Saturday, May 28, 2011


"Change comes from a feeling of discontent." I heard this statement at a recent Rocky View School Division meeting I attended, and its been rolling around in my brain ever since. We don't tend to make significant changes when we are satisfied with our lives. It's when we have that stirring of disquiet, telling us we are bored, or on the wrong track - that niggling frustration that won't go away is what pushes us to change.

About a year ago I was talking to a friend who said she felt like something was missing in her life, but she had no idea what it was. I encouraged her to sit with the feeling of discontent, until it revealed itself and she knew what it was she should be doing. She seemed afraid of this feeling, but I've learned that it's the precursor to something new.

That's how I started writing again. I was going to bed after a full day with my husband, my kids, and my part-time job outside of the home, and feeling mildly discontent. When I finally took the time to analyze the feeling, I realized that I wanted to be writing, and I needed to make space for it. Setting a goal of three pages per day got me moving again in the direction that I desperately wanted to go in.

I didn't always hit my goal, but on the days when I did, that niggling voice was silenced. I felt fully satisfied at the end of the day, knowing I was slowly moving towards what I wanted to do instead of feeling stalled out and rudderless. I've come to see discontent as a blessing and not a curse. I am a person who would prefer safety to risk, but there is a time for both, and living life afraid of change is a useless exercise, because change finds us whether we want it to or not.

It's not a bad thing to sense boredom or frustration with the status quo in your life. Usually it precedes a period of turbulent change, and the end result of that is a new perspective, fresh energy and a renewed sense of purpose. We can't stay the same or we stagnate. Growth is the goal of our lives, and growing involves change and risk. There is no way to avoid it. Embrace it. Be open to how you feel as your emotions are trying to tell you something, like that pesky "check engine" light on your dash. If you will let it, your discontent will take you somewhere new, and quite possibly be the exact breakthrough you have been looking for.


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