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    inspired choice?

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    and start your journey.

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  • Uh Oh! It’s the Holidays and We’re Getting Divorced!

    Along with all the joy the holidays bring there is often a lot of discussion about the challenges and stresses of being with family. All the holiday hype can make it difficult to get to those warm feelings of home, the deep connection we have with our loved ones, and the joy of being together. When we add divorce to the mix all sorts of difficult questions and stresses show up.

    But despite the to-be-expected potential irritations of being thrown together for a yearly visit with family, I think this time of year gives us a unique opportunity to have a really great holiday outcome, whatever form your family may be in at the time.

    Specifically, we have the opportunity to choose to see the good that is possible by having a vision for the kind of holiday and family experience we want to have.

    That said, when people are in the middle of what some might call a family crisis – a separation or divorce – there can be even more obstacles to seizing that opportunity. So here’s how it tends to go in the typical divorce or separation. It starts with assumptions like:

    “It’s going to be awful or stressful.”
    “We’re going to fight about where the kids go.”
    “It’s going to be heartbreaking.”
    “We’re not going to agree on what to do.”
    “This is going to be really artificial.”

    These are only a few of the stressful thoughts we might encounter. Some of these end up as self-fulfilling prophecies:

    We are so on edge, we end up responding to things we think will happen instead of creating what we hope can happen.

    So, how can we make the shift from just getting through the holidays to actually enjoying aspects of them without a full load of stress?

    Even though the stages of uncoupling can be difficult – and even though everyone’s situation is different, and even if you might prefer to simply escape – there is much you can do to make things better.

    Those of you who’ve worked with me on divorcing differently know that putting your vision first, and making inspired choices that bring you a better outcome, is key to not just surviving, but to thriving during a separation or divorce.

    Here are a few tips that will help you create a peaceful and hopefully joyful holiday, despite all the challenges you might be facing. Use them as a your guide to approaching divorce differently this holiday season.

    1) Be prepared for that rise in your emotions. Being prepared can actually help you stay more balanced.

    2) Consider how you can keep your usual holiday routine – especially if separation or divorce is new to you. For example, if going to that great vacation spot is what you’ve always done, figure out how you can still do just that.

    3) Think about what you really cherish about the holidays and present it clearly and simply with “I” statements in order to begin a discussion about options for how to celebrate. If you’re making a request, be ready to suggest a compromise or alternative. For instance, you might say, “Christmas Eve has always been the most special time in my family and I would like to take Sally to see her grandparents that night. How would you feel about taking her to be with your parents on Christmas afternoon?”

    4) If your focus is keeping the family together, find a way to keep the continuity of family by planning a special, time-limited event. You can also design certain guidelines regarding behavior if you’re concerned that tension will cause emotions to erupt. Example: Decide together that provokers of bad feelings (sarcasm, criticism, harsh tone, petty arguments) are off limits for the event – and remember to think creatively: you can take separate cars or decide together what topics to avoid. Essentially, you are making an agreement to keep things agreeable for those moments or events, which is a great way to build a foundation for going forward when children are involved.

    5) Envision what is meaningful to you while also considering what’s meaningful to others: What do you know about what is important to your soon-to-be ex partner, or your children, about the holidays, and how can their wishes be incorporated?

    6) Know when it’s best not to try to be together and plan accordingly.

    7) Breathe!

    There is no one correct way to do this – and there is no rule that says this new way of doing the holidays has to be terrible.

    Most importantly:

    There is no rule that says your way has to be typical, traditional, or the way it was.

    This is a time to create new traditions. Traditions that fit your personal circumstances and that bring a new and different focus into the holiday mix.

    And, certainly, there may also be sadness and a yearning for what you thought would be wonderful for a very long time. So, allow yourself to honor that sadness and begin to create something that you are comfortable with for this year.

    You may change how you do things next year, but listen to yourself regarding what you need this season – YOUR VISION – and have a heartfelt holiday.

    Wising you the best in the New Year,

    Liz Goll Lerner
    Your Inspired Choices

    P.S. Be the first to get my new Divorce Well & Thrive webinar for more on what it means to divorce well and how to begin to create YOUR OWN PERSONAL VISION for a very different kind of separation or divorce. It will arrive in your in-box as soon as it is ready!

    The Goddess is YOU!

    goddess

    The Goddess is YOU!

    When I created A Group for Women About Life, I had no idea what fun it would be and how impactful it would be for me as a leader and for all the women who have explored the Goddess archetypes through the story, art meditation, and self-expression.

    But the most powerful is the sense of community that evolves. Women of all ages and walks of life have shared their experiences of being a woman;  moving through the multidimensional roles and expectations, true feelings of heart, and health.  Maiden, mother, or crone we offer a richness of knowing as we walk the path on the earth today.  If we do not know, we learn about women who went before, and we create the archetypes of the women who will follow. Oh! and please don’t be put off by the word crone and don’t worry if you aren’t a mother because we are all mothers on this planet and we all feel older and wiser at times. There are grace and beauty at every stage of life.

    It is very exciting to take this 10-week program and allow its evolution into a wonderful retreat in which women may live the goddess each day in a different form. See a fabulous part of the world while experiencing the practical and the spiritual feminine while inhabiting a personal journey within a community of multifaceted women and beautiful and exciting surroundings.

    Stay tuned for more from France in August…

    Liz

    Yourinspiredchoicees.com

    liz@yourinspiredchoices.com

    We Who Seek

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    What is it that we seek?

    Some of us want to know our mission on this planet; some of us simply want to be free of pain.  Some want to recapture the essential joy they have known over time but find illusive in the moment.

    It is hard to understand that complete knowing and flow exist simultaneously to what appears to be the density of everyday life. We find ourselves “up against” something rather than flowing with it. We want to feel whole.

    We look outside ourselves for guidance, clearing, assistance, and knowledge. When we use these helpers as stepping-stones we are walking the path of our soul. When we become dependent on someone else’s word, approval, or sanction it is hard to find the true meaning of the moment or trust the wisdom that is our own.

    Understanding that density is an illusion; allowing ourselves to realize that we have a choice in how our lives and emotions come to fruition; understanding that emotion follows thought, are all key to recapturing the flow of essential energy and attaining the release of old patterns.

    Confusion sometimes arises when we are in touch with the calling of our soul and our soul potential and we find limitation in the physical form. The contrast seems so great between that which is eternally in our makeup and that which is transitory. For a time the transitory has more impact, but our unlimited essence is the truly powerful player.

    Do we need assistance to learn the techniques and have the tools to proceed? Yes. Sometimes it will be mediation tapes; sometimes a teacher of mindfulness or holistic integration; sometimes counseling or therapy; sometimes yoga or art; sometimes the book that pops out at you at the library or bookstore.

    Reach out. Find your way to living a more balanced and joyful life.

    Liz

    www.yourinspiredchoices.com