Archives For satisfaction

What would it take for you to feel satisfied with your life? Fulfilled, as if everything that was happening was as you desired?  A different job, a new or changed relationship, different living arrangement, better health, more money, a vacation, closer friendships, less work, time to follow your creative passion?  The aspects of our lives that we feel at peace with don’t have to be perfect, but flow with ease. We don’t dwell on them, because for the most part we are getting what we want.

The areas of our life that aren’t fulfilling our needs are what we struggle with and notice.  They translate to the false belief that something outside of us needs to change in order for us to feel at peace.  When we believe this, we are giving our power away.  There is an energy drain precipitated by cycles of thought, feeling and behavior that reinforce staying unsatisfied.

I think of Homer Simpson holding onto the soda can he’s been trying to steal from a vending machine, while emergency workers go to great lengths to try to extract his arm.  We hold onto a certain vision of what we need to feel satisfied in a job, lover, etc.  When Homer finally realizes, he doesn’t want the soda bad enough to give up other things in his life, he let’s go of the can and pulls his arm out of the machine. He’d created his own experience of being stuck in the machine by holding on to something that wasn’t designed to be his, at least not without him being in alignment with the system that would allow it to be his.

Everything we experience is designed to show us where we are in alignment or not.  If we are attached to specific circumstances we “must have” to feel happy, a deeper look inside our Self will reveal what is out of alignment in our life, the misalignment creating a sense of lack.  Are we making a decision based on financial fear to work too much or at a job we don’t like which limits our time and energy to create in other areas?  Are we using busyness or addictions as a form of avoidance, so we won’t have to address the relationships in our life that are uncomfortable?  Are we blaming work or a relationship for our suffering and disappointment?  As long as we hold on to the belief that our happiness is contingent upon someone or something changing we will be unfulfilled and not find inner-peace.

Try this simple meditation to assist in creating a sense of peace in an area where you feel dissatisfied.

  • Begin in a simple silent meditation state (see my post a Meditative Path to Clarity).
  • Visualize a bubble floating in front of you to represent the area in your life where you feel dissatisfied unfulfilled or stuck.
  • See a rose outside of that bubble, like a magic wand, it is there to draw out any energy from that bubble that is negative or fear based.
  • Watch as energies such as control, punishment, anger, anxiety, disappointment, fear, guilt, and shame move out of the bubble into the rose.
  • Once the bubble is free of these blocks, send the rose to a faraway place in your mind’s eye and let it dissolve with the intention that it causes no harm.
  • Now imaging a golden ball of light hovering above the bubble that represents the area of your focus for the mediation.  Fill that ball of light with all of the positive vibrations (emotional energies) you would like to experience in this area of your life, such as: ease, grace, pleasure, fulfillment, joy, inspiration, flow, playfulness, support.
  • When the golden ball of light is full of good vibrations drop it into your bubble and see them become one.

You have shifted the focus in this area of your life from disappointment and lack to ease and flow with your intentions.  Our habits pull us quickly back into old thought patterns, so revisit this visualization as often as you find necessary.

Personally, I find it a very challenging practice to let go of certain desires happening in the timeframe that I want.  But whenever I hold onto the yearning for a different experience than “what is” I am less satisfied with my life.  This doesn’t mean that I give up on my hearts desires and dreams.  What it does mean is that I acknowledge that what I am experiencing right now is exactly as it should be.  As difficult as it may feel, I trust that what I am experiencing is the universe speaking to me, to show me how I can get into greater alignment with myself.

Last Friday at our family ranch, I stretched out on the grass in a cow pasture looking up at the pale blue sky.  Doing nothing but listening to the sounds of birds, bugs, gurgling water and a breeze gently blowing in the trees.  The moment of rest and nothingness penetrated my soul.  It dropped me into a place of awareness of all the distractions I’d been carrying in my body and mind from the psychic density of living in the city and the busyness of day-to-day activity.  It felt as if the earth instantly absorbed the entire disturbance that had been filling my mind and the tension in my body.

I found a deep inner-peace and gratitude for the beauty, raw ciaos and simplicity of plant and animal life.  It made me think of our human tendency to seek purpose.  In the desire to find some greater meaning in life, we believe the cultural programming that our purpose is outside of us, something we do, some function we fulfill in the world. 

Those things that make us feel joy tend to be attributed the label of our purpose: creative arts, music, writing, activities that have an element of service to others. We want to clearly see what our purpose is and we want it to be fixed, one thing for our entire lifetime.  When we experience purpose for awhile through some activity like being a parent, or working on a creative project, then that stage of our life comes to transition or completion; we feel a sense of meaninglessness or lack of purpose again.  The self questioning begins.  

We struggle with a desire to know our purpose and want a life focus that is guaranteed to give us a sense of fulfillment.  We are haunted with a subtle yet chronic dissatisfaction and sense of yearning, feeling unfulfilled, looking for this purpose outside of ourselves.  We decide that we are doing the wrong job or in the wrong relationship because we don’t feel satisfied.  We give our power to this concept of finding a purpose beyond simply living.  We feel disappointment and self-judgment that we haven’t figured it out yet. 

It appears from the outside that other people have figured it out.  We see the bright light of successful athletes, actors, writers, politicians, healers, musicians.  We believe that they have a sense of purpose and are at peace because they are living their dream.  Yet it is an illusion. Those in these positions that venture to reveal their humanity will confess they still question their purpose.

We have been sold a collective lie, a belief that if we discover something to do that is our purpose we will feel forever fulfilled and at peace.  But the source of fulfillment and inner-peace isn’t a job or a relationship; it’s in our approach to every day activity. 

While I sat in the pasture noticing the cattle grazing, birds soaring and little bugs foraging for food, I realized that they were at peace with simply eating, drinking, sleeping and creating a nest. They didn’t experience dissatisfaction.  There was no belief that something out in the future, some bit of insight or self-awareness that they hadn’t figured out yet was going to make them perpetually feel better.

A more satisfying focus of our energy, than this illusive question of purpose, is identifying what creates a sense of meaningfulness in our lives. Here are some possibilities to contemplate:

  • Connecting with others through conversation and touch
  • Creative expression and sharing our creations with others
  • Having interests that keep us curious to know more
  • Setting goals that are attainable
  • Teaching, parenting, learning, nurturing
  • Knowing we have friends to call on when in need
  • Spending time outdoors or creating a beautiful sanctuary in our home

The belief that we haven’t figured out or are not living our purpose, denies our power to create a meaningful life.  It leads us to focus on people or activities outside of ourselves that we think are to blame for our lack of satisfaction and to judge ourselves.  The deeper need behind the quest to find our life purpose is our desire for fulfillment.  Sustainable inner-peace comes from choosing what inspires, expands and energizes us day-to-day.