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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A New You

It’s a new year, so let’s think about a new you!

Are you finding it really hard to even get dressed in the mornings you feel so bad about what’s going on around you.

I get that!  We all have had days just like that, and even days when we just thought “What the hell, I’m just gonna stay in bed all day”.

And then eventually (and hopefully soon) you reach the stage where you just get so over yourself you find yourself boring.

Great!  Awesome!  Exciting!  This is real progress and calls for some celebration.

This is also the perfect time to think about some repackaging.

Repackaging you that is.

How long is it since you treated yourself to a new outfit?  And when you think about repackaging yourself, as you look in the mirror, what do you notice that you would like to update, or to be different?

Your hairstyle and colour perhaps? Your makeup?  Or your wardrobe?  Or the whole lot?

If you have the financial resources engage a stylist to come in and assist with your makeover.

If not, grab your bestie – he or she might the only one who will be totally honest with you.

If money is really tight just buying a new lipstick and making the decision to put some every single morning will begin to make a change in how you feel.  Trust me, I’ve been there 🙂

Sit down and make a list of all the things you want to change about your appearance. Start at the top with the hair and makeup. Do an honest appraisal of your wardrobe and perhaps it’s time to do a clean sweep.  Throw out the old and make way for the new.

Treat yourself to a visit to a day spa, a massage, a facial, a manicure and pedicure.

Just imagine how it will make you feel as you begin this process of transforming your appearance.

Just imagine how this change in your appearance will affect other areas of your life.

Just imagine the people who will begin to notice you.

Just imagine the experiences that may be waiting for you.

You looking so damn hot that you find yourself irresistible.

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

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