Disturbance as Ally

By Guest Blogger Janet Frood

I’ve been noticing a lot of my clients are living with a lot of disturbance in their lives right now. It seems that people are being challenged – work or personal relationships are going off the rails, unexpected events are messing with well crafted plans, credibility and integrity is being questioned, or they are feeling immobilized by uncertainty in the face of rapidly changing conditions. These are painful experiences; all of them legitimately cause a person to go to some degree of self doubt and wondering of “Why me?” From a broader perspective, the world feels universally unbalanced right now. Political, economic and environmental systems are unpredictably shifting like a rapidly moving roller coaster. This is creating waves. People are being humbled by their inability to exert influence or control over conditions impacting them.

In noticing this trend and witnessing the impacts on people, I’ve been tapping into the wisdom I learned from my mentors and the founders of CRR Global, Faith Fuller and Marita Fridjohn. When being trained in the process of Organization, Relationship and Systems Coaching I learned the principle of Disturbance as Ally. It’s the notion that any disturbance serves by bringing awareness of new wisdom, perspective or experiences. Disturbances shake us up, call us to pay attention, make us realize that which we cherish or find comfortable is being challenged. Disturbance is not always easy however it can be powerfully provoking.

When we hold the perspective that disturbance presents an opportunity for us to see the world and our role in it differently, we begin to access some new wisdom.

So what to do when disturbances occur?

Lean in and be open to discovery. Find your way to the perspective that it can be your ally. Be wildly curious and open to influence about what learning and choices are available to you. In doing so you are holding your power related to the situation instead of giving it away or being a victim to circumstances.

Here’s another important element to remember about disturbances. If you avoid or ignore them and pretend that all is well you’ll be disappointed. The disturbances will rumble louder, become more intense and likely become reoccurring themes.

When you see disturbances are your ally you are more likely to stop, reflect and meet them head on. From there you can embrace the opportunity to shift gears, activate a new direction or simply have the powerful and important conversations required to deal with issues proactively.

With a little practice, this shift in perspective can become very empowering. Instead of asking “Why me?” you might find yourself saying “Ah, of course – here is the lesson I’m meant to learn.”

In uncertain times, embrace the disturbances in your life or leadership and invite them to be your ally. Invaluable and illuminating shifts will occur.

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