Post-Divorce Hilly: Why, Hello, Dahling!

I’m delighted to welcome Hilly as my Guest Blogger today.  Hilly responded to a Facebook post on the Divorced Women’s Club page by sharing the link to her article, this morning I took some time to read it, more than once 🙂 and I love it…….  I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I did.

Welcome to Post-Divorce Hilly. I’m sitting in my favorite sushi-Thai restaurant in a perfect little corner, on my laptop, waxing reflectively. A few months ago, while still married, I impassively missed this very scenario which had for so many years been a part of my life before marriage. Chunks of my entire life have been spent in restaurants this way, pad and paper(s) spread across the table with a copy of whatever book I was into, or, laptop (in later years) glowing on said book, fingers wildly hammering out thoughts before they escaped my head. Or just the book, splayed open with a sugar holder or set of salt and pepper shakers. Whatever.

During busy lunches and slow, 5:00 PM-early-bird dinners, over a lovely cup of tea-bliss, in the lilt and lull of foreign tongues and clinking cleared-away cups, I mulled the things I read, found the parts I related to, and churned over the parts I did not. I parsed out my life in fairly unremarkable keyboard chapters. Poetry, songs, fiction and non….(bless this keyboard I bang on. HA. Sorry.)…plays, scenes– that book I’ve started and stopped since Moses wore short pants…..

I write and read in this scene far better than I do in the quiet bosom of my own home. The goings-on become white noise, until that ONE damn kid can’t stop kicking my chair or clanking their metal spoon against the water glass, which Mummy finds so darling, especially when he hops out of the booth and goes barreling down the aisle with a wooooooooosh and a banshee wail.

“Isn’t he precious? Now he’s a truck!”  (Yes, Mummy, dearest, and I wish the front axle would snap off his cab so he’d careen off the……).

But the writing. The purposeful reading in places that inspired me, free of home distraction. The love of looking up for a pause and seeing life go on around me, all of its moving parts, in people bustling and in their actions and faces.

Why had I stopped?

This was not an abandonment of self, before we traverse down that road. This is not that huge and popular statement on women in marriage, that “losing myself” in the gnarly-knuckled fist of institutional patriarchy, etc. etc.; no. This was just a turn I took because something else pulled my attention away for a spell. A 4-year-spell.

Why did it happen?

Why does anyone stop doing certain things they love to do? Maybe as a show of consideration toward a significant other? Maybe just not time enough? In my case, when there was a choice of doing something in free time, I mostly chose to do things with my partner. It’s kind of the point, n’est-ce pas? Having a partner with whom to do things? We did many things together, and I didn’t notice or miss the practice of purposefully dining/having tea alone whilst creating. Until one day, I did.

Creative casualty.

Laze. It is too easy not to explore, to discover, to spill, to wrap up, to release, to mull, to orchestrate, to produce, to bear fruit. This is choosing the couch over the walk in the park at the end of May: you know it will thrill you if you can. just. get. up. And go. But Neflix just released the 4th Season of the Dr. McNuggets hospital drama…..and the decision is made, and the page is left unread, and the word left unwritten, and the brain bleeds from being spoon-fed a story you didn’t take the time to read or write yourself.

And you turn your back on who you are, on God, really, when you think of it. My mother always said, “It’s a sin to waste God’s gifts.” Who are you to sidestep what God gives you???

Parallel and akin to, “Oh- you’re not going to church again? You don’t have one hour for God?” I’ll have an hour next week, right? Dr. McShitbird ended last season in a widely publicized affair with Datia, the 11-fingered Ukranian Foreign Exchange Student turned Candy Stripe-trix. God understands.

My point (there might be one) is that we sometimes make decisions to stop cultivating significant pieces of who we are for spells. It’s okay. I was never empty-handed. I was filled in other ways, and in result, seem no worse for the wear. I didn’t fully stop reading, I didn’t fully stop writing, I didn’t ever stop being Hilly, I just stopped this particular routine and took up others for a while.

I am glad to have this time again, and I’m glad to sit and sip with an old friend.

If you enjoyed this article visit her website here:  http://tippyteacup.com

Visit our website: www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

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EMOTIONAL MASTERY

Emotional Mastery!!!!

Is there really such a thing, are we able to be in control of our own emotions? Is it something ‘anyone’ can do? The answer is Yes!

Before I go on and I will come back to this in another email, our emotions are there to serve us, they have a very real purpose and it’s good to know there is nothing wrong with us when we are an ’emotional mess.’  More about this in the next newsletter.

Many people generally believe they have no control over their emotions. ” He made me so mad”, “she always makes me angry.” We have all made these comments or something similar from time to time, and yes when someone did something that really got under our skin it does trigger our emotions and can really fire us up.

I would like you to consider that you already know how to be emotionally masterful, and in these examples just notice if you can remember situations where you may have done something similar.

You are on the phone have a conversation with someone, perhaps it’s someone you really don’t like and you are being nice and polite through the conversation and occasionally you just put you had over the phone, and yell at them and or call them an idiot and then you calmly remove your hand from over the phone, return to the conversation and carry on as if nothing has happened.

If you have kids and you are on the phone and they start playing up, similar to the example I have just given, cover the phone, yell at kids to get to their rooms, then start talking again as if nothing has happened.    

These are examples of how you changed your emotional state!

We all change our state many times throughout the day.  If I get up in the morning and not feeling like I can be bothered going for a walk but I do it anyway and before I know it, everything feels different, my breathing changes, my posture changes, my focus changes, I hear birds in the trees, I feel the breeze on my skin and life suddenly feels good.

Here is a very simple explanation of how you can change and manage your emotional state.  Simply changing one of these three, will change the others.

The mind and the body are linked in such a way that

  • What you think affects your feelings and your physiology
  • What you feel affects your physiology
  • What you do with your body, your physiology affects your thinking and your feelings

Take a moment to think about some of the resources you already have (like going for a walk (physiology) that you know when you do them or when you think about them they have a positive affect on your emotional state.

Have fun with this and I’ll dive into more about this emotional “stuff’ next time.

Are you ready to become emotionally masterful?  Click the link below to find our how

The Keys To Unlocking Your Personal Power

http://divorcedwomensclub.teachable.com/p/the-keys-to-unlocking-your-personal-power/

Visit our website:  http://www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

Schedule a time to chat with Jenny Schedule Appointment

Jenny is an absolute advocate and champion for women rediscovering themselves through the process of divorce.

 

WILL I STAY OR WILL I GO?

According to ‘statistics’ about 1/5th of all people in relationships can’t decide whether to stay or leave.  That’s 2 people in every 10 in a relationship are not sure whether they want to stay with their partner.  Now every relationship has it’s moments when things are pretty rocky, life, work, kids and unexpected events deal some challenging blows from time to time and many couples manage to work through these times together.  However, living every day with the internal struggle going on is not a great place to be and many people, (myself included) spend a few years sorting the why’s, the what if’s, the if only’s as well as the conflict of violating their values around family.

Let’s explore this ‘will I stay or will I leave’ dilemma in more detail.

For me it really was a case of weighing up the pros and cons at the time and attempting to make the decision based on how these balanced out for me – using logic clearly was not the right approach and never one that I would recommend anyone to use, the scales will tip from one to the other on any given day and living in a constant state of ambivalence is mentally and emotionally draining.

Ambivalence in your heart is another matter entirely and goes hand and hand with the distance you will be feeling in your relationship. From my personal experience when you get to this point you no longer want to spend much time with your partner, you talk less and less about important things, both parties end up emotionally detached and the distance between you gets wider and wider.

Here’s the thing!

Your relationship is either too good to leave or too bad to stay, it can never be both and the problem for most people in this situation is not knowing how to really figure out what to do.

Here are some questions to help you get to the heart of the matter, questions for you to ponder that may help you get more clarity and in turn help you reach a decision one way or the other. I would suggest that you write down your answers to each question and come back to them a few days later and see if there is anything you would change or add to your responses.

    1. Take yourself back to when things were at there best between you. Would you now say that things were really, really good?
    2. Has there been more than one incidence of physical violence in your relationship?
    3. Have you already thought about what a course of action that excludes your partner? (In other words have you been mentally preparing to leave?)
    4. If God or some omniscient being said it was okay to leave, would you feel tremendously relieved and have a strong sense that finally you would end your relationship?
    5. In spite of your problems do you and your partner have at least one pleasurable activity or interest (besides children) you currently share and look forward to sharing in the future, that you both like and gives a feeling of closeness?
    6. Are you in a relationship with a power person? If so, then any and all of your needs are a threat to his power. If ever you do get what you want is it such an ordeal that you don’t even feel it was worth all the effort?
    7. Do you have a basic, recurring feeling of humiliation or invisibility in your relationship?
    8. Have you gotten to the point when your partner says something that you usually feel it’s more likely that he’s lying than that he’s telling the truth?
    9. Do you feel willing to give your partner more than you’re giving already, and are you willing to do this the way things are between you now without any expectation of being paid back?
    10. Do both you and your partner want to touch each other and look forward to touching each other? Things like kissing, hugging, holding hands, cuddling. Taking into consideration that some people are just not the touchy feelie type have you or your partner moved to the point where there is no physical affection?

Ideally for couples going through a difficult time in their relationship couple therapy can be very helpful, however this will only ever be productive if both parties are fully committed to the process and in many cases one of the people involved has already made the decision internally and hasn’t been clearly articulated verbally.  Any signs of resistance to this process or other suggestions to work through problems together I would see as red flags.

If you have been struggling to come to terms with an inner discontent for some time and you have reached the threshold and ready now to step over it, if you know there is no going back, then you have reached the tipping point, when you know you are done.

Connect with me by clicking the link below to find out the next steps you need to take before you speak to a lawyer.

Visit our website: https://www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

Schedule a time to chat with Jenny Schedule Appointment

Jenny is an advocate and champion for women rediscovering themselves through the process of divorce.

HINDSIGHT

I  was speaking to my daughter last night about the Steps To Separation Workshops we are running and she said she thought some people might be too embarrassed or ashamed to go along to a workshop either before they leave a relationship or in the early stages of separation.   And I get it!

I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on for me and I didn’t really talk to anyone about it for way too long.  Pride, shame, embarrassed, confused, lost and very, very lonely are just some of the emotions and feelings I was experiencing at that time.

When it comes to separating from someone you loved and shared a very big part of your life with many of the choices and decisions that most people make are emotionally driven, so many things said in anger, and this is like adding fuel to a fire that is already out of control.

With hindsight what would I have done differently.

With hindsight I would have reached out for help rather than keeping everything bottled up inside.

With hindsight I would have spoken to professionals before my marriage had reached that ‘tipping point.’

With hindsight I would not have turned to my friends, some of whom had been divorced, to seek their advice.

With hindsight I would have spoken to professionals about the divorce process.

With hindsight I would have done many things differently and perhaps with hindsight there would be fewer regrets that appear from time to time.

With hindsight the choices I made have had a massive influence on my life and those closest to me.

Ultimately there are always consequences with decisions and choices we make. Every decision and choice sets us off onto a particular path and once on this path it is rare that we can undo what we have done.

We can take detours along the way but inevitably the journey will take longer than necessary, there will be more obstacles and challenges than there need to be, more people get hurt, and the people we love the most get caught in the middle.

If you are about to head out on the separation and divorce journey, STOP, BREATHE, pick up the phone and give me a call.

If you would like to chat to Jenny about anything at all, even your favourite wine click here to schedule a time https://calendly.com/jenny-smith-1/what-s-going-on-in-your-world

FINANCIAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIPS

I stumbled across this article by David Koch and I feel strongly that it is such an important discussion and needs to be shared. 

Sadly what David speaks about in this article is far too common either because one party has placed all their trust in the other partner to manage the finances or as in this article the actions of a partner are clearly financial abuse.  

I have also spoken to several women who 1. had no money of their own and I recall one lady telling me she didn’t have access to any of their accounts or credit card and had to call her husband so he could give a salesperson the credit card details to pay for her purchases or were unaware of the debt the other party had accumulated which is often termed as Sexually Transmitted Debt.

Financial abuse in any family or relationship is a powerful and dangerous form of intimidation which is a lot more common in Australia than you think… not just celebrity divorces.

What makes financial abuse even more insidious is that the abuser often justifies their actions as caring.

But the bottom line is that financial abuse can leave the weaker partner extraordinarily exposed.

This sort of abuse often takes the form of a partner in a relationship, or a parent over a child, or an adult child over an elderly parent where the abuser completely controls the finances of the other person and refuses to share any of that responsibility or information.

Financial abuse could be;

. having sole access to bank and online accounts.

. controlling PIN codes

. taking out joint loans without a partner’s consent

. restricting access to insurance, superannuation and estate planning documents.

. limiting access to cash and credit cards

. making investment decisions without consultation

. asking a person to sign financial documents without explaining what they are.

We’re not talking about situations where a couple has agreed one partner takes primary responsibility for running the finances but is always happy to keep the other partner informed.

A financial abuser is a partner which has insisted on controlling the finances, is secretive about what they’re doing and will not share information.

To test which sort of partner you have simply ask for them to explain the state of your finances, provide access to all accounts and show where insurance and investment documents are kept.

If they refuse, you need to worry.

If they say, “you don’t need to worry about it, I have it all under control”. You should worry.

Explain that you’re concerned if they drop dead you’d have no idea where anything was and that is just too risky and you’re feeling vulnerable.

If they refuse after that, you’re in real strife and must do something about it. Your partner either has something to hide or they have such a controlling personality it will put you at risk in the future.

What if your partner does die… or leaves you?

We had friends where the husband walked out of a marriage and left his wife with the comment “you be nice to me or you won’t get a cent”. They owned a family business but she had no idea where they banked, what they earned, investments, insurances, estate planning… nothing.

We put a team of professionals together to help her and she ended up okay. But she should never have been in that position.

Sexually Transmitted Debt is just one of many risks. It’s where one partner in a relationship is lumbered with the debts of the other. You’d be amazed just how common this problem is.

One partner will rack up debts on the joint credit card, refuse to pay or skip out and the other partner is left with the responsibility of paying the whole debt. Joint cards or loans don’t mean you’re responsible for your half. It means both people are responsible for the whole debt if the other can’t pay.

Here are some steps to protect yourself from financial abuse;

  • Base financial decisions on economics, not emotions. If you trust each other then there is no problem with formalising that trust by keeping each other informed about financial decisions.
  • Don’t dismiss it. Read it. When you have to sign papers it is better to be one day late than to lose everything in five years time just because you were too busy to read the small print.
  • Going guarantor: If the bank does not have confidence in the principal applicant, why should you? Remember, when you sign as guarantor, you are indicating you are prepared to take over the debt if the borrower defaults.
  • Know where the money is coming from and where it is going..
  • If you have a joint account with your spouse, make sure the bank does not allow payments above a certain amount unless there is joint agreement.
  • Look carefully at how you buy assets… single names, joint names, their name, your name? It could all be extremely relevant for both tax purposes and if the relationship splits.
  • If you are a director of a family company you have a right to see the books. Insist on the accountant showing them to you. If stopped from doing so, you can take action under the Companies Code.
  • Agree on a financial plan. This way both partners have common goals and know where they are heading.

In our relationship, Libby has always run the day-to-day finances and I’ve run the investments. But each of us has full access to everything and make big financial decisions jointly.

If you would love to have a quick chat with Jenny about anything, even your favourite wine, click here to arrange a time

ESTATE PLANNING FOLLOWING A RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN

Thank you to Nelson Wockner for allowing me to share this article.  Added to the complexities of the emotional, legal and financial issues associated with the end of a relationship the following article covers some very important information that may be overlooked by some people.

When a personal relationship breaks down, your life changes.  A relationship breakdown means that you have to redesign your future plans.  Whilst an unwanted experience, it is the perfect time to make the changes to protect your future.

Estate planning is far more than a Will and may also include:

  • reviewing your jointly owned properties
  • reviewing your superannuation funds and death benefit nominations
  • reviewing your life and risk insurance policies
  • reviewing your circumstances to decide whether your Will should include Testamentary Trusts
  • reviewing your parents’ Wills & discussing whether a testamentary trust is needed to protect your inheritance
  • reviewing any powers of attorney & your arrangements where you are unable to manage your own affairs
  • understanding the reasons for asset protection & benefits of owning property in family discretionary trusts
  1.  Jointly Owned Property

Where you own a property with your former spouse or partner, you must verify whether the ownership is recorded  as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’.

Where owned as ‘Joint Tenants’, you must change the ownership to ‘Tenants in Common’.  A lawyer can do this for you – it’s a quick and inexpensive process – and no transfer duty is payable.

This process should be actioned immediately to ensure that your interests are protected from the moment of separation until the implementation of the final property settlement, which would most likely involve the property being transferred solely to one person – or the property being sold.

When someone dies owning a property as ‘joint tenants’, the surviving co-owner receives the deceased person’s share of the property.  The deceased’s interest in the property doesn’t form part of their estate and their Will does not apply to that property.

  1.  Superannuation Binding Death Benefit Nominations

Review your superannuation arrangements with your Financial Advisor and/or the trustee of your superannuation fund.

Where you had nominated your former partner to benefit from your Binding Death Benefit Nomination, notify the Trustee of your superannuation fund as to whom the death benefit will be paid following your death.

If you don’t maintain a current authority, the Trustee will make the decision – which may not be what you want.

  1.  Life & Risk Insurance Policies

Whilst an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Will are essential, your Attorney and your Executor will need sufficient cash to provide the support and care needed by you and your children and any other people who may depend upon you for financial support – potentially for many years.

Unless you have substantial reserves of cash and assets, you may need various risk insurance policies to provide a source of finance.

  1.  Companies & Trusts

You will need to engage your lawyer to review the shareholding and officeholders of private companies that you have an interest in.  You will have to do the same process regarding family discretionary trusts that you have an interest in.  These reviews will be undertaken by your family lawyer, and the necessary action taken as part of any property settlement.

Your accountant and financial planner will also need to participate in this process – or at the very least be informed as to what changes have been made to your financial planning arrangements.

5.  Your Will & Testamentary Trusts 

When you separate from your spouse or partner, you must review your Will.

A simple Will may be sufficient to provide the immediate assurance you need.  Later, you can implement a more sophisticated estate plan to better protect your family.

As your Will does not deal with all of your assets and financial affairs, the first thing to do is to identify what assets are owned by you and will be distributed by your Will.

You also need to review who should be the guardian of any of your children where your former spouse is unable or predeceases you.

6.  Parents Wills containing a Testamentary Trust

You may substantially improve your future financial security by ensuring that your parents create Wills containing a testamentary trust.

The benefit to you is that your parents’ assets can be protected from most claims made by any current or future spouse, or anyone else who seeks to take money from you.

Regardless of your matrimonial circumstances, where your parents are alive and mentally alert, it is crucial that you discuss with them the benefits, and you can take a pro-active role in ensuring that advice from an estate planning lawyer is obtained.

7.  Power of Attorney

Where you have an Enduring Power of Attorney nominating your former partner as your Attorney, you will need to revoke that document.  It is recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

You may wish to appoint a highly trusted and responsible person as your Attorney, as you may appreciate the comfort and security of knowing that if some unexpected event were to happen, you had made prior arrangements to ensure that you and your family were well looked after.

Where you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, a trusted friend or family member is unable to make those decisions unless you have previously authorised them – using an Enduring Power of Attorney.

There are many issues to consider in appointing an Attorney, and you can appoint more than one Attorney for different tasks.

Appointing 2 separate trusted persons to act jointly may provide some additional protection.

As with an Enduring Power of Attorney, where you had previously signed a General Power of Attorney in favour of your former partner, you will need to revoke that document in writing.  Again, it is also recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

8.  Asset Protection – owning assets in your name

One of the more essential strategies used by professional people and business owners is that they do not own assets in their own name. 

Why?  Because if someone sues them personally & obtains a judgement against them, only assets owned by them can be taken from them – exceptions apply.

When someone contacts a lawyer about suing someone, if there are good prospects of success, the lawyer investigates what assets are owned by the “Defendant”.  If a lawyer spends time and money suing someone, they want to know that there are assets available.

A strategy successfully used by many Australians is to create a Family Discretionary Trust to hold assets, often using a company to act as the Trustee of the Trust.  The effect is that whilst you control the company and the Trust; it is the Trustee that owns the assets – rather than you.

There are other issues to be considered, and your lawyer and accountant will advise on the various issues that apply to your circumstances.

 

 

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.     Copyright © 2017 Wockner Lawyers. All Rights Reserved.

HOW DOES YOUR LANGUAGE INFLUENCE HOW YOU FEEL?

I’m always interested in the metaphors people use to describe what is going on in their lives little realising that the language we use whether that is the way we talk to ourselves, about ourselves or about what is going on in our lives actually shape our experience and perceptions and hold such power over how we manage some of life’s challenges.

On a Soul.TV episode I had a viewer write in with the following, “I have experienced a run of incidents that impacted me negatively and turned my life upside down. I want to know whether these events were all ‘part of the plan,’ because I am struggling to cope with my life.

As a coach my job is to dig deeper to get to the heart of what is really going on for my clients. In this particular example we don’t know what those run of incidents were, exactly how they impacted her negatively and what her life being turned upside down looks like. There is also a whole lot of very important information missing from the question she asked and there would be a whole lot of questions I would be asking to help her gain more insight, investigate further the mysterious ‘plan’ and in the process she may realise that she has inadvertently given responsibility for taking control of her life over to some nebulous ‘plan.’

We don’t always like or want the things that happen in our lives, our partner decides to leave us, we are made redundant in our job, we are impacted by financial circumstances, someone we love dearly gets ill, all of these things are part of the human experiences and out of our control.

I do believe however that the biggest difference in people are those who take personal responsibility for their life, their decisions, good and bad, and question themselves and their actions.  ‘What is the lesson here for me?,’ “What could I have done differently?” Using language that is empowering will help find solutions to  problems and discover the steps to take to change the things that are simply not working well.

Over the next week or two take particular notice of the language you use on a daily basis. If you find yourself using metaphors to describe something, write them down and think about what they mean to you and also pay particular attention to the way your language affects the way you feel and what events and circumstances show up during the day.

Jenny xx

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If you would like to chat to Jenny about anything at all, even your favourite wine click here to schedule a time https://calendly.com/jenny-smith-1/what-s-going-on-in-your-world

 

 

ARE YOU SURRENDERING YOURSELF IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

In most relationships, whether they be with a spouse, family and friends or work colleagues we compromise ourselves in some way, to either keep the peace, avoid confrontation or to be accepted, liked and even loved.

Most relationships involve a great degree of compromise simply to allow the other person to maintain their individuality, pursue their own interests and have a different circle of friends. All of which I believe contribute to making the relationship not only more interesting but more importantly allowing both people to grow as individuals within the relationship.

For separated families to put their children’s very best interests ahead of personal feelings or opinions also involves compromise and when the relationship is strained this can be incredibly challenging.

And of course, some things are just not worth making a big deal about much of the time but at what point does ‘biting your tongue’ become something much more?

At what point does compromising become problematic?

Where does it start and where does it end?

Generally when the stakes are high! And they are if our usual response is to avoid any sort of confrontation or voice our opinion on a particular topic, or stating to someone that what they did really pissed us off and when our voice is no longer heard.

This can happen in relationships in very subtle ways. For example if you are telling your friend, partner or work colleague about something that happen during the day and not only are they not listening, they will cut you off mid sentence to tell you something about themselves.

When this becomes a common pattern real communication will cease to exist and the relationship itself will be compromised.

Or conversely

  • When you are too afraid to express your true feelings
  • When your opinion no longer counts
  • When you have been put down so many times that you just keep everything to yourself
  • When you are ridiculed for your opinion
  • When you no longer even know how to express your needs
  • When you no longer feel that you deserve to have an opinion
  • When you no longer even care because you feel worthless
  • When you no longer even know what you think

What most of us don’t realize until we’ve allowed our own sense of self-worth and self-respect to reach rock bottom is that in every moment, situation, and relationship that we do not honor and value ourselves, we are compromising who we really are and thus abandoning, betraying, and ultimately hurting ourselves far more deeply than we know.

I thought I would share with you some tips on Finding Your Voice Again, from my “6 Steps To Getting Your Life Back On Track” ebook.

I remember quite some time ago seeing the movie ‘Runaway Bride’ with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. There was one particular scene in the movie that really stood out for me and it relates well to this step, finding your voice again.

In this scene Richard Gere asks Julia Roberts ‘how do you like your eggs?’ and she replies ‘how do you like yours?’

This also reminds me of a client who broke down in tears and said to me, ‘I don’t even know what my favourite colour is!’

In the role Julia Roberts played in this movie she had absolutely no idea how she liked her eggs, she had never allowed herself to realize that she could choose to have them anyway she liked and asked for them just the way she liked them.

“How do you like your eggs?”

Exercise

Time to make your voice heard.

Over the next few weeks I would like you to begin to pay particular attention to the times, when for the sake of keeping the peace, or perhaps thinking it’s not that important, you stay silent rather than speaking up or voice your opinion on some topic.

I’m not saying that all of a sudden you become someone who challenges everyone or everything. The purpose of this exercise is simply one of creating more self-awareness. It can often be some of the little things that we let go without comment that eventually lead to becoming our natural way of responding in most situations. Your voice is important and your voice deserves to be heard. It’s time now to find YOUR voice again.

Next time you go to a restaurant with friends or family, take particular notice of how you read the menu. How do you choose what you are going to order? Do you wait to find out what everyone else is having?

Or as you read the menu do you imagine what the food will look like and taste like? Perhaps you may find it really difficult to make a decision at all. This is just one example of any number of different situations that you may begin to notice how you make decisions and when you choose not to say something even though you disagree.

If you would like to chat to Jenny about anything at all, even your favourite wine click here to schedule a time https://calendly.com/jenny-smith-1/what-s-going-on-in-your-world

 

Got Kids? Getting Divorced? – Guest Author Amy Bell Shares Some Insights

Our special guest Author Amy Bell shares some words of wisdom.

So, for whatever reasons, you and your partner have decided you don’t want to be together anymore and you want to know the best course of action for your kids.

Do you want to avoid having kids who are stressed, anxious, upset and conflicted?

Would you like your kids to feel as secure, supported and happy as possible during this time of transition?

Do you want to experience less stressful days, move on and settle into your new circumstances faster?

Divorce is an incredible opportunity to powerfully demonstrate particular beliefs about the world, how things work and what is possible to your children. What is it that you would like to demonstrate to your children? Do you want children who believe that when a marriage ends it is a painful experience, ? Do you want children who know that when life doesn’t go to plan you can adapt and move on to the next wonderful thing?

That human beings hurt each other and are controlled by their emotions or that human beings are supportive, flexible, adaptable, resilient and resourceful. How are you going about demonstrating that through your current behaviour and interactions with your ex, your children and your other family members and friends?

Find a way to continue to love your ex as the father of your children. This is the best thing you can do for your kids right now. He is their father and they love him. His relationship with them is just as important as yours is with them. Show respect for the bond between them. Show respect for your children and their feelings. If you diss their father it hurts them. You can go to a girlfriends place who you know you can trust to keep it between you and vent all you like. Make sure her kids are not there. You think you can get away with a few bad words about their father on the phone because your kids are watching tv? To one of the mums or teachers at school? You can’t. Kids pick up on everything. They see you. They hear you. And if it’s not your own kids it’ll be someone else’s that heard it from somewhere and when it gets back to your kids it hurts them. Besides, it won’t do you any favours either. Remember what you want to demonstrate to your children. Are you operating from this space?

Here’s an quick little exercise to play with: Replay either an interaction between you and someone else where you have talked about your ex or an interaction between you and your ex. Step back and see yourself there. See the interaction playing out between these two people. Notice what you are communicating both verbally and non verbally. Notice the tone in your voice, your physiology, muscle tension etc. What are you demonstrating to your kids and the world in your behaviour during these interactions?

During your initial conversations with your children set some frames for what they can expect during the days and weeks to come. Explain that there may be days when you are upset, stressed, etc and that’s ok. They’re all perfectly reasonable emotions and that even when you’re upset, you’re ok. This is temporary and it will pass. Explain that it’s ok for them to feel whatever they’re feeling too. Have some discussion around what is expected of everyone and how you can best go about supporting each other during this time.

And look, you will have your moments. It’s perfectly ok to let your kids know that you’re having a tough day, in fact I would encourage you to communicate this to your children when you do. Meaning makers that we are, the more open we can be about how we’re feeling leaves less room for other people to make up their own meanings about that. If we notice that someone is upset or angry, it is very easy to make that mean that we are to blame. Kids can make all kinds of assumptions, that it is something that they did to make you upset, or something their father did. When you explain that you are upset, they don’t need to know the details. Keep it chunked up, don’t burden them with your worries or make it about their father. “I’m adjusting to our new circumstances” , “I’m problem solving” “there are a lot of details to work out when people get divorced and I’m feeling overwhelmed” whatever it may be. And remind them that this is temporary. It won’t hurt to remind yourself of this either.

And here’s the good news, human beings ARE incredibly resilient and adaptable and each of us possess a wealth of internal resources that assist us in challenging times. How you approach this time of transition as a family is up to you.

This is some very general advice and I recognise and appreciate that every set of circumstances, every parent and every child are unique. I don’t believe in a one size fits all and my approach in my coaching work is very much tailored and customised to suit each individual client. If you would like some personalised advice or if there’s ever anything I can help you with, please feel free to get in touch with me any time.

If you would like to chat to Jenny about anything at all, even your favourite wine click here to schedule a time https://calendly.com/jenny-smith-1/what-s-going-on-in-your-world

DAMNED IF YOU DO AND DAMNED IF YOU DON’T

My clients are so open and forthcoming about the very private details of their lives, they allow themselves to be raw and vulnerable, to express their thoughts and feelings honestly.  For many of them the decision to end the relationship was not theirs to make, it had already been done and they were left to deal with the fallout, facing an uncertain and unknown future.

For the ones who are unhappy and dissatisfied with their relationship, struggling with a feeling of unrest and discontent it’s like being caught between a rock and a hard place.

Reaching that point where there are one of two choices to be made, the day you realise the pain of staying will be greater than the pain of leaving and choosing to step off the edge into an uncertain and unknown future.

Like many women who find themselves in this situation, I had unconsciously distanced myself emotionally and physically for a number of years until one day I crossed that threshold, that point of no return, I had reached my ‘tipping point.’  That one more thing when in an instant I knew I was done and I also knew it was a case of damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

The fallout of this decision spread far and wide as very close family and life long friends distanced themselves, as I watched my children hurting so much that it broke my heart, as rumors spread and as my husband did everything he could to salvage our marriage knowing that I had reached the point of no return.

If you find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place, in a position where you are struggling to make a choice between two possible alternatives, before you do anything else it is important for you to get very clear about your decision, once you choose to walk a different path there is no turning back.

Knowing what I know now and having someone in my corner to support me, someone to walk the path with me, to help me navigate through this time would have made an incredible difference to me and to my life.

To help you with whatever is going on in your life right now, some area of your life where you may be feeling some internal conflict, this exercise will help you gain more clarity and help you redirect your focus towards what you want to be different.

CLARITY THROUGH CONTRAST

  • Take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle and on the left hand side write the word CONTRAST, on the right hand side write the word CLARITY
  • Fold the paper in half and only work on the Contrast Column. Make a list of all the things you feel are ‘wrong’ with your partner and your relationship, the longer the list the better.  Spend the time to work through this, come back to it over a few days and keep adding more things as they come to mind.
  • Once you have run out of things to write, open the paper and as you read each item on the Contrast list one at a time, write what it is you do want and how you would like things to be different.
  • Having completed both columns, fold the paper again and now only look at the list in the Clarity column and read through each one of them, make any changes as they come up for you.
  • There are several benefits to using a simple and easy exercise like this, it will assist your decision making, it may even open up the opportunity to begin a different conversation with your partner.

Example: “I feel taken for granted,” in the Clarity column “I want to feel appreciated.”

Remember: You cannot unring a bell!   Once something has been said or done and the wheels are in motion it cannot be undone.

 

Jenny is an absolute advocate and champion for women rediscovering themselves through the process of divorce.

If you’d love a quick chat with Jenny about anything, even your favourite wine, click here.  Jenny will be in touch as soon as she’s finished.