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Cultivating Contentment

According to Swami Sivananda, the cravings will always try to place themselves at the forefront of our minds. We are flooded with marketers, friends, family, our culture, and our own ambitions , to do more, be more, see more, acquire more. So long as we can recognize the bombardment and not fall prey to it, we will open the door to observing how magnificent contentment can be. And the magnificent realization is that contentment can be found in  our every day reality. Thus happiness can be found readily at our fingertips no matter how outstanding, or lack thereof, our lives look to the outside world.

“There is no end to craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Develop contentment.” Swami Sivananda

The next question then, is how do we find this contentment and how do we maintain it?
Below I share 8 live coaching tools for cultivating contentment:

1) Practice gratitude
Being grateful for our lives exactly as they are right now, provides a mindset of knowing that things are not nearly as bad as we sometimes make them out to be. It allows for the realization that, although things could be better, they are manageable for the time being. It is impossible to develop contentment without gratitude—they are inseparable. focus on the good things in your life, not the things you lack. The simple discipline of engaging in gratitude will undoubtedly shift your focus back to the many good things you already have.

Make a commitment to practice gratitude by letting gratitude be the last thought before you fall asleep, and your first thought when you wake up in the morning.

2) Ask yourself what is going well
So much goes well in our lives, each and every day, that is easy to become desensitized and accustomed to how fortunate we are. Recognize the countless details you take for granted. What is working well in your life today?

3) Be content with what you have, while you continue to grow.
Do something that keeps the flames of your dreams and hopes alive. Take pride in your person-hood and the progress that you have made so far, and continue improving. Contentment is not the same as complacency. Contentment invites you to always keep growing. learning and discovering.

4) Shift your perspective
Develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things – specially of all the bad things that happen.
Start by recognizing negative thoughts as you have them. Then, take a step back and ask yourself these key questions:
• Is the situation, really as bad as I think it is?
• Is there another way to look at the situation?
• What can I learn from this challenging experience that can help me evolve as a person?

5) Find your purpose
Are you engaged in something you love? If not, ask yourself these questions to discover how you can find your purpose:
• What excites and energizes me?
• What are my proudest achievements?
• How do I want others to remember me?

6) Take control of your attitude.
A person who lacks contentment in their life will often engage in “when… and… then” thinking – “when I get _______, then I will be happy.” Instead, take control of your attitude. Contentment is finding satisfaction in your life as it is in the present moment, regardless of the circumstances.

7) Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing your life with someone else’s will always lead to discontentment. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. There will always be people who “appear” to seemingly be living the perfect life. You are unique. You are special. Affirm that your life is awesome in its own way.

8) Live in the moment
Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Don’t postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful.
Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life.

Choosing to live a life of contentment is up to us, and not of our circumstances. Commit to implement the mindset of the above recommendations,  and let me know how you feel after a 30 day period. What changes do you see in your day to day? What impact do these new attitudes have in your loving relationships? How do you feel at the end of each day?

Keep me posted, I care !

Much Love and Gratitud,

Veronica

Embracing Uncertainty

By Veronica Vidal

Uncertainty can keep us up at night, obsessing over ways to protect ourselves from anything that might go wrong…. Or it can motivate us to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

We don’t know … what’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill us in ways we didn’t even imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, we will respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

If you ever think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever. Life is full of uncertainty.

To our rational mind, when an existing pattern of expectations is not met it can be unsettling and cause fear, anxiety, and frustration. To relieve our worries and disappointments we must re-frame our assumptions so that we can adapt to new conditions. It’s no good fooling ourselves that everything is under control. Accepting uncertainty is a challenge, but it can stop us from living in a limbo state of confusion. The thing about uncertainty is that despite our plans we seldom end up where we expected. Embracing uncertainty is an essential component of well-being because it provides a foundation for mental calmness. One day at a time, let us focus on our possibilities, not our fears, and suddenly, we will feel a lot better.

Embracing Uncertainty is to accept paradox and ambiguity with humility and curiosity. Maybe it’s better to accept what cannot be changed, and adapt to what is emerging than to resent the inevitable.” ~ Steve Trivett

The following 8 steps will help you to embrace uncertainty

1) Replace expectations with plans. When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.

What is in my hands is what I plan—what I will actively do to find balance, and live the life I want.

2. Prepare for different possibilities. The most difficult part of uncertainty is the inability to feel in control. However, one can plan for the possibilities. One can make a list for what one would do if “A” happens versus “B” or “C”.. All we really need is a basic plan and the flexibility to embrace change if necessary.

3. Become a feeling observer. It isn’t the uncertainty that really bothers us; it’s our tendency to get lost in our feelings about it. The second we start indulging fear, we get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “What if …” leads to “How I am going to manage to…?” Before you know it, we have somehow traveled all the way to a complete tragedy in our minds.

The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and then remembering that we can’t possibly predict the future, but we can help create it, by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.

4. Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come. To help you manage anxiety, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and answer your self how could you deal with that worst-case scenario, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.

In her book, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem discusses the concept of defensive pessimism—when you consider the worst so you can plan how you’d handle it. This has actually shown to help people manage anxiety.

5. Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively. If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts at this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.

Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, such as yoga, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.

6. Focus on what you can control. Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. Focus on a short-term solution, stop complaining, and start some motion now, so that you can make this situation more bearable.

7. Practice mindfulness. Observe when your thoughts go into the uncertain future and bring them back to the present moment. When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

8. Reconnect with the blessings in your life. Focus on the gifts that you are enjoying at this moment, Even thinking about gratitude offers a profound sense of strength and tranquility.

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.

Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal
www.VeroVidal.com