myself to work through the negative emotions until I have the courage to raise my head above the water not knowing if I will be hit with another wave. It’s finding adventure( humor, ridiculousness) in adversity.
When I was living abroad, I experienced many of these ridiculous moments and I came to love them. Let me share a few.
Just about every time I placed an order for water, the delivery person would blare his horn and shout,” Agua, Agua” while I was on the toilet and I would have to finish up and run down four flights of stairs and hope I don't miss him because he never waits longer than 2 mins.
One out of every three taxi drivers would get lost trying to pick me up and the street signs did not offer help or communicate my location to them. So this meant that I had a good chance of not being picked up at all.
The only local ATM was in the drugstore and for whatever reason would not want to read my card and I’d have no money for the weekend.
I was successful at taking out money from the ATM machine only to pay for something with a $20 bill and discovered that the cashier had no change for my bill and I couldn’t purchase the items while all the while being looked at and spoken to as if it were my fault.
These were all humorous or/and ridiculous and I can laugh about it now because I allowed myself to go through the process of shedding the negative emotions in order to get to a more balanced and harmonious perspective.
I am a Contentment and Adventure coach because when I have my moments of quiet reflection, I can visualize how adopting these two perspectives has brightened my life and I hope they will brighten yours.
The Contentment Coach signing off.