Advice for navigating transitions in work, life, and relationships from Dr. Loretta L.C. Brady and her team members at BDS Insight.
As a girl I grew up in New Hampshire feeling both homegrown and like an outsider. I was the only minority child in my grade throughout most of my grammar school years, and being raised by grandparents a few decades before kin care became a common term. By the time I made Manchester my home in junior high I was navigating between many different worlds; evangelical ministers and motorcycle clubs, Dominican bachata dances and Catholic mass, unemployment offices and real estate investment meetings. Living between worlds has been my reality for as long as I can remember. I left Manchester after college and returned to the city in 2004. As a professor and business owner, I love the best parts of this place – even while knowing the work to lift all residents into prosperity is far from done.
This experience of living between worlds and my professional work has given me lots of insight into the nature of change, the value of relationships, and the power of identity. Add to this a house full of children, dual-career relationship, and blended family challenges, and the day to day provides good fodder for perspective.
But trust me, I really am not a know-it-all. I just struggle in a lot of familiar ways.
All the perspective in the world doesn’t always work when I try to apply it to my own personal journey. About two years ago my family and I traveled across the globe for a semester abroad. A 17-hour journey, several exhausted kids ranging from 1 to 7 years old, and foreign entry requirements don’t make for the perfect mix. My business focuses on crisis planning and conflict management. I am a psychologist, so I have three degrees in understanding and controlling behavior. I am an expert, which is why you keep reading, right? So imagine the scene of a highly trained professional barking at an exhausted 7 year old who refused to place their backpack on the baggage carousel. It was not a pretty scene, and in the moment I could offer nothing productive to fix the problem.
Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I had a partner and a family helper to shift the mood, reduce the tension and offer perspective. And fortunately for me and that sweet 7 year old, those moments are rare and pass quickly.
I know that story doesn’t inspire confidence, but I’m being honest.
Navigating change is messy. We don’t always look or feel our best when we do it. But we do it best when we let go of expectations, trust those around us, and stay focused on what really matters. Consider this column my semi-regular self reminder. Any time someone is trying to make a change the best research says making public statements is helpful in sustaining the effort. So, here you go. I am digging into 2015 to be more mindful in my relationships, more centered in my vision, and more reflective in my reactions. You may have similar goals, or find your past efforts at change to be frustrating. This column is a place where the messy can meet the mindful and lessons can be shared across differences.
All right, now it’s your turn. I hope you’ll join me in seeking clarity for the shifts you are navigating.
Readers of Manchester Ink Link seek relevant, local, and pragmatic reporting. Publisher Carol Robidoux provides layered reports that allow all of us to feel not only part of the story, but partners in resolution.
My hope is that this column will serve as a compass for readers seeking clarity in the chaos of their businesses, personal lives, or relationships. From time to time we will have guest columnists offer their insight on a challenge. This information is simply opinion, but I hope you will share your stories so that others can gain clarity for themselves.
Questions are powerful. We hope you will share yours here [click the link to submit your question directly to Dr. Brady.]
Loretta L.C. Brady owns BDS Insight a culture, crisis, and conflict management firm in Manchester. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Saint Anselm College. She lives and works in Manchester with her husband Brian Brady, and their 5 children. Follower her @ on Twitter.
The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author, this news site and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions. Dr. Loretta L.C. Brady, clinical and organizational psychologist offers guest columnist opinions on a variety of current event and reader submitted subjects, expressing personal and professional views. Manchester Ink Link and Dr. Loretta L.C. Brady are not responsible for the outcome or results of following the advice of this column in any given situation.