Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Finding Your Divorce Wellness

              Divorce wellness is a real thing.  It isn’t an oxymoron. And it doesn’t magically appear. Divorce Wellness isn’t something that I (or anyone) can give you. You can’t buy Divorce Wellness off the shelf. I can tell you about it, can help lead you through it, but the work, the commitment, must be done by you.  I’m sorry – if I could give it to you, all wrapped up with a perfectly tied ribbon, I would, but that’s not how it works. I can, however, help you to find Divorce Wellness for yourself.

               For those of us who have been divorced, or who are divorcing, we know that there is a special kind of awful that often comes with the process and although a lot of people say “It is what it is” – The truth is: it doesn’t have to be this way! You can learn how to step through the muck and emerge into a new beautiful joyful normal. Really. I promise you that you can do it. I’m not saying it’s always easy.  For sure, divorce can throw us into a kind of grief and, as a wise grief counselor said, “You can go through grief, or you can grow through grief.” Yes, in a big way, divorce can suck AND, the great thing is that you can attain Divorce Wellness and live a really happy life thereafter!

               As a first step, try giving yourself permission to create the space for your own Divorce Wellness. Get intentional about it. Start by allowing yourself to acknowledge that there is a need and that it is permissible – necessary even – to allocate time and resources to get yourself where you want to be. Next, come up with “A Plan” – this could be done working on your own, working with a divorce coach (or a therapist), scouring the Internet for tips, or some other method. Your plan might not look the same as another person’s. The basics that I usually suggest include a regular meditation or grounding practice, creating a support network, getting physical, connecting with nature, and then more detailed actions (which could include learning about the divorce process, choosing an attorney, etc.) depending on what is needed in each situation.  

I have created a day-long Divorce Wellness Retreat to help you get back your joie de vivre, and then some. The retreat includes specific tips for how to achieve your own Divorce Wellness, general divorce information, restorative Yoga, a delicious catered lunch, and the creation of a safe and nurturing space in a beautiful location. If you want to learn more, please reach out to me with any questions – 510.210.3796;   Early bird registration before 9/20/2019.

Whatever path you choose, I wish you joy and contentment….

Divorce Wellness Event Details:
What: A day-long retreat designed to help people find their joy before, during, or after their divorce
When: October 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Gorgeous Sonoma County (address given upon registration)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mediation: A Different Approach to Family Law

Door Knockers, Rome

            I saw a “joke” on a German Instagram for lawyers. It goes something like this: “Ending your marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings…and with lawyers….”  Yes, I chuckled when I saw it. And I also recoiled a little.  I’d like to see the narrative re-framed: “We got to work through some really difficult issues and with the help of a lawyer we came up with a great workable mediation agreement!”
It doesn’t make a good snappy joke and perhaps it does sound a little ridiculous – who wants to deal with feelings and with attorneys, and who would ever believe that the acrimony that led to divorce could move over so that an agreement could be reached??  But the truth is, getting a divorce doesn’t have to add to the emotional minefield. There are effective ways to divorce that don’t add gasoline to the raging fire. As counter-intuitive as it might sound, based on my years of life and work experience, I hope to convince you that mediating a peaceful settlement is actually a great way to obtain a divorce. 
Dealing with the underlying feelings – the reasons for the disputes – can work miracles to help the divorcing parties come to understandings of themselves and of their former partners, leading the way for agreements regarding custody and property and all those other thorny family law issues. The benefits of this approach can include saving substantial amounts of money by not going to court – litigation is horribly expensive. Mediation also saves emotional wear and tear for every member of the family – divorcing spouses and children and siblings (and also friends and co-workers) – as unfortunately litigation often brings out the very worst in otherwise nice people.  There are also significant long-term benefits because an agreement where each person has a say is much more likely to be adhered to in the future, which reduces the likelihood of having to go to court to make changes.
I love my work as a family law mediator and I’m on a mission to help people get divorced without feeling like they’ve bounced through class five rapids without a raft. Coming to an agreement on important issues like custody, support, the family home, the family dog, etc., etc., feels really good for the people getting divorced, which can be an important step toward living a happy post-divorce life.
I try to help divorcing parties to focus on the long game and not just the pain and anger which they are currently feeling (all of which is valid and has its place too). Sitting with their ex in a mediator’s office might not be the way that most people would choose to spend their afternoons, however, more often than not, the end result is great and makes it well worth the effort. 
If you think mediation might be right for you, please feel free to contact me with your questions.  Tel: 510.210.3796 Email:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Divorce Wellness Positivity Blog ~~ Let’s Be Honest: Some Days Are Super Bad

In some ways divorce is a microcosm of life. Ups and downs just like always (except probably more extreme when you’re divorcing than most daily challenges). Some moments you’re feeling great, exuberant even, free from the marriage that has been troubling you for a while. Other times you feel really low, too exhausted to continue (and at that moment, you learn your ex has filed for a court date, or your attorney is demanding to be paid, or your kids are acting out, or etc.)  Divorce is often referred to as one of the most difficult life events – but you already know that. At times during your divorce, the highs might feel really marvelous, and the lows might challenge you more than you feel you can bear. And still, you must go on, even when you don’t have one more ounce to spare.  You can’t give up.  Somehow you have to muster the strength – for yourself, for your kids, for your future….
               If your divorce is getting you down, you gotta get yourself up, not give up. Of course I’m not saying it’s easy. Many things that are worthwhile don’t come easy. You will have to seriously engage in order to make things better. Create your own “boot camp.” Get tough with yourself so that you can take good care of yourself.
So here’s what I suggest:
  • ·        Consciously decide that you, your life, your future, your happiness are worth it
  • ·        Give yourself a limit – for example, let yourself feel weary and blue for another 48 hours – and then be ready to find your boot straps and move on
  • ·        Make a list of all the things about your divorcing life that suck; make a list of all the things about your divorcing life that are great – include the things that will be better post-divorce; you might be surprised by what is on the lists
  • ·        Get physical! Take a walk, ride a bike, engage in Yoga (in a class or online), or scrub your bathroom – each of these activities will release positive endorphins
  • ·        Visit with a good friend or loving relative
  • ·        Start making plans of what you will be doing post-divorce
  • ·        Thank yourself, the Universe/your god, for all of the great things that you do have (e.g., running water, a roof over your head, people who love you, great children, your special talents for ____, etc., etc.)
  • ·        Remind yourself that you are strong and that you are not going to give up – have faith
  • ·        If you need help, ask for it – utilize your support network, including loved ones and divorce coaches

Try to remember that tomorrow or the next day (or the next month), the sun will shine again….