I have been getting a lot of emails lately from people sharing what they are doing in trying to work with their Disquiet. I found myself referring back to an article I had written a while ago. So I thought it might be helpful to dust it off and re-post it here.
Ways not to handle your Disquiet
Working through your Disquiet is tricky. It is a very personal and isolating experience. Like transitions at other times of our life, navigating midlife is confusing and challenging. We are almost hard-wired with the thinking that if we are suffering, there must be a problem. And if there is a problem, it should be quickly figured out and resolved.
I have written a lot here how I believe what we have come to describe as the mid-life crisis (MLC) comes form ignoring the signals of the Disquiet. There is a lot of information out there on how to deal with your MLC, what to do and even think. There is not much written or said about what to watch for or avoid. Here are some tips from my learnings, personal experiences and from working with others.
Here is a fascinating video of a talk by a brain neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, who had a stroke. The scientist in her kicked in as she bore witness to what was happening to her. Inside the tragedy, she discovered some amazing insights about how the brain works and how it validates some of the spiritual principles of interconnectedness and even enlightenment.
How does this relate to the Disquiet? I think it adds an important perspective. Like near death experiences that wake someone up to the preciousness of life, her story is one of wonder, comfort and insight. As you wrestle with the big questions of who you are and what is this all about, take in this inspiring piece of additional information for your map.
Thanks to the blog TED, for the vid and info. Ted is a great blog who’s byline is “Ideas worth spreading”. Let me know your reactions and how this fits into your search.
Have you had that experience of waking in the middle of the night worrying about your life and how it’s not going right? Isn’t it amazing how you can almost feel the acceleration of the thoughts and then the panic deep in your gut flash-ignites as more and more things swoosh through your brain like a locomotive picking up speed?
And ever catch yourself the next day as you try to delete that horrible feeling by getting busier in the day. I know I have jumped into work and activities like a madman after a night of suffering from the whirlwind of worry and fear. Like getting busier is the antidote. I think deep down I clutch at the idea that if I am busy and productive, those fears wonâ€™t come back.
But something else happened â€“ Iâ€™d hit a wall of Disquiet. I became very dissatisfied with what I was doing. Iâ€™d often feel like a fraud. Sometimes I got angry and impatient as I ran around going through the motions of accomplishment.
If you haven’t been to LifeTwo.com for while, I recommend a visit. Wesley and Greg have done an amazing job of building a information-packed community center dealing with midlife issues in all its forms. The subject of changing careers recently came up. Wesley writes:
“Changing careers in middle age is very different than in the life periods before or after. Middle age is traditionally the peak earning period in most people’s careers. It is the time when workers achieve their highest rank, their fattest salaries, and their most prestigious achievements. But it’s also the time that we have perspective on what makes us happy and if our current career path doesn’t entail sufficient satisfaction (or future promise), then for many of us it’s time to make a change.
This is the dilemma I hear from many of my clients. I experienced it myself: A deep itch to change directions but the prospect is terrifying. Some ultimately jump, some don’t. The ones that follow their calling (myself included) don’t have an easy time of it. But most of us experience feeling more aligned and more alive than before.
Those that don’t change, well, some have to deaden their pain to be able to keep plodding. The golden handcuffs of nearing retirement or just needing to feel safe keep their hearts in check.
Wesley has a call out for stories of real experiences. Check them out – reports from the trenches of changing careers. It’s aptly titled, ” The good, bad and ugly“. Add your own .
And let us know what you think! What is going on for you?
Whether or not you agree with his politics, there is no denying that Obama has tapped into the deep Disquiet in this country. In this video, several musicians blended with a speech that is giving voice to that Disquiet.
Yes We Can Song – Barack Obama Song by Will.I.Am
What if you gave voice to your Disquiet? What would your rally call be?
This wisdom comes from Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum, who works with business leaders trying to lead more effectively. In an article “Do You Have the Will to Lead? in February’s issue of Fast Company (here is the full article), Koestenbaum proposes you must answer the deep questions inside.
Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum poses the truly big questions: How do we act when risks seem overwhelming? What does it mean to be a successful human being?
His agenda: to apply the power of philosophy to the big question of the day — how to reconcile the often-brutal realities of business with basic human values — and to create a new language of effective leadership. “Unless the distant goals of meaning, greatness, and destiny are addressed,” Koestenbaum insists, “we can’t make an intelligent decision about what to do tomorrow morning — much less set strategy for a company or for a human life. Nothing is more practical than for people to deepen themselves. The more you understand the human condition, the more effective you are as a businessperson. Human depth makes business sense.”Â