Category Archives: Letting go of the Past

hire a divorce lawyer

4 Critical Things to Know Before You Hire a Divorce Lawyer

Choosing who will represent you in your divorce is a big decision. While it makes sense to ask people you know for recommendations or even to engage the ‘free’ services of a friend of family member to help you, here are 4 critical things you should know before you hire a divorce lawyer:

What kind of support is best suited for your case. Not every divorce is handled by an attorney litigator. Many people are unaware that there are divorce mediators, collaborative attorneys as well as litigators. Some mediators are attorneys and others are not. With a number of options available, the first important thing to understand is what kind of representation or support is best suited for your situation.

Who your partner’s attorney is if they have already hired one. One of the most significant wastes hire a divorce lawyerof money in divorce is spending money on attorneys who have a track record of battling it out rather than finding ways to help a couple settle. While it may feel counter-intuitive to hire two separate lawyers who know each other and have a track record of working with one another, this can actually be one of the best things you do for your case. The healthiest thing for any couple and family is a quick and fair settlement so hiring attorneys who can help you achieve this while protecting your personal rights is a smart choice.

Who you really need on your team. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that their attorney can help them with every part of their divorce. They bring all their issues – legal, emotional and financial directly to their lawyer. Your lawyer is your legal expert only and there are other professionals such as certified divorce financial planners, divorce coaches and therapists who can help you address other issues more effectively and in a more cost efficient way.

The family court culture in your county. One of the most overlooked factors in hiring an attorney is how well they are recognized and known within the family court system in which they will be operating. While hiring the top rated attorney can feel like great protection, if they are unknown or not well regarded within your local court system, you may be at a disadvantage. 

Deciding how you will divorce and who will represent you is a critical decision that can have significant financial and emotional ramifications. It is important to make this decision thoughtfully before you hire a divorce lawyer.

 

For a complete step-by-step guide to hiring an attorney and navigating your divorce, visit www.divorcecompanion.com.

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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Talking to your partner about divorce

Talking to Your Partner About Divorce – 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Initiating a conversation with your partner about divorce is one of the most important conversations you will ever have. Not only is this typically an emotionally charged time, but the way in which you navigate this conversation often sets the tone for the rest of the divorce process. Given the significance of this moment, here are 5 mistakes you don’t want to make when talking to your partner about divorce:


Talking to your partner about divorceDon’t spring the news on your partner in the middle of a heated argument.
While it makes sense that one person may reach the breaking point during an argument, holding your tongue and waiting until things have cooled down to raise the topic of divorce can help prevent a snowball effect of anger and emotionally driven reactive behaviors.

Don’t hope or expect that your partner will make the process easy. Many people hold off having the conversation about divorce much too long because they are waiting for their reluctant partner to come around and see how parting will really be better for both of them. The truth is that if one person does not what the relationship to end (for whatever reason), they are not going to give permission or make things easy. Stepping forward with a clear, concise and definitive message is the most compassionate way to share the news.

Do not try to be the one to comfort your partner when you talk about divorce. No one likes to hurt someone else’s feelings, but if you have just shared with your partner that you want a divorce, you cannot be the one to then try and comfort them. Leaning in to try and help your partner feel better is very confusing and this is a role best served by a friend, family member, coach or counselor.

Don’t plan to share the news in a public space. While it may feel easier for you to share the news in a public place where your partner is likely to not express their genuine response, this can make for a very uncomfortable situation all around. Your partner needs a safe space to have their reaction and placing them in a public situation can be humiliating and unnecessarily challenging. (Note: this applies as long as you are not at a threat for physical abuse.)

Do not tell friends and family members before you tell your spouse.  Receiving the news that your spouse wants a divorce is difficult enough, you do not want to run the risk that they may hear it from someone else before they hear it from you. A spouse who feels like they are ‘the last to know’ is much more likely to become contentious and adversarial in the divorce process.

The way in which you conduct yourself while talking to your partner about divorce will communicate a lot about who you are and will have a significant impact on how each of the next steps will unfold.

For additional support in planning this conversation, please check out the Divorce Companion: A Step by Step Guide to Your Healthy  Divorce.

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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Reason Why Many Couples Divorce

The #1 Reason Why Many Couples Divorce

20343940_mBy the time any couple arrives at a conversation about divorce, there has typically been a long period of feeling badly or disconnected. Perhaps this period of disconnection included verbal or physical abuse. Perhaps it included an emotional or physical affair. Perhaps it included addictive behaviors, and usually it has included secrecy and mistrust. There are as many “divorce stories” as there are divorced couples. Nonetheless, when we look a bit deeper, it becomes clear that the #1 reason why many couples divorce is communication.

 

As human beings, we are social creatures and we spend our lives interacting with others. Given all this experience, it would seem logical that we should be experts at interpersonal communication, but the truth is that there is no more difficult skill to master.

 

Let’s think about this for a moment… two people who were raised with a completely separate set of experiences, familial backgrounds, values and DNA fall in love and decide to get married and spend their lives together. During the period of falling in love, we focus on our similarities and we are intrigued by our differences. However, once the initial state of being enamored wears away, and for many, we get through the early years of raising children, we are left staring at someone who is vastly different from ourselves who we hardly know.

 

Very quickly, communication begins to break down. We don’t feel seen or understood. We don’t feel cared for in the way we want to be cared for. Our partner doesn’t share things the way we want them to. We can’t figure out what to talk about. We encounter hardships and do not know how to make each other feel better.  Eventually, life becomes a never-ending ‘to do list’ with nothing sustaining and meaningful being exchanged. Communication deteriorates steadily over time and being with each other drains joy and energy rather than adding to it.

 

The truth is that when a relationship reaches this point, it is time to do something. Either a couple can develop new patterns for communication and re-engagement or they can decide that this relationship has completed its path and take steps toward building a different future.

 

How do you know the right next step for you?

My experience tells me this… The only way to know what is truly right for you and your partner when you reach this impasse is to step clearly in one direction or another. I have worked with couples who have taken steps clearly toward separation or divorce and ended up back together, and I have worked with couples who have taken steps to truly invest in their relationship and have ended up divorcing. Taking a step does not limit the possibilities. Rather, it helps bring forth information that makes the Truth clearer. 

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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I am afraid

I Can’t Because I Am Afraid That…

Fear is the most paralyzing emotion we possess. Every day I receive calls from people who are afraid… and if I am truly honest… every day I feel a bit of fear as well. Which of us doesn’t?

I am afraid

Which of these resonates with you? (and if you don’t find one, just fill in the blank and add your own!)

 

I am afraid that I will not be able to support myself

I am afraid that my children will be angry with me

I am afraid that I will not achieve my dreams

I am afraid that I will never be happy

I am afraid that I will not be successful

I am afraid that I will not get everything I deserve

I am afraid that I will be alone

I am afraid of intimacy

I am afraid of losing my job

I am afraid that someone will be angry with me

I am afraid that I will not be liked or loved

I am afraid ______________________________________

 

Fear is so much a part of our daily experience that we often become unconscious to how tightly it grips hold on us and keeps us from moving forward in all matters of life.

 

This is one of the reasons I love this classic book that a client just introduced to me, Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD.

 

Very early on, Jeffers breaks down all of our fears into one single fear –

The fear that we cannot handle what might happen.

I will repeat the point for emphasis, as Jeffers does…

 

All of our fears come down to a single fear that we do not have the capacity or confidence to handle what a situation may present.

In short, our fear is based in our own lack of confidence and belief in ourselves.

 

While this alone may not feel comforting (!!!), consider this…

 

What if you had more trust and confidence in yourself that you could handle whatever came your way?

What if you had trust and confidence that you would

  • know how to respond,
  • know how to get the support you needed, and
  • had the capacity to navigate whatever circumstances arose?

 

What if you knew that (and these are Jeffer’s words)…

Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!

The simple answer is,

You would never be paralyzed or manipulated by fear again!

 

You might still feel the fear. This does not go away. But you would no longer be paralyzed by it and unable to move forward in any number of circumstances.

 

Simple, right? On one level it seems so and it is. On another, what makes it so complicated is the fact that most of us have grown up with messages that we cannot handle things. We are not good enough, smart enough, capable enough, likeable enough and so on. And as long as our minds keeping repeating these stories, it is impossible to truly believe that we can handle anything.

 

So, how do you gain this confidence? Experiment with this 5-step process as a place to start.

 

Five-step process to handle whatever comes your way:

 

  1. Make a list of at three times when you faced a difficult situation in your life and found your way through. Write about all three examples. What made the situation difficult or uncomfortable and what did you do? We all have them. There is none among us who has gotten to this stage in life and has not navigated a difficult or uncomfortable situation.
  2. Review the examples you just described and make a list of at least 5 qualities or attributes of yourself that you leveraged to navigate these three situations.
  3. Identify one thing right now that is causing you to feel afraid. Write about: (a) What are you really afraid of here? (hint: It is what you feel you cannot handle), and (b) What is the worst thing that could actually happen?
  4. Now that you have named the worst that can happen, identify three qualities that you posses and have already demonstrated in the examples described in step #1 that you can leverage to “handle” this situation.
  5. Create a plan for what you would do in this “worst case scenario.”

 

Learning to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is a process. It takes time and commitment to retrain the brain to stop giving the fear so much power. Use this exercise, and if you are committed to breaking free from fear-based paralysis, explore Jeffers book and call me!

 

It is time for you to:

  • Feel more powerful
  • Take action to move forward
  • Live from a place of love

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

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runaway story train

STOP the Runaway Story Train

Remember the last time you saw a movie that kept you on the edge of your seat? For me, James Bond and Indiana Joes feel like classics, but any movie that kept you mesmerized with anticipation about how things would unfold will do.runaway story train

 

What keeps us so engaged for 2+ hours in the theatre? The story. And there is a basic story arc that goes something like this: Get us connected to and identifying with key characters, create some conflict or disequilibrium, add twists and turns to keep us wondering about how the conflict will be resolved, and then bring it to some resolution. And if you are anything like me, you may feel as though the resolution is the hardest part to pull off well because it is so easy to feel let down after engaging so deeply in the rising action and climax of the story.

 

I bring up stories because my own mind became so consumed with them this past week that I felt like I was in a non-stop movie loop with a story line about how my future was not going to bring me the things I most wanted. I had become very attached to certain visions of the future, and in my obsession, I was scanning for – and of course finding – evidence everywhere that things were not heading in the right direction and never would! In my fixated state, I kept feeding my stories with more thoughts, more evidence of their truth, and heightened levels of emotion.

 

The end result – a complete blockbuster hit featuring my own unfulfilled dreams!

 

Wow! I can only write this article now that I have found my way out of this trance-like obsessed state. My hope in doing so is to provide support to anyone else whose mind is speeding out of control like a runaway train with a story. And to take a lesson from the movie industry, the higher the stakes in our story, the more likely we are to become consumed. If the story affects our marriage, our dreams, our happiness, our well-being, or our security, it is likely to have a HUGE charge for us.

 

How to know if your mind has been hijacked by the ‘runaway story train’?

 

Before you can do anything else, you need to become aware of the fact that your mind has been hijacked by the runaway story train. And in fact, it is not that hard to tell. If you constantly find your mind and attention returning to the same thing again and again – upon rising in the morning, multiple times during the day, and when preparing for sleep – your mind has been hijacked. If the story telling persists for weeks or even months, you story train is likely speeding way out of control. And here is the thing, the longer your mind has been listening to and feeding the story, the stronger is has become and the more undeniable is feels. This is the power of the mind.

 

5 Steps to Stopping the ‘Runaway Story Train?’

 

Step #1: Take up a pen and paper or your journal and write the story down. This is an important step of awareness and owning the fact that your mind has become consumed with a story. (Yes, you perceptive readers, writing this article is a piece of this for me!)

 

Step #2: Make a commitment to stopping the runaway story. Remember that the climax, conflict and twists and turns are way more engaging to the brain than the resolution. This is the reason why movie producers spend way more time on the rising action, conflict and twists and turns than the ending of the story. Our mind likes the excitement. However, while high conflict and tension are great for box-office ticket sales, they are not great for relationships and for living a balanced and healthy life. Commit to letting go of the high-energy engagement of conflict.

 

Step #3: Imagine the positive possibilities that could arise from letting go of the story. On your paper or in your journal, begin to write down a list of all the positive things that could come once you let go of the story. Part of what makes the story so engaging is that it projects doom and gloom and the mind love tragedy. And, like most of Hollywood’s tragedies, most are not based in reality. In fact, most things work out much better than we expect. So challenge yourself and make a list of at least 5 good things that could result from letting go of your story.

 

Step #4: Create a new story that matches a reality you would like to experience. There is no greater influence over how our lives turn out than the story we tell about how it will turn out.

  • Do you tell that story that your ex is out to get you and you can never trust them or do you tell the story that you and your ex are both hurt but as the hurt subsides, you will build a healthy co-parenting relationship?
  • Do you tell the story that your partner’s affair is undeniable evidence that they can never be trusted again and that you need a divorce or do you tell the story that your marriage hit a difficult place and there is an opportunity to build something even stronger than before?
  • Do you tell yourself that life will be lonely and miserable after divorce because this isn’t what you wanted and you have no means to support yourself or do you tell yourself that divorce is a crossroad in life and can open doors to exploring opportunities, relationships and experiences that were never possible in the course of your marriage?

 

Step #5: Begin to live the new story. Once you construct your new story, begin to live it. Sometimes in life we need to ‘fake it till we make it.’ The new story may not feel very powerful at the start because the old story has gotten, days, weeks, months or even years of your undivided attention and old story will not want to give this up! But you can choose.

 

Make a commitment to the story you wish to live, train your mind to ‘think’ the new story, and then choose to live it!

 

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.  ~Brian Tracy

 

And if you are seeking support in creating a new story, training your mind, and/or figuring out how to live it, contact me. Let’s do this together.

 

____________________________________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

 

 

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Show up for the Journey

How to Show Up for the Journey

One of the gravest deceptions of the mind is that there is a ‘there’ there in which the to do list is complete, there are no conflicts to be resolved, nothing to be repaired, and we have the solution to every challenging affecting our lives. In fact, we can work so hard toward this unattainable goal that we lose sight of the most profound reality of life… That meaning, love and happiness exist in choosing to be present to the journey, not in reaching the destination.

 

This week I am reminded that happiness is not a destination but a daily pursuit. It is our practices as well as our willingness to live consciously and be present to the unfolding of each day’s events with curiosity, openness and awe that enable us to live an extraordinary life.

 

So my offering to you this week is to choose one of the quotes below and allow it to inspire you to be become more conscious about and present to your life. Take the quote and post it someplace prominent, write about it in your journal, discuss it with a friend or family member, and hold it close to your heart when you wake up on the morning and go to sleep at night… and then see what happens.

 

If you are inspired, please share your reflections below or send me an e-mail.

 

Show up for the JourneyQuotes on ‘Showing Up For the Journey’

 

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.

~Ernest Hemmingway

 

 

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.

~Charles Swindoll

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

 

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

~Amelia Earhart

 

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

~Alice Walker

 

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

~Buddha

 

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

~Stephen Covey

 

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. ~Christopher Columbus

 

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

~Anais Nin

 

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

~George Addair

 

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

~Helen Keller

 

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

~Lao Tzu

 

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

~Joshua J. Marine

 

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

~Norman Vincent Peale

________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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Mind Full of Mines

A Mind Full of Mines

Two nights ago I gave a presentation to a group of attorneys and judges on Understanding the Divorcing Mind. Yes, I finally took my neuroscience fascination for a public speaking spin!

 

One of the images I had on my PPT presentation was of a man walking blindfolded through a minefield. This, I shared with the audience, is what it is often like for both attorney and client during the consult and throughout the divorce process. Two people walking blindfolded through a mind full of mines, fearing and experiencing explosion after explosion with no idea how quickly they will land on safe ground.

 

Well, you don’t have to be going through a divorce to experience the sudden detonation of a Mind Full of Minesland mine in the mind. Last night, after an otherwise lovely day, a simple e-mail detonated one of mine and I was overcome with a sadness and sense of vulnerability that was very old and painfully familiar. The author of the e-mail would have no idea that this simple communication would impact me the way it did, but the effect lingers with me, even fueling the writing of this article.

 

Each of us (simply because we are human) has a childhood and lifetime of vulnerabilities and fears that stem from our experience of being in this world. For most people, our deepest pains stem from events that happened within the first 8-10 years of our lives when the neural structure of our brain was first being shaped. Seemingly small things like the way someone reacted when we showed emotion or the jokes people made when we struggled with something new, all created an imprint in the brain that shaped how we experience the world. Of course traumas that occurred at older ages also have a powerful impact.

 

The thing is that once this memory and the visceral experience of this memory are embedded in our brain, it can be re-triggered at any time. Last night with this simple e-mail, I was suddenly transported back to a time when I was about 8 years old and felt extremely socially vulnerable. In an instant, I felt like a child again, helpless and rejected.

 

As vulnerable as I feel in sharing this when the experience is still saw raw for me, I bring it forth for a few reasons:

 

  • To encourage self-compassion. Even as I was feeling so badly, my first response was to berate myself for being sucked into the vortex of this old story. I was upset with myself for still feeling so weak and vulnerable to a story that is so old. As I write this now, I am still feeling vulnerable but I am practicing much greater self-compassion and recognizing that it is through our shared experience of vulnerability that we are all linked to one another.

 

  • To encourage us to be mindful in how we care for each other. With an average of 15,000 verbal communications every day and a much larger number of non-verbal communications every day, it is almost daunting to imagine the impact that we can have on others each and every day. EVERY interaction we have with another person has the potential to build their strength or trigger their vulnerability, make them feel valued or make them feel dejected. What is the impact of smiling or not smiling when someone enters the room? What is the impact of sending the quick e-mail reply versus taking the time to be engaged with the communication in a full way? What is the impact of giving someone our full attention or splitting our attention between them and our phone?

 

  • To encourage us to pursue forgiveness and compassion. We all respond differently when we get triggered and feel vulnerable or afraid. We can get angry and volatile, we can get shy and pull away, we can learn to become invisible or learn to preemptively strike out against others as a means of self-protection. By design, human beings are wired to seek connection. Therefore, whenever someone engages in behavior that seemingly breaks down or interferes with connection, it is always because of things rooted inside. Knowing this can perhaps help us pursue forgiveness and compassion with greater openness.

 

  • To encourage the pursuit of self-awareness. As painful as it is to be aware of my childhood story and re-live it, it is much more painful and disorienting to be impacted by the childhood story without awareness of it. It would seem logical that if we don’t want to face the hard stuff of our past, that we can just close ourselves to it and keep on moving. The problem is that the hard stuff affects us with or without our awareness, and it is much more likely to come out in ways that lead to addiction, the breakdown of relationships, self –destructive patterns, and so on when we try to pretend it isn’t there. It is with the awareness that we can assert a conscious and healthy response.

 

From this month’s featured teacher, Pema Chödrön:

 

“When you wake up in the morning and out of nowhere comes the heartache of alienation and loneliness, could you use that as a golden opportunity? Rather than persecuting yourself or feeling like something terribly wrong is happening, right there in the moment of sadness and longing, could you relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart? The next time you get the chance, experiment with this.”  

 

This article is my way of experimenting.

Namaste

______________________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

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Live with uncertainty

How to Live with Uncertainty

On Labor Day, I participated in a Yoga Mala (offered each September as part of National Yoga Awareness Month). On a technical level, Yoga Mala is comprised of 108 Sun Salutation sequences practiced in 9 sets of 12. In terms of my personal experience, it was a reminder that detaching from the outcome is essential when traveling a path that is long and challenging. It was a reminder of how to live with uncertainty.Live with uncertainty

 

For a bit of background… While I have a 16+ year-old yoga practice, my practice has been largely self-developed with limited videos at home. It is only in the past six months that I have begun attending a studio that has expanded my practice and understanding of yoga and breath in new ways. About eight weeks ago, I attended a class where we performed 27 of these Sun Salutation sequences. It was rigorous and inspiring. When we were finished, the instructor invited us to participate in the Yoga Mala, which would be 4x what we had just completed. We looked at each other wondering how that would be possible.

 

On the morning of the Mala I arrived eager and a bit anxious. I am always up for a physical challenge, and this is where I was focused when I arrived… getting my body through this experience. I performed the first two sets of 27 salutations relying upon my body’s strength; very determined to get to the end.

 

In the break after the second set, it was time for a deep dialogue with self. My arms were already buckling with weakness and I was only half way through. My head started to fill with anxious thoughts about how I would get to the end….whether I was strong enough. I worried…How I would look if I didn’t? How I would feel about myself? What if I couldn’t make it? I didn’t want to not make it.

 

Then I called myself to center (thanks to my inner coach!). My anxiety was coming from my ego. I was attached to a certain outcome – completing and looking powerful. Anxiety arose when my body’s fatigue began calling this into question. And this is when I made a significant shift…

 

I was on a journey. The path and even the outcome of this journey were uncertain. It was time to let go of what I ‘hoped’ would happen and focus myself on being present. I adjusted my intention to focus on the Mala as practice and not an outcome. I then reoriented my focus to my breath and to the current movement of the body. One breath and one pose at a time. Breath, movement, pose….breath, movement, pose. As my arms weakened, I made adjustments grounded in self-love and compassion. The Sun Salutation pose itself is a physical expression of humble adoration of the self.

 

By shifting from a future focus and staying completely present to each moment, I not only made it to the end, but I was surprised how much more quickly and easily the second half seemed to unfold than the first. So how can we live with uncertainty? Here is my offering…

Adore oneself while taking one step at a time without attachment

to wanting or striving.

How to live with uncertainty:

Adore oneself. Many of us find it easy to be loving and compassionate to others, but are exceedingly hard on ourselves. Much of the time, we would never bestow upon anyone else the judgment and criticism that we bestow upon ourselves. Making a commitment to loving and being compassionate with oneself is essential for the journey.

Let go of wanting and striving. Looking ahead has it place. Having some idea where you intend to go helps to design the first step on the path. What I have come to realize is that it is much more effective to focus on an intention rather than a specific outcome. The more tightly we grasp to the specifics of an outcome, the more likely we are to feel anxious when something arises that may call this particular outcome into question.. There are always multiple or infinite possible outcomes. When we get attached to one, we can overlook many others that could be equally good or better. I have found that adopting a stance of curiosity and openness about how things unfold to be much more helpful.

Take one step at a time. The paradox is that we are a species (humans) that clings to certainty but exists in an every-changing world. Nothing is certain and nothing stays the same. The past has happened and we cannot control the future. The only thing truly within our control is our choices and actions in the present moment. When things are uncertain, the healthiest path forward is to focus on one next step and trust that the outcome of this step will guide the choice about the next step to take.

 

From this month’s featured teacher:

“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality… Our suffering is based so much on our fear of impermanence… Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. The point isn’t to cultivate one thing as opposed to another, but to relate properly to where we are.”

~Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

 

Additional resource on how to live with uncertainty:

Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields

 

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Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

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Language Creates Reality

Language Creates Reality

On an average day, the average person utters approximately 15-16,000 words.

How conscious are we of the words we choose?

What intention do we bring to selecting them?

What reality do they create?Language Creates Reality

 

While many of us subconsciously believe that we use language to objectively represent reality, the research says otherwise. The research supports the idea that language creates reality. In other words, it is not only true that we are what we eat, but it is also true that we live what we believe.

 

Language has tremendous power of suggestion the more we “suggest” something, the more likely we are to take action that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Let’s look at some statements I have heard over the past few weeks:
• I can’t do this.
• I don’t know what I want.
• I am not as smart has him.
• She never listens to what I have to say.
• We can’t communicate at all.
• We just can’t agree on anything.
• There is no more trust here.
• I have no idea how to advocate for myself.
• I can never make it on my own.

 

The feelings behind these words are very powerful, but what reality do they invite when repeated again and again?

The truth is, it doesn’t take long to convince ourselves (and others) that we really can’t …., don’t know how to ….., will never be able to ….., aren’t as smart as ….., and so on. The more we state it, the more we believe it, the quicker it becomes reality.

But what if the opposite were also possible? What if language could also create a more positive, hopeful and empowered reality than the one we are currently experiencing?

 

In a 2010 TED Talk, Caroline Casey shares a truly extraordinary experience confirming the absolute power of suggestion in the mind – the way in which language creates reality. (Because I do not want to ruin the impact of this talk, no synopsis, just a “must watch” link.)

 

The scientific research community supports this claim as well. In a 2013, Scientific American article, Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities Beyond Your Normal Limits, you can read about research studies in which outcomes of control groups vs. experimental groups are altered solely based upon the power of suggestion.

 

So, as you are going about your day, navigating what life places in front of you, here are some suggestions for leveraging the power of suggestion to point you in a more positive, empowered and hopeful direction:

 

Adopt the word “yet.”: Whenever someone tells me they do not know the answer to a question or don’t know how to do something, I teach them to include the simple word “yet” at the end of the statement. “I don’t know how to look for a job – yet.” ‘Yet’ definitively suggests that the knowledge or understanding is on its way, rather than completely unavailable.

 

Focus on “what went right”: Virtually every moment of very day gives us the opportunity to choose how to focus our thoughts and attention. Are you upset because it is raining or feeling grateful because you remembered to bring an umbrella? Do you beat yourself up because you burned the dinner or pat yourself on the back because you have a great back up plan – ice cream for dinner at the end of a hot summer day is one of my favorites! Do you panic all the way to work because you spilled coffee on your suit, or walk into your meeting and recognize this as an opportunity to give your stressed-out staff permission to be human and imperfect. Our mind is wired to notice the negative, and we can train it to see the positive.

 

Replace “must,” “have to,” and “need to” with WANT: How many times per day do we walk around saying things like, I have to…., I need to…., I must….. These phrases lock us into narrow places. I accomplish them and I avert disaster or a negative outcome; I do not fully achieve them and I am a failure. Either way, my reality is a narrow place of bordered on one side by temporary and fleeting moments of safety and bordered on the other by failure and demise. When I “want” to do something, it refocuses our thoughts and attention on what there is to gain, opportunities that are available, and what makes us happy.

 

As in Caroline’s story, language alone is not sufficient to create reality, but language coupled with belief is what points the needle of life’s compass in a particular direction. Once the needle is pointing where you want to go, then it is about taking action in that direction.

 

So if you have been standing on the fence about a decision, beating yourself up for failures or falling short, or notice that your mind spends most of its time consumed with the negative, try intentionally shifting a few of those 15,000+ utterances per day in a new direction. And when you are clear about wanting to point the needle in a new direction and take the actions to get there, contact me. I am eager to journey with you to a new reality.

 

__________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

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Mrs Doubtfire

Divorce Wisdom from Mrs Doubtfire

As the world pays tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest legends, I took the opportunity to re-watch one of Robbin Williams’ most famous films, Mrs Doubtfire.  In addition to all the comedic brilliance that is built into this film, it also contains great wisdom for both divorce and life.

6 Lessons on Divorce from Mrs Doubtfire   Mrs Doubtfire

In the 1993 classic, Mrs Doubtfire, Robbin Williams plays the role of Daniel, an unemployed voice over artist who is viewed by his successful corporate wife, Miranda (played by Sally Field) as irresponsible and incapable of disciplining the kids or keeping order in the house. After a birthday party for their son gets wildly out of hand, she tells Daniel she wants a divorce. They have grown apart and she doesn’t like who she has become while married to him. (Click here for a full synopsis).

 

Both funny and poignant, Mrs Doubtfilre offers six lessons on divorce for couples, friends and family members:

#1 – Divorce is not the end. One of the things the divorced couple is faced with is the realty that divorce is not the end. Just because they don’t live in the same house anymore, doesn’t mean that all the things that drove each one crazy disappeared. Ultimately it is the words and the pain of their children living between two parents who are angry and intolerant that becomes the impetus to begin to do things differently. Especially if there are children, the relationship does not end after divorce.

#2 – Everything transforms in time. I think one of the most important lessons of divorce (and life) is that everything transforms in time. At the first judge’s meeting, Miranda is so angry that she says nothing when the court temporarily awards her full custody with Saturday visitations only because Daniel does not yet have a job or place to live. She stays silent again 3 months later when the court makes the decision to permanently award her sole custody because Daniel, in his desperation impersonated a woman so he could apply for the job as Miranda’s housekeeper and see his kids everyday.  By the end of the movie, however, the couple’s relationship has so transformed that Miranda herself has the court order removed. Things do not stay the same forever. Time and intention have the capacity to transform any situation.

#3 – What kids need most is love. The children in Mrs Doubtfire, like the children of many divorcing or divorced couples, are stuck between two parents who are so angry and fed up with each other that they cannot help but speak ill of one another. The parents are suspicious and each feels so bullied by the other that they begin to pull at the kids like two teams yanking either side of a tug-o-war rope. Having no idea how to keep everyone happy, the kids’ anxiety levels rise. Divorce is grown up stuff. As with Daniel and Miranda, two people can get to a point where they have grown apart and are no longer making each other happy, but the only thing that the kids care about is feeling loved by both parents. Taking the high road when you feel you have been mistreated or manipulated is one of the greatest challenges a divorcing or divorced parent faces. However, for parents who love their children, there really is no other acceptable alternative.

#4 – People are capable of change. One of the most fascinating aspects of the movie from a divorce standpoint is the way in which Daniel, impersonating a housekeeper named Mrs Doubtfire, uses all his knowledge of who Miranda is and what she likes to adopt the very habits, patterns and ways of being that she always wished Daniel would have demonstrated while they were married. What changed? How come Daniel was suddenly willing to do what he was never willing to do while they were married? Over time, couples can get into the habit of bringing out the worst rather than the best in each other. Sometimes couples have to separate in order to find their best selves and sometimes they need the need a fresh new start with each partner dropping their shield and sword so they can develop new patterns together.

#5 – The courts and attorneys do not always know what is best. The movie was a powerful reminder of what can happen in the legal process when couples get so swept up in their own anger that they lose site and control over what is best for their children.  Miranda knows that Daniel is a loving and devoted father, but because she has felt so slighted and disrespected, she allows a judge to award Daniel limited, court supervised visits only. While the courtroom scene is not realistic in many respects, the truth remains the same that judges and attorneys, who have only a snapshot view of a family at best, are not in the best position to make decisions about what is best for the family or the children. The health and wellbeing of the children is most critically dependent upon parents who can show up to make choices from a place of love rather than anger.

#6 – Things usually get more chaotic before they get better. As if things are not tumultuous enough leading to the decision to get a divorce, the truth is that things often get more chaotic before they get better. In the movie, both Miranda’s and Daniel’s lives become even more chaotic and frustrating immediately after the divorce. The pattern before the divorce was at least familiar, if not healthy. The new routine after Daniel moves out is so disorienting that everyone is initially thrown into a state of chaos and disequilibrium. It isn’t until Daniel’s impersonation is finally revealed and everyone realizes just how chaotic things had become, that they find their way to a state of equilibrium. The chaos is normal. The chaos stems from the sudden reconfiguring that is necessary to move things from a past state to a new state.

 

Divorce challenges people in ways never imagined. It is often a painful and demanding process. However, navigated with intention and care, there is great potential for healing, stability and even miracles on the other side. These are the rewards of being willing to follow the road less traveled.

 

If you know anyone struggling with challenges in their relationship or navigating divorce who can benefit from support in getting from chaos and pain to stability and hope, please refer to them to Divorce Essentials. They do not need to wait until divorce is inevitable to get some help.

__________________________________

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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