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Divine Discontent

Divine Discontent

By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley, Spiritual Director
November 16, 2018

Divine discontent is a restless dissatisfaction with what is.  It occurs when you are not living according to the deepest longing of your soul in some, or multiple areas of your life.  Perhaps you are underemployed, or in a relationship that does not make your heart sing.  In whichever area of life you are not living out your full potential, the result is Divine discontent.  It’s Divine because when you have discontent with what is, it eventually leads to transformation, and the unfoldment of your greater good that is yet to be.

If you do not heed the deeper longing, the discontent may reach a tipping point.  This is when painful situations manifest in those areas of life, and you become pushed by the pain of that discontent. We are pushed by our pain until we are pulled by vision.  When God plants an idea on our hearts and we pursue it, we get pulled by a vision. We are pulled by the Divine into our next greatest expression.

I previously worked for a software company in the Silicon Valley for 10 years. When I started Ministerial School, I began to feel Divine discontent. I was restless and unhappy at my job, but I couldn’t explain why; I was unable to put words to it. The job hadn’t changed, but I had. For the previous 9 years I spent most of my days in solitude behind a computer screen, problem-solving and troubleshooting the various aspects of website technology.  I had a longing for human interaction and connection, a deep desire to be around people.

Shortly after feeling this Divine discontent, I was laid off from that job.  This presented larger problems for me, as I could no longer make the mortgage payment on my condo, nor the high lease payment on my new car, and other pressing bills. I was being pushed by pain.

When pushed by pain, the initial reaction is to try to do what you did before, since that is what you know.  This pain will continue to push until you begin to catch glimpses of what your soul is being called to.  I searched for the same type of job for months on end, without any success.

When I ceased my tireless search for the same type of employment, I began to land information technology contract work. This allowed me to also do the work of ministry which was my true calling.  More contract gigs opened up, and soon I was back on track with all of my bills.

If you feel Divine discontent in your health, finances, work, or relationships, the invitation is to go deeper with it. See if you can reveal the longing that is summoning you from the depth of your soul.  Then take inspired action on that which you’re being called to do, or who you’re being called to be.

Everything will fall into place at the right and perfect time.

And so it is.

Attitude of Gratitude

By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley, Spiritual Director
November 9, 2018

Meister Eckhart, 13th century German theologian, observed that “If the only prayer you ever said was thank you, that would be enough.”

Every November, I love to embrace the opportunity to take my gratitude practice to a deeper level. I do this by beginning with the visible blessings I see all around me in my life. I’m grateful for my health, my body, my relationships, my career, my home, my car, and so forth.  Starting with the visible serves to prime the grateful pump and ease me into the next stage of my gratitude practice: a deeper stage of appreciation where I begin to find what I’m grateful for in the seemingly negative experiences in life.

Finding good from bad can be a challenge. Have you ever looked back on a situation in your life where you thought, I wish this wasn’t happening in my life right now, or, I wish things were different? Then, later on down the road, you realized that the situation or experience happened to help you grow, to reveal a new gift or talent within you that might have laid dormant without that particular experience?

We live in a progressive universe. Earth revolves around the Sun, while the Sun revolves around the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way rotates throughout the cosmos at an estimated pace of 1.34 million miles per hour.  That is fast!

When you can find something to be grateful for in seemingly negative experiences, you are aligning yourself with the progressive universe.  Aligning with the cosmos leads to a quickening for us all.  Now you begin to learn your lessons faster, move through your challenges more quickly, and open yourself up to the infinite possibilities within you.

Once you have seen and given thanks for the blessings all around, and you have found something to be grateful for in the not-so-great experiences, you can move into feeling gratitude for simply existing without attachment.  Now an attitude of gratitude is your starting point, and you are no longer reacting unconsciously to the world around you.

I invite you to look for new things that you can be grateful every day this month. Thank yourself for getting to this point in your life. Write a thank you card to someone you appreciate and send it in the mail—yes, snail mail. The recipient will be surprised and happy that you took the time to do so. Keep a gratitude journal and list five things you are grateful for before you go to bed at night, and first thing in the morning.

Notice the positive shift that begins to happen in your life. Notice how suddenly there are more and more things for which to be grateful. Your heart will become open to greater love, joy, compassion, and freedom.Begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude by starting where you are with two simple words, “Thank you.” That is enough.

And so it is.