Is It Restlessness or Something Else?

Question: Defining Moments

In a prior article, I raised the subject of defining moments and included a survey at the end. Thank you for your feedback, which has been incorporated into a slideshow and workbook that are now complete. They will be available for you later this year, when In the Current’s new website launches. For today’s issue, I thought I’d share a question I received, as well as a video clip with a related message.

Carol Dawson, a Current of Life fan from Sydney, Australia asks:

photo of Current of Life reader Carol DawsonQ. Does it always take restlessness to create a defining moment?

A. It is true that many feelings other than restlessness combined with certain events, situations, or conditions may serve as the impetus for a defining moment in one’s life. I single out “restlessness” as significant because it aptly captures that common yet often unspecific feeling that once decoded, conveys an important personal truth that needs to be recognized and stated. Whether it’s restlessness or another factor, what all defining moments have in common is that they involve the raising of a personal standard.

As Carol commented in her email to me, “I'm not sure it takes restlessness to create a defining moment — or if it does perhaps we don't always recognise it as restlessness. Sometimes, I think, you have to stay where you are for the defining moment to come into being.

From Burned-Out to Refueled

Recently, on the Now What?® blog, we ran an interview by Jane Pauley who is now hosting Your Life Calling, a new series produced by AARP. In this piece she interviews Richard Rittmaster, a former Lutheran minister now chaplain in the U.S. Army National Guard. Rittmaster shares several rich insights including how he listened to his burn-out and depression rather than fighting it. “I was committed to paying attention.”

As I commented on the blog, that phrase struck me as very significant because paying attention is exactly what is required to receive clarity. While listening for guidance, Rittmaster did a stint as a bartender during which the opportunity to become a chaplain for the army presented itself.

Reflecting on his experience, Rittmaster concludes that becoming “who we’re designed to be” means exercising the gifts that most engage us. What are the gifts or talents that you’d like to exercise?

You can view Rittmaster's interview here: Finding Faith on the Front Lines — Your Life Calling.

Committed to Paying Attention

Whether it’s restlessness, burn-out, overwhelm, or some other uncomfortable feeling, job #1 is to simply pay attention to it.

This Week’s Call to Action:

  • The next time an internal stirring or upset occurs, rather than squelching the feeling, commit to, as Carol describes it, “staying where you are” and paying attention. Notice seemingly random ideas that come to you and jot down your thoughts. What is a natural next step?

  • Reference a time when you dealt with similar feelings successfully. What did you learn from that experience and how can you apply it now?

“Our emotions are faithful reporters of what we desire to have or to avoid.
Once we acknowledge them, we can decide how to respond to the situation.”¹
— Mark Neilsen

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

P.S. #1 — In addition to today being 11-1-11, this happens to be the 111th issue of Current of Life. That’s a lot of 1’s!

¹Neilsen, Mark, Associate Editor, Living Faith. (Fenton, MO: Creative Communications for the Parish, 2003), page 75.

© 2011, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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