Tag Archives: daily habit

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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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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Supposed to be Hard

Why Its Supposed To Be Hard

I can be a terribly impatient person at times. I am able to do many things quickly and there are a lot of things that come easily to me. That may sound like a great thing, but what it means is that when something truly is hard, I can get seriously thrown emotionally.

 

In today’s world of instant everything, we are not used to having to struggle and our resilience threshold (as an evolving species) can be very low. Think about it… We can cook a dinner in a box in under 5-minutes in the microwave, we can get same day dry cleaning, we expect 24-hour customer service from our bank and tech support. We simply expect things to happen quickly and for problems to be resolved with relative ease.

 

The result of this is that when something arises that truly demands tenacity, perseverance, courage, and resilience, it can feel excruciatingly difficult. We want to call 24-hour support to solve the problem for us. There must be an easier way out of this mess.

 

What is true, however, is that some things are supposed to be hard.

I invite you to share in one of my favorite stories…

 

 

Supposed to be HardA man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon.

 

On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.

 

Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

 

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

 

If your divorce or whatever other life struggle you are in feels hard – even excruciatingly hard at times – then it is supposed to be hard. Breaking out of a way of life that you have outgrown is a necessary struggle to prepare you to embrace and navigate what is on the other side.

 

I cannot tell you exactly how long this particular struggling will last. For me, I had many intervals of feeling very disheartened at how far I was from the “extraordinary” on the other side when I thought I should already be there. What I can tell you is this… It is worth it when you get there – and – you will renew the journey again and again if you want to live a fully actualized life.

 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

~ Elizabeth Kubler Ross – Psychiatrist, often attributed with creating the

Theory of the Five Stages of Grief & Loss

 

For more on why the journey to the life we truly want is supposed to be hard, check out this video clip from one of my favorite movies: A League of Their Own.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndL7y0MIRE4

__________________________________

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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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Predict the Future

How to Predict the Future

One of the biggest struggles for anyone going through divorce or another major life transition is the fear of uncertainty about the future. Whether the status quo is good or bad, our inability to predict the future and the uncertainty that comes with that can easily send us scrambling for the comfort of the familiar.Predict the Future

 

While I have always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, ending my marriage, moving, and beginning a brand new business at the same time tested me beyond anything I had ever experienced in terms of my capacity to navigate through very long stretches of uncertainty. There is no keeping track of the number of times I wanted to run in retreat (as though there was anything to run back to) or tried to cling to anything that seemed more stable and predictable than my future. I pleaded with anyone I could find to just assure me that everything would work out exactly as I wanted it to so that I could find the confidence to take the next step forward. I begged for certainty and the ability to predict the future.

 

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever been there?

 

As a divorce coach, what people want most when they call for a consult is certainty that things are going to be OK – and by ‘ok,’ they mean ‘work out in a way that will make them feel comfortable.’ This is totally reasonable and makes sense.

 

Through my own journey and the experience of serving as a guide to others through a journey of transition, I have figured out that the only way to predict the future and to know that things will work out is to…

 

Align your happiness and sense of security with things over which you have control.

 

Think about it… most of our anxiety stems from our having expectations or desire for things over which we have no control. They are external to us and often tims in other people’s hands. What if all the things that really mattered to us and impacted our sense of happiness were within our control? What if we could predict the future?

How to Predict the Future

 

The truth is that this is possible. We choose what makes us feel happy and we choose what makes us feel secure. They are not chosen for us. In the course of my journey, my work was, is and forever will be to let go of the external measures of happiness and security and create news ones of my own – those over which I have control.

 

My future is much more certain when I align my happiness and sense of security with the following:

 

  • Responding well to events outside my control. While I cannot control everything I will encounter along the way, I can control how I respond in each situation. Cultivating the ability to respond well makes me feel happy and gives me a sense of security.
  • Living in alignment with my values. Humans are the only species that can make decisions based upon values rather than instinct. Knowing what I value and striving to live each day in alignment with my values makes me feel happy and gives me a sense of security.
  • Taking in the good. Very few things are all good or all bad. There is always an opportunity to choose what I take in – the rose on the bush or the prick of the thorn. Focusing on and taking in the good makes me feel happy and gives me a sense of security about the quality of my life experiences.
  • Being with people who care about me. There are those in my life who care deeply about me and support me in becoming my best self and others who don’t. Allowing those who care into my inner circle (and keeping the others at bay) makes me feel happy and gives me a sense of safety and security in my relationships.
  • Deciding how to spend my time. Like you, there are many demands on my time from people, work, and life! Being intentional about what I give my time to makes me feel happy and gives me a sense of security.
  • Nurturing my inner coach. Like everyone else, I have an inner critic and an inner coach (or cheerleader). Despite the fact that the inner critic speaks with complete confidence and certainty – ALL the time, choosing to give more credence to my inner coach makes me feel happy and creates a sense of security.

 

If you want to predict the future, try letting go of your attachment to some of the things over which you have no control and begin focusing your attention on the things you can truly affect.

 

What expectations are you holding onto that are creating anxiety about the future?
What are you ready to let go of?

What can you align your happiness and sense of security to instead?

“The future depends on what you do today.”  

~Mahatma Ghandi

__________________________________

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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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Last week, I was held hostage by my brain.Analysis Paralysis

 

I was afraid – as all of us are from time to time – about aspects of my future and success. Does this sound familiar?

 

And my brain, doing what brains do, not only began conjuring up every fear-based story it could muster, but then really paralyzed me with its insistence upon trying to “think” my way out of my hole. I thought and thought about what to do, and the more I thought, the more elaborate and convincing the stories became, and the more afraid I became until — I was stuck in a state of complete analysis paralysis. No matter which direction my brain pursued, the future looked risky and gloomy and I was stuck.

 

Ever been there? Somehow I am sure I am not the only one.

How reliable is the brain?

 

Left unchecked, the brain can take on a life of its own – and the biggest problem with this is that we are absolutely convinced that our brain knows exactly what it is talking about ALL of the time. We are convinced that it is accurate and that it can think its way out of any problem.

 

The funny thing is that we have no problem doubting other people’s brains. We question doctors when it comes to medical decisions, despite their years of training (and our complete lack of training). We question our government officials when they make strategic international decisions, despite the fact that they have teams of analysts and we have only a very rudimentary understanding of the complex issues. And, of course, we question our children’s teachers’ methods of educating our kids, despite their years of formal training and experience and our lack of either. Yes, we have no problem questioning anyone else’s brains, but someone we trust our own implicitly to provide us with an accurate assessment of everything all the time!

 

Some common musings of the brain:

  • No one will want to hire me because I do not have the right degrees.
  • I have to stay in my unhealthy and unhappy marriage because I have no other way to support myself and I will be homeless or destitute if I leave.
  • I am a bad person if I do something that hurts someone else’s feelings or makes them sad, so I have to do what makes other people happy.
  • If my kids are struggling, then I must be an unsuccessful and incapable parent and I need to figure out how to make life better for them.

 

This list could go on and on. Our brains are very creative and quite dramatic in their musings, and they know just how to reel us in to believing them. Once we are there, we analyze our seemingly hopeless situation for days, weeks, months and sometimes years, never taking action because our brain has convinced us that there is absolutely no positive way out of where we are. We are paralyzed; we are stuck.

Give your brain a reality check

 

So, in this rational moment of reading this article, ask yourself these questions:

  • How likely is it really that everyone else’s brains are inaccurate at times but mine is always right?
  • How likely is it that the same way of thinking that created the sense of crisis in my brain will discover a way out of it?

Break through the Analysis Paralysis

 

If you are tired of hanging out in a state of analysis paralysis or despair about your situation, here are four steps to breaking free:

 

  1. Break the silence. Most of the issues that get us stuck evoke feelings of shame. Shame needs silence, secrecy, and judgment to thrive. Take 15 -30 minutes and write down the issue that has you stuck and all your thoughts about it. Share it with someone who can just listen and not give you advice or be judgmental.
  2. Take a ‘thinking’ vacation. Take your journal entry and place it in a jar for a week (screw the lid on tightly!). Tell yourself that you are going to let the jar hold onto the issue for a week so you can take a break from thinking about it. If it arises in your mind, simply give yourself a gentle reminder that this issue is in the jar for a week, no need to worry about it now.
  3. Pursue a new angle. After a week, take your writing out of the jar. Go back to your trusted listener and share the issue again, now asking yourself how you can look at this from another angle.
  4. Get support. If you are still stuck after steps #1-3, get professional support. Your brain is stuck, but this doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck.

 

Put another way,

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ~ Marcus Aureluis, Second Century Roman Emperor and Philosopher

 

So whatever you have been procrastinating doing until you have it ‘all figured out,’ STOP analyzing. If your brain hasn’t gotten you there yet, it is not going to until something changes – either your actions or your thoughts.

 

When you are ready to get unstuck from your analysis paralysis, contact me. I am ready to help you free yourself from your mind.

 

__________________________________

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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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5 Tips to Beat the Self Pity Gremlin

This week I am inspired in my writing both by my own intense bought with self pity as well as a dip into this abyss that some of my friends and clients are experiencing as well.self pity

 

Let’s get acquainted with this feeling. Nothing is going the way we want it to. We feel trapped by current circumstances. We wish and wait for someone to lift us out of the situation we are in, but no one arrives. (This always feels like an opportune time to start blaming a spouse, partner, parent, child, boss or best friend!) We wish we could just take a big eraser to life and completely redraw the picture anew, and yet we can’t. Perhaps we can stay in bed and pull the covers over our head and it will all go away.

 

Sound familiar? Have you ever been there?

 

I have, for sure. My practice used to be to look for anyone and everyone I could blame for my situation because clearly this disaster had to be somebody’s fault. Actually, in my mind, it better be someone’s fault because then there could be someone who could make it better, right?

 

So I am a coach and I know better now. I know that self pity and victimhood are energies like any other kind of energy. As humans, our energy ebbs and flows, rises and falls. We ride the waves of the high energy with ease and glory. We don’t question how we got to the top of this wave and we get attached to this state of being. However, when the tides get rough and knock us down, as they inevitably will, we feel completely unprepared. It is easy to fall into self pity, victimhood and a sense of helplessness.

 

The truth is that victimhood is simply energy and energy can always be transformed. You may want a few moments to wallow in the self-pity (I know I always feel entitled to some). But once you are ready to emerge, here’s what to do:

 

5 Tips to Beat the Self Pity Gremlin

 

  1. Practice self-care. We all have the tings that make us feel alive and authentic. Chances are, in a state of victimhood, we have not been exercising a good self-care plan. Whether it be taking time to play your musical instrument, get to the gym, cook a healthy meal, go out with friends, the first key to overcoming self-pity and a state of victimhood is to know what lifts you up and begin to do these things.
  2. Recognize that victimhood is just energy. We don’t question who was responsible when things are going well. We don’t look for someone to blame or thank. Recognizing that self pity is a state of being as much as joy is a state of being, we can know that this energy will shift. Just this knowledge reduces the stronghold of victimhood, just a bit.
  3. Practice Gratitude. In a state of self pity and victimhood, it feels as though everything is against us. A daily practice of gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to shift victim energy. It is mind-expanding and energy transforming. (If you would like my 1 page guide for a daily gratitude practice, e-mail me at adina@divroceessentials.net and I would love to share it with you.)
  4. Get some exercise. When we are in a state of self pity, we may be experiencing an imbalance of hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain. This imbalance perpetuates the feelings of sadness and victimhood. Exercise is proven to release endorphins in our brains that interact with receptors in our brain that reduce the perception of pain and positively impact our state of well-being.
  5. Connect. In a sense of self pity, we feel very alone. This is the time to push out and connect with others who can help bring affirming and positive energy into your space. So don’t reach out to your complaining buddy, but find that friend (or coach) who can shift you out of your self-loathing bubble, do some volunteer work, or get out and garden and connect with nature. The longer you stay shut inside, the more likely it is that the feelings will perpetuate.

 

Divorce, like any transition or change, will bring its highs and lows – times of great joy and times of deep sadness and challenge. The key is for us to recognize that energy is a state of being that passes with time and can transform with intention. As true as it seems, it is simply not the case that the sadness is real and the moments of joy are the illusion. They are all states of being and we, as individuals, have tremendous capacity to shape our state of being through intentional practices.

 

(Note: If you believe that you may be suffering from depression, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.)

 

What strategies work for you? Please share them and let’s help each other find the way through difficult times.

___________________________________

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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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Is Your Brain Stuck on Autopilot?

How do you know if your brain is stuck on autopilot?

Here are some phrases I hear a lot. Do any of them sound familiar?

  • “I can’t believe this is happening to me – AGAIN!”
  • ‘I know how this going to turn out because it always turns out that way.”
  • “Every time I _______, the same thing happens.”
  • “I never win an argument. It always ends up in the same place.”
  • “No matter what I do, things will never be different.

 

We all have those parts of our lives that feel like the movie Groundhog Day, the one in which Bill Murray just keeps reliving the same day and same events over and over again. It might look or sound something like this in your life:

 

  • You and your partner made an agreement to distribute responsibilities, but somehow you are doing all the chores again
  • You and your partner agreed not to argue about XX anymore, and yet here you are again
  • You got a divorce so you would not have to deal with communication issues anymore and here you are dealing with them again as a divorced couple

 

Why does this happen?

 

Those of you who know me know that I am fascinated with how the brain works. Whether we are conscious of it or not, all of our feelings and every one of our actions is tied to thoughts that runs through our brain. According to research, the average person has between 50 – 70,000 thoughts per day! That is a huge number. Unless you are doing absolutely nothing all day but paying attention to your thoughts, this means that that most of them are passing through your brain without your knowing about it. You are not even aware of them. Your brain is stuck on autopilot.

 

The puzzle starts to come together now. Just because you want something to be different from how it has been, you have an uphill battle against thousands of habituated thoughts in your brain that perpetuate your thinking, believing and acting the same way as you always have, so nothing ever does change! As humans, we are wired to perpetuate habitual behaviors.

 

Nonetheless, despite our natural tendencies, we know that people can and do change. We know people who have been habitually overweight and finally make a shift in lifestyle, lose the weight and keep it off. (See my friend Tory Johnson as a great example. You can also check out her book Shift for how she did it.) Or you may know someone who had a speech problem as a young person and now performs regularly in front of the public (Julia Roberts, Tiger Woods, and Bruce Willis come to mind).

 

Change is possible

 

The brain is highly malleable. We can form new thought patterns if we have the will and we are ready to put in the hard work. If you read Tory’s book or read about Bruce Willis, Tiger Woods or Julia Roberts, you will see that they all worked very hard to change patterns (get the brain off of autopilot) so they could get new results.

 

And, in fact, this is the primary function of coaching as a profession. Coaches are trained in the practice of helping people change the patterns of thought that are perpetuating behaviors and outcomes that they no longer want to experience. As a Divorce & Relationship Coach, I do help people understand and navigate the divorce process, but the most important work that I do is helping people whose brains are stuck on autopilot to to shift out of the patterns of thought and behavior that are not serving them well.

 

So what do you want to change and how badly do you want to change it? These are the questions to ask yourself. When you know what it is that you want to be different and you have a compelling reason to work for it, you can turn off the autopilot switch.

 

Four key ingredients to successfully achieving new results:

  • A compelling goal
  • Motivation to pursue the goal – what you aim to gain that matters
  • A plan
  • A deeply committed support system to help you persevere!

 

Your life is your choice. Change is always possible when you want something badly enough.

___________________________________

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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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Vow to Shed the Shackles of the Past

For this final day of February, a month that I have dedicated to articles about self-love, I have a beautiful gift to share with you. A fellow traveler on this journey to live an authentic and fulfilled life shared a writing with me. It articulates her commitment to release herself from the shackles of a past that have been keeping her from fully honoring herself and living her authentic life. I was so moved and inspired by what she wrote that I asked her permission to share it with you.

Please join me in honoring Christine commitment to pursue authenticity and wholeness both by reading her writing and by taking some time to draft one of your own. What are you ready to let go of so you can live with a sense of wholeness?

As always, I invite you to e-mail me or post your response on my blog.

Adina

 

I Vow…

Today, in the predawn hours of my 48th year, I vow that I shall no longer fear the sound of my own voice; the depth, texture and contours of my own boundaries; the boundless capacity of my own love…

 

I vow that I shall never again, not for one moment, entertain the notion that I am not good enough, not worthy, not wise or bright enough…that I am not loved enough to have the most extraordinary things happen to me…

 

I vow to shed, once and for all, any and all patterns, beliefs–and any outdated, constraining values that keep me living small…

 

I vow to never again fear the cunning, manipulative ways of those living at the lowest vibratory, survivalist levels–for my strength, my hope and my beautiful future is rooted in my high vibratory state…

 

I vow to never again say yes when I mean no; maybe when I mean never, fine when I mean–absolutely not.

 

The first steps I take today, upon bringing my feet to the floor shall be with the strength & firmness of a growing resolve now turned conviction–a conviction that the path I walk is now mine…I own every footstep, every decision to turn left when most would urge right; I own every detour, every pause for rest, every decision that would have me forge forward when the path feels black with dark, hazy with fog, rocky with debris.

 

I was born into this world 48 years ago, naked body, naked Soul…a wise, fully evolved mind that blazed with the knowingness of why it is I came here and what I needed to do…I arrived with “Anahata”–the purest of un-struck hearts–a vast, open heart…eager and ready to give and receive love in ways that would free others to love more deeply and more completely…

 

Somehow, the years ahead would set me into a long period of forgetting…

 

This morning, in the predawn hours of my 48th birthday, I choose to be open to a full remembrance of who I am…

_______________

Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is 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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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How to Cure the ‘Caretaker’ Curse

This morning I awoke with the caretaker blues. Do you know this feeling? It is accompanied byCaretaker_m a sense of overwhelm and depletion that follows a long stretch of taking care of ‘everyone’ and/or ‘everything.’ My personal bucket is drained dry and all I want is for someone else, or preferably a whole team of people – angels, magical creatures (whatever) – to swoop in and take care of me. Without my having to say a word or direct anything, they would simply be able to take care of the chores that need getting done, sense what is causing me the most amount of stress and make it disappear, and then gather round and bestow upon me pampering truly befitting one who does so much. What do you think? Do you know this feeling?

 

What we caretakers have in common

 If you are nodding your head wildly at this point, then you get to be included in this group of caretakers to which I refer.  We are competent, reliable, compassionate, and we get things done. People count on us to help make their lives more manageable and comfortable. We usually perform our caretaker tasks with such grace, ease, and eager willingness that (of course) people come to rely on us for more and more.  A few encouraging remarks about how capable we are and how appreciative they are, and off we go to add more things to our list.

 

The Curse of the Caretaker

The Curse of the Caretaker is that we don’t know how to keep things in balance. We often give out more caring energy than we take in, we don’t know how to say “no,” and most deleteriously, our caretaker-ness comes to serve as the core of our sense of self worth. Yes, we are prime contributors to our own demise. We become so dependent upon the accolades of others about how competent, reliable, compassionate and able to get things done that we are, that we continue to seek out more. It actually becomes our drug of choice. The more we do, the more valuable and worthy we believe we are. Until… until all we feel is tired, resentful, and unhappy.

 

So what are the hopeless caretakers among us to do?

 

Why we are so hooked on caretaking?

The primary reason why many of us cannot free ourselves from the ‘Curse of the Caretaker’ is because we are addicted.

Really, Adina… Addicted?

Hear me out…

According to Helpguide.org, addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.” Isn’t this what happens to us? We get reinforced, probably from a young age, for being so responsible and taking care of others that this “good feeling” becomes embedded in the pleasure center of our brain. If we do these kinds of activities, we get (or we think we will get) the reward of feeling worthy and valuable. Our brain releases some dopamine, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, and we are hooked. There is a really nice description of the science behind this at HelpGuide.org, but for our purposes, suffice it to say any behavior can become addictive if it triggers the pleasure center in our brain. This includes caretaking!

If you are not sure if you are buying it, ask yourself this? Have you ever been in the situation of being completely exhausted, at the end of your emotional rope, ready to collapse, and then said YES to one more thing that someone asked you to do?

I am raising my hand for sure. I am completely guilty.  I have a caretaker addiction.

 

A Cure for the Curse?

Here’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that there is a cure. The bad news is that you will have to work hard to achieve it (I am personally still recovering).  I am in no way suggesting that we give up being caring people or doing loving things for people.  Caring for others is an important means of being in relationship. What I am saying is that curing the curse means being able to achieve a balance between caring for others and caring for self that is healthy. The extent to which we value our own health, wellness and happiness should be nothing less than equal to the extent that we value the health, wellness, and happiness of others. And if you are thinking, but there is only one of me and many of “them” who rely upon me… That doesn’t matter. The value we place on our own self-care needs to equal the value we place on everyone else’s.

 

5 Tips for Self-Recovery

  1. Clarify your priorities so you can choose which tasks and caretaking duties are most important to you – and which you will say “no” to.  Remember, for the pleasure center in your brain, any caretaker task will have the same effect. Without intentionality, your instincts will drive you to take them all on.
  2. Let go of control. The truth is that the people we care for often can do more for themselves than we give them credit for. Their reliance on us has become a habit for everyone. You like the control and they like that you get it done. Scan your responsibilities and see what you can push yourself to let go of.
  3. Make a habit of personal care to help retrain the brain. Right now your brain probably does not release the same dopamine when you engage in self-care as it does when you engage in the caretaking of others. This is why many of my clients tell me that taking care of their own needs or investing in themselves (even when they really want something or believe something will be good for them), feels selfish. This is not true, it is just the wiring in the brain. Making a daily practice of self-care will help to retrain the brain to associate pleasure with self-care.
  4. Let others know how they can care for you. We would all like if those angels I described earlier could swoop down and know exactly what we need and just do it, but that is generally not how things work. We will likely need to be more explicit.  Ask for what you need and expect your needs to be met. Amazing things can happen over time.
  5. Get support. Retraining the brain requires support and discipline. This is why people join support groups, get personal trainers, hire a coach, and so on. Our brains are wired for habit. We will keep doing what we have always done until the brain can be retrained otherwise. This takes commitment, discipline, time, and a great deal of opposing force.

 

Making the Change

As a Divorce & Relationship Coach, I get calls from men and women who have been out of balance between caring for self and caring for others for a long time. They desperately want something to be different in their lives, and like me this morning, they want to be cared for in a different kind of way. The problem is that they have not been able to change things on their own nor do they often feel they have the right to invest in themselves to make a change when there are so many other people to care for.

 

As with all recoveries, the first step is to getting a new result is to take different action. This requires pushing outside the comfort zone. Making the change and embracing a happier life is possible and the rewards are tremendous. It begins with taking the first step.

_______________

Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is 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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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10 Essential Happiness Quotes to Live By

Before we get to the happiness quotes, one must remember why we tend to be unhappy in 14897023_mstop this self-sabotage before it even starts!). Ingrained in our brains is a never-ending dialogue of

Should’s

Have to’s

Supposed to’s

Obligated to’s

With this on-going dialogue, is it a wonder why many of us are so unhappy?

Which of us ever achieved happiness and self-fulfillment by living a life measured by outside expectations?

The authentic and happy life is reserved for those who are willing to transcend the confines of society’s expectations and boldly define their own new measures.

If it were about being happy, what would you do, today, right now, to make that change? Choose to put that change in motion! Tuck these happiness quotes in places where they will be daily reminders to keep you moving in that happier, more fulfilled direction.

10 Happiness Quotes to Live By:

The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t get very far until you change it.

It’s important to make someone happy, and it’s important to start with yourself.

Sometimes life gives you two options: losing yourself or losing someone else.  Regardless of the situation, don’t lose yourself.

Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present.  Only you give it power.

Stop looking at what you have lost, so you can see what you have.

One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you.

Don’t be afraid of change.  Oftentimes you will lose something good, and then gain something even better.

The time spent on hating is the time lost for living a peaceful, happy life.  It is a habit that controls what you see, what you say, what you do, and ultimately what you become.

The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.

… Now go do it!

And don’t forget to post these 10 great happiness quotes!

_________________

Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is 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 Let’s Get Real Mini 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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