Cheryl's Blog

Creating a peaceful state of mind

As my family celebrates Labor Day here in the states with a relaxing weekend, I thought I’d rerun a blog I wrote in the spring of 2016.  It’s about contentment.  I hope it speaks to you in a meaningful way…

Reverse Engineering Contentment

I’ve just come in from a run through our neighborhood on this beautiful, spring morning.  We’ve had rain here all week (which we really needed) and it’s good to have the sun back for a visit.

As I walked out the front door and began my warm up, I stopped to breathe in the sweet smell of lilacs and wild honeysuckle that surround our yard.

God, I love those smells.

A short distance from the house, I realized I was feeling something I’ve spent so much of my life chasing after – I felt content.

Contentment: A state of happiness and satisfaction; ease of mind.

How did I get here, I wondered. What had to happen for me to feel so satisfied in this moment?

As I continued running, I began to reverse engineer the path to contentment.

Fewer appointments in my calendar.

More time alone.

Doing what my heart wants to do first rather than following the overly responsible voice in my head.

Slowing down and trusting that there’s always enough time to do what needs to be done, especially when I keep my attention in the present moment.

Allowing others to take care of their own needs while I take care of mine.

Saying no to things I’d really like to do in order to protect the spaciousness my soul needs to occupy center stage in my life.

Yes, contentment is a by-product of presence, discipline, and the pleasure of being in my own company.

Within no time, I saw evidence that these strong, positive feelings had kindled an energetic force that pulled in more reasons to feel content.

As I crested the first hill, I came upon this:

Peonies are such happy flowers, aren’t they?

I kept running and feeling good when I came across the next sign – a chipmunk sitting at the side of the road munching on a nut.  When I approached, rather than scampering away, he stayed in place and looked up at me.

I swear I saw a smile on his tiny, whiskered face.


You know, it’s so easy to write about what doesn’t work and how to fix it. Or about the challenges we face and the fears we’re trying to overcome. We spend so much of our lives focused on fixing and conquering and getting through.

But today I celebrate what’s good and right and okay with the world.

Actually, more than okay.

Contentment is the Holy Grail.

And it lives right in our own neighborhoods.

In the last quarter mile of my run, just before I returned to my driveway, I rounded a corner and found this beautiful site…

Wanting to respect her contentment, I didn’t get too close.

Instead, I stopped, stared for several minutes and said a silent prayer of thanks for the serenity of our shared moment.

My takeaway on this Sunday?

It takes so little to feel so much good.

xo Cheryl

P.S. – The Self Care by the Sea retreat is open for registration.  You can learn more here.

P.P.S. – There will be no Facebook Live this week. You can watch past sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.

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