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.

CHASING YOUR DREAMS OR RUNNING FROM DEMONS?

This is the first in a series of posts by K.M Harris who is an aspiring Writer from New Zealand with connections to the Ngapuhi tribe, and tribes in the Bay of Plenty and East Coast regions. ‘Real experiences from real people’ is the kind of writing she enjoys producing and ‘reality reads’ is what she calls it.  I am delighted to have her on board as a guest blogger.

Before the start line.
‘Chasing your dreams or running from demons?’ is a quote I read off the back of an old man’s t-shirt at the start line of the 2013 Sydney Blackmores Half Marathon. Hundreds of people gathered at Milsons Point that crisp, early September spring morning for the start of what would be another leg-killing race, but nothing could’ve frozen me more than the words scribbled on that mans t-shirt.

‘Chasing your dreams or running from demons?’
The words spoke to me.
The words spoke to me loud and clear.
The words spoke to me loud and clear as if the Devil wanted to screw with my head right before the race like he’d kinda already done in the previous 3 years – and didn’t want me to forget it. To have a reality confront me in such a strong but subtle way, made me think how I’d not prepared myself for such a mental curveball, because the truth was, in that very moment, I was doing both; chasing my dreams in Sydney to pursue my creative writing, whilst secretly running from the demons that plagued me from my DIVORCE.

And #divorce and #running is why you – the reader – and I – the writer are here today. I’m here to share my journey of divorce paralleling my running adventures, in the hope that my story reaches out to HELP women (and men if it resonates with them) going through a separation or divorce, or even a major relationship break up. I can’t say my posts will have all the answers, but through my own lived experience, they will provide an insight to hopefully encourage and uplift you through your situation.

Doing a time-jump from 2013 to 2011 will take us both to the outdoor dining area of a home in Titrangi, New Zealand owned by a very good Army Sister of mine and her (now ex) husband. In mine and Julzi’s company was another dear Army Sister of ours who I hadn’t seen since I left the New Zealand Army in 2007.

Side note: yes, I am ex military. I joined the New Zealand Army in 2002 and after serving and working for them as a soldier and civilian at Linton Military Camp, decided to leave and move to Australia with my ex-husband to pursue the riches of the MINES.

Back to Titirangi to the glowing fire that flickered before Julzi, Aroha and I and our glasses of Muscato wine that we sipped….

I’m not sure if it were ‘liquid courage’ that prompted us to talk deeply about mine and Aroha’s separations, or if the depth of our hearts crying out was why we opened up, but we touched on our heartache situations that night and it really hit me hard. Months beforehand, I had searched the internet tirelessly for stories on women who had been through divorce because I wanted to HELP myself going through the lead up to mine…but found nothing!
Nothing.
Anywhere.

So the conversation I had with Julzi and Aroha that night provoked me to say ‘I want to write stories on women going through divorce to help other women going through it too’ because I knew I wasn’t the only woman in the world searching for such stories.

Fast forward to May 2012 where in the dining room of the place I was living at the time in Henderson, Auckland, I stood opening an envelope containing my divorce papers. My marriage was officially dissolved as per the court document in my hand from Western Australia where it was filed, and at 28 years old, one other thing became official too; I was BROKEN.

Yes, I broke down and wept on the spot almost as perfectly as what Hollywood would portray in a drama movie and yes, I didn’t go to work for a few days afterwards because I physically, mentally and emotionally couldn’t. The onset of depression at 28 years old was on its way to becoming RIFE in my LIFE.

But as much as I held the papers to the end of my life in my hands (at that point in time) little did I know that I actually cradled a golden ticket that in time, would show it’s real beauty to me. A week after I received my divorce papers, I began applying for work overseas so I could help myself through it away from my family and friends and everything that reminded me of my marriage. To be honest, I didn’t know what else to do because I’d tried counselling and had done the whole ‘apologising and owning my wrongs’ thing, but nothing seemed to help. On top of that, I really did want to write the stories I had mentioned to Julzi and Aroha, but knew New Zealand wasn’t the place to make that happen.

So in June 2012, after 3 weeks of doing medical tests and successfully gaining my maritime ticket to work on cruise ships, I left New Zealand permanently to work out of Sydney on P&O Cruises as Youth Security and eventually, a Ship Security Specialist. This incredible journey of connecting with international people whilst concurrently gaining some healing from the security team I became close to, eventually led me to setting up residence in Sydney, Australia where I have been since.

And that is why I say the quote I saw that September morning back in 2013, confronted me and resonated with me hugely, because after all I had been through, I truly was chasing my dreams and running from my demons.

Running and divorce (or long-term relationship break ups) are – in my opinion – very similar; both are painful, but depending on how you deal with them, both are extremely rewarding too. Like anything, it’s up to you as to how YOU look at it, and how you go through the process of getting through it.

A run – whether it be a few kilometres or an ultra marathon race – takes effort when trying to get to something as simple as the start line. The mind has to be in #starplayer mode, and you have to know that as much as it’s not going to be easy to run the distance, it’s going to be ‘ok’. The same is with a permanent relationship disconnection, it takes effort to get up everyday knowing your new journey is going to be WITHOUT that significant other person. Life won’t be the same anymore, and you will go through hills of heartache, plateaus of monotony, and slopes of the soul and spirit tumbling downhill. But you must know in your heart and mind, that everything will be ‘ok’ and the journey has it’s purpose and higher reason in your life.

So over the next few months, I want to share how my divorce parallels my actual love for running, and the physical, nutritional and recovery training I’ve already done, and am yet to do. As of this morning, I have a goal time of 1 hour, 45 minutes and 12 seconds to beat in a half marathon, and with every ounce of MANA I have in me, I am determined to CRUSH it. In the process, I hope my posts encourage you the reader, to work through your relationship break-up and hopefully get yourself outside in the fresh air to help find yourself in that way too. Put your technology on pause for an hour or two and GIVE yourself some selfish goodness by getting your heart rate up with a bit of exercise.

Lastly, please watch Simon Sineick’s TED talk on ‘How great leaders inspire action.’ He touches on doing things from a ‘WHY’ purpose instead of a ‘WHAT’ reason which when you watch it, will make total sense. I constantly go back to my ‘WHY’ all the time to make sure I’m doing right by me first and foremost, so with writing these posts for you, please know my ‘why’ purpose for doing so, is to genuinely help you through your situation.

On my business card, a quote by Norman B. Rice reads:Dare to reach out your hand into the Darkness, to pull another hand into the Light’ which I found on the internet in 2011 when I was searching for ‘reality reads’ on divorce. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t find any stories, but I did find that quote that’s resonated with me ever since.

So having pulled myself out of my Darkness into the Light, I hope to genuinely help you through yours. Now that I’ve overcome my demons, I think it’s fair to say 100%, that I’m on my way to chasing my DREAMS, so join me on my ‘race’ if you will…

As they say in the NZSAS – who dares, WINS!

With love and kindness always,

K.M Harris.

GIRLFRIENDS AND MISGUIDED ADVICE

If you are in the early phases of separation there will be some people you want to keep close by your side and there will be others that will no longer be a part of your life.

Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do, what they really thought of your partner and be particularly cautious of the ones who love to feed on gossip. The last thing you need to hear is someone saying things like ‘I always thought he/she was a jerk,’ ‘Did you know he tried to hit on me plenty of times?’ and the best one of all, ‘you’ll be fine, just get over it there are plenty more fish in the sea!’

If only it was that easy!

The fact is that any separation, no matter who decides to end the relationship, is a traumatic and confronting experience. It changes who you are, it changes many aspects of your life that you held dear, it causes you to question everything about yourself, your decisions, and it completely wipes out the timeline you had in your imagination of how and when all the things you had planned together would come to life. Now all you see in front of you is a blank wall with no idea of how to get over it, around it, or through it.

Most people these days know someone who has been through divorce and although family and good friends are so very important in your life now, it is time to remove the people from your life who simply have no idea of what it is like to walk in your shoes and hugely beneficial to connect with a few friends or acquaintances who do.  These are the people who will give you permission to spend the day curled up in bed, who will listen to you talk and talk about the same things over and over again without judgement, they will be the ones you can call late at night.  They will come over to spend the night and keep you company, get you laughing and smiling again. They will reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you and share the things that happened to them and encourage you to honour the grieving process and allow the body to do it’s healing in the way it has been designed to do.   Your body goes into shock and all the physical and emotional triggers that are designed to help you through any trauma will kick in to do what needs to be done to begin the grieving and healing process.

Time really does heal old wounds and life goes on, we manage to pull ourselves together, we learn more about who we are and just how strong and resilient we have become, we learn to ask for help when we need it, we learn to swallow our pride and seek financial assistance when we need it, we become experts at managing our budgets, we discover just how wonderful and supportive a select group of special people in our lives are and eventually we regroup, we begin to think about what we want to do with our lives, our work or careers or adding value to others in some way.

There are so many parts of who we are and for many women it’s not until we are no longer someones wife or partner that we have the opportunity to make these discoveries, our self-awareness becomes deeper, we begin to question our beliefs about relationships and other things we thought to be true, many begin a deeper spiritual practice, question why they are here, they realise the benefits of maintaining their health and fitness, giving back to their families and communities and begin to explore experiences that are new, challenging, fun and allowing the growth and expansion of themselves and their lives.

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

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DIVORCE IS TOUGH – EVEN TOUGHER ON TEENS!

Guest Post By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

We all know divorce is tough on families. Everyone is affected, especially the children. In most cases, the older the children, the more complex the reaction and more difficult the adaptation. There are many reasons why.

Older children have a longer history in the former family unit, regardless of how healthy or toxic it has been. Perhaps they remember better times when Mom and Dad interacted with them and each other with more joy and harmony. Even if there were no good times to look back upon, older children were accustomed to the existing family dynamic, knew their place in the structure, and felt a sense of comfort in “what is.”

Resisting change is a natural part of being human. For teenagers that resistance is compounded by a tendency to test boundaries and rock the status quo. Divorce or separation naturally makes all children feel powerless over their circumstances. For teens, who are feeling their oats and less likely to listen to parental authority, this is especially hard to accept.

Teens are also more judgmental and opinionated than younger children. Consequently they are less likely to blame themselves for the divorce (as younger kids frequently do) and more apt to take sides and blame one of their parents. Many therapists see teens side with the parent who is more permissive, taking advantage of the weakened parental structure to try to get away with more rebellious behaviors. Some teens choose to side with the more powerful parent – often Dad – to bolster their sense of security, even if they were emotionally closer to Mom.

Anger is a common reaction from older children. If they are not given the opportunity to vent, express their feelings and be heard, this anger often manifests as physical rebellion, drug or alcohol abuse or other inappropriate behaviors. To complicate matters, communication is often more difficult with teens who are acting out because they are usually less talkative, more likely to keep their feelings held in and more moody than their younger siblings.

With this in mind, how can parents bridge this communication and credibility gap with their older children? Amy Sherman, a therapist in private practice who has dealt extensively with troubled teen populations, makes these suggestions:

1. Make your family a democracy. That means opening the door to listening to and “hearing” your older children, even if you don’t like what they are saying. Kids need to know they can express themselves without being disciplined or made wrong. At the same time, she warns against being too permissive which inevitably leads to exploitation from teens who are always testing their boundaries.

2. Whenever possible, both Mom and Dad should talk to the teen together, discussing issues as honestly as is appropriate. All children are natural manipulators. Don’t let separation or divorce give them the opportunity to divide and conquer. Mom and Dad talking to the kids together, on the same page regarding family rules and values, is your best insurance for keeping older children as allies. Co-parenting after the divorce is your optimum goal. When that is not possible, keeping both parents in their parental roles goes a long way toward maintaining stability within a transforming family structure.

3. Children need and actually appreciate structure, even teens. It creates the security they crave, especially at challenging times. Try to maintain boundaries as close to the pre-divorce reality as possible. When both parents share basic guidelines and agreements within the family structure, regardless of which house the children are in, they will feel safer and more secure. Your children will also feel more cared about and loved which is vitally important as the family moves into unknown changes and transitions.

Remember, children of all ages mirror what they see. If your children are acting out, look within the family system for the cause. Get the help you need in making internal changes, and they are more likely to follow suit. At the same time, be patient, tolerant and understanding with yourself and everyone else within your family. This too shall pass!

* * *

Rosalind Sedacca’s acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! 

 

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

HOW TO STOP FEELING INVISIBLE

What does feeling invisible look like and in what situations might we find ourselves feeling invisible?

From a physical perspective there are both men and women who exude that air of natural confidence and charisma and is what instinctively draws people to them. Even these people will have times when they need to withdraw from the world to recharge, maybe this is what you could also refer to as needing to feel invisible, the difference here though is that for them it’s a considered choice which is very different from those people who feel that it something out of their control.

Feeling invisible can often it can be a sign that we no longer have anything in common with the people we used to spend time with, including family. If we have very different interests and other people are not interested in engaging with us, maybe that might make us feel invisible.

At some social occasions you may choose to be invisible because the conversation is heading into discussing something that you feel strongly about and it’s just not worth stirring the pot or you are simply bored to tears. We do outgrow some of our family and friends and I view this as a good thing. It means that we are expanding our view of the world and making choices based on what we think and feel and how we want to be treated.

In a divorce situation many women I work with or meet find the adjustment into life as a single woman very difficult and feel uncomfortable in social occasions where they may be the only single women and feel left out of the conversation. Or in relationships many women they feel that their needs are unheard or that ‘you never listen to me’. I could discuss the difference between men and women when it comes to ‘listening skills,’ however that is probably best left for another time.

How to stop feeling invisible raises many questions for me – let’s start with these two.

What am I doing or not doing to make myself feel invisible around people?
What is the meaning I have given to the fact that I feel invisible?

Feeling invisible in any situation is a choice, whether it’s in the workplace, with your family and friends or in social occasions and it’s never about other people. It is always about us. Often lying behind this will be a fear and lack of self-worth. Fear of not being heard, fear of not being liked, fear of speaking up and asking for what you want, fear of disagreeing with someone else’s opinion, fear of not being enough …………….. (fill in the gap!)

More questions for you to contemplate that will help bring more awareness into what might be going on for you. If this is a significant problem for you choose just one thing on the list and work towards turning that around before you move to the next one.

When you feel invisible or unseen or not heard by others do you remain silent?
Do you take on responsibility for attending to other peoples needs before your own?
Do you take on responsibility for other people’s lives in an attempt to ‘fix’ them?
Do you pretend that everything in your world is rosy when you are really feeling sad and lonely?
If you strongly disagree with someone do you speak up or do you prefer to avoid conflict?
How often do you end up feeling unappreciated, unseen or not valued?
How much of this is a reflection of how you treat yourself?

Having the awareness that you feel invisible is the first step. The next step is to take responsibility for your own feelings, for what you want and how you choose to be treated. It all has to start with you loving and caring about yourself more than you care about anyone else.   It’s a work in progress however the rewards that come along with every little step will encourage you to keep going.

Sometimes we need a little push to get started and to help you take that first step imagine in 10 years time what your life looks like, how you feel and what you are saying to yourself if you choose to do nothing.

Now imagine in 10 years time what your life looks like, how you feel and what you are saying to yourself when your whole world has changed because you had the courage to take that very first step.

To share your thoughts or your story please email me: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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COPING WITH LOSS

The dictionary describes grief as sadness, anguish, heartache, regret, remorse, sorrow and suffering.

Grief is everyone single one of these words and I think it needs all of these words to illustrate the extend of what it is to experience.

Grief is one of the key emotions that women going through divorce and loss experience and takes a considerable amount of time to move through.

It may seem strange that the function of grief is to heal.

Sorrow can make you feel as though you are being torn apart, cell from little tiny cell.

People who follow grief through its whole course emerge stronger and healthier, more able to cope with the inevitable losses that affect every human life.

In the end they become sources of wisdom and compassion for themselves and everyone around them.

Sorrow is heavy, hard work.
It stalls all your systems in order to force you toward a very, very painful task, coping with loss.  And loss always lies at the root of grief.  Every time you lose something you hold dear, you must grieve, and every time you feel grief-stricken you can be sure you have lost something dear.  We are stunned and devastated by things like separation, aging and death as though these aren’t the very constants sure to affect every single one of us.

Whatever the reason, loss is hard for us and healing from it takes a lot of energy.  Grief pushes us into ‘deep rest’ weighing down our muscles, wringing tears from our eyes and sobs from our bellies.  It isn’t pretty but it is natures way.

Our deepest grief is reserved for things that have no acceptable substitutes: loved ones, relationships, health, hopes and dreams.  Trying to replace someone special to you, or something you once were is actually useless. There is nothing to do but mourn and the pain will disappear a whole lot faster if you lean into it.

1. Find Or Make a Safe Place to Grieve
At a bare minimum you have to have a safe place for mourning, privacy and quiet.  Maybe wrapping yourself in a blanket, have a pen and paper at hand to express your feelings in writing.  Some good old sad songs are also useful.  Any song that helps you cry will access your grief, move it through you and help you release it.

2. Reserve Time to Grieve
Sadness slows you down, give yourself more time than you think to finish tasks like cleaning your house or finishing projects.  The more love and support you give yourself, and get from others, the more energy you will have for the tasks of everyday life.

3. Maximise Comforting Activities
This means doing things that gladden your heart. Walking along the beach or in nature, listening to music, enjoying your children or your pets, whatever works best for you.

One of the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha was that any permanence we perceive, in ourselves or the world around us, is an illusion.
Clinging to that illusion, trying to force things to stay as they are, leads inevitably to suffering.  Accepting impermanence means embracing the world as it is, complete with loss.  Refusing to accept change doesn’t mean that the pain of losing something you love will never start, it only means that the pain will never stop.  As they say in coaching, the only way out is through.

    • Losing the illusion of permanence means that you will accept your losses.
    • It means that you will become well acquainted with sorrow.
    • It also means that you will realise the infinite sources of healing and joy that are available to an open heart.
    • People who don’t resist grief, who let if flow through them, come out more resilient on the other side.
    • They are less afraid of loss, more able to soften the pain of those around them and quicker to appreciate whatever happiness life brings.
    • Ironically, it is those who have accepted the most terrible grief who are capable of the greatest joy.

Thank you to ‘Martha Beck’ for permission to use some content from her book ‘Finding Your Own North Star’.

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

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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IS YOUR SENSE OF SELF-WORTH INTACT?

Self-worth!

The reason I wanted to address this topic is because I see so many women bashing themselves up about not being enough …… and ‘enough’ is another whole discussion topic.

As I began to write this blog it caused me to stop and really think about what this word means to me.

This of course led to to think about the times in my life when my self-worth was feeling a bit battered and bruised?

  • When a boy I really really liked wasn’t remotely interested in me.
  • When I hit a rough patch trying to cope with small children and felt totally inadequate as a mother.
  • When I didn’t / don’t achieve some goals I had set for myself.
  • When I failed miserably because of some financial decisions I made
  • When I was dumped by a guy I really cared about for a much younger woman
  • Times when I held my tongue instead of speaking up for what I believed in
  • Times when I let someone else control my life to some degree to avoid confrontation
  • Times when I questioned my ability as a coach (the not good enough syndrome!)

In total contrast to the previous comments I believe that I have always had a strong underlying sense of my own self-worth!

  • A very strong belief that I deserve to have the best that life has to offer
  • That I have a voice and a message to share with the world
  • That I attract only the very best people and things into my world
  • That I am enough!

As I look back over my list of battered and bruised self-worth issues the only difference in the two examples are that I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, good enough, smart enough, young enough, strong enough, educated enough, rich enough.

SELF WORTH COMES FROM ONE THING – THINKING THAT YOU ARE WORTHY.  Wayne Dyer

I BELIEVE THAT ALL SELF WORTH ISSUES ARE THOUGHTS ABOUT NOT BEING ENOUGH!

THEY ARE NOT REAL, THEY ARE JUST THOUGHTS AND THEY CAN TAKE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES IF WE LET THEM.

Take particular notice of the times when these little thoughts come invading your head space, take some time to observe what is behind them, what meaning you are making of them – and then turn them around and give them a much more empowering meaning.  Ones that makes you feel great about yourself and your life!

DO YOU HAVE AN INSIGHTS TO SHARE?

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

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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SEX WITH THE EX!

Sex with the ex?

Yes or No?

Have you thought about it?

Have you done it?

If so, how did you feel afterwards?

This is an example of a scenario I see played out from time to time.

This is not a one sided situation, sometimes it is the woman who makes the first move.

For the purposes of making a point here I am using the ex husband or partner.

It can go something like this.

A woman’s husband or ex partner and possibly the father of her children decides, for whatever reason, that he no longer wants to continue this relationship.  He’s calling it quits.

The women is devastated!  Sure there are things that were far from perfect in the relationship. Like most relationships just dealing with parenting, work/life balance, financial stresses and any number of life challenging events that come our way puts a great strain on relationships.  And deep down we know we could be putting in more effort, the bedroom is now where you go to watch TV and sleep – not much else going on in there. And there is often a little niggling thought that pops into our minds that we just push to one side.  A little warning that we really should stop and sit down and have a long meaningful conversation with our partner – the phone rings, interrupts your thoughts and the cycle continues.

Then one day the bomb drops!  In spite of those thoughts of making more effort and knowing that things were far from ideal, it sends you into a tailspin, and life as you once knew it will never be the same again.

He moves out or you move out and you begin to live your lives separately.

It’s tough, you are still struggling to come to terms with having to do everything on your own. You are lonely, he seems to be out there having a good time, seeing other women and you think your life sucks.  And an occasion to get dressed up and do something a little bit special, well it’s been awhile. You do have good days and look forward to more of these.

Then out of the blue he calls around to check in with you to make sure you are OK.  He suggests you both go out to dinner just for old times sake.  Of course you are happy to have some company other than your own or your kids, a reason to get dressed up so you agree.

You have a nice time together, he’s attentive, the conversations is flowing nicely, he drives you home and suggests he comes in for a drink. One thing leads to another, things begin to get a bit ‘hot’ and you end up in bed together.

The next day he’s gone, you are left wondering what the hell happened and you feel like you have just taken a giant leap backwards.  You begin to create wistful stories in your mind about getting back together, giving it another go, how different it would be this time and then comes the flip side as you begin beating yourself up about how stupid you were, all he wanted was sex and I was the easiest way to get it.   Stop right there!  If what happened has left you feeling bad about yourself there is a lesson here for you.

This is a perfect opportunity to use this situation to put some boundaries around your relationship, not just with him, but with any future boyfriends or partners.

You can turn this into a very powerful step forward in taking control of your life.

Stand back and look at what happened, objectively. As if you are looking down at the two of you from a higher perspective. The idea is to take the emotional sting out of the situation.  Look at the role you played in this little episode, look at the role he played. Identify how it has made you feel about yourself.  Be aware of the thoughts that were running through your mind at the time.

What would be the very first step you would take when and if this situation arises again?
Look at what resources, internal and external, you could have used to prevent this happening.
What boundaries you will put around all your interactions with your ex from here on?
Then run a little movie in your mind and see how differently it plays out and take particular notice of how much stronger and more powerful you feel.

These events or circumstances are not right or wrong.

Learn the lesson, change what you would do in a similar situation and get on with taking a little step every day towards creating a life you love.

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

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE YOUR HEAD?

What’s Going on Inside Your Head?

My guess is that you are already aware that our minds are really, really active, you know that, ‘monkey chatter’ that is constantly going on and on inside our heads.

It has been recorded that we have between 40-60 thousand thoughts a day!

95% are the same from day to day.

80% are automatic negative thoughts.

Just thinking about that is in itself enough to ‘blow our minds.’

How they work out those numbers I have no idea.   What I do know is that each one of those thoughts is always influencing your perception of reality, your experience of life and will be having an impact on your body in some way.  How you are feeling in the moment and where in your body you are feeling it.

Now what really interests me and one of the biggest challenges my clients seem to face is that we are only consciously aware of a handful of these thoughts when in fact we are self suggesting all the time.

 What do I mean by ‘self-suggesting?’

These thoughts we are having, our internal dialogue and the images we are making about these thoughts are shifting and shaping our reality.

Now consider this, every single word we say to ourselves, every single word that comes out of our mouths, every single thought that we think is a suggestion to ourselves.

Just knowing this is huge!  Creating more and more awareness of how you are talking to yourself is key to making huge changes in how you see the world around you and how you experience life.

Even as you make simple changes you will begin to notice a huge difference in how you respond to the world around you.  Once I became aware of the power and control of my internal dialogue and I changed my internal dialogue every time I became aware of what was going on, my world really changed in a powerful and positive way.

 Let’s call this a little ‘thought’ experiment.

I would like to invite you to do this and just notice for yourself what’s different.  In the way you feel, the way you think about yourself and the way you think about what is possible for you and for your life.

Grab yourself a notebook or a journal and begin to jot down the thoughts you are having that really just make you feel crappy.  And straight away turn that thought around to one that flips it on its head and notice how this new thought makes you feel.

Try these ones to get you started.   And say them out loud!

My life is an emotional roller coaster

My life is a journey

How could I be so stupid and do a thing like that?

What could I have done differently in that situation?

What an idiot I am to fall for a guy like him, what is wrong with me?

 I am so glad I got to experience that relationship, I’m really clear now about what I really want!

I can guarantee that when you do this you on a regular basis it will open up your mind to notice new opportunities and possibilities.

You are already choosing to think about what is going on in your world in a certain way, so test out what happens when you choose to think differently

What you choose to think is always totally up to you!

“THINKING MAKES A WONDERFUL SERVANT AND A TERRIBLE MASTER”

What steps are you prepared to take to become the master of your thoughts?

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

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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THOUGHTS & FEELINGS

ME & MICHAEL NEILL TALKING ABOUT THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

The Secret of Emotional Wellbeing.

Every emotion you experience is a direct response to a thought, not to the world around you.

Many people really struggle with that statement. What came up for you when you read it?

The more clearly you see that your emotions are always reactions to your thoughts, not to the world, the easier it is to simply feel them and let them go.  And the gift of that insight is that you stop needing to change the world in order to change the way you feel.

There’s No Such Thing as a “Bad Day”

At our best we all handle life remarkably well. We know what to do and tend to do it when it needs to be done.  We follow our common sense and our wisdom and just naturally make the best decisions we can based on the information we have.  But unfortunately we don’t always live life at our best.  In fact, for many people the times spent in the comfort and care of their own wisdom and well-being seem far too few and far between.

What begins to give you control of this process, turning you from an apparent victim of circumstances back into the creator that you truly are?

Here’s a corollary to the secret of emotional well-being.

Your day doesn’t create your mood; your mood creates your day.

When your mood is low, the world looks bleak; when your mood is high you feel as if you can take over the world. The difference is as always, not in the world, but inside you.  And a deeper understanding of how it’s being created will give you a whole lot more options about what to do about it.

I am sure you have all been told, or told yourself, especially when life seems to be dealing you one blow after another, “just think positive.”  And since your emotions are a direct response to your thoughts logic suggests that the only thing that will change them is to change your thoughts.

So why not just think positive thoughts all day long, carefully weeding out all the negative thoughts until your garden of positivity is lush and you can live happily every after?

When we try too hard to monitor the activity inside our heads it all goes swimmingly until one thought gets by and then everything goes to hell.

I’m going to be late, I just know I’m going to be late, I shouldn’t have eaten that extra piece of cake last night, I’m such a fat disgusting slob, no wonder no will ever find me attractive, why is this always the way?  If only I had more willpower, I’m definitely going on that diet tomorrow, but what’s the point, I never stick to anything, I’m such a loser… I need more cake! boy, he’s gorgeous I wonder what it would be like to be with someone like that, I bet it would be wonderful, I have so much love inside me – it feels really good, but no one will ever know because I’m all alone, what was the name of that song I heard on the radio last night, oh no, I’m going to be late…..

Yet our thoughts are simply internal conversations and mental movies that have no power to impact our lives until we charge them up by deciding they are important and real.  And if we ’empower’ the wrong thoughts, making our negative fantasies seem more realistic than our external reality, it’s like boarding a train to a destination we have no desire to actually reach.  That’s why the important thing to realise about your thinking, particularly your ‘unhappy’ thinking, is this:

It’s almost never the 1st thought that hurts – it’s the 5th, or 50th, or even 500th that inevitably comes when you follow a negative train of thought on its rambling journey to destinations unknown.

So which thoughts should we engage in and which ones should we let go?

The answer lies not in our thoughts but in our feelings.
When you’re feeling good, happy, loving, comfortable, easy, that means that your thinking is healthy and will probably take you in positive directions.  When you’re feeling bad, angry, frustrated, stressed-out, uncomfortable, chances are that your thinking is unproductive.  This gives us a remarkably reliable way of navigating through to our own wisdom.   You can actually use your feelings as a sort of early warning system.

Now I am sure I am not telling you anything here that you are not already aware of here, some days from the moment we wake up and it just seems like the whole day is going to shit, the problem is that most of us are not aware that we can choose not to act on our thinking when we are feeling low.

I remember some pretty tough times in my life when I would wake up feeling really flat and within an hour of getting up it seemed like everything in my life was just plain wrong. The car wouldn’t start and I would be late for work, another bill would arrive in the mail, the dress I was going to wear to work was too tight and so on.

Then I made the decision to change this and I would physically take myself back to bed for about 10 minutes, get up again, get dressed having made the decision that my day was going to be great.  Once I had that down pat I got to the point where my awareness of my thoughts kicked in from the minute I opened my eyes and if they weren’t taking me to a great place I started to turn them around and instantly my day changed.  Now, I not saying that everything throughout the day was rosy, it is just that the things that were ‘not so great’ didn’t have the same emotional sting and my thinking became much more solution focused rather than problem focused.

Thoughtspotting!

During the day, if you notice yourself feeling down or a bit worried or unsettled, see if you can spot the thought behind the feeling.  As soon as you have spotted it, let it go.

Remember to take a moment to carefully examine your internal dialogue. You  do have the power to control your thoughts and your feelings, as with everything we want to get really good at, it takes practice.

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

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

Sign up for our 6 Steps to Getting Your Life Back on Track and you also receive all the latest news and events from the Divorced Women’s Club.

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