Three Ways to Love Yourself After Divorce

Love yourself after a divorce

Going through a divorce is a life changing event! It requires a complete rebuild of your life and the emotional toll can be overwhelming at times. No matter what the specific circumstances of your divorce, one thing you don’t need is to get caught up in self-abusive practices that prolong your suffering and make a difficult situation even worse!

Here are three ways you can love yourself after your divorce.

Acknowledge your feelings

One of the worst things you can do is bury your feelings, this just leads to prolonging your suffering. Embracing your feelings can be scary, but trust me the alternative is worse. A divorce will bring on a flood of emotions, your life has been turned upside down and there is bound to be anger, frustration, hurt, fear overwhelm and numerous other emotions. If we do not embrace these, they are sure to get louder, stronger and more debilitating! SO how do you embrace your emotions? An easy way to start is by simply naming them when they come up. For example, when you start to feel anger, name it “I am feeling angry”. By acknowledging the feeling, it has less power. In fact, emotions only physically last only 90 seconds in our bodies (Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey). This may seem unreal, but what keeps the emotion lasting longer are the stories that we tell ourselves and the messages we send that keep fueling the fire! Acknowledge the feeling without judgement, take a couple deep breaths and let the emotion pass. If you find that you are struggling to let the emotions pass, remember this is a skill like any other – it takes practice! If you are feeling overwhelmed with your emotions or are really struggling with letting them pass, consult a professional for assistance.

Love yourself after a divorce

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is HUGE! If we get caught in an internal dialogue where we shame and blame ourselves, we are going down a path of self- destruction. In these types of situations our inner critic is bound to show up saying things such as “you didn’t…”, “you should have…”, “this is all your fault”, “you deserve this” and on and on it goes. Getting caught in this, is helpful for no one! Practicing forgiveness is a powerful tool that you can use to keep your inner critic in check. We all make mistakes, we all wish that we could have done something differently. This is a part of being human, but beating yourself up for it won’t change the past. Forgive yourself, you are human!

Along with the forgiveness piece is recognizing that you also have the capacity to learn and grow from these “mistakes”. Identify the lesson you have learned, forgive yourself and move on. It can be as simple as that!

Practice self-compassion

You are suffering, it is difficult, you need and deserve your own care and compassion! Think about it, if you have ever helped a friend through a difficult time – did you expect them to just get over it? Did you expect them to suck it up and move on? Of course not! You were there to support them and you deserve this compassion too! Come up with some ways that you can nurture yourself. Make a list of activities that bring you joy and vow to yourself to schedule them into your routine. Come up with a practice that suits you as a way of showing care and concern for yourself. Maybe it’s words of compassion stated during meditation time or writing yourself uplifting notes of support and love. Whatever it may be, create a practice that helps you cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself.Love yourself after a divorce

These tools by no means take away the hardship of a divorce, there will be struggles, it will get difficult at times, but using these tools can make those times a little easier. Using these will help you stay in a stronger state of mind so that you can face it like a warrior. This is one chapter in your life, it doesn’t have to be the whole story! You are in the process of writing your next chapter and, as the author, you can make it however you want it to be!

A lost job is a won opportunity.

a lost job is a won opportunity

Have you been downsized, lost your job? Understandably, this can be an incredibly difficult time.

Most of us spend a large portion of our day and energy on our careers. For most people our careers are more than just a paycheque; our social networks, our personal identity and a sense of pride are all tied to our careers. That is why when we are downsized there is a real sense of loss.

When you are downsized the internal demons can rear their ugly heads, questioning our abilities and strengths. Our egos bombard us with abusive language of “you are not good enough”, “you screwed up”, “you failed”. This can be relentless and unless we get a hold of that internal dialogue we can get stuck in a cycle of self-abuse and negativity. If we can get a handle on this, and can start looking at the picture from a more balanced perspective, we can open the door to seeing this upset as an opening to something new and better.

From a more balanced perspective we can start to see that maybe it was not as perfect as we once thought! Now that you have some time away, you may start to recognize your life was unbalanced. You were giving too much of yourself to your work and neglecting yourself, your friends, your family. Maybe you notice that you were not being valued in your position, or that you were being underutilized and not given the opportunity to let your strengths shine. Maybe you notice that you were not being your authentic self in that environment or you were suppressing parts of yourself or your values to fit in. This recently happened to a client of mine once she had some time away she quickly realized how much her job had been affecting her in all areas of her life. Her physical and mental health, her relationships and overall wellness were being negatively affected by the position that she held. She didn’t realize when she was in the position, the stress and pressure crept up gradually and it wasn’t till she was out of the situation that she had the space to realize how unhealthy it was for her. Whatever you are noticing you now have an opportunity to make some changes.

a lost job is a won opportunity

 

You have been given an opportunity to really look at what you want for your future.  Start asking yourself “what is it I really want”? You may realize that you have lost passion for your chosen profession and want to try something new. Maybe you realize that you have had enough of earning for someone else and want to be an entrepreneur. Or maybe you decide that you love your profession and that you just need to find a new company that fits with your values. Whatever the realization, you have been given the opportunity to create career that fits you.
Saying all this, I understand finances can be a necessity and you may not have the means to take the time to explore what it is you really want, you just need a job to pay the bills, I get this. You can still seize this opportunity explore what you really want, while finding something to cover the bills for now!

In my world of contract positions, I have often experienced losing my job because of lost funding and each time it was devastating. I had put my heart and soul into creating something only for it to lose funding. I mourned for myself and the clients. I, too, heard the inner criticism and would beat myself up: “Had I done more, we would have got the funding”. I would play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game for a while. Once I went through the emotions and got my inner critic under control, I was ready to look forward. After going through this a couple of times, I realized that the more I focused on these unfortunate situations, I was missing out on the opportunity to really experience what was being opened for me. In every instance, what waited for me around the corner was another exciting chapter.

a lost job is a won opportunity

A friend of mine has recently gone through a downsizing. As soon as the initial shock wore off and she was able to tame the internal demons, she started to recognize that she had been given an opportunity. She had been given the gift of time! At first, she started taking that time to explore what she really valued. Through this process, she recognized that she had another passion, she was excited about health and wellness and helping others to achieve their personal wellness goals. This was a big change from what she was doing before, but she took the leap of faith and invested in herself and is now working towards a new career which excites her. It is amazing to watch her go through her inspirational journey! She could have got stuck in self-abuse, adopted a negative perspective and just rushed out to get any job but rather, she took her downsizing as an opportunity to grow and really listen to her inner wisdom and now she is working towards a new career that she loves.

As difficult as it can be to go through a downsizing, you can choose to change your perspective and see this as an opportunity to grow and create a life that truly excites you!

How to embrace the grief cycle and move forward.

The bad news is that the grief cycle is a natural process that we must all go through when we suffer a loss.

The word “loss” is even subjective. Too often we are scared to admit that there is some grieving that has to take place, which we may reserve for when someone dies. But loss applies to many aspects of our lives. It can be felt when we lose a job, lose a relationship or lose our state of health and of course when we actually lose a loved one. Whatever the loss is, the grief cycle is present. It is well documented that grief has stages. We can go through the stages moving backward and forward throughout them, depending on what we are processing at the time. The following are some tips that you can use to help you in the grief cycle so that it doesn’t consume you.

No regrets!

When my husband passed, this was one of the great pieces of wisdom that was passed on to me. When we live with regrets, the shoulda, coulda and wouldas, we get stuck in a cycle of self abuse and grief. Not fun! Saying “no regrets” reminds us that we are all imperfect, we are all learning constantly and we all make mistakes. Give yourself a break and recognize that your “mistakes” are actually just opportunities to learn. Yes, there are things that you could have done differently, recognize and acknowledge them. But you also have to recognize you can’t go back and change them but you can learn from them and move on.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is huge! We need to come to a place where we can forgive not only the others involved, but also ourselves. When I start to really get entrenched in the grief cycle, especially the anger stage, I remind myself that forgiveness is what I need. It is important to honour the stage that you are in but recognize that it’s not healthy to stay stuck in it. Forgive yourself for having angry thoughts and realize that it is natural. Forgive the other person for their part and note you both were doing the best with what you had at the time. If you are struggling with this one I find it helpful to keep repeating to myself “I forgive myself for ….” and “I forgive (name) for ….”.

Honour your feelings

The grief cycle is a whirlwind of emotions. One minute you could be laughing at memories, the next crying and feeling overwhelmed. Honour this! You are entitled to your feelings no matter how rapidly they may change or not. It’s important to recognize them and give them space to move through you. Oftentimes we get so fearful of them consuming us that we push the emotions aside and, like a child throwing a tantrum, they are sure to get louder and stronger if we ignore them. One thing I do is acknowledge the feeling. If  I am feeling angry, then I take a deep breath and breathe into the feeling and eventually it passes. I make sure to really feel into it.  Lastly, I honour the fact that it is a natural feeling and that I am completely normal for having it. This process allows me to honour the feeling so that it doesn’t consume me and my thoughts.

Be grateful!

This one can be difficult when we are in a place of suffering, but I believe there is always something to be grateful for, no matter how small. Personally speaking, after my husband passed, I have been so grateful for so many great things that have happened, not to mention being grateful for having him in my life, no matter how short a time frame that was. I often find myself appreciating certain characteristics about him and all the memories that I hold so dear. Showing gratitude is something that can bring me out of the darkest funks!

Recognize your strength!

You are strong, you are coping and you are doing your best! I know when I was going through the loss people would always comment “You are so strong,” however my internal dialogue was “I am not, I’m barely functioning.” Looking back now I was and I continue to be strong, we all are! Some days the strength is just getting out of bed, sometimes the strength shows up as moving forward. Either way, it takes strength to survive and just show up in life. Recognize this. You are a warrior!

Keeping these things in mind will help you move through the grief rather than getting stuck in it! The grief cycle is one of those things that is unique to everyone; we process it in our own time, in our own way and that is completely normal. So remember –  be kind to yourself, honour the process you are going through and recognize you are strong just for showing up!

What is a life coach? All The Answers You Need

What is a life coach

What is a life coach? All The Answers You Need

Life coaching is one of the new hot terms that is floating around out there. If you have found yourself hearing the words “life coach” and wondering what is a life coach, you’re not alone. It’s meaning can be a bit of a mystery and that is because it is so relatively new and growing momentum. Here’s the answer, along with a few other details that may arise when you wonder, ‘what is a life coach?’

A Life Coach is Not Your Boss

When I tell people that I am a life coach, especially people who know me professionally, I get the response: “You will be great at that, there are a lot of people out there who need to be told what to do.” I then must correct them, because a life coach is not there to tell you what to do in your life. Why would somebody else presume to know what you need in your life better than you?! True coaching doesn’t tell you what to do. Rather coaches listen for your wisdom to come shining through.

What wisdom?  That’s why I’m here!

In the coaching relationship, a trusted, nonjudgmental space is created for you to speak your heart. During that conversation, the coach notices body language, listens for patterns, beliefs and perceptions. They then feed the information that they are noticing back. They help you tap into the wisdom of your body and mind. There is an underlying belief in coaching that you are a unique individual who innately knows what you need. In this relationship, you are asked powerful questions that can help you really get to a deeper understanding of yourself. This process is so powerful because few of us are truly heard. It is immensely powerful to be truly heard and hear your wisdom being fed back to you. This is where true change is possible. You are not getting advice or being told how to fix things, you are finding out what you feel you really need.

What is a life coach

So why can’t I do it on my own?

When we are in our own heads, it is difficult to truly hear ourselves. Our wisdom is hidden beneath self-judgement, shame, blame and judgement. All of these cloud us from really hearing what our says. Think of your intuition metaphorically as a pebble dropping into the ocean. It is a small ripple in a big space. It takes someone who truly listens for that ripple and teases it out from the surrounding waves. If you have ever practiced mindfulness or meditation, then you are aware that our minds are constantly going. That is why it can be difficult to hear that intuitive message. In the coaching relationship, your coach will help you tune into that intuitive sense to really tap into the wisdom that we hold in our heads and our bodies, and will provide you with the tools that can help you tune into it on your own.

 

So, what is a life coach, like a friend?

A coach may listen to you like a friend but they are trained to listen past the words and really notice and hear what is being said. Also, unlike a friend, a coach has no attachment to a result. Think about it, if you were talking to your best friend about moving across the country, they would have personal feelings and reservations because they care about you and, although they want what is best for you, they don’t want you to move away. A coach has no attachment to the outcome. They truly are a clean slate who is just listening to hear the wisdom and asking the powerful questions to help you get the clarity you are looking for.

Is it like therapy?

Therapy and coaching are very different. Although both listen, a therapist and a life coach  play different roles. Coaching is focused on action and accountability; it is forward looking. Therapy, on the other hand, focuses on fixing emotional hurts stemming from the past. Generally, in therapy the end goal is feeling better, although this generally happens in coaching too. In coaching, you will also have actionable outcomes related to the issue. Coaching does not focus on healing the past. Rather, it notices if past beliefs, patterns or perceptions are affecting your current situation and gives you the tools to change the things that aren’t working. There is an important place for therapy in emotional healing, but if you are looking more at the present and into the future, coaching would probably be a better fit.

What is a life coach

All the answers you need!

What I have learned from both being coached and coaching is that we truly do have an inner knowing. When I get coached, I am always pleasantly surprised at the wisdom that comes flooding out of me, especially when I have been wrestling with something for a while on my own. Suddenly in a session – BOOM! Everything I have been struggling with comes flooding out- it really is remarkable! Our minds and bodies know exactly what we need. We just need to tune in to hear the message and really learn to trust ourselves. So all the answers you need… are inside of you! You just need the tools and the skills to be able to hear the message and motivation to move forward. That is where coaching comes in. Your curiosity brought you to this blog. Take it a step further and book your free consult to get a better understanding of the benefits of coaching.

Trust Yourself, you have the Strength and Wisdom!

Want success? Add these 5 things to your 2017 resolutions list.

Resolutions List Inspirational Image

The  New Year has begun, and like me, you probably have a few goals on your resolutions list for 2017. On New Years Eve, you vowed to yourself this year you are going to follow through, just like the beginning of every year.

While that’s a great spirit to have, most of us get caught up with life and find it hard to follow through on our resolutions. Then, we start on a self-destructive pattern of failing, beating ourselves up, failing more and a lot more negative self-talk that makes us lose complete site of our resolutions list.

This year, you can have success with your resolution by starting off right, with 5 must-have things for setting your resolution!

1.Set a clear goal!

Make sure the goal is clear by answering ‘what is it that you really want?’ Ask yourself some clarifying questions:

  • What will this change do to enhance my life?
  • What does it look like, feel like to have achieved the goal?
  • What changes will I need to make to achieve this goal?

Really let yourself day dream about what this resolution will mean for you and your life. For example, if losing weight is your resolution, write down how much, by when and what size or other characteristics you want to be. Envision what losing weight looks like to you and paint a vivid mental image of what your goal will feel and look like.

Resolutions List Step By Step

2. Take it one step at a time!

Now that you have a clear picture of what you want, figure out the steps on how to achieve it. Make sure you have actionable steps that you can reach. A lot of the time we rush in and push ourselves to hard at the beginning and then end up giving up on our goal because it’s too overwhelming.

In January every year, the gym is packed.  New members flood in the first week, then slowly start dropping off.  It usually takes about three weeks until the crowds start thinning. If you start slow and reasonable, you will have more success. Instead of throwing yourself into a 1hour-7 day a week workout schedule, try building up to it. The first week go 2 times, then increase to 3, etc. Whatever it is that you have planned for yourself, break it down into manageable steps.

3.Reward yourself!

With your resolutions list broken down into manageable steps, use these steps to acknowledge your achievements.  Too often we are so focused on the end goal that we forget to congratulate ourselves on the steps we have taken towards that goal.

If we don’t recognize our achievements who will? There are many ways to recognize and congratulate yourself on your  success, big or small! You can:

  • Keep an achievement journal
  • Write yourself post-its with your successes
  • Share achievements with a friend
  • Congratulate yourself in the mirror.

I think we all fall short on this one a lot of the time, but it is one of the most important things! Be your own cheerleader!

Resolutions List Fireworks

4.Reevaluate your resolutions list regularly!

Along with recognizing your achievements it’s important to have an honest check in with yourself about your goals. Ask yourself:

  • Are these steps working for me?
  • Is this still important to me?
  • Is there something more that I want to add to this goal?

Life is ever changing, so make sure your goals are as dynamic as you are. If something in life has changed, which it inevitably will, adjust to continue to reach your goal. Maybe you have had success and need to set the goal post even further. Schedule a time every couple weeks to evaluate your goal and your progress, then readjust what is not working. Take the time to give yourself an honest check in!

5. Try kindness!

The way we treat ourselves is often way worse than how we would ever treat another. We judge, criticize, shame and blame ourselves. The negative self-talk is a detriment to achieving our goals. Many of us feel that if we are kind to ourselves, we won’t be motivated. We feel that if we give ourselves positive caring words of encouragement then we will just become idle. We have this belief that beating ourselves up will push us to excel.

Think about it have you ever had a boss who was hypercritical and found fault in everything you do… Did you feel motivated? Would you ever try to encourage a child to learn something new by criticizing and degrading them? Of course not, so we shouldn’t do it to ourselves. Try kindness and see what happens!

Whatever you are aiming for in 2017, these 5 steps can help you achieve the goals on your resolutions list. I use them all the time when I am working towards something and find them essential to success. Best of luck to you in reaching your resolutions!

Let’s make 2017 an epic year!

Are you your own BFF?

Are you your own BFF?

Recently I was listening to Louise Hay (whom I love) and one of the affirmations she said was “I am my own best friend.”. That really struck me and got me thinking in a whole new way! I really asked myself, am I my own best friend? If you would have asked me a year ago I would have had to answer “NO”. I would never speak to my friends the way I speak to myself, at times. I have never told a friend “you can’t do that”, “you are not enough”, “you are going to fail” …  you get the point. Now don’t get me wrong I pride myself on being honest with my friends. I also pride myself on being an optimist and cheerleader for my friends, I believe we are all capable of anything.  Now I would not consider myself having low self-esteem and I am confident in many areas of my life but there is that inner critic voice inside me that seriously questions my abilities at times!

I am in a process of learning to accept all parts of myself, including this sometimes cruel inner critic. Through coaching I have realized that my inner critic has a very important role. She is my protector trying to save me from getting hurt and in its own way making sure that I am not caught off guard, ensuring that I see things from every angle. She is like the cautious friend who is afraid of taking risks! I have also learned that once I give her a chance to speak her mind she tends to quiet down.

 

I don’t think I am alone in this; we all have an inner critic. They like to speak up especially when we are planning on doing things outside of our comfort zones (that’s when mine is the loudest). I have learned now to hear what she has to say, give gratitude for her protection and insight and then move on. This has helped enormously because before I was trying to just ignore her or drown her out, unsuccessfully! Like a toddler having a tantrum she just got louder and louder. It wasn’t till I listened to her concerns and really gave her a voice that she became less powerful!

So going back to the original question am I my own best friend, I guess the answer is “YES I am!”. Even the inner critic is my friend, my very cautious friend but still a friend none the less.

Welcome to my Journey to Wholeness!

Here I sit debating about what to write on my premier blog feelings of fear and doubt are showing up as I am the Facebook friend who NEVER posts; likes and the random comment is the extent of my sharing things publicly! Writing a blog that’s completely uncharted territory! So here goes…. Welcome to my Journey to Wholeness!

It has been the best of times and the worst of times over the past almost 2 years. I have been on a personal growth journey to wholeness that started with my husband passing away. This bombshell rocked me to my core and shook my life up in a way that has forever changed me. I want to say, it’s not that I was unhappy in my previous life, things were good we had a plan! We both held positions we enjoyed and had a life that was fulfilling….. or so I thought! Looking back now I can recognize there was this quiet whisper inside me saying there is more, so much more! But I was too busy with life to listen!

I loved my position in the human services working with people has always been my passion. Sure it was stressful but what a great feeling being able to support people in attaining the lives that they desired. The discord came from seeing people desperate to make changes in their lives, trying what they could, to make those changes and in most cases make some but what I was noticing was that as soon as things got difficult in their lives or they hit a roadblock they would revert back to old patterns. It was clear they had all the intention but something was lacking. So I would help them pick up the pieces, dust them off and send them back on their path. Over and over and over! This commitment and dedication and overall resilience inspired me! It was just so heart breaking to see so many individuals trying so hard to only be back in almost the same place. Don’t get me wrong there were success and most times each time they fell it wouldn’t be quite as low down as the last time. So there was progress. From an outsiders perspective there just seemed to be something sucking them back down.

My observation through the years, we operate on a set of beliefs, fears and patterns which in most cases are laying just below the surface. They rule over our internal dialogue, external actions and our perceptions. Over my years of work, it became so clear to me that when it comes to making changes in life there is always a reason you are in the situation in the first place. Whether consciously or not (most times not consciously) we make choices that keep us stuck in these same old patterns. If we are unaware of these patterns then we are bound to keep repeating them and they keep playing out in our lives.

If you were to really truly able look at your life from an outsiders perspective the patterns start to show, if you could really objectively hear internal and external dialogue then your beliefs and fears start to present themselves. (PS. This is what a life coach does and why it is such a powerful relationship!)

The positive here is once we become aware of these patterns, beliefs and fears we have a choice! SO through awareness we have a choice if they are serving us – great! If not its time to make some changes!

Back to my story…This is where I found myself! My husbands passing became the catalyst to push me to what I had always known on some level. With love and support I started to recognize those patterns, to really listen to the internal and external dialogue and started taking stock of my life. For this I am grateful! That may sound weird to be grateful for such a trauma but that is where I am at!

This bombshell has given me the opportunity to grow, something that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own, like I said I was not necessarily unhappy before, but looking back now I can see just how unfulfilled I was and in comparison to how I feel now, wow what a difference. I can truly say for this I am grateful! I know there will be roadblocks and detours but that is the fun of growing and learning! This is my journey to wholeness (of which I am still on) and I am loving it!

So welcome to my journey! My vision for this blog is to inspire others on their journey and create a supportive community for others to turn to while they travel their road! Please join me it’s much more fun to travel with a group!

My Story

If you have already been reading on the website you are familiar with my story. This is an interview that I did with my Mentor Feroshia Knight. I have to confess it was my first interview and being in front of the camera is not something I am used to, although I guess with all the other new challenges I am embracing in my life this one was a must. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about me and how my life has been forever changed after I went through one of the 5 D’s.

It just makes sense!…The evolution of Whole Person Coaching

To me it just makes sense, we are complex unique individuals and our lives do not happen in a vacuum. This is why I really believe in whole person coaching. Every aspect of our lives is an intricate web with all aspects of ourselves showing up in every area of our lives. If we are having issues at work then this will inevitably affect our relationships, our home life and us personally. That is why when we are looking at making some adjustments its important that we not only focus on the issue at hand but also the effects positive and negative that these adjustments will have in the other areas of our lives. This is true of big changes as much as it is with the smaller ones.

Learn about Whole Person Coaching from Feroshia Knight. Feroshia is the inspirational creator of Whole Person Coaching, she is passionate about people and every time I speak to her I leave feeling energized. Please enjoy this video and the wealth of information it can provide.