I used to have a conversation years ago with one of my best friends, via her boyfriend at the time. It was profound, more so because we were 20 year old babies compared to now.
Here’s the dilemna: Is it better to be content OR happy. and what are the differences between the two.
Think about happy, it’s a bit more ‘in the now’ and think about content, and it’s a bit more ‘long term’. Both are great places to be, but which is best?
Should we be striving to be happy or content?
If happy is not a permanent state of being then surely we should be organising our lives and the things in it to be content. But where do the moments of euphoria or happy fit into this long term, one note contented state?
As I’ve grown older and worked more in depth with my mind through yoga and meditation, I have realised that the two are not mutually exclusive. They are blurred with no fixed points. We should be content with moments of happy.
The universal aim of yoga is to make happiness our constant state, rather than a fleeting moment in time.
Working on our internal self, we realise that nothing is permanent, nothing really matters but we are kind and considerate of others, we show compassion to those who are suffering, and to ourselves. We are not a slave to our ego, but learn to be confident and content just to be.
I thought I always lived this way, until I noticed I was indeed attached to ‘things’ for happiness. Material things. And over time, this attachment disappeared,
I can’t even say it was conscious, but other things became more important. Other things began to make me happier than I’d ever been. Yoga namely, and bringing yoga to new people.
Finding contentment in every days things
I’ve always been an easily pleased person, finding happiness in the small things. I think when you come from a background of chaos and unhappiness, it’s easy to see happiness for what it is. Oh, the bus came on time, the fridge is full, my dog just made the cutest face, etc… these things are tiny but huge at the same time.
It might be useful to keep a diary every day of things you are grateful for. Start each morning with a full heart, and end it with a full list of everyday things. A nice tasty lunch, you went to the gym, you meditated on the bus, all possible, all likely to happen over the course of your day.
It’s good to be both content and happy. If our life was a mountain climb, then content is our basecamp, and happy is our peaks.
An easy way to find contentment is on a Yoga Mat!