by Kathi Szabo
For most of my life, I’ve believed the secret to happiness is being content with what I have. That old saying, “The art of being happy is to be satisfied with what you have.”
It’s helped me look at the bright side of things. To be happy with what I had. To accept rejection and failure as ways to learn and discover more about myself.
I saw material desires as a bad thing, as being greedy.
When we went to our first in-person Tony Robbins event, and he made us list all of our material desires, everything we could ever want, I was stuck. Sure, I wanted a nice house, and to travel whenever I wanted, but my list was so short compared to others. I thought to myself that I was just more evolved. I didn’t need those things to be happy.
Now, that is actually true. I don’t need things or wealth to be happy. We create our own happiness. It’s all from our perspective.
But being content did not help me grow. Being content didn’t move me toward becoming the best version of myself. In fact, it kept me stuck. Not stuck in a bad way, but in a life that was good, but not where I was living my BEST LIFE!
What I was missing was that I needed desires to move myself forward, to continue to evolve into whom I want to be. To consciously create a life I truly love!
Contentment is key to being happy with the life we have.
Dreams and desires are our catalysts to change.
Both are required to live our best lives.
Dreams and Desires – The Rocketship for Change
If we have no dreams, no desires for something more than what we have, we have no propulsion to create, to learn, to grow. It is when we dream, when we allow ourselves to have desires, that we discover the path to living those dreams, to having our desires. If we never acknowledge the desire, the path never presents itself. Want to buy that house on the mountain? Until it’s in your consciousness as a dream and desire, and not just a pipe dream, one that you say you want but that voice in your head says you’ll never have it, you will never see the possibilities to achieve it.
It wasn’t until I had a dream of having a space where I could live and work and help others consciously create their lives that I began to see the opportunities before me.
And it wasn’t until we started looking at properties for this place I called a sanctuary, that Mark and I realized we didn’t want just land, but we wanted land to farm, to cultivate the land.
Once we got clarity on that, we realized we didn’t want to just farm for ourselves, but our dream showed itself as growing herbs and using them to teach others to cook healthier. While exploring that dream, we learned and gained knowledge about medicinal herbs.
And it’s my dream of connecting clients to nature that showed me we needed woodlands on our land as well.
Can you see how it’s our dreams and desires that bring about creativity and knowledge? That the dream provides the opportunity to explore the possibilities?
Clarity Must Come Before the How
It is not until we allow ourselves to dream, and to have desires, that we unlock the how. The how presents itself when we have a clear, concise vision of what we want and WHY we want it.
When Mark and I first talked about moving, it was to be closer to my mom and family in Chicago. I’ve been gone for 30 years and I was starting to feel this tug to go home, to my roots. I had a desire to be closer to family as well as create Eclectic Sanctuary. For a while, I lost sight of my vision, and thus the how was not presenting itself. Mark and I looked at so many places, driving our realtor I’m sure a bit crazy, but because I lost sight of my real desire, to be closer to family, no path was presenting itself.
Then in July, we got very clear. Michigan was where Eclectic Sanctuary needed to be; it fulfilled the desire to be closer to family. Eclectic Sanctuary would have tillable farmland with woodlands as well. We wanted a spacious home where we could host guests and retreats, yet still have our own privacy.
With this clarity, we found the perfect property in a matter of days, after months of looking in NJ, West Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.
If you don’t have a clear vision of your dream and desire, you have no catalyst to move forward, no reason for the how to present itself.
Surrender. Find Contentment
If we need dreams and desires to change and move forward, how does contentment benefit us when consciously creating a life we love?
Finding contentment in whatever life brings, wherever the road actually leads, is a way of surrendering and trusting that the Universe, God, a Higher Power is always working for our greatest self.
You may have heard Mark or I quote Einstein, “the most important decision you can make is whether you live in a friendly universe or hostile universe.” You can think of this question as, do you believe God is friendly, always working for your greatest good, or do you believe he is hostile and judgmental?
Contentment is deciding you live in a friendly universe. It is trusting and surrendering oneself to God or this Higher Power.
Trust was my word for 2021. I had been using the above quote in my teachings for some time, but I had to admit, I still had trust issues.
Trusting in a power outside myself, trusting in others, in Mark? I preferred control. After all, if I am in control, I have certainty of the outcome.
Or do I?
If we look back through our lives, how much is really in our control and how much is the Universe or God working for us?
Did I have control of meeting Mark? Well in some ways yes, I chose to stop for a drink in that hotel lobby. But I would not have been there had I not been working for Polo. And would not have gone to have a drink in a hotel bar if I was not going through a divorce. And I would not have been going through a divorce if my husband at the time had not cheated on me. Mark would not have been there had he not been working at offices just down the road. And he wouldn’t be staying in the hotel if he hadn’t asked for his company to put him up so he didn’t have to make the one-hour commute every day.
We can keep going backward and we can easily see so much is what simply is random circumstances. But are they? Could it be the Universe, God, this Higher Power, working for our greater good?
Dream – But Surrender to the Outcome
It’s clear we need dreams and desires to fuel our actions, so we move forward and grow. Without a dream, we become stuck or paralyzed in our current life. No matter how good our current life is, there is always more to learn, to become.
Yet if we become so focused on simply achieving our desires, we find ourselves on this path of constant doing. Keeping control and working harder than we must.
Contentment is being able to be happy no matter the outcome. No matter the number of steps and missteps we may have to take to fulfill our dreams. It is Surrendering to a power greater than us and trusting that life is always working for our greater good.
My journey now is still being content and happy with what I have. But it also includes giving myself permission to dream. To allow my desires to become possibilities. To take action and consciously take the steps to create it. But surrendering to the Universe that all will happen in due time.