Category Archives for "Coaching"

The Mindful Divorce

Divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. It affects everything important to us: our children, our finances, where we will live, our identity and our expectations about the future.  Going through a divorce is emotionally draining. The hassles involved in the divorce process can make a person irritable, frustrated, and short-tempered. Practicing meditation and yoga during and after divorce promotes self-love, clarity, and balance. There are only a few other things in life as traumatic as going through a divorce. If you are trying to manage a divorce, your work, and your kids, you may be neglecting your own health and peace.

During these difficult times, it is more important than ever for you to take good care of your mind and body. Yoga is a nurturing practice for your emotional well-being and great for your physical health. The combined mind and body approach of yoga makes it an ideal practice for improving overall health.

3 Ways Meditation and Yoga Can Help You Manage the Stress That Surrounds Your Divorce

1.      It builds a community – Going through a divorce can make you feel isolated. You may feel like you have lost the constant support that you had. Experiences of personal growth and relaxation are common to those who practice yoga. Being surrounded by people with the same values as yours will help you fight any anxiety and stress that has stemmed out of your divorce.

2.    Cultivates self-love in you – Getting overwhelmed with doubt ,guilt, and self-blame while going through a divorce is natural. If you are getting separated from a violent and abusive partner, you might even be facing aggression and gas lighting. Practicing yoga and mindfulness is integral to curbing the effect of stress on your mind and body. Yoga and meditation teach a radical approach towards relationships and life, an approach based on love. You will begin to set yourself free of worries and regrets after you start practicing mindfulness.

3·      Helps you gain clarity – Getting divorced brings you to a crossroads in life. While this is terrifying at first, it can be equally empowering with the right approach. Yoga and mindfulness will help you get better clarity of the past and plan for a better future. If you are unable to fathom your situation at the moment, mindfulness will help you find order out of chaos. When the fog of doubt, negativity, regret, and fear will fade, you will see your life clearly.

Mindfulness comes from practicing yoga and meditation. In general, mindfulness helps you stay in the present moment at all times without rehashing over the past or worrying about the future. Using a mindful approach to your divorce can have many benefits including less stress, better relationships, better decisions and lower legal fees because you aren’t making your decisions based upon reactive emotions.  

In addition, being part of a divorce support group can have enormous benefits to help you through your difficult time. You can share what your are going through with others who understand firsthand the challenges you are experiencing. You won’t feel alone. It is also a great way to build new friendships in your post-divorce life.

Divorce is not easy, but putting important supports and tools for selfcare in place will make it easier for you and your children. Life after divorce can be happy and fulfilling, but you have to be proactive in taking care of yourself as you begin this next chapter of your life.


 

Survival Tips For Divorcing A Narcissist

Divorcing a narcissist is often extremely stressful and brings its own set of challenges to the process.  In order to preserve your own sanity , it is important to understand how the narcissist thinks. The following tips will help you develop an effective divorce strategy, minimize your trauma and help keep your legal costs down.

Divorcing a narcissist will take its toll in two key area:

1.  Emotional:

The narcissist will not be cooperative through the divorce process or go away quietly. They will blame everyone else for their problems and perceive themselves as the victim. Narcissists need to win and they love the adversarial nature of the legal system. They will be manipulative, and they will try to paint you as the bad guy with family, friends and even your own children.

2. Financial:

Often narcissists are powerful and financially successful so they use this to their advantage. They refuse to provide financial information and documents. They refuse to negotiate and will defy court orders as they think they are above the law. They will file endless motions, hide assets and income and try to exhaust your financial ability to fight them.

How can you prepare for battle a narcissist and get what you need?

1. Have money on hand (a war chest). You may need this money for living expenses while the divorce plays out and you will need funds for legal fees.  You want to begin the process from some level of financial stability, if possible, so that you can fight for what is important to you.

2. Make sure you have good credit in your own name.

3. Get your financial paperwork together. The narcissist will likely hide and withhold information so if you can compile it before discussing divorce, that is ideal. Don’t keep copies at home, instead give them to a friend or relative, or put them in a safety deposit box so the narcissist doesn’t know about it.

4. Put together a top notch divorce team which may include the following:

i) Family lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissists and domestic abuse;

ii) Financial planner;

iii) Qualified therapist who is familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder;

iv) Qualified Divorce Coach who is trained and experienced in dealing with narcissists.

5. Once the divorce process is initiated, keep direct communication with the narcissist to a fact based, dispassionate minimum. Email is ideal as it gives you time to think before responding. It also keeps a record of the dialogue and may eliminate some of the abusive behavior if the narcissist knows that someone else may read it or that it could end up in court.

6. Don’t respond to the narcissist’s behavior in kind. It will only elevate things. Don’t fight fire with fire. Don’t opt for a pit-bull lawyer who will contribute to the elevation of hostility. Instead opt for a lawyer who is tough, but reasonable.

7. Stop feeling, start thinking. Do not respond to the narcissist out of emotion. Take your time, ask questions, be reasonable. Decide which battles to fight and focus on those. Don’t stoop to their level. You can’t change them.

8. If necessary due to the level of abuse and its impact on you, communicate only through lawyers. This will add to your legal expenses but your peace of mind is priceless.

9. Anticipate that the narcissist will try to charm the court, your children, your neighbours and may succeed. Try not to get upset about this. Focus on the big picture and long-term.

10. Document everything and keep good records. Log how much time each of you spends with the children as you may need these records if custody is in issue.

11. Keep the narcissist on a short leash when it comes to court orders because they will constantly be testing your boundaries and will to enforce things. The same is true of the terms of any separation agreement.

12. Have courage, patience and persevere. You can and will survive.

While divorcing a narcissist is never easy, your life WILL get better if you endure the pain of the process.  Just keep reminding yourself, that the alternative to divorcing the narcissist is staying with him or her, and that is a guarantee that your life will NOT improve.

I have a coaching program specifically designed to assist those who are divorcing a narcissist.  Please contact me if you would like more information.

Six Tips For Dating When You Have Children

When you have children and you find yourself single again, dating can be very complicated.  Not only do you have the challenge of finding someone worthy of dating, but you have more constraints on your time, potential childcare issues, and then the complex issue of what your children should know and who they should meet.  The following are some general tips that I have acquired through my own experience and the experience of clients.

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2 Why I No Longer Date Tire Kickers & Why You Shouldn’t Either

If you have ever worked in a sales job, then you are most likely very familiar with the "Tire Kickers".  A "tire kicker" is someone who appears to be interested in buying something, asks a lot of questions, uses up a lot of your time, but then does not buy anything.  There are lots of them around and if you try to sell something on the internet, it can be even worse. Sadly, the "Tire Kickers" have expanded from not only wasting people's time in the world of sales, they are now a force to be reckoned with in the dating world of 2018.

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Do People Even Go On Real Dates Anymore?

In this world of "coffee meets", "hanging out", and "Netflix and chill", do people even go on real dates anymore?  As someone who longs for some of the old style courtship, I am starting to think that "real dates" are becoming an endangered species.  While I have certainly met some wonderful gentlemen who know how to properly court a woman and take her out for a wonderful evening, for every man like that, there are dozens who just want to hang out.  I am sure that there are many men finding the same thing about women, so my comments in this blog are aimed at both genders.

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2 The Problem Is You Found Her, But You Kept Looking

I recently posted a meme with the title of this blog on my social media and was very surprised at the response, mostly from men, who seemed to take exception to the content of the meme.  The point of my post wasn't to attack men, it was to highlight this modern day problem that has arisen amongst both men AND women.  Everyone is so busy searching for "the one", they overlook the very special person who may be right in front of them.

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Good Vibes Only. That’s Ridiculous!!

All too often in social media and other places I see people posting about how they want "good vibes only" and how they have a "no negativity" zone.  At the risk of emitting "negative vibes", I have to say that I find these mantras to be ridiculous.  I will even go further and say that not only are they ridiculous, they are harmful to people, our relationships and our ability to connect with one another.

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Surviving The Holidays After Divorce

The holiday season is always a tough time during a divorce and for the first few years after. It serves as a reminder of happier family times, and also puts enormous stress on divorcing parents who feel pressure to maintain the status quo while their whole world may be falling apart. While there is no magical solution to cure the holiday blues, here are some tips to make the season a little bit easier:

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Alternatives To A Divorce War

Divorce rates are high, but divorce should always be the last option.  There are a number of options available other than full on divorce warfare which often benefits no one.   Here are some alternatives to consider before considering fighting it out in court.

  1. Marriage Counselling:  If both parties have a willingness to try to save the marriage, marriage counselling may be a viable option that can improve the relationship enough that the couple decides to take the word divorce off of the table. Divorce should always be the last option and where children are affected, couples may feel that they owe it to their kids to at least try to work things out.
  2. Relationship Coaching:  This is an alternative to counselling where both parties work with a coach in a positive way to identify goals for the relationship, work on communication and discover paths to remove barriers that are causing problems.  It is client focused, and results oriented.  While counselling has more of a healing orientation,  coaching is more oriented towards action and moving forward.
  3. Mediation:  This involves the couple meeting with a neutral, third party mediator who assists with moving the negotiation forward .  Mediation can be used during a divorce in order to resolve the property, custody and support issues of the parties, or it can be used to resolve other disputes between the parties.  It is not binding, but it can be an effective, low cost alternative to going to court, particularly if the couple is not far apart on their respective position on the issues.
  4. Arbitration:  Another non-court alternative for couples who have decided they want to separate or divorce is to hire a neutral third party who essentially acts as a private judge to make a binding decision with respect to such issues as property, custody and support.  Arbitration is more costly than mediation, but less costly than going to court.

Divorce is a major life decision with far reaching implications affecting your children, where you live, your financial well-being and your emotional well-being. It is important to thoughtfully consider all of the alternatives.

As The Seasons Change, So Do Our Relationships: How To Weatherproof Your Relationship

Just like with the seasons, change is inevitable.  For any relationship to last long-term, partners need to be adaptable and committed to adjusting to life’s changing seasons.  With the holidays coming next month, and the increased opportunity for family time, November is a great time to reflect on our relationships, and make sure we are adjusting with the times to weather the future together as a team.

Here are some tips on weatherproofing your relationship with your partner:

  1. Communication:  This is the number one thing that partners need to do well in order to have a healthy relationship.  We need to communicate our needs so that our partner understands what we need from the relationship.  No one is a mind reader.  Uncommunicated needs lead to resentments which undermine healthy relationships.
  2. Quality and Quantity of Time:  It goes almost without saying that spending quality time together is important.  Date nights and intimacy are very important to a healthy relationship. Quantity of time matters though too.  Absence doesn’t really make the heart grow fonder, it makes it grow more distant.  Just spending time in the same room, even if one of you is reading and one of you is doing a hobby, can still help strengthen your connection. The best relationships are ones where partners know they can just be together and they don’t have to be talking, as the silence isn’t uncomfortable.
  3. Reciprocity:  Both partners need to be committed to working on the relationship and helping it grow with the times.  If only one person is putting in the effort, it won’t work.
  4. Agreement on key issues including money, parenting and sex:  If a couple has very divergent viewpoints on these three issues, there are going to be significant problems in the relationship.  There needs to be lots of communication on these topics and a commitment to always keeping the communication channels open as changes in life affect these three areas.
  5. Respect:  If there is mutual respect in a relationship, it has a much better chance of weathering the storms.

We can’t stop change from happening, but with a little time and commitment, we can weatherproof our lives from the changing seasons.

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