Recently I have been having a hard time feeling motivated. I’ve been having this sense of “contented inertia.” Inertia. That sounds like such a judgmental word. It means lack of forward movement or resistance to change. To me it has the connotation of being stuck in place. So what about the contented part of that statement? Contented does not usually match with being stuck. Perhaps I need to remove negative judgment of the word inertia and see it only as no forward movement. Is this inherently bad? Essentially I am content right where I am. I am certain that all of my reading, studying and practicing of mindfulness has led me to this point. In a sense it is lovely, but I have to say it is also rather odd. I’m not used to this feeling. American society is so attuned to forward motion of any and every kind that it seems strange to stay put and be fine with it. We are taught to seek out the next degree level or the next better job or buy the bigger better car or house. We are taught that what we have is never enough. It seems abnormal to say I’m fine right where I am. This is the heart of mindfulness practice. It does not mean you can’t have goals or must be resigned to your present circumstances. What it means is that in this moment I am contented to be right where I am. This is a learned adaptation. It must be practiced daily in order to have it flow into all aspects of your life. Existence becomes less of a rollercoaster of ups and downs and more of a navigation of the middle zone. There is definitely a pleasant quality to this. At some point you realize that the glass isn’t half full or half empty. It just is.
Dr. Heather's musings about medicine, mindfulness and life.
Heather Krantz, M.D.
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