The Joy Of Being Easily Pleased
By Christina Lopes, Chief Well-Being Officer & Co-Founder, Newmanity
“One key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.” Mark Nepo
I have this little habit that brings me such joy: when I see a book that interests me, I open it up on a random page and read what surprise the Universe has for me on the chosen page.
This morning, I picked up “The Book Of Awakening”, by poet and spiritual teacher Mark Nepo. I opened it up and landed on a passage that is both beautiful and quite pertinent for this time of year.
As we search for the “perfect” gifts for our loved ones or stress out about what we can or cannot afford on this Holiday season, here is Nepo talking about the simple act of being easily pleased in life:
“So many of us have been trained to think that being particular about what we want is indicative of good taste, and that not being satisfied unless our preferences are met is a sign of worldliness and sophistication. I remember being at a party where a woman wouldn’t accept her drink unless it was made with a certain brand of vermouth...Or watching very intelligent men and women inscribe their circle of loneliness with criteria for companionship that no one could meet…
Often, this kind of discernment is seen as having high standards, when in actuality it is only a means of isolating ourselves from being touched by life, while rationalizing that we are more special than those who can’t meet our very demanding standards.
The devastating truth is that excellence can’t hold you in the night, and, as I learned when ill, being demanding or sophisticated won’t help you survive. A person dying of thirst doesn’t ask if the water has chlorine or if it was gathered in the foothills of France.
Yet, to be accepting of the life that comes our way does not mean denying its difficulties and disappointments. Rather, it means that joy can be found even in hardship, not by demanding that we be treated special at every turn, but through accepting the demand of the sacred that we treat everything that comes our way as special.
The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe.”
As so many of us prepare for our gift-giving season, may we walk with this profound wisdom in our hearts.
Being easily pleased is a great way to cherish life and be joyful.
In my own life, the biggest “gifts” are already right in front of my face. Everyday feels like Christmas to me. To see a sunrise or hear the gentle sound of the wind. To gaze upon someone I love deeply. To prepare a warm meal and share it with those I love. To breathe. What gifts from life.
I wish you all a wonderful, joyful, Holiday season. And may you never forget that the gifts that matter are already in your life. They’re not wrapped up under the Christmas tree. They may be “wrapped” in a sense, disguised as something “ordinary” or “unimportant”.
But if you take a deep breath and bring yourself into the present moment, you’ll unwrap them quite easily. Before your very eyes stand the miracles of life.
Hearts open. Joy overflowing.