Friday, January 28, 2011

Post-Divorce Zen

I read about a Zen teacher who came to a town during a drought and was asked to bring rain. Instead of asking for rain, he moved into a house and tended his garden. After a time, it rained. The master’s explanation was that he tended the garden to deal with an imbalance in himself. As he gardened, his internal harmony increased. As for the rain, who can say?

The learning I take from this is simple. Tending to things in the body, mind and our relationships helps us move on and be ourselves. It’s the same with so many difficulties. Trying to get rid of painful emotions and memories simply doesn’t work very well. I like the combination of acceptance and being you find in mindfulness.

We can’t change the past and we can’t directly stop the pain. But we can heal and we can do positive things. It’s this moving forward that leads us to our new lives. And before you know it, it’s raining.

Contact me to attend a free 2-session teleseminar, Move Into Post-Divorce Life.  Enjoy the Journey

Just because it's fun, Umbrella, Rihanna.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Move into Post-Divorce Life. Enjoy the Journey

Could you use a push to help you head into the new year with new energy? This is your invitation to attend a free 2-session teleseminar where participants will have an opportunity to raise questions and get down and dirty to find solutions to the post-divorce doldrums.

This free teleseminar will help you address the challenges of moving on from a long-term relationship by:

* Establishing a positive post-divorce mindset

* Using personal strengths to move forward

* Learning to enjoy this new journey

Coaching helps you learn to use your strengths in unique ways and challenges you to use your resources to effectively negotiate new terrain.

This teleseminar begins in February, 2011

Contact me now to sign up!

Instructions: Upon email registration you will be provided with details about this teleseminar.

Feel free to pass this invitation on to anyone who could use an opportunity to raise questions about their situation and get down and dirty to find solutions to the post-divorce doldrums.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Divorce Won’t Kill You But it Will Make You Stronger

I’m not sure how I decided that whatever does not kill you makes you stronger would be a life coach blog, instead of a post-divorce blog. What was I thinking? Of course divorce is the very thing that will make you stronger.

How will it make you stronger, let me count the ways.

1. You will figure out what you need to move on. Unless you wallow. No wallowing allowed except for a short while. Do things that make you happy.

2. You will realize that you can live without a partner. Unless you’re compelled to jump right into another relationship. There’s no right answer to this, but be smart. Think before you leap.

3. You will find that you can do things (get the wasp nest out of the mailbox, get the bat out of the garage, change the light bulb that’s impossibly high up at the top of the stairs, leap tall buildings in a single bound) that you never thought possible. Unless you stop yourself. Go ahead, get the broom and go after those suckers.

4. You’ll see others having the experiences you thought were unique to you. Unless you have to have the most painful divorce. Stop right there and recognize that you’re part of a community and it’s a good thing.

5. You’ll notice strengths you forgot you had. Unless you say I can’t a lot. Figure out what strengths have been dormant and use them to succeed.

6. You will recognize that you can survive this ordeal. Unless you get stuck. It’s imperative that you take whatever action is needed to get unstuck. Try coaching, therapy or a divorce group.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Divorce will make you into a veritable superman/woman if you allow yourself to reach your potential.

Sunshine came softly through my window today
Could’ve tripped out easy a-but I a-changed my ways
Sunshine Superman, Donovan

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Post-Divorce Lesson: Pain is Inevitable, But Misery is Optional

Leave it to AA to pick up on the Buddhist approach to life. I’m taken with songs, websites and books that address the pain of separation and divorce, yet also inject a wonderful dose of humor, demonstrating that misery is, indeed, optional. Pray for You is my current fav. Despite the hope that

All your dreams never come true


I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend
And wake up with his and her tattoos

was not meant to be serious.

Another example is my ex wife’s wedding dress. After his wife of 12 years left him in pain, this entertaining blogger couldn't help but notice that a single item remained in her section of our closet, her wedding dress. And he set out to identify 101 clever and amusing uses for it.

So what I’m saying here is that perhaps we don’t have to take ourselves and our pain so seriously. After all, the research does show that trauma results in coping and resilience. So it’s not all bad. You have to have some adversity to give you the strength to handle problems that will invariably come your way. And sometimes it’s the pain that pushes you to change in positive ways.

As the Dalai Lama said:

Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.

So maybe creating a website or writing a song are not the ways you might move on, but perhaps journaling, working out or something else new is on your path to happiness.

For fun: Pray for You. Jaron and the Long Road to Love

Monday, January 10, 2011

Learning From Divorce. What Careers Can Tell Us.

Looking at a recent study of careers with high divorce rates, what can we learn for our post-divorce relationships?

Possibilities include:

*From dancers and bartenders, beware of temptation from lots of social or physical contact, especially when wearing formfitting clothing or when alcohol is flowing freely.

*Telephone operators, home health workers and psychiatric nurses suggest we need to leave the stress at work.

*Factory workers make me wonder about crazy shift work, the stress of boring and monotonous work, and how they affect home life.

*And then there are massage therapists…a no brainer?

You could marry an engineer, optometrist or podiatrist, or you could just try to work on behaviors that make for good relationships.

Have a listen: Friday on my Mind, Easybeats,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Secret Destinations Post-divorce

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. Martin Buber

Starting a new year post-divorce can be trying, but what a great quote to start with. I see it as a way of reflecting on how we never quite know what we’ll encounter in our journey. Most of us don’t expect to get divorced, so the divorce is certainly a secret destination, but so is everything that comes after that day.

When I consider all that I’ve done in the seven years since my divorce, it’s quite astounding. And no, I have not developed more modesty. A runner for many years, I was inspired to run my first 10K and have run it 3 more times since then. Running races was never something on my radar, so it turned out to be a secret destination. Also ran my first 5K and have run that one a few more times. A psychologist for many years, I studied life coaching and attained my certification which was a destination I’d never planned. Although I’m an avid fitness person, I’ve become a serious student of yoga, which was something entirely new to me. No doubt as a result of all this fitness, I got my first massage and have joyfully had many since, another secret destination.

What it striking to me when I look at my life and the lives of others, is that we frame our journeys and the many secret destinations we visit along the way, with our particular mindset. For me, the post-divorce years are joyous, free and invigorating. Sure there’s been angst and pain; it happens to everyone for various reasons. But I choose not to frame my journey in those terms. I’ve accomplished a lot of things, and they probably have less to do with being divorced and more to do with filling the 7 years of this journey with a lot of travel, hence many secret destinations. I have many clients and friends who view their post-divorce secret destinations with the same kind of pleasure and acceptance. Then there are others for whom everything post-divorce is less than, not as good as or otherwise deficient; they do not brag about their secret destinations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all have secret destinations, and it’s wise to learn to accept the ones that are difficult, and be sure to arrive at others that are exciting and fun.

I can’t help it, but the song that comes to mind is It Happens, Sugarland. So shoot me for mixing Buber and C&W.