This work is subtle.
Can you tell the difference between contentment versus trying to feel contentment?
Trying is never a good idea because it implies a denial or refusal to accept where you are.
It’s easy to think you’re in control, feel content, then find an old negative thought and lose your contentment.
How do you get back up? You can’t force it. You need relief.
Relief can be used whenever you are feeling less than content. Relief is the feeling of resistance letting go, bringing you closer to alignment.
I’m told that after contentment, letting go of resistance feels like fun because the positive now outweighs the negative.
So wherever you are, find a feeling of relief until you eventually arrive at contentment (could be ten minutes, could be ten months, depending on subjects and individuals).
Ups and downs
In my experience on this journey I’ve run into two mistakes. The first is trying to get ahead of where I am instead of just feeling relief.
Relief always works, nothing else works better than relief. Use whatever thoughts bring you relief. Relief is a path that can’t fail unless you stumble into the second mistake of thinking:
“Well if relief is so great, more relief will be even greater!!”
This can trip us up because it sounds like we are still finding relief. But in fact we are rejecting relief for the sake of some unlikely thing called “more relief”. But relief is just relief, and rejecting it for any reason is a mistake.
I was going to say I’ve made three mistakes, but I’m cutting myself some slack on this one because it was new territory for me.
On arriving at the stage of contentment, relief doesn’t work anymore. I wasn’t expecting that, because I’ve never been to contentment so deliberately till now.
I didn’t know how to proceed, and since I was feeling pretty good I decided to try to feel “more good”.
It turns out that “more good” is like “more relief”, spurious and misleading.
What I will try to do next time is just enjoy the good feeling in the same way that I enjoy the relief feeling, without trying to make it more or bigger.