Tag Archives: emotions pleasure

Guilt be Gone: How to Rid Yourself of Prolonged Guilt in 6 Easy Steps

Did you ever wonder if it is possible to live a guilt free life?

Perhaps you have wondered if it is even moral to give up the guilt. After all, guilt has become so embedded in our Judeo-Christian culture that we almost take guilt for granted as an essential indicator of a “good person.”

So at the risk of sounding like a heretic, I wanted to take guilt on this week and wonder what it would be like to live without it. To wonder whether it is still possible to live a moral and ethical life without the burden of guilt. Feel free, of course to share your thoughts at the end of this article.

So let’s begin with understanding what guilt is.

One accepted definition is:

A bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong (i.e. compromised one’s own standard of conduct or violated a moral standard).

Guilt

On its face, a brief experience with a guilty feeling may actually be really helpful. Based upon the definition above, the bad feeling that arises can actually serve as a red flag of sorts to let us know that there is a reason to pause and pay attention. Perhaps we inadvertently acted in a way that hurt someone or acted upon a lapse in judgment that violated one of those moral codes. We are human, so things happen and the bad feeling that arises is like an internal mechanism that helps us to return to a state of awareness about what has happened.

The problems with guilt come in when we linger in it for hours, days, weeks, months, and dare I say even years! 

PROBLEM #1:  The first problem with prolonged guilt is that it activates our internal stress response and from a state of feeling perpetually stressed, we become compromised physically and mentally. In short, it is a waste of energy – energy that drains away from a host of other more productive and enjoyable endeavors in order to maintain this state of feeling badly.

PROBLEM #2:  The second problem I have with guilt is that sometimes we expend all this energy feeling guilty for something that did not really happen or did not actually have the negative consequences we believed it to have. Notice the definition includes things we ‘think’ we did wrong. The truth is that many times, we are wrong!  How many of us have spent days feeling guilty about doing something that we thought hurt someone only to find out later that they were never really bothered by it! Guilt without cause is certainly a waste of energy.  It is much more productive to check things out rather than to mire in guilty feelings.

PROBLEM #3:  The third problem I have with guilt is that we usually assume that if our actions or words hurt someone or caused discomfort that we are supposed to feel guilty. After all, it is wrong to hurt another person, right?  The truth is that sometimes the hurt and discomfort are essential parts of the growing process.  In fact, it is not only normal but essential to pass through periods of discomfort in order to make a change or grow in a new way. This kind of hurt does not require guilt at all because allowing someone to experience discomfort may be the most loving action you can take.

PROBLEM #4:  The fourth and biggest problem I have with prolonged guilt is the fact that it serves as a cop-out from taking productive, restorative action. It is much easier to ‘feel guilty’ about something and believe that you deserve some absolution because you are accepting the personal beating of the guilty feeling than to step up and take action to make amends or set things right if it is possible.  It is a very short road from guilt to shame and once we feel the shame, we can be stuck for a long time and then never really take action to right the situation.

So here are some easy to follow steps to rid yourself of guilt once and for all.

STEP 1:  As soon as you feel that pang of a guilty feeling, welcome it and thank the feeling for alerting you to something important that requires your attention.

STEP 2:  Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself that to err is human and that if you did make a mistake or hurt someone, this simply makes you human. (It does not make you a horrible person!)

STEP 3:  Have the courage to check out whether you actually did something wrong or hurt someone the way you believe you did. No sense in wallowing in a guilty feeling for something that may never have happened or that was not received as badly as you imagine.

STEP 4:  Apologize or do what you can to make amends. That’s all you can do and it IS enough. No matter what you did, prolonged guilt will not change it, but stepping up to sincerely apologize or make amends can radically alter things.

STEP 5:  Pause and see what lesson you can take from this experience. The truth is that any time spent feeling guilty is a total waste of time if you do not spend some of it reflecting on what you learned or what you want to do differently the next time.

STEP 6:  Let it go. Do not make your release of guilt contingent upon someone else’s acceptance of your apology. Some people accept apologies easily and others do not, and this is something you cannot change. Apologize, make amends, learn the important lesson, and let it go because much more will be lost if you resign yourself to living in a state of guilt.

So, no matter how big or how small the feeling of guilt or the source of the guilt may seem, there is no benefit to holding onto it for a prolonged period of time. Let the feeling help make you aware of what has happened, and then follow the steps above and let it go.


Adina T. Laver, MBA, M.Ed., CPC, is a Consciousness Coach who specializes in helping people develop consciousness mastery so they can achieve the goals and life they want. Adina is the founder of two companies, Divorce Essentials which specializes in working with individuals and couples who are considering or navigating divorce to have a healthy experience and Courage to be Curious, a company dedicated to cultivating consciousness mastery for those who are committed to the path of self-awareness in all matters of life, love and leadership.  

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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.

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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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Love on Valentine's Day

How to GUARANTEE Love on Valentine’s Day

Love on Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is tomorrow and even though I am truly not one to be swept up in the frenzy of a Hallmark enhanced holiday, there is simply no denying that all of us experience at least some pang of anticipation around this day.

 

  • Will someone bring me flowers or chocolates?
  • Better yet, will I have the story to tell about receiving the most creative lover’s gift?
  • What will I be doing when ‘everyone else‘ is experiencing the most romantic night of the year?

 

Really?

 

With these as our mental expectations, it is no wonder why there is a statistically significant spike in calls to divorce attorneys on February 15th!

 

But do you notice a pattern in all the stories the mind tells about this holiday? Look carefully….

 

In each of these cases, we are waiting on the receiving end to be validated by someone else that we are loved in order to FEEL love.

 

We are basically telling ourselves that the only real measure of how lovable we are is what someone else does for us on that day. And if we are considering, in the midst of or post divorce, what do we do with that? And even if we are married, if we live in the ‘real’ word, how likely is this day ever to meet our expectations? Are we just setting our partners up for failure and ourselves up for disappointment?

 

Well, when you put it that way, Adina…

 

Two days ago I hosted my monthly support call on Preparing for Divorce with guest Anna Balfour who is a licensed psychologist in Wayne, PA. (It was an amazing call and if you want a copy of the recording, just e-mail me with “call recording” in the subject line.)

 

In any case, one of the things we talked about on the call is how to GURANTEE love on Valentine’s Day, and here are our top two suggestions:

 

Love Yourself! Yes…The most important source of love in your life is actually your love for yourself. If we cultivate it, it is always there for us. Do something wonderful for yourself, plan a special time during the day just for you, and …really do this… make yourself a card where you remind yourself of 25 things you love about you. Twenty five is a big number and I GUARANTEE that you will feel something extraordinary inside when you take the time to list 25 things you love about yourself. I beg you to try it.

 

Give as much love as you can. Yes, GIVE love to others. There is no better way to experience an abudance of love than to pour out love for others. This can be volunteering somewhere and helping others you do not know feel cared for. This can be choosing 1-3 people in your life that you adore and planning to do something special for them. This can be spending your day engaging in random acts of kindness anywhere you go. Seriously, you will never experience as much joy and love on the receiving end as you will experience by being on the giving end, GUARANTEED!

 

So this Valentine’s Day, no matter who you are or what your relationship status is, be a source of love.

Love Yourself Dearly

Love Others Generously

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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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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

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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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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

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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.

 

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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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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

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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 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

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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 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.

 

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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 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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