Barbara Brady is a Life Transitions Coach whom Annice and I met at a recent conference. She helps clients merge the logical, rational, left brain with their intuitive, creative, right brain resulting in more satisfying choices through the combined wisdom of head and heart, and she works with a lot of women over fifty!
We asked her to write a series of articles for the blog on dealing with different types of transitions. Here’s her first! I hope that, if you like it, you will add a comment to let her know! Jane
You feel a vague irritability. Small things that normally don’t bother you, now do. You may find yourself hypersensitive to what people say. Your comments may be tinged with sarcasm or cynicism. You may compare yourself to others, envying their work, creative expression, or happy relationship. You may notice your energy is lower than usual, and things that used to excite you, don’t as much. You may feel restless or distracted:
Discontent has been defined as: “a longing for something better than the present situation” and “showing or experiencing dissatisfaction or restless longing” (www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn). The good news is: discontent is often a warning sign that change is coming, that a transition is imminent. It’s a wake-up call from the spirit, saying, “Hel-looooo! What are we doing here? (In this relationship, job, situation, etc). Something needs to change!” It’s a message that something in your life isn’t working.
This discontent that is tugging at your sleeve needs to be thanked and attended to. It’s a sign that you’re on a trajectory that you don’t want to stay on indefinitely. To be in charge of your life – e.g. at cause, vs. at effect, you need to really make discontent your friend and see what it’s trying to tell you. When you really pay attention and “get it”, you can then proactively make the choice for a transition that will move you forward in the direction you want, in the way you want, with grace.
Discontent is a Blessing
Let’s face it: without discontent, do you think Columbus would have sailed the ocean blue?
Discontent has been the catalyst that’s spurred me on to take risks, despite my fears, including making geographic and career moves that have enriched my life immeasurably. It’s forced me to question and adjust my thinking and level of acceptance and gratitude, especially in relationships.
Contentment is wonderful, BUT it can imply complacency. Where would the world be if the following people had been complacent: Moses, Jesus, Joan of Arc, Abe Lincoln, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Einstein, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, etc. etc?
Five Steps to Transforming Discontent
1. Learn From the Past – What did you do in the past when you’ve felt discontented? What worked and what didn’t work? If you could do it over again, what would you have done differently? (more…)