Our self-esteem impacts every aspect of our lives, from our day-to-day satisfaction to building strong, lasting relationships. So why do many of us struggle to practice self-love if it’s so critical to our happiness?

Many of us experienced trauma, whether in our childhood, adolescence or in a toxic relationship, that stripped us of our confidence and forced us into a cycle of broken relationships and unhappiness. This trauma robbed us of the opportunity to discover ourselves and find pride in who we are.

In order to move on from this trauma, we must get to the root of ourselves; it’s hard to have self-esteem if you don’t even know yourself. I’ve created a list of seven steps you can take to know yourself, improve your self-esteem, increase your self-love, and heal yourself and your relationships. Reconstructing your self-esteem will increase your confidence, empower you to find your own voice, free you of the thief of joy that is comparison, and end the cycle of negative self-talk.

You deserve to feel powerful, peaceful, and happy with yourself. All of that is possible if you are ready to put in the work.

Honor all sides of yourself.

There are times when we all get stuck in our roles. We think of ourselves as just a mother, just an attorney, just a spouse; but the truth is that nobody is only one thing and, when we forget the other aspects of our true selves, we lose ourselves inside the role we play. But nobody is ever just one thing, we are all multifaceted beings, and it’s important for us to honor every side of ourselves. If you want to be fully giving of yourself and your love, whether that’s to your partner or your children, you must first honor your full self.

Maybe you are a mother… but maybe you’re also a painter. A baker. A reader. A dancer. A dreamer. A runner. A traveler.

Think of all the things you are and pay special attention to the activities and experiences that. Give yourself the gift of acknowledging and honoring all those other sides of yourself.

Make a “love” list.

What are some things you love to do? Maybe you like to listen to music, play board games with friends, or wake up early on Sunday mornings to do yoga. Make a list of everything that you love, everything that gives you joy, and then do those things. Make space in your life, preferably at least 15 minutes a day and at least a full hour once a week, to experience the things that you love to do.

When we actively seek out things we love and carve out a specific time each day to have those positive experience, we experience a twofold benefit: we get to look forward to that experience all day and we get to carry the joy of the experience with us when it’s complete.

Repeat positive affirmations.

Take a moment to look at the thoughts and self-talk you’ve put on autopilot. What are you telling yourself? What is that inner dialogue saying? Then, consider how those thoughts are serving you. Are they bringing you joy? Do they make you feel good?

Acknowledge the subconscious thoughts that cross your mind, but do not give them space. Instead, replace them with positive affirmations. Say the following phrases to yourself at least twice a day:

I’m sorry.

Apologize to yourself. Say “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not being attentive, for not listening to you, for not honoring you in the best way.”

I love you.

This is so powerful. Every single one of us wants to be loved. But how can we expect love from others if we are unwilling to love ourselves? Say out loud “I love you, self. I love every facet of you.

I forgive you.

As you lay in bed each night, reflect on your day and forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for anything that makes you feel shame or guilt. Say out loud, “I forgive you. I forgive you for not accomplishing all the tasks you wanted to. I forgive you for making mistakes. I forgive you for struggling.” Then, let it go. Release that shame and guilt and allow yourself to be forgiven.

Thank you.

This is so important. Remember to thank yourself for existing, for making an impact on the people around you, for trying your best, for just being you. These affirmations can replace any negative self-talk and give you a chance to honor and heal yourself of pain.

Find and seek positive influences in your life.

It’s often said that we are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with. It’s important to evaluate what sort of influence the people in your life have on your day. If you find that some of the people you spend your time with are having a negative impact on your life, then limit the time you spend with those negative influences. In situations where you know you will be spending time with negative or toxic people, such as family members that you can’t dodge, prepare yourself. Use your positive affirmations to pump yourself up before you engage with them. Remind yourself of your strength, your beauty, your power, and your value. As often as possible, choose to spend time with people who lift you up and bring you joy.

Make a list of your accomplishments.

Take some time to sit and write out everything you’ve accomplished. That doesn’t mean massive accomplishments, like a new career or some award, that means write down everything you’ve accomplished. Did you graduate high school? Great, write it down! Did you catch up on the laundry yesterday? Yep, write that down to. Anything that you’ve completed goes on the list. Then, for the next 21 days at least, reflect on that list. Read it back to yourself. Congratulate yourself on your accomplishments and allow yourself to be amazed by all the tiny things that added up.

Develop skills and passions that give you a sense of accomplishment.

Take a look at the things you’re passionate about and take some time to develop the skills related to that passion. You can also learn something completely new! Either way, developing new skills gives us something to be proud of, which is an important confidence-booster. Building new skills makes us feel good about ourselves and it also gives us something to brag about.STOP comparing yourself to others.

Let me start by saying this: social media isn’t real life. Theodore Roosevelt once famously said that comparison is the thief of joy, and he couldn’t have been more correct. Please, for the sake of your own happiness, do not start your day with social media. When we scroll through those curated, retouched, and airbrushed photos we aren’t seeing real life; we’re just seeing the version of reality that celebrities and friends want us to see.

 

The life you have is beautiful.

You are beautiful.

 

The only comparison you should be doing is comparing today’s self to yesterday’s self. Have you grown? Have you improved? That is all that matters. Acknowledge and embrace your growth.

 

You are only meant to be you. You aren’t meant to be perfect. You aren’t meant to have the life of some polished celebrity. You are the essence of God’s child and, rather than wishing you were someone or somewhere else, honor and love the miracle that you are.

 

You are unique and that is your power. Love all of yourself. Show yourself compassion, patience, and forgiveness. Don’t let your mistakes define you; instead, let your self-love and grace be the thing that guides your day. We all fail, we all fall down, we all stumble on our paths.

 

What matters is that you recognize those mistakes and then let them go.

 

You are worthy of love and you are especially worthy of self-love.

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The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.  As adults, it’s easy to forget that these young kids that we are trying to teach simple manners to or have to remind to brush their teeth, will be full-fledged adults, just like us.  It’s therefore only natural that we dismiss how relevant our “authority” and example can play such a significant role in how our littles evolve. Nurture over nature is not anything new, it holds a ton of truth, and regardless of if you’re a single parent or happily married (maybe unfortunately unhappily married even), you still have control of how your kids are shaped.  

Here are 3 Ways Instill or Boost the confidence in your kids (at any age)

  1. Learn to Disagree:  Whether it’s with a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, etc.  You are bound to encounter conflict.   Conflict is normal and it’s part of life, and actually helps us grow.  The best way to teach your kids to overcome conflict is to agree to disagree.  Show them that being narrow-minded gets them nowhere and will only add to their frustration, which can lead to anxiety and depression.  Instead, it’s imperative to teach kids that not everyone thinks, feels or perceives things the same way.  Having this instilled in them will allow them to overcome conflict without it taking over their emotions as they face conflict of their own as adults.  
  2. Remind them How Loved they are:  You can never say “I love you” too much.  And besides the words alone, show them you love them by making 1 on 1 time with them.  Tell them how proud you are of them about a test, a performance, or even something simple, like doing what they are supposed to do on a routine basis.  Over time, this “show and tell” of love will boost their confidence and security within themselves, just by showing them what you naturally feel as their parent.  I have a client who is blessed with four children. She has this beautiful ritual of doing every night a quality night with each child. It makes them feel special and gives them individual time and attention to bond.
  3. Never put your Child in the Middle:  Whether you are married, divorced or separated, it’s important to remember that you’re 1 of 2 of their parents.  Typically children that have both of their parents in their life, love them both the same.  Yes, they may get away with more with mom, vs. dad,  or vice versa, but ultimately, both parents are important.  If you are ever fighting with their other parent, or even if you aren’t fighting, but just feel any kind of animosity towards them, it’s super important to keep your kids out of it.  They are the middle person here, and should never feel like they have to favor sides.  What this will do is make them weaker as an adult when they are faced with choices that they don’t want to make.  Teaching them to allow themselves to be overpowered by someone else’s opinion will affect their confidence greatly!

You no doubt, love your kids.  Whether they are babies or teens, it’s never too late to shape them.  If you start doing these things TODAY, no matter what you did YESTERDAY, you will help instill the confidence your child needs to be a more successful, independent and confident leader of our future.  

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My daughter turned 21 this week!!! TWENTY ONE!!! How CRAZY!

It is hard to believe how fast time flies. Where did all those years go? I am stunned at how fast time flies and feel overwhelmed by not being able to figure out how that even happened.

She is also married for ten months and madly in love with her prince charming. My amazing wonderful son in law.

Yet I sit here puzzled and confused for it makes no sense to me.

It was just yesterday that my world was filled with most magical gift of all, when God blessed and granted me the most precious little heavenly angel.

I remember hearing her first cries in the delivery room, the emotions I felt are inexplicably. I cried tears of joy and was overcome by incredibly strong feelings of love. I never thought it’s possible to love someone this deeply and fully.

It is hard to explain how it feels to hold your own child for the first time in your hands. She was perfect, very small, fragile and so vulnerable. I knew I had a mission and a very important one. My life would now be all about her, her physical emotional and mental well being. It would revolve around seeing her grow and reach every milestone with pride. It would be about creating a world filled with happiness and safety.

When I close my eyes I can vividly see what she looked like, feel her little fingers grasp around mine like saying:” I need you mommy”.

I can feel her little toddler hands around my neck, holding tight, saying: “Mommy I love you”.

She gave me the “MOM” title, and ever since that day my whole world changed.

From the very first moment she came into my life the word “LOVE” took on a whole new meaning.

It isn’t a love you experience with anyone else, it is one that is locked in a special safe and sacred space called “Mom & daughter love”, that comes to life the moment you hold that precious little angel in your arms for the first time.

It is a love that is eternal, that no one can take away from you.

It is a love that surpasses logic, that overcomes all obstacles and challenges.

It is the one love that you cherish with you forever and changes your reality.

As she grew older she amazed me with her lively personality and vibrant attitude to life. She was courageous, fearless and fierce. Nothing stopped her from going after what she believed. Nothing stopped her from standing up for truth. Nothing changed her values and principles of honesty, integrity and love.

She is a light that lights up not just my world, but the world of everyone she comes into contact with.

After my divorce, I always worried about her, worried that she shouldn’t get hurt like I did. Prayed that no man ever break her heart. AND trust me I prayed HARD!

My biggest fear was to see her getting hurt. I had sleepless nights when she started dating, worrying that she may make the same mistakes I did and be blindsided. I always had a silent prayer on my lips, hoping and begging God to guide her and give her the clarity and insight to make the right choices.

God answered my prayers, he sent her the most amazing incredible lover and life partner one could dream of. They are like two teas in a pod. They are one soul! Never saw anything like that, and as I write these words I smile and tears of joy are welling up into my eyes. I smile at the miracle and blessing God granted her and me.

He is an outstanding young man, who loves her to no end, who protects her, who takes care of her in every way possible, who respects her to no end, cherishes her, admires her and just simply adores her. He is a God sent. I don’t doubt it for a minute.

This week as we celebrate her birthday, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the incredible blessings God has given me. To watch my daughter evolve into this young beautiful courageous loving woman, to see her being loved and happy, to see her shine her light into the world. What more could I possibly ask for?

Thank you God for letting something this amazing evolve from one of the most painful events in my life – my divorce.

Little did I know how much joy and happiness this pain will shine into my life.

 

So, yesterday was my birthday a big number, one I try to kind of deny to myself even. So last night I sat down and asked myself what did I actually learn this past year? Am I really a year older and wiser? Taking a deep look at my soul and reflecting back on the past year I came up with a few things that I think really have shifted for me this year.  I wanted to share them with you, because sharing is caring and if I can just help one person out there it was worth all the challenges that got me to the lessons learned.

  1. My relationship with God. Here is the thing, my relationship with God hasn’t always been great. It was more of a love, hate relationship similar to the one I had with my father. It was filled with fear and awe, yet never really close and full of faith. A lot has happened over the course of my life in which I did some deep soul searching and healing and learned that God is nothing like my father. He is kind, compassionate, caring and all merciful, and that the challenges we encounter in our lives are there for our growth. (this is a long enough topic for a whole other blog). Some of the challenges really where bigger then what I thought I could handle and overcome, but looking back I see a clear pattern. During the hardest times of my life there where only one set of footprints in the sand, for it is in those times that God was actually carrying me, rather than just walking by my side.  One of the most difficult moments of my life  happened two years ago when my husband had a heart attack and a stroke! My world came crashing down and I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. Yet I clearly remember a force of energy within me while sitting in the ICU watching my husband on the respirator. I clearly remember a spirit holding me up when I felt like I was falling apart.  I clearly remember talking to God and asking him to please not take away the love of my life whom I found after many years that where filled with pain.  My husband eventually woke up and started a long journey of recovery. There were days where I felt like dying inside, the challenges ahead seemed like huge mountains and I missed the man I had married terribly. He had to relearn many things and spend a long time in therapy and rehab. It was during this time that I realized clearly that on the days that I had full faith in God that things will get better I CLEARLY saw the improvements and the shifts. On the days that I spoke to God, expressed my fears and trusted he would help us, I saw miracles.  I now know that when I encounter a challenge all I have to do is connect to God, talk to him, ask him for guidance and direction and I right away feel calmer, more at peace and regain my confidence.
  2. Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. I am sure you have found yourself at times focusing on what you don’t have, its natural, we are all guilty of it. I have noticed a clear pattern in myself. Anytime I get feelings of frustrated or discontent they are a direct result of my focus. “Where Focus goes, energy flows” -Tony Robbins, and so when I find myself focusing on what I don’t have rather then what I do have I noticed that all of a sudden frustrations kick in and everything seems bleak. I actually just experienced it last week, while traveling with my family on a vacation. We were spending some time with other families and all of sudden it seemed like this couples life was just picture perfect, all smooth sailing. I starting focusing on the challenges my husband and I had to overcome after the heart attack and stroke and immediately felt myself shift into a negative place.  I right away said to myself “Stop, focus on what you do have”, he could have not made it all, he made it and he is alive and thank God well. That is why I am a big believer in having a gratitude journal or joining a gratitude support group. I find that when we express what we are grateful for in writing we train our minds to focus on the positive which makes all the difference in the world. The same goes for focusing on what you can change, rather than focusing on what you can’t change.  This mindset directly impacts the outcome of your life and relationships. I became strongly aware of the things that are out of my control and constantly remind myself to stop wanting to change them. Instead I focus on what I can change and think of solutions and strategies based on that.  Make a conscious decision to focus on what you can control. Focus on solutions instead of the problems. Focus only what YOU can do to change a situation, not what you wish others would do that would change the situation.  This mindset has helped me shift my mindset to happier more content place.
  3. Focus on the future.  We are all impacted by our pasts, childhoods, negative or painful experiences, but what we chose to focus on will determine the level of our success.  There are times when I would allow my past to define me and hold me back from what I truly want in my life. I sometimes feel that my failures or my story are ME and forget that it’s just a part of my journey. I learned that I can re-write my story and not be a prisoner to my past, perceived failures or painful experiences. Granted it takes a lot of inner work, healing and serious self-motivation, but I refuse to let myself be defined by my past and am on a mission to re-write my story. If you want to change your life then change your story.

Sharing these lessons, is a gift from me to you on my birthday and I hope that it helped you somewhat and perhaps gave you some food for thought….

If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed and alone, feel free to reach out for your complimentary “Unleash your power” complementary session. Click here to schedule your appointment.

 

When I was going through my divorce I noticed that in spite of the fact that I really wanted the divorce and couldn’t wait to set myself free, many phases of grief where part of the process. For me it was interesting to realize that although I really wanted the divorce I still had to deal with some heavy emotions, such as loss, fear, anger and stress. So no matter where you are on your journey or who initiated the divorce, know that it is normal for you to experience a series of different emotions and you will go through different phases, just like any other major loss in life. Prepare yourself to grieve for the loss and death of your marriage, a dream you had hoped would last forever, and a future you had planned that you now know will never happen. You might not experience all of these phases and they aren’t necessarily in this order, but know they are normal and part of the healing process.

The Denial Stage

When I finally made the decision to call it quits, I realized that a part of me was acting as if everything was normal. I wanted for my life to go on as usual and didn’t allow myself to really feel the pain. In both situations whether the divorce decision was thrust upon you or you where the one call it quits, you might find yourself acting as if nothing happened. When you first make the decision to divorce, or have that decision thrust upon you, you may react by acting as though nothing has happened. You may carry on your normal life, going about your normal routines and refuse to believe the reality of what is happening in your life. Part of the reason why people just go on with their life in this phase is because they are in a state of shock and numbness. I have noticed that for many who are in this denial phase the reality kicks in later often time causing delayed reactions of grievance.

Pain and Fear

If you are anything like me, you may be experiencing this phase intensely. Divorce is devastating and a massive change in your life. Maybe you got your heart broken by the man you loved deeply, or maybe you just realized that in spite of having invested years and a lot of work in your marriage you have come to accept that it is just not going to work out. You will notice your denial wear off and the reality of your situation kick in. You will experience the pain of losing the marriage, the dreams, the commitment till death do us part and then start feeling the fear of what your future might hold. The unknown, the uncertainties of how you will manage on our own, start overwhelming you.  Maybe you left the workforce when you got married and became fully dependent on your ex-husband, maybe you got very attached and can’t imagine how to live life without him.  Know that the fears will eventually fall into perspective and that you are stronger than you think.

The Anger Stage

I have come across many of my clients who truly struggle with this phase. You might be looking for someone to blame for this horrible thing that has happened in your life. Maybe you have justifiable anger towards your ex-spouse (maybe he cheated, or was abusive). Perhaps you in laws where the cause of your divorce when they started meddling into your life. While it is normal to feel some degree of anger, if you realize that your anger is out of control and impacting the wrong people, especially your children, then please seek professional help. I can’t tell you how many cases of children who have been broken and destroyed because their parents couldn’t figure out a way to channel their anger. Ultimately the kids end up suffering the most, so don’t forget to protect them and get the guidance you need.  Another issue that may arise is you having to deal with the anger of your ex-spouse or even your children who are blaming you for the divorce. In situations like this get the guidance you need to help you navigate this challenge.  Every person’s situation is different for which the guidance would need to be adapted to your individual circumstances.

The Bargaining Stage

You might find yourself bargaining either with yourself or your ex. Maybe you are promising to change so you can get another chance, or trying to justify some of the behavior from your spouse just so you can prevent the divorce from happening. It is very important that you get clear why you are doing this. Are you trying to stop the pain?  Will denying the reality of who your spouse is, or how much abuse you have put up with really save the marriage? Can this marriage truly be saved? If you were to make the changes you are telling yourself and your soon to be or maybe already ex-spouse lead to happy union? Get very clear where the intent is coming from. I have worked with many clients who have gotten stuck in this stage, either because they were avoiding the pain or they needed to regain a sense of control.  I am not saying that reconciling isn’t a possibility,  and have had quite a few cases who have been able to successfully reconcile, but it took more than just avoiding the pain or trying to regain control to rekindle and salvage those relationships.

The Guilt Stage

I think most people go through this phase, where regardless of why your divorce happened and who’s fault it really was, you start thinking about what and how you could have done things differently. I remember wondering what it was about me that wasn’t good enough for this marriage to work out. What could I have done to prevent this and made my marriage work. Realize that this is really the phase that you need the most support in, for if you let the guilt take over you will lose your sense of direction. There are many cases where really there is nothing one could have done to change the reality, and not having an outside perspective to give you that clarity can really get you deeply into a state of guilt which might lead to depression.

The Depression Stage

It is entirely normal to feel some degree of depression when going through a divorce. Don’t start medicating yourself right away thinking there is something clinically wrong with you. This type of depression is circumstantial and normal for most people to experience. You may find it hard to sleep even though you feel physically and mentally exhausted. You could lose your appetite or overeat. You might feel very stressed and find yourself short-tempered and snappy with those close to you.  Know that all these things are normal and that you are still grieving.  Also remember that your children may also feel like this and need support and reassurance. If your or your children’s  symptoms of depression escalate and start preventing you (or them) from functioning seek professional help.

The Acceptance Stage

This is when you made it I would say. At one point you will begin to accept your new reality. You will realize that your life has changed in many ways and that things will never be the way they were. Nevertheless, you will be OK and start discovering that in spite of it never being the way things were, it can still be great and you will start focusing your mindset towards that new future.

Know that you are a lot stronger then you know, believe in your ability to be resilient, survive and re-invent yourself. You will feel empowered and feel confident that you can start a new life.

You are now a lot stronger because of everything you have survived, and in spite of how scary the future might seem, you now have the faith in yourself that you know you can do this.

 

 

how-to-prepare-for-divorce

Divorce may be the biggest life challenge you ever face. What do expert coaches recommend you do to prepare? We consulted with 21 Certified Divorce Coaches to share their #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce.  Check out their great advice below!

What’s your #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce?

Cherie Morris

The #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce is to start today to gather information and become an informed participant in the process. This requires a mindset for success. Achieving this perspective may require you to access feelings and skills that you may previously have avoided or did not have. A divorce coach can help with both. I will stand by your side, each step of the way, as you make all of the difficult choices surrounding the decisions in divorce, and will recommend additional resources as needed. You do not need to do this alone. You can thrive after divorce and I can show you how to empower yourself to do sso.

To learn more about Cherie:

www.DearDivorceCoach.com

www.facebook.com/DearDivorce/Coach

www.twitter.com/DearDivorceTeam

Laura Bonarrigo

Do your emotional work. Understand why you are going through your divorce on an emotional level. It is your “modern day rite of passage” not just a fight, not just a headache, not simply “something to get through.” When you understand why you’re growing through this experience, all the other practical decisions are easier!

To learn more about Laura:

www.laurabonarrigo.com

Karen Mode Lightfield

My #1 tip to prepare for a divorce is to quietly meet with an attorney while contemplating a divorce to see how things might play out for them and their unique situation if they do file. I also advise those considering divorce to check reviews, ask others that are divorced for referrals, and interview potential attorneys until they find one they can work well with through each step of the process.

To learn more about Karen:

www.karenmodelightfield.com

Suzan Pearlstein

Our number one tip for preparing for divorce is to take the time to get clear about your values.  You must know what is most important to you and define what you stand for.  Once you identify  what your real priorities are it will  give you purpose and help you make decisions during and after the divorce that will move you in a positive direction to a new and better life.

To learn more about Suzan:

www.divorcecoachingaz.com

Kerry Porter

You must take control of your divorce process. When meeting with an attorney for the very first time, you should already have an outline of your strategy in mind, as well as a detailed, written plan on paper. Preparation is the key to ensuring that time, effort and money is not wasted, hiring a Certified Divorce Coach can prepare you.  Just as many couples getting married claim to save substantially by working with a wedding planner, hiring a Divorce Coach could be the best investment that you make, helping you to narrow down your options, organize your thoughts, and create a plan which will save you time, stress, and legal fees.

To learn more about Kerry:

www.divorceresponseteam.com

www.facebook.com/DivorceResponseTeam

https://www.instagram.com/divorceresponseteam/

Martha Bodyfelt

Learn how to plan and set goals for yourself. Divorce is overwhelming because you are stressed and filled with emotion, which it makes it hard to look beyond the day-to-day drama. But identifying what you want for yourself in the next week, the next month, the next three months, the next six months, even the next year, and listing those goals out puts you back in control of your life.  Once you identify what you hope to achieve, write down the steps to get there. When you take these steps, your stress and fear decrease. Your confidence starts to return. And you realize just how strong you are.

To learn more about Martha:

survivingyoursplit.com

www.facebook.com/survivingyoursplit

Mondana Nikoukari

“Owning” your divorce process from the beginning insures satisfaction about its terms many years later. Therefore, planning for your divorce should follow a process of carefully thought out decisions that reflect your long term future goals. Gather a support team of professionals you trust to be your sounding board and cheerleaders for the various facets of the divorce process.  Divorce coaches, financial experts, parenting coordinators, therapists and attorneys can educate you on the many paths and solutions that can make weighty decisions along the way clear, accessible and have successful long term outcomes.  In the long run, these supportive divorce services can save you money and personal anguish for years to come by helping you prioritize the things that are most important in your future.

To learn more about Mondana:

www.facebook.com/ctdivorcecoach

Angela Ianuale Shanerman

My best recommendation to anyone struggling or feeling stuck in their relationship, would be to work with a Certified Divorce Coach like myself. As your divorce coach, I am your thinking partner and champion for you, because you are the expert of your life. In the coaching process, you are going to gain more clarity and confidence in your decision-making, be able to really focus on your concerns, be heard in a safe nonjudgmental environment, so that you really have the best possible outcome. Every area of your life is at stake and impacted from the decisions you make (family, finances, children, parenting, career, etc.), how could you possibly go at it all alone!

To learn more about Angela:

www.angelashanerman.com

www.facebook.com/angelashanerman

Kira Gould

I strongly believe that knowledge is power, and that information about your financial situation and the divorce process will serve you well as you move through the dissolution of your marriage. But even more importantly, I encourage you to create some time and space to get in touch with who you are, and how you want to move through your divorce. What are your values? How do you want to be seen during and after your divorce? What are your intentions? To be collaborative, compassionate, financially responsible, present with your children? Get a journal and write some of this out. Get clear on what your priorities are. This act of journaling and gaining clarity can help be your touchstone and reminder when faced with any tough decision — of which there may be many when going through divorce.

To learn more about Kira:

www.getting-unmarried.com

www.movingon.us

Kimberly Mishkin

As coaches, we help our clients understand that divorce is not solely a legal dilemma, nor is it just a financial question — it is a whole life challenge.  It’s vital that you get educated, yes legally and financially, but also practically and emotionally as well.  This is not the time to go it alone, the decisions are too big and important — you must look for someone to guide you, to take your hand and to lead you as you navigate this difficult terrain.

To learn more about Kimberly:

www.sasforwomen.com

Sharon Qualls

Divorce can overwhelm your whole life.  One of the most important things to do once you have decided to move forward with divorcing is put together your team.  More and more people are seeing the value of a divorce coach as part of their professional team, providing clarity and focus, saving them money and time. Coaches help you choose the right professional team for your situation, your attorney and your CDFA, with a plan and these three professionals, you are on the path to creating a secure future beyond divorce.

To learn more about Sharon:

www.sharonqualls.com

Carron Nicks

No one is ever prepared for the length of time a divorce will take. And this is not always due to recalcitrant parties or obstructionist attorneys. Courts are clogged, and the process takes time: petition and answer, discovery, mediation, child evaluations, all take more time than you expect. I tell clients two years. If it takes less, they feel they’ve accomplished something.

My #2 tip for preparing for divorce: Consider collaborative divorce, even if you feel like you’re giving up money or ground to your spouse. The process will take less of a toll on you, your family, and often your finances. And, if you have children, it will foster a sense of cooperation that will serve you well as you co-parent.

To learn more about Carron:

www.coachcarron.com

Pearl Flax

Take a deep breath, slow down and focus on what is most important. Your health and sanity are always of utmost importance in life, yet many people going through divorce neglect this known fact and allow pressure and stress to get to them. Before even entering the process promise yourself that you will walk this path slowly, take your time and listen to your subconscious mind and body. Educate yourself, try and do as much research as possible before making any rash decisions that you will later regret.

To learn more about Pearl:

www.pearlflax.com

Cindy Holbrook

Get a good solid support team because you are in for a wild emotional roller-coaster ride. Your support team will enable you to go get clear on what you want, make the divorce process as pain free as possible for everyone involved, save you time and money, and guide you as you transition into your newly single life. At the very least your support team should include an attorney, a certified divorce financial analyst and a divorce coach, so that you can begin to create the next chapter in your life – a life where you know peace and happiness.

To learn more about Cindy:

www.coachingfordivorcedwomen.com/divorcees-guide-to-happiness

Robin Gardner

There are many points to consider when preparing for divorce since preparation is key, but I believe the most important tip overall is to create a healthy inner state of mind along with good self-care.  Your mindset is the one thing you have the ability to control, which will determine the type of divorce that you have.  This calls for you to be emotionally prepared and less reactive, which benefits communication and decision-making.  The right state of mind requires you to stay focused on your goal and create a plan for your life that you will need to get in order, which includes access to important documents.

Having the proper mindset also means being informed by doing research so that you aren’t blindsided by unforeseen facts and circumstances.  To ensure a healthy emotional state, establish a support network that includes trusted friends and family, therapists, coaches, etc. Remember to honor and support yourself every step of the way with plenty of love, self-confidence, and self-care.  Keep your eye on your future dreams and visions, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed…just BREATHE.

To learn more about Robin:

www.thedivorcecoachrobin.com

Emily Metzendorf

My #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce is to remember you are not alone and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Create a team of loyal, non judgmental, supportive friends and family and professionals- lawyer, mediator, coach, therapist, financial advisor, etc.- who make you feel safe, secure, heard and cared for. Then, after you have chosen them, use them to help guide you and support you through the process. Lastly, remember there is a happy chapter 2 awaiting you!

To learn more about Emily:

www.facebook.com/Emily-Metzendorf-Divorce-Coaching-1709348835944110

www.certifieddivorcecoach.com/emily-samuels

Hanna Perlberger

Having transitioned from being a divorce lawyer for over 25 years to mediation and divorce coaching, I am saddened by how many clients get hijacked by their attorneys who drive the process for their own agendas.  And so my number #1 tip is to hire a divorce coach who can discuss all of the alternative options for resolution, and should it be necessary to go the traditional route, to become empowered in how to hire the right attorney for you, to avoid the common emotional pitfalls of bad decision making, and to make choices that are aligned with your best self and that give you peace of mind.

To learn more about Hanna:

www.livingthrudivorce.com

Valerie Cherneski

The best way to prepare for divorce is to start as you mean to go on. This means that you take the time to understand what your values are, and who you are at your core. It is this version of you that you come back to at every twist and turn — and there will be twists and turns — to keep you grounded.  This could be one of the most difficult tests of your life, and if you can answer the question, “Who do I want to be right now?” in every tough scenario, you will be able to hold your head high and move through the divorce process with integrity and dignity.  Your values will guide you when you do not feel you have the strength to guide yourself.

To learn more about Valerie:

www.cherneskicoaching.com

Lisa McNally

Divorce Journaling is an absolute “must do” for anyone facing a divorce who wants to emerge victoriously emotionally, psychologically and procedurally as it relates to the divorce itself.  Divorce Journaling is a method of recording what’s on your mind in a private place meant to be viewed by you only.  It can encompass your thoughts, emotions, ideas, wants, needs, fears and anything else that’s of importance to you. In addition to helping you prepare your mindset for what’s to come in your divorce, Divorce Journaling will help you to clarify and manage your thoughts and feelings, reduce your stress, build your confidence, heal from within and free up valuable real estate in your mind, enabling you to remain mentally uncluttered and focused.

To learn more about Lisa:

www.divorcejournalingwithlisa.com

Cynthia Bacheller

Don’t communicate or make decisions when you are emotional. Instead, give yourself permission to take the time you need to calm down. To do this: 1) Pay attention to your emotions when communicating with your ex/co-parent; 2) Teach yourself to notice these feelings by reminding yourself to pay attention to these feelings and reflect on what is causing them; 3) Specify a timeframe to your ex/co-parent for when you will get back to him/her; 4) Intend, and do your very best to, stay within that timeframe; and 5) Seek the support you need to work through your feelings and make decisions that will ensure your family thrives.

To learn more about Cynthia:

www.certifieddivorcecoach.com/cynthia-bacheller

Marlene Bizub

My one piece of advice for divorcing parents is to not automatically think that they have to hire attorneys and litigate in order to become divorced.  Who one selects when they choose an attorney is important too.  There are collaborative attorneys.  Don’t feel as though this has to be a contentious process—because it doesn’t!

To learn more about Marlene:

www.marlenebizub.com

Here is a bonus gift for you, don’t forget to download your free guide on how to avoid the top 10 mistakes you want to avoid during your divorce. http://Divorcehelp1.gr8.com

If you’re looking for support, sign up for a PRIVATE (and free) consultation to talk about your journey and we’ll discuss if coaching is the right step for you

It’s done! You are now officially divorced, maybe moved into a new place and trying to move on…. Somehow everything around you just keeps you in the past and is holding you back from moving on. You look around you and realize there are so many THINGS around the house that keep you chained to a past you are looking to move on from. We all tend to hold on to some things we really think and feel we can’t let go of. Sometimes they have an emotional attachment, and at times having to part with it will trigger fear of actually having to bury the past. I remember clearing things out before I moved into a new house and the crazy turmoil of emotions I had to deal with while trying to just throw some things out. It wasn’t easy, but the feeling of starting fresh in a decluttered home opened up a whole new chapter of opportunities.

Decluttering is really about getting rid of things that no longer serve you, or use. It is really about letting go of the past, enjoying the here and now and clearing the path for a brighter future.  Decluttering your home will not only make your space feel less cluttered, but it will also help to clear your mind.  There will be less stuff to take care of, less running around trying to find things, and more time to spend on what is really important to you.

So why is it that some many people find this such a hard task to accomplish?

Some people have emotional hurdles that they need to overcome before being able to let go and get rid of belongings that tie them down to their past. Some may just be overwhelmed by the magnitude of such a cleanup project and have no clue where to start. Of course most of us will always find the excuse that we don’t have the time or energy to tackle this now. Whatever the reason of your decluttering paralysis, take a few minutes to sit and ask yourself what is it really that is holding me back from moving on, why is this so challenging for me? Then take the time to visualize the end result, breath deep and BELIEVE you can do it.

Here are some paralysis reasons:

  • Emotional Attachment.
    I am sure this is a big one for everyone. Giving items away that we longer use but have a personal attachment to can be very hard. I must admit that I have even shed some tears and really struggled as I gave away some of my daughters toys, clothing and other things that I held onto, but I can honestly say that I never had any regrets. I had a hard time getting rid of things from my failed marriage as well because it made it so FINAL and official. Looking back however it was just a brief moment of sadness as I let go of the past before being able to embrace the future. When getting rid of things from my failed marriage I felt that it helped me heal and let go of memories I needed to put behind me. That being said every situation is different and you have to know what is right for you so you can move on to your better and brighter future. I’m not saying that you have to give every single item away – you can always keep a few favorite treasures from the past if you have the space. You just need to make sure that you contain it!

 

  • Guilt
    The things we own should bring forth feelings of happiness and in some ways improve or be useful in our lives. So why do we hold onto things that make us feel guilty? I have held on to things out of pure guilt, guilt that I spent so much money on it, or guilt that I can’t get rid of something I got as a gift from my sister (emotional guilt). But the reality is that I will never wear/use it and I really don’t like this “thing”, yet I keep it hidden in the back of my closet. Truth is keeping it is not making me happy, nor will you be happy by keeping things out of guilt. SO GET RID OF IT and get RID of the GUILT!! It might be hard to let it go but you will so much lighter once you did.

 

  • The Desire for Perfection
    Social media has overtaken our lives in many ways, and managed to seep into our minds when it comes to organization as well. Yes, it’s great to have everything perfectly arranged and organized as seen on “Pinterest” or other social media platforms, but the reality is that it is not always realistic to accomplish perfection. So we push things off and wait for the day when we will have the time to get it done JUST RIGHT. DON’T wait, start NOW and do the best you can with what you have. Be proud and content with what you accomplished today and let go of the perfection image that is unattainable. You can always do more… start with something and start today.

 

  • The Item Represents Something That You Wish You Could Be.
    Do you have a whole closet filled with scrapbooking supplies that you have never even touched or a beautiful collection of sports equipment that has been sitting in your garage for years? (Don’t tell anyone but I do still have some scrapbooking boxes which I hope to work on with my daughter). Truth be told, I do love scrapbooking, but will I really ever get around to it? I think I am going to clear out some boxes today J! Maybe in your mind you think that you should want to be that person that has a huge collection of beautiful scrapbooks or devotes hours each day to participating in various sports activities. Be honest with yourself and take some time to figure out what you really want to do with your spare time. Keeping things around that just remind you of what you are not doing will not help you to achieve happiness. In fact, it will most likely have the reverse effect and just makes you feel bad about yourself. It is your life and you need to do what makes you happy!

 

  • I Might Need It/Want It Someday.
    Every year when it’s time for spring cleaning, I find myself faced with the same debate. What if I will need it someday? Maybe this year I will have extra time to explore this hobby! Reality check!! Chances are, if you haven’t used it an item in the past year, you will probably never use it again. In fact, once you have gotten rid of it, you will probably never eventhink of it again. And, on the off chance that you do need that kitchen gadget that has been sitting at the back of your kitchen cupboard for the past three years, you could always borrow one from someone else that actually uses one on a more regular basis.

 

  • I Am Just Waiting Until…
    This one is very similar to the I Might Need It but can be even more negative. You know, your favorite black dress from when you were twenty that would fit perfectly if you could just lose those 20 lbs. Or those skis  that are sitting in the garage just until you suddenly have more time to use them. or even worse anything that you have and are not using but waiting for WHEN you will be in a new relationship. These items drag you down and remind you of what you don’t have right now. Get rid of them and don’t hold onto somedays!! And if you do happen to lose those twenty pounds, you really deserve to go on a little shopping spree anyways!

 

  • I Am Just Waiting Until…
    This one is even worse than the previous waiting until… DO NOT hold on to items from your previous failed marriage or relationship for a new one. I see many people recycle gifts or furniture or other things in a new committed relationship. Chances are that these items hold negative emotions and memories you really do not want to hold onto. I know it’s expensive to replace certain things, especially furniture, but when you are finally moving on and into a new relationship, get rid of stuff that connects you to your previous failed relationship. They just hold too much emotional baggage, nothing you want to drag with you for the rest of your life.

 

  • Lack of Time and Energy
    We all have busy hectic lives, and decluttering usually doesn’t take priority. But the truth is that starting your decluttering process is more about emotionally committing to the process rather than finding the time. Whether you choose to spend an hour once per week decluttering or do 15-20 minutes per day, it doesn’t really matter. Because any time that you devote to the process moves you one step closer to getting things done. Set a realistic goal for what you can fit into your lifestyle and commit to it. Remember that getting things organized will actually free up more time in the long run because you will not be wasting time taking care of things that you do not use or looking for things that are buried in the clutter!

 

Are you ready to start letting go of some “things” from your failed relationships? Are you ready to let yourself move on and heal?

Here is a bonus gift for you, don’t forget to download your free guide on how to avoid the top 10 mistakes you want to avoid during your divorce. http://Divorcehelp1.gr8.com

If you’re looking for support, sign up for a PRIVATE (and free) consultation to talk about your journey and we’ll discuss if coaching is the right step for you

Divorcing parents: you can be super heroes to your children.

So many people come to my practice and tell me, “I want what is in the best interest for my child/ren”, yet cannot seem to get over their own agenda. They think they are acting in their child’s best interest, but in reality they are just acting out their emotions and hurt. Today I want to discuss a few points that would help divorcing parents truly act in the best interest of their children and become super heroes to them.

Here’s the plot twist: becoming their super hero means accepting that your children deserve to experience both a “Super-Mom” and “Super-Dad.” Your marriage is ending, but your relationship as co-parents continues. Super hero status depends on whether you exercise your powers to communicate positively with your children about their other co-parent. They need your permission and encouragement, demonstrated by all of your words and actions, to enjoy their relationship with your ex-spouse and feel supported for doing so.

This may sound flat-out horrible to you! The worse it sounds, the more you probably need to hear it. Amidst the overwhelming challenges presented by your divorce, your first act of heroism is to begin thinking about one another as co-parents, and move away from “ex-talk.” Your number one priority now is to make the healthiest possible choices—big and small—for your kids. Please consider these four commitments you can make as co-parents that will change the course of your children’s lives and in the process, possibly save yours too.

  1. Begin to access your super power—choose a healthier divorce.

The best decision divorcing spouses can make is choosing divorce mediation, instead of an ugly street fight in court. Most legal battles cause harm to your children. Litigation encourages spouses to become enemies. The increased intensity and duration of conflict can damage your child’s development and cause serious long-term problems. Consider how doubling-down on negative feelings about your spouse in a divorce war might affect your children, who need both of you as a source of love and stability in their lives, especially during a time of epic change.

In divorce mediation, you and your spouse together, with the help of a qualified neutral mediator, will address all of issues that a judge would decide: property and debt division, support issues and child custody (in mediation called a “parenting plan”). By avoiding court and engaging in respectful communication, you will stay in control of your own future and lower your family’s stress level. This is your first step—and an essential one—toward building a more peaceful co-parenting future and setting the stage to become super heroes to your children.

  1. Be truthful—but tell them only what they need to know.

Child specialists agree that parents need to communicate honestly and in advance that the separation is happening, the reasons behind it, and what the future might look like for the family. While specific approaches vary depending on age, renowned child psychologist and pioneering custody mediator, Donald Saposnek, Ph.D., urges parents to agree upon a truthful, carefully framed “mutual story of the divorce.”

First, parents should tell their children together about the divorce. Children need to hear “one mutual and consistent story” about why and how the divorce will happen, according to Saposnek. Telling your children a “mutual story,” in which neither parent is “bad,” joint responsibility for the divorce is taken and personal details are spared, will help them view the divorce as a “family re-organization” rather than a “break-up.” It will allow them to bond with both of you within the re-organized family from the outset.

For example, instead of Mom telling the children that the divorce is a result of Dad’s cheating and lack of care for the family, and Dad telling the children that Mom has been mean to him for years, a “mutual story” would focus on how much Mom and Dad both love them. It would also express how they will always be safe and cared for, and that although this may be difficult for everyone for a time, everything will be okay.

“Mommy and Daddy tried as hard as they could to live happily together but we have grown-up problems that we just can’t fix, so we’ve both decided that we shouldn’t be married anymore. We will always love you and take good care of you and be your Mommy and Daddy. You need to know that our divorce is not your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong. We are both very proud of you. Even though Mom and Dad will live in two different houses, you will see us both and we will keep loving you, and taking care of you and will each have special time with you. We both agree that it is important for us not to fight anymore and that we will be happier living in separate places.”

The “tell them what they need to know” approach applies after your divorce too. Spare the details as questions may arise or bumps occur in your co-parenting relationship. Agree on how you may need to elaborate on the mutual story as time goes on.

  1. Never argue with or criticize your co-parent in the presence of your children.

The true hero is a parent who prevents an argument from occurring in front of their children, not the parent who wins an argument. Never argue or fight with one another in front of your kids. It is a sin against their childhood. There is no excuse for it. So, learn to control yourself. Perhaps agree with your co-parent on a “code word” for when tense moments arise that signals: “we-both-need-to-STOP-NOW-because-continuing-will-permanently-damage-our-children.” Whatever it takes.

Speaking negatively about or criticizing your co-parent within earshot of your kids is equally harmful. Many child experts would call it “emotional child abuse.” When you attack your co-parent, you are also attacking your children. This makes sense because children view themselves as being a part of both of you. A condescending comment or a display of anger about your co-parent will cause unnatural stress on your children and can make them feel belittled and lower their self-esteem.

You are still entitled to your feelings and need to express them, but not to your children or anywhere near them. Beware: They can probably hear you talking on the phone in your house, or with a friend or relative while they sit in the backseat of your car.

  1. Proactively support your children’s relationship with your co-parent.

In addition to shielding your children from negativity, by positively reinforcing your co-parent when communicating with your children, you will advance healthy child development. I’m not claiming that it will be easy! In order to “talk the positive talk” with your children, it helps to “walk the positive walk” with your co-parent.

First, get yourself in the right frame of mind. Keep reminding yourself that your goal as a parent is not to win a popularity contest. Even if it were, omitting opportunities to positively support your co-parent would not help you win one in the end. Understand that for a while you may need to just “go through the motions” of practicing positive communication.

Second, find consensus with your co-parent about fostering a supportive co-parenting relationship. Agree that your children have an absolute right to a positive and full relationship with both of you. Agree that you will both look for ways to support your children’s relationship with the other, regardless of your personal feelings at any given moment. Agree to continuously communicate with each other about child’s needs.

Building this foundation of mutual understanding may allow positive communications about your co-parent come more naturally. If you’ve undertaken divorce mediation with a sophisticated mediator, you’ll lay the groundwork there. Many co-parents also greatly benefit from the expert advice of a therapist or social worker, during or post-divorce, who specializes in healthy co-parenting.

And finally, just do it. Here are some tips.

  1. Refer to one another “Mommy” and “Daddy” or “Mom and “Dad” rather than “your Mom/Mother” or “your Dad/Father.”
  2. Sincerely encourage your children to call or FaceTime the other during your own parenting time.
  3. Celebrate the time, activities, and fun moments your children had with your co-parent.

       “I’m excited to hear what you and Daddy did this weekend! … Wow, you went to the train park—that must have been so fun.”

“Cool new backpack. Did Mommy get that for you? I love it.”

  1. Have a photo—or a few—of your children with your co-parent in your home. It can be a reminder that you are both there for them, wherever they go. You can be clear that even though you and your co-parent are no longer married, you still respect one another as co-parents.
  2. Make a list of ten positive memories or good characteristics of your co-parent. Share them, one by one, when the time is right. Repeat them too. You might tell the story of your co-parents’ reaction when your child was born, a time your co-parent did a good deed for someone else or share a talent that your co-parent possesses.

The most heroic gift you can give your children is taking every opportunity possible to speak positively about your co-parent. Divorce in itself will not likely damage your children. However, how you choose to get divorced and behave after your divorce will make the difference. Choose to be super heroes to your kids. In doing so, you may also discover that you are the greatest super hero to yourself.

Some parents may find the above suggestions very hard to practice, mostly due to anger and hurt. It is totally understandable and you are not a bad parent for being stuck in the anger or hurt.  However, lingering anger will eventually effect your health and rob you from your own happiness.  Talk to someone who can help you deal with your emotions and heal. Do it for yourself and your children!

Here is a bonus gift for you, don’t forget to download your free guide on how to avoid the top 10 mistakes you want to avoid during your divorce. http://Divorcehelp1.gr8.com

If you’re looking for support, sign up for a PRIVATE (and free) consultation to talk about your journey and we’ll discuss if coaching is the right step for you