Contemplative life as success

In one of my recent yoga teacher training classes, we talked about the way that our families of origin defined success and how that definition had affected our lives over the years. The conversation got me thinking about the ways that I currently define success. That is one of the many things that has shifted—and continues to shift—during this journey.

Part of my definition of success would now be living the kind of life where I can’t tell the difference between my work and my play. Part of my definition would now involve living a contemplative life as Elizabeth Janeway describes it below.

“I admire people who are suited to the contemplative life. They can sit inside themselves like honey in a jar and just be. It’s wonderful to have someone like that around, you always feel you can count on them. You can go away and come back, you can change your mind and your hairdo and your politics, and when you get through doing all these upsetting things, you look around and there they are, just the way they were, just being.” ~ Elizabeth Janeway

I want to live that kind of contemplative life of just being—an authentic life that makes no pretense at doing anything other than just being myself.

Now that I think on it, that kind of contemplative life would likely include all of my criteria of success: contentment, fulfilling work (that feels like play), authenticity, groundedness, integrity, wholeness, connectedness. All of those things seem to me to be wrapped up in the state of just being. Anything else is just distraction and noise.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.

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  1. Pingback: Compassionate listening « Journey Through the Chrysalis

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