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

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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.

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WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR PARTNER IS NAMED ON ASHLEY MADISON

Before I address the question, what do you do if your partner is named on Ashley Madison, or any other website hack for that matter, I have to say that once again the media has shown it’s very ugly side. Completely disrespecting peoples privacy with little or absolutely no regard for the hundreds if not thousands of men, women and children who will have their lives turned upside down because of the way this whole situation has been managed.

As part of my research for writing this blog I did listen to the radio interview of the woman who volunteered to find out if her husband was on the list as he was acting ‘funny’ about the news of the hack. My guess is that her own intuition had been alerting her to ‘something’ beforehand as well and she willingly volunteered her husbands’ details to these radio jocks. They searched for his name and told her ‘yes’ he was on this site. She left herself wide open to hear the worst thing that any women would ever want to hear, let alone so publicly. Private information that was stolen by criminals used to contribute to destroying the lives and relationships of so many people by thoughtless, ignorant pieces of shit! And yes, people willing gave their personal information to an obviously risqué site with obviously no thought of the possible consequences.

I’m not going to be all ‘fluffly’ about how you might be able to work through this, or everyone makes mistakes and deserves another chance and some such crap because as I try to imagine myself in this situation I see it as a very different experience from someone’s husband who becomes infatuated with a younger woman in the office or at the gym or number of other reasons that infidelity results in the end of a relationship.

If anyone reading this blog has found themselves caught up in this whole nightmare, or knows someone who has, here are a few of my thoughts on how to handle this as best you can.

  • Only speak to the people closest to you who you know you can trust.
  • Don’t take any calls from other family and friends for several weeks and never from the media. The gossipmongers will be out in force and happily feed you more and more drama.
  • Call a ‘timeout’ with your partner, perhaps a week or two, for you to recover from the shock and anger that will be raging through your veins.
  • You will be asking yourself all sorts of questions that start with ‘Why,’ and you will be feeling ashamed and embarrassed to seen in public by your friends and family.
  • Then it comes time to sit down with your partner and get the facts on exactly what has and has not taken place, leaving no room for further lies or deceit from them. The game is up anyway so they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by being honest and forthcoming by providing you with as much information as you need.

Your particular situation and what happens next will of course be decided by one or both or you and no-one else, only you can ever know what is right for you and for your family.

This is going to be one hell of a journey so please ensure that you have only the very best people around you. People who will help you maintain your equilibrium and will always have your best interests a heart.

Share your comments or personal story I would love to hear from you.

The best way to reach me is via email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ANTAGONISTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH AN EX?

Ugly divorces have a tendency to create ugly ex spouses for a variety of reasons and everyone involved ends up suffering. Sadly the ones who suffer the most are the kids who become the pawns in the battle to inflict pain where it really hurts the most.

When you have lived with someone for a number of years you get a pretty good idea of how to push each others buttons, add to the mix the anger and resentment that builds throughout the divorce process and you have the perfect mix to create hell in each others lives. At the time it sure feels like you just want to rip their heart out but perhaps its’ time for you to consider a much sweeter revenge.

This involves doing what might seem to be completely counter intuitive, and not necessarily easy, however if what you are doing now isn’t working then it’s time to do something different to avoid arousing more animosity or hostility.

We often fall in a pattern in the way we interact with our ex partners which often leads to things just going around and around in circles and consistently ending up with both parties feeling angry and resentful.

Here are a few strategies for you to consider implementing to interrupt the pattern you have been running and keep in mind that the only person you have any control over is yourself. If you need to kick the cat, yell and scream, call him every name in the book you can think of then go for it when you get home, slam doors or whatever it is you need to do and then let it go.

  • For your kids sake and for your own well-being more than anything else it’s important to learn to keep the emotion out of the conversation and focus only the outcome
  • Treat this relationship as you would with a business associate or the bank manager
  • Email to make an appointment to discuss a particular issue.
  • Always keep in mind the bigger picture, set an intention before you go so you know exactly what you want to achieve and stick to the agenda
  • Meet in a neutral location where other people are around to better help manage thing getting out of control
  • If things look like getting ugly, quietly get up and leave.
  • Phone calls and text messages need to be managed. The meaning behind text messages has the potential to be completely misconstrued.
  • If your kids come home with stories about something that is causing you or them some concern, once again detail the information in an email and ask for verification without making accusations. And ask your ex for help to resolve the situation stating that you want an outcome that is in the best interest of the kids – (remember too that kids can be very manipulative and play both sides so getting the facts around a situation is important)
  • There are going to be social occasions involving your children where both parents will be required to attend and being polite and friendly at all times is important – THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
  • Coming to some agreement around sharing holidays is not always easy given work schedules and other commitments – do your best to make them as workable as possible and if you are going to be   on your own make some arrangements so you make the most of the break rather than feeling lost and lonely without the kids around especially at times like Christmas.

If you are reading this and thinking what the hell, there is no way my ex would agree to this.  I get that, stand your ground, give it a go and see what happens. Taking the emotion out of any interaction that might involve conflict keeps things on a very level playing field and with an agenda and an outcome that needs to be reached you are training yourself and your ex on what to expect with all future communications.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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HOW TO RAISE A NARCISSIST

Let’s talk about narcissism!

Children are like little sponges–they model everything a parent does and incorporate what they see into their own lives, so when it comes to being parented by someone who displays narcissistic tendencies it’s a pretty fair bet that some of these traits will be displayed by the children but today it’s seems that there is something else happening in the world of parenting.

A recent study looking into the growing number of narcissists addresses the question, is narcissistic behaviour something some people are born with or is it a learned behaviour? And let’s be clear here that this behaviour is found in both males and females.

The results of the study states that children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ inflated views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”).

It seems that much of the problem today is that many parents are perhaps unwittingly raising children who display these traits. We see evidence of it now in schools where in some cases the teachers are basically trying to do their jobs with their hands tied due to parental intervention, with poor behaviour in children being treated with medication and an acute lack of what I call personal responsibility.

Anyone who’s spent time with a toddler recently does not need to be told that narcissism is the status quo in children. Remember how Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice? In kids, it bends toward narcissism.

After all, we are talking about a segment of the population that sees nothing wrong in waking their parents up at 4am to demand pancakes and episodes of Peppa Pig.

And that’s why parents exist. It’s partly to keep their kids clothed and fed and safe and loved, and partly to prevent them from becoming Caligula.

The way to raise a narcissist is pretty evident: Tell your child they are wonderful, the very best, the most special of the specials on the sports field and the classroom and in the country and possibly on the planet — and keep telling them that.

Here is the link to read the full article http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/how-not-to-raise-a-narcissist/story-fnet08ui-1227259736060

If you are a parent, grandparent, or have regular contact with kids I would be very interested to know what your experiences or thoughts are on this topic.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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ANGER – DOES IT BURN YOU OUT OR FUEL YOUR SURVIVAL?

Anger, the most reviled and misunderstood of emotions, is the psychological equivalent of the immune system.

It is triggered whenever we perceive injustice, giving us strength and energy to change the status quo.

Whereas the physical immune system may create inflammation (a ‘flame’ in the body), anger is like fire in the soul. 

Repressed, it destroys from the inside, by slow burn or explosion.  Misdirected, it can blaze a path of destruction through your life and the lives of others.

Cared for and properly used, it can warm you, light your path, fuel your progress, and keep hostile interlopers at bay.

Some people seem to think that an inability to feel and act on anger is a virtue.  It isn’t.  Most of us know people who destroyed their physical and mental health by staying in unjust and exploitative situations without ever speaking up or taking strong action in their own defense.

After watching Brene Brown’s TED talk again on Vulnerability I’d like to share a little of my own personal journey. I was someone who lived for many years with the inability to feel and/or act on my anger.  As a matter of fact I actually had an inability to feel anything!  In relation to anger I buried my hurt and resentment so very deep that when it eventually come to the surface as it did and as it should, I was taken back by my intense feelings of hatred. Hatred to me is such an ugly word and to hear that come out of my mouth was both very confronting and enormously powerful.

When you are genuinely angry, it means one of two things. 

1. Either something your soul needs is absent, or something your soul can’t tolerate is present. To make the anger go away you have to change this situation.  No matter how frightening or irrational your anger may seem, acknowledging that you are angry is the first step toward a peaceful and cooperative connection with the world around you.

2. You can change yourself or you can change the situation that’s making you angry.

A third option, carrying all that anger around with you, not changing anything is a recipe for disaster.  Sometimes, the reason for your anger will be someone else.  In this case you may have to fight to change the situation.

Here are some rules for doing that responsibly and effectively.

Step 1. Burn off ‘hot’ anger before the confrontation. Use the energy of rage constructively not destructively.

Step 2. Using ‘cool’ anger for energy, confront the person who is responsible for your anger.  Tell him or her exactly what is bothering you and why.  Use examples to support all generalities.  Speak only in terms of your own firsthand experience, don’t moralise, just express your feelings.

Step 3. Tell the other person exactly what you would like him or her to do.

Step 4. Spell out what you will do if nothing changes and follow through.

If you follow these steps it will rob you of the illusion that you are helpless to change your situation.  Giving up your illusion of helplessness leaves you staring at the raw truth, that no-one else is totally responsible for your failures and no-one else can push you into the success you deserve.

Thank you to ‘Martha Beck’ for permission to use some of the content from her book ‘Finding Your Own North Star’.  When you find your own North Star you experience a real sense of purpose and inner harmony – it’s taken me awhile, doing a whole lot of inner work and choosing to take total ownership and 100% responsibility for everything in my life.

It’s is well worth the journey – the reward is ‘freedom.’

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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LETTING GO!

Letting Go!

‘After 15 years I still think about him all the time’.

‘I still wear my wedding ring, I never take it off.’

‘I just can’t get over that fact that he left me for a much younger woman.’

I could go on and create a very long list of statements I have heard from some of my clients or in general conversation with someone who knows what work I do.

So many women and men are caught up in the past and unable to move on with their lives?  Unable to accept that the relationship has ended and life as they once knew it is over.

Many still living with blame, anger, resentment and regret for far too many years.

Who are they trying to punish?  And who are they really hurting?

I absolutely love my work and this is something that both frustrates and saddens me.

None of us know how long we have on this earth.  And yet we go about our day-to day lives as if we will live forever.  We talk about all the things we will do, one day!

Each one of us will, one day look back and wish we had done more, played more, risked more, danced more, laughed more and loved more.  We will all have those moments of regret for something we did or didn’t do but to put your whole like on hold, to hit the pause button so you can hang onto your story for years and years about how you were treated, or how much you suffered seems to me such a waste.

Letting go is a choice. Never letting go is also a choice.

If you enjoy reading, than I suggest that you  grab a copy of ‘The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie.  A great book to help you with any number of issues that are all a natural part of being human.

I know many of you struggle with this so keep your eye out for more on this topic in upcoming blog posts.

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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FIRST THINGS FIRST!

A break up can become a real crisis for most people, the pain is very intense and when I think about myself at that time I knew I was ‘out of control.’

I have heard it described as a death and I think that can be how it feels for many of us, whether you had the rug pulled out from under you or you were the one who decided you wanted out, it is the end of life as you once knew it.

Everyone has different coping strategies, some useful ones and some bordering on self-destruction, depending on how you feel about yourself. The tough part of this phase is that there are so many things being forced upon us. Decisions that have to be made – some really big decisions that have a very strong emotional charge and we are often not in the best state to be making these decisions.

Things like selling the family home, trying to put on a brave face for our kids and immediate families who are feeling their own sense of loss, realizing that from here on in we are financially on our own, and often seeing your partner moving on happily to create a new life with ‘someone’ else.

It is very important to spend time with people who will support you and be there for you.  If you feel like having a good cry, let it come, this is all part of the grieving process and the sooner you accept your feelings, the anger, the hatred, the fear, the regret, the sadness, the guilt and the loss, the sooner you go through this,the faster you will be able to move on.

  • Find help from a professional, a divorce coach is a very good place to start, someone you feel totally at ease with and comfortable to talk to about everything that is going on for you.
  • This is your journey – there will be lots of people giving you ‘good’ advice on what you SHOULD do.  From your mother and girlfriends to everyone else you come into contact with – they may mean well but they are not you, they are not feeling what you are feeling or thinking what you are thinking.  Trust yourself to do what is right for you.
  • Conversely, spend as much time as possible with the people you like to hang out with, positive confident people who will encourage you to try new activities, take good care of yourself, getting out walking or running, going to yoga or whatever feels right for you.  Moving the body is one of the best things you can do to clear your thinking and reduce the stress levels.
  • Be mindful of your internal dialogue – the gremlin that can take over our thoughts, send us into a spin and lead us down the rabbit hole – as soon as you notice it taking control of you and your thinking, put the tip of your tongue behind the back of the top of your teeth and this will instantly quieten everything down for you.

Over time you will notice that the end of your relationship has opened up the opportunity to learn so much about yourself, you will be stronger and more resourceful.  You will have the opportunity to really think about your future, what you want to create and get back in touch with who you are, and remember those dreams you once had about how you wanted your life to be.  You will also discover just how strong you really are, and with the right mindset you really can be, do and have whatever you want.

For now, take one day at a time.  Each day may bring up new and different emotions, questions and decisions, just taking one step forward at a time doing the best you can.

For every tough experience, life sends our way there are always good times to follow.  I will always remember this little phrase that I used, sometimes every single day, whenever life was really testing me.  “This too will pass,” and it always did.

When the dust has settled, life will return to some sort of ‘new normal’ and you may find yourself starting to think about your new life. Wondering what it will be like and perhaps, ready to do things you have only ever dreamed about in your previous life.

With love,

Jenny xx

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