When people show up at The Shadow Experience, The Shadow Process or one of our transformational or training programs, it is often their discontent that delivers them there. They come because they want to live better lives. They want the skills, the tools, and the processes to support them in stretching and growing. And ultimately they reach new heights and live lives beyond what they could imagine for themselves. They become truly unrecognizable as they live day-to-day lives filled with joy, fulfillment, and contentment.
Discontent occurs when our outer experiences aren't matching our inner desires. It usually begins as a subtle awareness - a gnawing feeling that we are capable of something more than we are actually creating in some key area of our lives or we are tolerating circumstances that are below our standards. In its early stages, discontent is fairly easy to overlook or conceal from ourselves. But like a glowing ember, the heat of discontent builds slowly over time until it becomes a blazing fire that can no longer be ignored. By then our discontent captures our full attention and, hopefully, we are motivated into action.
Whether it shows up in the area of our jobs, our bodies, or our relationships with our spouse or our kids, the sensation of discontent blows past our egos and our logic, insisting that we are destined for much, much more than we are currently living. The natural human reaction when faced with such a powerful and uncomfortable emotion is to blame it on someone or something else in order to ease our own pain. (My kids are spoiled. My metabolism isn't what it used to be. My job is too demanding). But I'd like to offer you another, more empowering way to perceive it: Your discontent is a tap on the shoulder from your most magnificent self, awakening you to your true potential and revealing a part of yourself that is ready to be expressed. In fact, discontent may be your most powerful ally on your journey to a life of greater fulfillment.
What if you listened to the subtle urgings of your discontent rather than making it someone else's fault or keeping it at bay? What if you could penetrate the denial of your own actions and choices? What if you took radical responsibility for where you are right now? What if you not only listened to your discontent but courted it, took it to lunch or out for an afternoon stroll, and received full-heartedly the messages it is trying to convey? What you will inevitably find is that your discontent is ushering in a more expanded, more powerful version of yourself that is wanting and waiting to be born. It is the proverbial messenger whispering in your ear, "It's time to upgrade your relationship with your body, with your spouse, with your vocation, with your children, so that it reflects your highest vision and your deepest values."
Once we crack the code of our discontent and receive the message it has been trying to send us, we can embrace it, and move in the direction it is guiding us. My coaching organization is dedicated to this very purpose: I created it, and all of the programs it offers, to support you in realizing your full potential in all areas of your life, so that your outer experiences reflect and fulfill your innermost desires.
This is the time and today is the day to face and embrace your discontent. You can either use your discontent, or it will use you. This week, I encourage you to make a powerful choice to move forward in an area of your life where you aren't 100% satisfied. I promise you, you can do it.
Transformational Action Steps
(1) Look to see in what area(s) of your life your discontent is trying to get your attention
(2) Identify and take actions that enable you to grow your discontent rather than fight against it. If you're tired of eating the same old meals, enroll in a cooking class. Or if you are unfulfilled by your job, look to see what skills you could develop so that you can move powerfully into a new career by next year.
(3) Step into a structure to create change in every area of your life. Sign up for Every Choice Matters, a life-altering course you can do from the comfort of your own home. In Every Choice Matters which starts in two weeks, you will be coached in a group setting to awaken to the power of the choices you are making in each and every area of your life. You will be guided to discover where your shadow is in control. By shedding light on what lies at the root of your choices, you will be able to make new choices -- choices that empower you, inspire you and deliver you an unimaginable future.
p.s. If you are interested in The Ford Institute's coaching training, Every Choice Matters is a required program and a great next step.