How Compassion Helps You Fight Back Against the Hurtful Voices in Your Head

In the third part of this series on learning to love yourself after a violent relationship, I look at how to use compassion to actually change the way your mind works.

As I talked about here and here, abuse disrupts our ability to seek out and provide the warmth and nurture that all mammals need to function. Our response mechanisms short-circuit and we have to relearn how to treat ourselves with gentleness and care.

Plus, when you’ve experienced a trauma like domestic violence, your fight-or-flight reactors go into overdrive as you try to combat the very real external threat.

But the upshot of our traumatic experience is that we’re also under attack from internal threats: pain, despair, loss, heartbreak – intense emotions that hurt and frighten us.

From a psychological perspective, we react the same way to external threats as to internal ones. So, when these feelings rise up, we counter-attack. We self-attack.

We treat the emotions with ridicule, aggression, frustration or disappointment. We try to fight them away.

But these emotions aren’t an external threat that you can simply force into retreat. They are part of you, and fighting with them will hurt you.

When our legitimate distress is met with cruelty and rejection, it makes us feel ashamed. We tell ourselves that we’re weak, stupid, not good enough… that we brought this on ourselves.

One way to tackle this is to imagine the self-attacking voice – the voice that shames you for the way you feel – as a separate person. Try to visualise them. What do they look like? What emotions are they directing at you? What do they want from you?

Then: Do they have your best interests at heart? What would happen if they left you alone? Who gains from them treating you like this?

Why are you scared of standing up to them?

You may find that the person you hear attacking you isn’t your own voice at all. You may find that it sounds suspiciously like the partner that made your life miserable. Or a parent, authority figure or bully that made you feel small. Maybe even someone that made you feel like you weren’t strong enough to stand up to the abuse.

And, if that’s the case, ask yourself: what right, what legitimacy, does that person have to attack you like this? Why do you feel you have to submit to their opinion?

What makes you think that their criticisms are at all valid?

Working out where this voice comes from won’t make it shut up. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen.

Instead, work on developing some empathy for your negative emotions. Remember the compassionate image that you developed? How would they respond to someone feeling your pain?

This is not easy. You’re working against the fight-or-flight instincts that tell you how to handle a threat. You’re talking over the voice that has dominated your emotional defenses for far too long. It will not let you take over without a struggle.

But you have to challenge the authority of that voice. You can’t just accept it – and you certainly can’t just accept it as part of who you are.

Be patient. You may need to try out different ways of handling your negative emotions and showing kindness to yourself before you find a way that works for you. These feelings might take a long time to quiet down.

What’s more, in order to really heal, you have to go beyond self-soothing – you also need to gather positive momentum for the future, setting goals and giving your vulnerable self the motivation and encouragement it needs to succeed.

The important thing is that, however you do it, you’re approaching yourself with compassion. You’re not judging, shaming or attacking the negative emotions. You’re not giving credence to the voice that attacks you.

If you’re struggling to recover from an abusive relationship, I hope that this series has helped you develop the tools you need to be kinder to yourself. If you feel you need more support, please do get in touch. I’ve helped hundreds of people to get through their divorce trauma – if you’d like to hear more, you can book a clarity call here.

Does Time Heal? They Say 18 Months – I Say 21 Days!

e08c65b4068a173f39c0f51ca1db5dd1A survey covered in this Daily Mail article interviewed 155 people and found that breakups take 11 weeks to get over on average. The article also says it takes 18 months to get over a divorce.

Actually, I’d say with no good strategy, even breakups take 18 months to heal from. It may take just 11 weeks to get over the split, but not to fully heal and get back to your joyous, strong, positive, life-loving self again. Because:

Healing requires active engagement with the topic!

Which is why it really takes 18 months to heal without any system or engagement or strategy, or without the right support.

And during that 18 month period, without the proper healing, you’re very likely to move into more unsuccessful relationships, which will end in breakup or divorce too. 56% of second marriages also end in divorce, and 72% of third marriages – the statistics don’t lie!

Time alone does not heal wounds

Many types of relationship therapy may tell you that it just takes time to heal and there’s nothing more to do about it, but it’s just not true! It makes me sad that so many people believe this nonsense and live unnecessarily with their pain or depression for months and even years.

I’ve seen time and time again that healing happens in short spurts during that time.

Healing is not a linear chronological process – it happens when you focus on healing. And with good strategy, process, attention and support you can make those short spurts of healing happen quickly, over the course of a few weeks. Not months or years.

Here’s another statistic for you – 97% of divorcees who take my Naked Divorce program are successfulin getting over AND healing from all their trauma in 21 days.

Back on track, happy and loving life once more. Check out their personal stories here.

It’s a pity the study above didn’t ask the recipients exactly when and how they felt little bursts of improvement and how they worked to those points and through them.

When you actively embrace the healing process, and face the sometimes very difficult feelings and stages to work through, in an intelligent way, you create an environment where these flashes of improvement and healing begin to happen.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that traditional forms of therapy don’t help the recovery process at all. In fact, there are clear conflicts of interest that certainly don’t incentivize therapists to get their clients cured, healed and happy as rapidly as possible.

Clients become dependent on therapists, and therapists gain secure, long-term clients and income

Imagine if a relationship therapist had to find new clients every month because they were helping them heal so quickly. Business would become extremely tough. Far better to have a guaranteed monthly or weekly client paying for a year or more – make sure you don’t become one of these clients!

With my program, I’ve deliberately incentivized myself and my team of Divorce Angels to help people truly, properly, deeply heal faster and more effectively. Our reputation depends on it.

I want that 97% success rate in 21 days to go up to 99%, not down to 95%.

Come and try the system, we’d be delighted to prove it to you!

Or if you have any questions at all about getting over your divorce, do ask.

I’m here to help.

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Don’t Eat That Cookie! Are You Healing or Avoiding?

foodWhen you were young did your mother use to say, ‘Don’t cry. Here have a cookie and you’ll feel better.’

And you ate the cookie, got distracted and yes you did actually feel a bit better. For ten minutes. Then the pain came back, and it was time for another cookie.

Does this sound at all familiar? If that child was you, perhaps you grew up to associate fixing your emotions with food, or other short term distractions. Instead of facing the pain and actually healing properly. The fact is:

If you don’t confront your emotions, you’ll never heal!

The example of the daughter and her cookie comes from John James and Russell Friedman’s great book ‘The Grief Recovery Handbook’, where they talk about confronting your emotions rather than filling your life with things that fill your time, but only provide a short-term relief.

When you eat that cookie the fact is there’s no emotional completion of the pain caused by the event. The event and all the feelings associated with it are simply buried. Ready to keep coming up throughout your life no matter how many cookies you eat.

What are Your Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics?

Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics (STEATs) are things you do to avoid feeling the pain, numb the pain, or to take the pain away in the short term. They are often escapism-type activities where you keep SO focused and busy that there is no time to think.

They help you feel better in each moment BUT you’re not feeling better for real – it’s a false sense of security – a false feeling of recovery. And if you fill your life up with lots of STEATs your healing will not progress.

STEATs are so common after divorce

The sad thing is that for most people struggling to get over their divorce they’re engaging in a cycle of feeling the pain, applying a STEAT, feeling the pain, applying another STEAT, until over time they feel numb and they think this numbness is them healed from their divorce.

STEATs prolong the emotional roller-coaster of your divorce. So you never fully grieve for long enough or experience the loss critical to healing for real. Your emotional roller coaster will go up and down, up and down. Until you stop. And start to heal for real.

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Your recovery exercise – which of these common STEATs do you use?

It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.

Try to identify two short-term relief activities you’ve been doing to distract yourself and displace your feelings since your divorce or break up. This can be a lot harder than it seems, but it’s going to take your absolute commitment to honesty to truly heal.

Here are some common examples: Excessive socializing. Over-exercising. Fantasy or escapism activities (books, TV, movies). Shopping/retail therapy. Work and becoming a workaholic. Pretending something hasn’t happened. Overeating. Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’). Excessive drinking of alcohol. Excessive use of recreational drugs. Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.

The list is endless, and it could be something totally unique for you.

So, what STEATs do You use?

Can you share a few with the world?

I’d love to hear them!

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Signs your partner might be cheating on you…

blogWe all like to think it could never happen to us, but sadly, straying partners are becoming ever more common. So what are some of the tell-tale signs that your partner is cheating on you? Here are some common points I have drawn up after evaluating 78 divorces (which ended due to cheating) in the past year. NOW, this list is not intended to make you Mr or Ms Private Detective/ paranoid stalker. These pointers below should only alarm you if you notice a combination of at least 5 in your partner within the last 6 months…

Glued to the mobile phone

Often the mobile phone can give you the first clue there may be a problem. Has your partner started sleeping with it under their pillow? Keeping it close so you can’t answer it if it rings could be a sign your partner is anxious about who might call. Are they often disappearing to the other end of the garden to talk privately? Are texts suddenly arriving late at night?

Hiding the emails

Suddenly he or she is spending a lot of time on the computer and unless there is some new project or business venture happening, this may be a bad sign. A new email account could imply that your partner is intentionally hiding things from you.

Interest in their appearance

If his idea of exercise used to be moving from the fridge to the couch, and weight training involved carrying a bowl of potato chips, you are probably right to worry if he’s suddenly lost 47 pounds and is developing a six-pack by visiting the gym regularly. And catching a waft of an expensive new cologne could alert you that something is a bit fishy…

Changes in routine

Be alert to unusual changes in routine. Perhaps she’s leaving earlier in the morning, or he always seems to be late home on a Wednesday? A sudden need to be away on business trips a lot could also signal that some extra-curricular business could be going on…

Following the paper trail

If your partner is rivalling Usain Bolt in their effort to get to the mail before you, it could be because they want to hide things such as credit card statement. Unexplained purchases, or a new credit card in their name only, could signal a cheating partner. Withdrawals of cash that can’t be accounted for is also of concern – particularly if this is not in their nature to do so, and a receipt for that gold necklace you have never seen might also set alarm bells ringing.

Bedroom problems

This is a really tricky one. If he isn’t showing any interest at all, that’s not a good sign. Alternatively, if she suddenly appears in the doorway with a new pair of pink fluffy handcuffs, she may have got that idea from someone else.

A guilty conscience?

Sometimes the first thing that alerts you is when your partner is suddenly buying you flowers or expensive gifts. Over-compensating because of guilt is not uncommon, so wild declarations of undying love, that seem out-of-the-ordinary, may have a deeper significance.

Changes in attitude

Or sometimes she may start to nag or become easily irritated. Perhaps he seems resentful, or accuses you of being a control freak? This is not that unusual, as it paves the way for shifting the blame if they get found out.

Things don’t add up

Keeping up a web of deceit is actually quite hard, and in the end the truth will out. If you catch your partner lying when this is out of character for them, increase your suspicions.

Ultimately, the acid test is probably your own gut instinct. All these things could have a perfectly innocent explanation. But if you have that feeling in your bones, and can spot some of the tell-tale signs, maybe it’s time to be brave and start facing the truth. If you have a concern, speak to one of our trained Angels who can help you assess your situation and map out a plan for what to do about it…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

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How does divorce impact your brain’s function?

 

Trauma in the BrainWe all know what’s meant by trauma, don’t we? A divorce, miscarriage, a bereavement, serious road accident or being caught up in a natural disaster can destroy a person’s sense of who they are and what it means to be in the world. Any physical damage may or may not heal over time, but psychologically, they’re never quite the same.

Well, that’s a limited view of trauma and its effects.

First of all, not everyone who has an extreme experience suffers severely and develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many are able to heal, and some go on to become fantastic healers or inspirational figures themselves, while others struggle for a while and then get on with the lives they’d always intended to lead.

Secondly, for many of us it’s a way of distancing ourselves from the idea that we might ourselves be traumatised. Nothing life-threatening has ever happened to us, so we don’t even consider PTSD as an issue in our lives. Wouldn’t it be melodramatic to suggest our reaction to marital betrayal and the ensuing divorce in any way resembles the experiences of a hurricane survivor?

Well, the events themselves may not be comparable, but whether a shocking or stressful life experience has a lasting, damaging psychological impact seems to depend more on how it’s processed.

A betrayal of our assumption that the room will never turn upside down can shake all our other assumptions, challenging our grasp of who we are and what life is about AND so can discovering a trusted partner is no longer invested in the marriage. The imminent threat of psychic annihilation is real enough to trigger the same processes in the brain that kick in when our life is in danger. The ‘fight-or-flight’ instinct takes over our brain as our Amygdala generates massive amounts of Cortisol and Adrenalin to prepare for this action it needs to take. The increase in Cortisol in the body causes neurons in the Hippocampus to shrivel up. As the Hippocampus is responsible for turning emotional sensory cues into visual retrievable memories that we can talk about – it’s ability to perform this function under stress is massively reduced. SO we get stuck in the emotional memories as we fail to contextualise what happened and the ability to think rationally is put on hold while we escape and become a slave to our Amygdala.

The block to the conscious memory can stay in place for some time to protect us from continued danger – for example in a combat situation. When we find a more secure space, either literally or in terms emotional and psychological support, we can adjust our world view, with the co-operation of the associated conscious memories, heal and move on. In other words, when the Cortisol decreases, our Hippocampus can come back online and help us to contextualise what happened. Until then, emotional memories will resurface unconsciously through dreams and flashbacks, until the conscious mind with the help of the Hippocampus is ready come to terms with what happened, and help make the adjustment to a new reality.

But our ability to process a shock like a divorce can be affected by behaviour patterns set by earlier traumas, or our life experience so far may have left us ill-equipped to deal with unexpected loss. PTSD is what happens when the conscious memory of the event is, or seems, too frightening to contemplate – our Amygdala (or brain’s alarm system) is so hyperactive that it doesn’t allow the Hippocampus to come back online. We can get caught in this fight-or-flight state, constantly re-experiencing out-of-context debilitating emotions disconnected from any conscious memories.

This is why we get stuck in divorce trauma. Reassessing your life in the light of an eye-opening event is no bad thing, but it sometimes feels too painful to take on board and understand what’s happened. On some level you probably desperately want to put the experience behind you and get on with your life, but you don’t seem to be able to think straight. This is why so many people avoid the processing of divorce trauma memories by engaging in Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics like shopping, working too much, hiding behind children or going out every night.

The Naked Divorce can help you get unstuck. The three-stage 21-day divorce support programme works by first stabilising you in an emotional ‘cocoon’, creating the safety you need to release those ‘feeling’ memories and begin to allow the conscious recollections in. Only then can you can work to contextualise your feelings, so that they’re associated in your memory with events you can consider and interpret, and you’re not constantly at their mercy. After pupating for 21 days, you’ll emerge, stronger, wiser and ready to move forward into your new life.

Call us, we are here to help and we know a hellava lot about what happens to the brain during trauma so we really know how to help you move on.

Till next time

Lots of hugs

So, how do you heal anger when you want to rip someone’s head off?

 

anger1What do you do when you are SO angry you want to rip someone’s head off? You actually think you COULD drown your kids or bash someone with your shopping trolley and you are not sure how to control it. In those moments, if another hippy tells you “you need to relax” or recommends that you try yoga or meditation, you feel like you just might shove a carrot into their mouth and light it.

What now? You are TOO angry for yoga or meditation – but it’s probably what you need. Right?

What if you are angry but never show the world you are. In other words your anger is DEEPLY repressed and it just needs a final trigger and you think you might lose it. What then?

OK, so you’ve realised you’re angry. You’ve always been angry. This is huge. Now you understand your problem, you can tackle it. All you need to do is…. what?

Chronic anger is dangerous. Not just because you could lose your temper inappropriately (a valid concern) but because of what it’s doing to your body. Repressed anger has been linked compellingly to everything from headaches to cancer.
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First of all, let’s establish what we’re talking about. Chronic repressed anger may or may not look like anger. If you’re irritable and blow up at the slightest thing, or spend all your time seething about slights you know deep down a reasonable person wouldn’t give a thought, you might know you’re angry, but are probably repressing the cause. A buried trauma or the chronic, banal neglect of your legitimate needs as a child can both leave you imagining you have nothing to be angry about. When the anger erupts you blame someone else so it’s somehow not really your anger.

Or, neither you nor those around you experience you as bad-tempered or unreasonable – they find you gentle, understanding and helpful. Unfortunately, you can’t always help because you’re exhausted all the time, or in chronic pain, or have terrible period pains, or are frequently blinded by migraine. For women in particular, anger can be unthinkable – it’s not who we are. It’s not just that we can’t see any reason for anger – our self-esteem is bound up with the idea of selflessness and empathy. You’re not going to yell at loved ones because you understand intellectually that they’re not to blame, besides which, you feel things entirely from their point of view. (Except, perhaps, for those times of the month when you’re ‘not yourself’!)

Conventional medicine now accepts that chronic ailments can be caused by anger. WebMD, for example, lists its possible effects as headaches, digestive problems, skin complaints, high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also the prime suspect in chronic anxiety or depression, which can manifest as chronic fatigue or lead to alcoholism or self-harming.

Pioneering Dr John E. Sarno of New York University identified a strong physical link between chronic anger and chronic pain, most typically back pain. The brain alters blood flow to an area to create a physical pain intended to distract from frightening unconscious feelings. Chronic back pain can lead to awkward movements resulting in permanent injury. Psychologist John Bradshaw suggests this unconscious effort also has a muscular component which is behind the physical exhaustion many of us experience. Meanwhile, the constant quest against cancer has turned up some interesting results, with some studies suggesting people who find it most difficult to express emotions are more likely to develop thr illness. Shockingly, a University of Michigan study of anger’s affects on women observed three times as many deaths during an 18-year period among women with long-term suppressed anger.

None of which is helpful to hear if you’ve no idea what to do about it. Traditional anger management works to intellectualise the angry behaviour with a view to minimising damage to your relationships and the impact on other people. Unfortunately you can’t think your way out of anger itself. Respected spirituality and health guru Deepak Chopra believes repressed memories and emotions are stored in the body at a cellular level, but can be accessed and released to achieve physical healing. Only by actually releasing our anger can we rid ourselves of our anger. Cellular biologist and pharmacologist Dr Candace Pert has confirmed his findings. She went on to identify how emotions cause cells to release specific chemicals intended to temporarily block cell receptors, leading to permanent damage and disease from chronic emotional states. Safely accessing the cellular memories and resolving and releasing the associated emotions, on the other hand, allows cell receptors to stay open, maintaining physical health.

SO, tackling those irrational outbursts with traditional anger-management approaches (anger management classes, yoga, meditation, stress balls, therapy) could leave you feeling empty or not really fully ‘released of all your anger’. What you really WANT to do IS explode but it’s not really allowed. It’s essential not to blow up inappropriately at the people we care about, or at complete strangers – unfortunately a cathartic release could take years off your life.

This is why I created TANTRUM CLUB. It’s a club where you can get together and experience a complete and utter cathartic release which is safe and healthy. You can destroy things, break things and scream your lungs out. THEN we discuss what you are so angry about and work out how to strategise life in ways to avoid the build up of anger.

Awesome innit?

Read all about it here: www.tantrumclub.com/the-science-bit.  The new programme of meetings for women creates a non-judgmental space in which to use safe techniques to release repressed anger. Only then, free from unconscious sabotage, do participants consider the causes of anger and the unhealthy behaviour it generates. Seeing things from the other person’s point of view is entirely optional…

I am training Tantrum Instructors at the minute and the best ones are those who KNOW all about their own anger and want to deal with it whilst exploring helping others process and deal with their anger too. You can lead your own local Tantrum Club so contact us to find out more…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

 

Couples who don’t have sex but insist everything is hunky dorey

 

sadThere was a disturbing article in the Mail a few weeks ago. It was all about these couples who NEVER have sex but insist they are happy.

The article states that most evenings, with their little girl safely tucked up in bed, Charlotte and Chris Everiss enjoy a kiss and a cuddle on the sofa in front of the television. They have been happily married for a decade and they cannot bear to even imagine their lives without one another. Yet, astonishingly, they haven’t made love for more than two years. Both insist that their marriage, which followed a two-year courtship after meeting on a dating website, is stronger than most. It’s just that sex, they say, is not important to their happiness. The article goes on to say that ‘We still turn each other on but we don’t want to take it any further,’ says Charlotte. ‘We don’t have the time or the energy. ‘I find it hard switching off knowing that our four-year-old, Addison, is in the next bedroom. I think if Chris really missed sex he would tell me, or I’d catch him watching porn on the internet as a substitute.’

Another couple Tracey Dowler, 42, spent and her husband Julian, 55 also do not have sex. Tracey was concerned that Julian didn’t want to make love to her because he was attracted to other women. But she has now accepted that the stress of his demanding job as director of a motor mechanical and haulage company is the reason they no longer have sex. And, while she admits there have been times when she has felt like walking out of their immaculate, three-bedroom semi-detached home in Rugby, Warwickshire, over the lack of intimacy, Tracey values other aspects of their marriage too highly. ‘We talk about rekindling our love life but never seem to get around to it,’ says Julian. ‘We had a weekend away at a country hotel a couple of weeks ago and I was so exhausted I spent most of the time asleep.’

Another couple stated ‘But we’ve gone without sex for so long now, I wouldn’t want Keith to try Viagra,’ she says. ‘Our relationship has morphed into companionship, and I think to have sex now would be embarrassing.
‘We’re used to seeing one another naked, when we undress or are in the bath, but if Keith made advances now it would be like getting intimate with my brother, or best friend. Just not right, somehow.’

I think these couples are extremely courageous to come forward as this is an issue which impacts almost a quarter of all relationships. A recent survey estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of couples have sexless relationships – defined by experts as making love fewer than ten times a year – while around 5 per cent go without altogether. Most couples who find themselves at a point where sexual intimacy has died tend to confide their predicament to no one at all which make these couples all the more amazing.

However, they are fooling themselves if they think everything is hunky dorey.

Every successful marriage is built on the foundations of trust and intimacy. When a husband and wife trust each other without reservation, intimacy undoubtedly follows. A deeply trusting relationship usually rewards a virile sex life, therefore suggesting that the lack of intimacy in a marriage is all too often a symptom of a lack of trust. Since a large proportion of sexless marriages end in divorce, there is a real need to address the underlying problems, and try to come up with some remedy. That’s not to say that a flourishing sex life is the only thing required to make a marriage work, and indeed for the vast majority of couples asked about what makes their marriage special, sex won’t even make the list, but lack of sex is indeed an indicator for some deeper problems which need to be addressed. If you are in an intimate relationship and you are not having sex, you might as well be siblings or housemates.

Psychologist Leila Collins says it’s all too common for mothers to ‘shut up shop’ and stop having sex with their partners once their family is complete. I agree with her wholeheartedly. BUT I see many people going through divorce and I can unreservedly say that what often follows is that their men then start affairs, or seek out the services of prostitutes.

SO what is the source of sexless marriage?

When something occurs that causes a couple to lose trust in each other, it can take some time to recover fully. Maybe there was a traumatic childbirth OR a life-threatening illness OR perhaps the couple simply got out of the habit of having sex. If those issues are not addressed immediately and in the correct way, the intimacy in the marriage may dissolve, and the relationship revert to a simple exchange of pleasantries and platitudes, without any real intimacy or closeness. In an intimate relationship, sex is the glue which binds a couple on a very deep level beyond simple friendship. It doesn’t mean that couples within a sexless relationship are not ‘close’ BUT they are close as friends can be but this is not a true marriage as the relationship lacks passion and intimacy. It’s not a risk I would be willing to make as so many divorces are as a direct result of a sexless marriage at the core. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of a failing marriage, and deal with them in the appropriate way. Small frustrations can build up over time and, much like the formation of scar tissue upon healing of an incorrectly treated wound, handling this marital frustration inappropriately can lead to irreparable damage to the marriage, and loss of any sexual heat from the relationship.

The key to avoiding the loss of intimacy in a marriage is to discuss any and all problems fully and without delay. It’s a good idea to set a time each day in which you and your other half can discuss exactly what is troubling you about the marriage, and about each other. Take turns to divulge fully the source of your frustrations. Most of the time your other half will be completely oblivious to their fault until it’s pointed out, so don’t be afraid to vent your frustrations in a constructive way during your time alone together. There’s no need to be spiteful or resentful; just tell your partner exactly how you feel. Afterwards, it’s their turn to air some of their frustrations. Keep going until everything is out in the open, and both of you have voiced all of your problems. It’s sometimes a good idea to come up with constructive solutions to the problems, and making suggestions about how these can be resolved, though be careful not to cause an argument by doing so, as some of the issues may be rather sensitive and unpleasant to discuss, even with your partner. After discussing your frustrations, change topic and begin to discuss some of the things that you are thankful for regarding the marriage. Pick around five things you love about your partner, and share them as reasons why it’s worth working hard to make your marriage work.

As well as becoming frustrated by your partner’s actions, when raising your children it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of viewing your partner as less of the person you’re attracted to, and more in the role of a parent or carer. While it’s important to view your partner as a carer, and to see in them the characteristics that make them suited for this role, it’s also crucial to maintain your attraction to them and keep the fire going even while raising a family. Letting the passion die out in favour of raising a family or realising career aspirations is all too common these days. Some think it’s a necessary sacrifice, believing that an active sex life and a vibrant family life or a satisfying career are mutually exclusive circumstances, but this is not the case. It is possible to have both of these things, but only by working hard to maintain your relationship, venting your frustrations, and working to keep the passion burning strong.

Some people have dug themselves into a dangerous rut by assuming that if the marriage was ‘right’, it would be easy to make things work. Some think that it isn’t necessary to work hard on a marriage if you’re really in love, but this is in fact completely untrue. Even couples who are deeply in love will disagree from time to time, and find reasons to become agitated or annoyed with their partner. It’s important to work hard with the one you love, to make sure that the passion and fire can continue long into your life together. If you have experienced any of the issues outlined in the article above, but have not been able to resolve them even with some hard work, get in touch with Naked Divorce. We are experts in supporting you through getting your marriage back on track OR if you are facing a breakdown, we can support you through your divorce or bad break up. All of our Divorce Angels are well trained in how best to deal with a relationship breakdown, so come to us today…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

The links between healing and health

 

healthy-foodWeight issues caused by the weight of Heartache, a touchy subject and quite often one that is swept under the rug, WEIGHT GAIN, and WEIGHT LOSS, Both complete opposite issues but both birthed from a similar place, which is often emotional issues, Insecurity, Pressure, heartache, and in numerous cases, break up and Divorce,

An outreach to find release or a numb-ness can result to binge eating, or eating disorders, or dramatic weight loss simply from intense stress, all at subject to crumbling under pressure. So commonly men and woman feel they are the only ones who feel the way they feel, they don’t know how to handle their emotions and therefore turn to these outlets of food or; the opposite withdrawing themselves from food. But the sad truth is, thousands of people experience these emotions, but this is NOT what Health looks like.

Even television stars have the same psychological battle with food following a breakup or marriage split. Eva Longoria has admitted she suffered dramatic weight loss due to her traumatic split from her cheating ex-husband Tony Parker.

The Desperate Housewives said she could not understand why people said she was looking better than ever when she said it was the most unhealthy she had ever been.  She told Health magazine: ‘People think health only has to do with your physical being, but for me, it’s so much more.

healthy-foodToo often there is a misunderstanding and misconception of what ‘Health’ looks like. Health is also a feeling and a pattern that should be understood correctly. It is not just about image but also about the emotions beneath.

Emotional eating is a difficult pattern to break. People turn to food for comfort and get stuck in the short fixes rather than dealing with issues salivating underneath. Unless you deal with the trauma and find a way to start healing from the issues, you’ll keep returning to food to quick fixes. It’s not the answer although it does provides a level of comfort.

Even Trying to lose weight without dealing with the underlying issues may work for a while, but you will regain the weight and struggle until you have dealt with where it has surfaces from in the first place.

Certain research has shown that as people get older and gain or lose weight after a marriage or divorce, People are more likely to become settled in certain eating and exercise habits as they age because as you get older, having a sudden change in your life like a marriage or a divorce is a bigger shock than it would have been when you were younger, Therefore making it harder to accept and have optimistic views for the future.

But habits CAN be broken, new patterns can be created. And it all starts from underneath and dealing with the emotion is which this is all steams. By Listening to the stereotypes of society and listening to your insecurities from traumatic situations are never going to get you very far. But if you seek the right way to heal and understand your emotions and see the importance of your health you will see what health really looks like and you WILL break and remove the weight of your heartache on your shoulders and any weight issues adding to the pressure. It IS POSSIBLE to find ways to your confidence in this time. Understanding your heart and why you feel the way you do can bring such a release that is much deeper than your comfort food.

Till next time

Lots of hugs

Privacy and Divorce

 

privacy-policyWhilst going through fresh procedures of a Divorce; this first and foremost is an emotional and stressful time and added privacy invasionsare the LAST thing you want during times like this. So if you are still in the process of Court cases and lawyers it is essential to be mindful of certain precautions that are sometimes necessary during this time.

Boasting about a new car, photos of a brand new piece of furniture or hot new spouse can and will be used against you in divorce court. Privacy issues do not apply when you post something on Facebook. It is is NO WAY wrong to do such things. If you’ve got yourself something new then by all means tell your close friends and invite them over to see your exciting new steps! :D It is just wise to be careful as to how you go about announcing such things. ESPECIALLY whilst still in the process of developing paper work and court cases.

Internet dating can be an intimidating thought for a lot of people and is not for everyone. But funnily enough in today’s society it is testimonial to having great success for many people and new relationships! But if you are considering this or already acting in this make sure to be careful what you say and do, online, in private, everywhere.

In fact, Anonymity is a issue that any single person should seriously think about before they jumping into online dating. All “free dating sites” are open networks and usually ad supported. Your friends, co-workers, or enemies can sign up and browse through your personal information and photos.Free sites have many of the features that paid sites have, but they do come at a cost to your privacy.

These are just certain things to think about for your protection of privacy. After all, Your starting a new chapter to your life! Now is a good time to think of who is beneficial to have around you in these times. Friends and family that will support you in this time and not blurt your things out to everyone, Privacy comes at NO COST, so in this time to help ease your pressure and heartache be careful to how much to promote on the internet even just in social settings. But DONT refrain from sharing your steps to those close to you just think about the WAYS in doing so!

Food for thought!

Till next time

Lots of hugs

 

New Years Resolutions Busted Already? Try this…

So how are your new year’s resolutions going? We are 3 months in and by now 56% would have given up on those goals you set yourself. Sad statistics indeed! So what separates the ones who achieve their goals from those who get resigned an quit?

This year has started completely differently for me to other years. I have started this year akin to a Tasmanian Devil on Acid. I have hoovered, filed, cleaned, de-cluttered, organised, re-organised, planned, strategised, written frameworks, re-engineered my finances, my assets, my equity, consolidated pensions, started a post graduate diploma, found new tenants for my property, commenced vigorous training for London to Paris cycle trip, had a flurry of clients I am supporting through their divorce and probably done 2 months of action in about 8 days. I am nervous to sleep in case someone finds the ‘off button’ in my commitment to being over productive and mental. I make myself tired even by reading this stuff. So what the hell happened? Why all this ‘energy’?

As usual, I overindulged at Xmas – too much mulled wine, mince pies, variety of meats and large meals at all hours which has initiated the usual new year detox and exercise regime. As usual, I have reviewed my successes from the previous year and set goals for the new year. Vision board is done.

So what on earth is it? Why do I feel so different? Let’s do a mini checklist:

  • Mars is not adversely aligned with Jupiter or any other house or planet to my knowledge so astrologically we are good – CHECK
  • London is still dark at 16:30 and there is no suspect yellow thing in the sky as it lives up to its reputation as the city which depicts the most variances of the colour grey – CHECK
  • People seem adequately gloomy for January – CHECK
  • Everyone and their mother is calling to file for divorce as the overdose of family time over the Xmas season drove couples bonkers – CHECK
  • January sales are still progressing – CHECK

Then it dawned on me. I am tired of feeling passive…

I am tired of passivity, of excuses, of lame duck arguments for why things are not happening or stuff isn’t working. I am tired of people accepting their lot and having a stiff upper lip about it. I am tired of people not complaining because they just couldn’t be bothered. I am tired of my own resistance to tackle things because it just seems – well – insurmountable and hard.

For me this year is about ACTION. I am ferociously interested in and consumed by ACTION. I do not know what was in the mulled wine I consumed over Xmas but it’s like some Action Monster has taken over my body and said:

“ACTION ACTION ACTION!”

I am consumed by time being precious and to make every second count.

SO, what makes people just let go of their resolutions? What makes people try something new for 3 weeks, see nothing happening and then just give up?

I think it’s all about RESIGNATION. The feeling of being a bit dead.

SO, how easy is it to become resigned in life and how on earth we can break out of it to take NEW action?

It is remarkably easy.

What I observed in more than a decade in change management is that most people only take on new ways of being and habits when they have hit some kind of ‘rock bottom’ OR it becomes urgent. It’s almost as if some kind of ‘rock bottom’ has to be reached where they finally become aware of the impact of not taking action. Waiting till you hit rock bottom before taking action is often damaging because the negative impact of being at rock bottom is often worse than the steps to go through to tackle the change itself.

Let’s take the example of prioritizing healing from a divorce or bad breakup – most people do the best they can and ‘drift’ through the trauma like it’s happening to someone else. They rely on time to heal the wound.

There is a paradigm that if you just sit back, in time you’ll no longer have the sadness, anguish, yearning, guilt, anger, and fear you’re feeling now. Those emotions will fade away, and you’ll be fine. The problem with believing that time heals the wound is that people wind up doing nothing and passively waiting for healing to ‘happen to them’. They start believing that being happy is about finding the right person and rationalize to themselves that the only reason their marriage or relationship failed, was because they were with the wrong person. Healing then becomes about finding the right person because if you find this person, you have filled the void and forgotten those bad times. What is not ever discussed is how the cycle of failure perpetuates when there is no discovery of the true source of the relationship breakdown, so moving forward in a way that is most beneficial for the long-term is not always achievable.

Example of how we become CORPSICALS

HEALING – like most changes in life, doesn’t simply happen over time. Healing is an active process, and processing all the feelings and emotions associated with a bad breakup is essential to getting over it. All rock bottom events act like a cut and if you don’t dress the wound and work on healing it you will end up with a lot of scar tissue, which will leave a lasting imprint on your life.

So what happens if you find yourself in this position? Pretending that the thing you are putting up with or ignoring is ‘not really a big deal’ and that you are ‘fine’ when actually you are not?

Face the truth that you are a CORPSICAL. You have joined the reams of walking dead among you. You have accepted your lot, given up on living a magical life and now you are not really living but going through the motions disconnected.

There are no short cuts. The journey out of resignation is about breaking through the dead-ness and yanking yourself back from the abyss of IN-ACTION and shifting your thought patterns and emotional state by taking swift ACTION. Gazing at your navel wondering why you are not taking action and rooting around in your childhood for the source of this issue will not help you take action. ACTION helps ACTION.

The journey out of resignation in not healing from a breakup or in not taking action

STEP 1: Confront that you may be holding onto your suffering in some way.

STEP 2: BECOME AWARE PART I: Become aware of the real impact of not healing from your break up or the impact of not taking action in the area you KNOW you should be taking action in.

STEP 3: BECOME AWARE PART II: If you are shirking away from healing from a bad trauma, educate yourself on the Healing Formula and what it takes to heal (if interested on what on earth this is, you need to talk to one of our ANGELS)

STEP 4: CONCENTRATE: Take focused action and concentrate on this new life for at least 28 days. Do not be one of the quitters. Most people quit too soon…

STEP 5: MOMENTUM: Take decisions on a daily basis to heal until you reach a momentum which leads to breakthroughs and the new habit being fully formed.

Are you choosing to hold onto your inaction or suffering for a reason?

If you find yourself navel gazing or taking your time in simply taking action, then confront that you may be choosing to hold onto your suffering OR you may be choosing the payoff in not taking action…

SAY WHAT?

So, sometimes when we hold onto things, there is a certain payoff – some advantage or benefit that reinforces the cycle of behavior – to not letting go. But this payoff has high costs, whether to our vitality, affinity, self-expression, or sense of fulfillment. So if you are suffering but can see no way out of the suffering, consider that simply the benefit you are receiving for suffering is so juicy that giving up the suffering is simply inconceivable.

If I take my example with my ex-husband; he cheated and if I am truly honest, I enjoyed being the victim for a little while. It was utterly delicious.

“Poor sad and lonely Adèle who was wronged by this bad man. I feel so sorry for you.” I got loads of attention and lots of hugs and sympathy. I felt righteous and justified and had a gang of followers. We had ‘Team Adèle’ VS ‘Team my ex’

The problem was that inside I was still suffering. I was more interested in my agenda of getting attention, being the victim and feeling righteous instead of moving on, healing and living a happy successful life. So here is a little secret I will let you in on: Your TRUE agenda always shines through.

The problem for most of us is we have no idea what our true agenda is. We lie to ourselves and tell ourselves and others that we have good intentions, but if you are feeling dis-empowered in any way, shape or form, consider that your true agenda is revealed.

Your true agenda is in place so you can receive some hidden benefit in return.

If at this point you’re not entirely convinced that TAKING ACTION is the name of the game for breakthroughs in 2013, here is a mini exercise…

Exercise

  1. Identify what the TRUE agenda has been delaying taking action in a particular area in your life. What do you think it might be? In this process you might notice things about yourself that you haven’t seen before. Examples include:
  • I need to feel right because that person wronged me
  • I get attention from people
  • I want to stay in my comfort zone
  • Avoid responsibility
  • Laziness
  • Enjoy getting time off eating ice cream
  • Enjoy people feeling sorry for me
  • I say I care about taking action in that area but actually I don’t and my story about why I don’t take action is a nice drama
  • I like being dramatic and dominating people with my dramas
  1. You might not like what you see. But I can assure you that facing up to these negative points could precipitate a significant turning point in taking action. If you are struggling, just ask your family and friends (who are not afraid to tell you the truth) what they can see you get out of continuing your suffering. You may want to interview them.
  2. Think of twenty points for each of these instances:
  • What are you holding onto being right about?
  • Why are you so angry or impassive and lazy?
  • What are the reasons or justifications you are clinging to?
  • What attention are you getting by holding onto this issue?
  • Who are you dominating by holding onto this issue?
  • Why are you refusing to let go?
  1. Think of the negative impact this issue is having on your life. How much longer are you willing to sacrifice your life to hold onto your true agenda?
  2. What is the impact on your life of having this agenda?

Hmm. Makes you think doesn’t it?

If you find yourself slightly irritated by this article – excellent. My job is done.

Till next time

THE ACTION MONSTER