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Contentment: Real talk with Jen

Contentment - not a verb, but a noun. A peaceful satisfaction, or freedom from worry or restlessness.

This was the topic for the podcast this week. I invited Andrew to join me on a hike before we recorded. To be honest, I had an expectation of walking slowly in the woods, and as I've done a million times before, I would come out of the woods having processed the emotions bubbling at the surface (In hindsight, I was struggling deep down with being content and felt like an imposter on the subject).

This slow roll through the woods was not what I got - I burned 500 calories and felt like a greyhound chasing a rabbit. Something - something no expectations, right? We stopped to meditate on a fallen tree and as I sensed him fall into stillness a few feet from me, I struggled to slow my heart rate and control my breathing, I don't know how long it took, or how long we sat there, but sitting elevated on that moss covered tree for an undetermined time was where I need to be.

Andrew describes life being like an ocean, the highs of life, the top of the wave, is our joy and happy feelings. The lows in life are like the turbulent crashing waves, the uncomfortable and not so happy feelings. Our goal is to drift to a place where the highs and lows are even, and we remain consistently calm through it all.

Sitting barefoot on that tree, I recognized I had spent a few weeks being tossed in churning waters. It was a space of fear, worry, sadness, and just holding on to the past while in a major transition. I am only human, after all. Much like my racing heart on this trail run with Andrew, finding calm waters in my ocean required stillness, focused breathing, and maybe a teacher telling me to drop the ego next time.

I guess that is pretty reflective of being on a spiritual journey - the universe will put opportunities and teachers in place for you to keep working, but you have to be paying attention.

Contentment is always possible, especially in the most turbulent situations.


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About Andrew

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At the age 17, through the guidance of his older brother Chris, he discovered the path of Buddhism. His journey with the practice has taken him across oceans and deep within himself. As a Zen bodhisattva, he works towards helping others find their own path without reward.


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