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Shola Okubote: Staying Calm & Content

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For most of my adult life, I have not been contented. I have wanted many things to be different, to be in another place and to have more than I always had. Although it’s okay to desire and pursue the bigger, better and brighter things of life, I have not done myself much good by allowing that desire to overcome me and make me blind to the beauty of what I already have.

After some soul awakening experiences, I am now learning to embrace all of life’s experiences and consciously practise a lifestyle of contentment.

I Recognise that I Have More than I possess
There is so much more to me than the physical things I possess, and when I define myself based on these things, I deny myself and the world of the riches that lie deep within my soul and the beauty of my innermost self. The riches of love, compassion, empathy, kindness and so many other immaterial virtues that I can give irrespective of the material things I possess.

I let the Negative Emotions Serve me
I have learned that even the seemingly negative emotions can serve good purposes; they are often here to draw my attention to something deep within the soul. So when they come, I don’t suppress them. Instead, I recognize them, feel them and pay attention to what has brought them and the message they carry.

I do not Subscribe to the Scarcity Mentality
I understand that other people’s successes do not reduce my own chances of succeeding, and neither do their failures guarantee my success. I believe there will always be more, that where I am today is not where I will always be. There will be loss, but there will also be growth. There will always be more – opportunities, ideas, relationships and knowledge.

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I know where my Control Starts and Ends
There are many things in my life that I have absolutely no control over, but there are those I can control. I do my best to work on the things that are within my control by seeking knowledge and counsel. Where necessary, I put in the hard work for the change I want. I set goals and do all I can to achieve them. However, when it is beyond my control, I let go. No matter how hard I work and pray, there are some things that will never be, or may not be how and when I want them.

I Live in the Present, I Live in Awe
I am learning to practice mindfulness, to pause, breathe and take in the blessings and lessons of every moment because the next is not guaranteed. I will die one day and leave everything behind, so I am learning to revel in the NOW as much I can – the emotions, the joys and the sadness. I am seeing the beauty in the imperfection, impermanence and transience of everything.

I am Finding Purpose in my Pain
I’m not sure if every unpleasant experience happens for a reason, but I know without any doubt that every unpleasant thing can be used for a purpose. For the disappointments in my life, I have stopped asking “Why?” Instead, I ask “What?”  “What can I do with these?”  Because the darkness of my past can spark the light of someone else’s future, I am learning to court my pains for a birth of purpose.

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I Know I am on a Journey
Life is not a one size fit all. It happens differently for different people, and sometimes, it has absolutely nothing to do with how smart one is or how hard they work. Life is a journeys and all that we are, all we are yet to be, are all part of this journey. I understand this and live in acceptance of it.

I Silence the Noise of the World
I cultivate an inner state of serenity in spite of the distracting, disturbing and drowning noise in the world. I understand that to find my way through the pressures of the world, I need to be unwavering and grounded in my authentic self. I know that peace is always available even in the toughest of times, that if I choose to be still, I will find it.

I Stay Away from Toxicity
I refuse to be stuck in relationships and situations that drain my energy and leave me exhausted. Sometimes, walking away from relationships that hurt me and take away my peace, can be the most spiritual and self-loving thing to do for oneself.

I Embrace what I Already Have
I may not have all I want, but there are many things I already have. While I work towards what I want, I make use of all that I have already have. Instead of waiting for perfection, I do what I can with what I have with the hope that things eventually fall into place.

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I Practice Gratitude
I invite joy and abundance into my life by actively practicing gratitude – for both the pleasant and unpleasant – as they are all steps in my life journey.

I Give Myself
I give money and other material things when I can, but I am learning that sometimes the greatest thing I can give is myself. The more I give of myself, the more I find myself. I am embracing my vulnerability and opening my soul so I can love more, show more empathy, connect genuinely, and be wholehearted in all I do.

I Pray
I understand that I am not big enough to live my best life by myself and that in God, I find true meaning that no human knowledge, money, fame and achievement can give.

I Know Contentment is not Complacency
I set goals and I put in my best to achieve them, working from the sufficiency of who I am, what I have, and where I am currently.

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