Just Be. Be Content.

Today’s writing is about the simplicity of just being.  And being content.

I love this simple idea.

There is a Buddhist saying:  To bring Peace to the earth, strive to make your own life peaceful.

One way I’m working on that today is to eat plenty of fruit, drink water, herbal teas and fresh salads as the main bulk of food.  I know this kind of food is good for me (intellectually) and that it suits my body on a warm day (experientially), and its what I want today.  I was given some yummy bread by a neighbour so I put avocado and tomato salad on top of a slice of rye bread.

I’m also working on my Books.  Yes, those accounts again, or is that ‘still’?  I am making progress.  I asked a friend who’d helped me out last year with the mass of receipts and gave me the spreadsheet I’m using about a technical matter I wanted resolved before I felt able to start today.  She acknowledged that I was finding it really tricky to get started.  For her its Fun to work with money!  I’m heading that way…

I decided to go backwards from where I am, as I don’t want to get behind again, I want to get unpto date and stay upto date.  So far I’ve completed the last 5 weeks in this current tax year.  Next I’ll go through the last financial year, one month at a time.

Its interesting how much anxiety there is for me in doing these accounts now.  Part of me is adult and able to sit with the simple enough task of putting numbers into columns.  And yet there is a longing for someone more ‘adult’ to come and take care of me and do it for me.  Looking at the reality of these numbers is interesting too.  I’m ok with what I see.  I have enough.  Some part of me wants More.  More money.  Not just for a few more nice things it could buy me, but in recognition of this work I love to do and the contribution I’m able to make.  The numbers are a way I can keep track of how well I’m serving and offering my skills and giving value to the people I work with. That striving for More within me isn’t wrong, its part of my cultural conditioning.

Surely more is better?  More money = more choice or more happiness?  Not necessarily so.  Many people of any income bracket thinking they’d be happier with 50% more income, (taken from the Introduction to the new Edition of Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominquez).  When asked to rate their happiness on a scale of 1 to 5, there was no significant different between the top and bottom earners.

So if its not about more and more, perhaps its to do with being content with what you have already.  And how you choose things which have meaning and value.

My practice today is to add my intention of how I want to Be, to my To Do list, like this.

To Do List                                      To Be List

Go to Yoga                                     Self-care, movement, integration

Eat well                                          Food, health

Work on accounts                     Order, ease, trust

Watch a film                                 Space, ease, humour

The things on the To Do list are things which feel important to take care of today.  The energy with which I do them, and what aspect of life I’m wishing to serve through doing them, is the value or need on the To Be list.  (Taken from page 70 of The Ongo Book, of everyday nonviolence by Catherine Cadden & Jesse Wiens.)  We can make a mark next to the energy everytime we notice we are Being that quality.  Unlike the To Dos, we can mark these multiple times.

“Nonviolent Communication requires that we take our time to come from our divine energy rather than our cultural programming.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D a world-wide peacemaker and developer of Nonviolent Communication.

Just for today, I’m aiming to be content with what I’m doing and how I’m being.  When I make peace in myself, and in my life, I’m taking responsibility for a very important part of life that is within my sphere of influence.  I am content.

Lucy Ascham loves to sit in the garden, read a book, share food with friends, and write about everyday life for cultivating more peace within and therefore without.  She teaches the Alexander Technique in Sheffield and Manchester.

Written by Lucy Ascham, Body & Soul Energy Expert

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