Taking Care of Yourself

Relationship Roadmap Workshop – This Friday 1/21/11 – PRUMC

January 18th, 2011 → 11:20 pm @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

PRUMC Workshop Flyer

Please join me this Friday, January 21!  Ellen Love and I will be co-facilitating “Relationship Roadmaps: honest advice on the path through love and divorce” at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta from 9:30AM – 2:30PM. The registration fee includes all workshop materials, Ellen’s book, my book, and lunch.

To register, simply visit:

https://www.prumc.org/index.php?option=com_chronocontactchronoformname=2011_Relationship_Divorce_WS.

We are both so excited to lead this session and have some great, intense, eye-opening, and hopefully life-changing dialogue about relationships, forgiveness, and finding happiness and intention in our lives …whether in a relationship that’s hitting some bumps, divorcing, divorced, or who knows what else!  I’ve attached the link to the flyer above.

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Taking Care of Yourself

Groucho Marx … “I have just one day, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

January 8th, 2011 → 11:19 pm @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monique-honaman/groucho-marx-i-have-just-_b_800230.html

As posted in The Huffington Post on December 23, 2010: 

Last year was the first time I woke up on Christmas morning and didn’t have my kids with me. It sucked. Nothing else I can say about it. That pretty much sums it up. When I became a parent, I certainly didn’t intend to spend any Christmas morning away from my kids … not for years and years … perhaps not until they were on their own, married, and balancing that careful dance of compromise of where to spend the holidays. But life happens, and as it happened, I found myself ‘kidless’ last Christmas morning.

I distinctly recall waking up and thinking how quiet it was. The kids hadn’t barged into my room at 5:30 a.m. asking if it was too early to get up and race downstairs to see if Santa had arrived. I missed that. I got a little sad. I got a little angry.

And then I thought to myself, “You can choose to be sad and angry and have a bad day, or you can accept the hand you’ve been dealt and carry on.” I think Groucho Marx said it better when he said, “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

I decided I was going to take my Christmas Day and be happy in it. I could have grumbled and moaned all day about the unfairness of not having my kids on Christmas Day, and when I’m honest, I do still think it’s unfair, but I also know that life doesn’t always appear to be fair. I’m blessed and fortunate. I have been able to spend every single Christmas Day of my entire life with my mom. That’s over 40 Christmas Days if you’re counting! My daughter will never be able to say the same thing. Through circumstances beyond her control, she stopped spending every single Christmas Day with her mom at age 10.

And so it goes. No, it’s not fair for my kids to be punished and not be able to spend Christmas Day with both of their parents. It’s not fair for their father not to be able to spend every Christmas Day with them. Frankly, my mother doesn’t think it’s fair either. Since her grandkids have been born, she has spent every Christmas with “us.” Now, through no fault of her own, every other year, that “us” doesn’t include her grandchildren. No, life isn’t always fair. But, we have to learn to roll with the punches and make the most of each day and just “be happy in it.”

This Christmas morning, I will be awakened by my kids (hopefully not at 5:30 a.m.) wondering if Santa has arrived. They actually don’t believe in Santa anymore, but still, it’s all part of the tradition. And, while some traditions have had to change since our divorce, others still remain the same. For example, my mom will be here; we’ll start with the stockings; we’ll take a breakfast break half-way through openings the gifts; and Santa always brings underwear!

The positive attitude side of me relishes knowing that we are also creating new traditions to be cherished. The realistic side of me realizes that those traditions will remain intact only until such time that life evolves and those traditions so too come to an end. And so the cycle continues!

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Taking Care of Yourself

Focusing on Forgiveness

January 7th, 2011 → 11:20 pm @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monique-honaman/focusing-on-forgiveness_b_790360.html

As posted in The Huffington Blog on December 2, 2010:

What do Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, and Tyler Perry all have in common? Does this sound like the start of a bad joke? It’s not. All three of these iconic personalities who transcend historical boundaries of time, culture, and heritage have commented on the importance of one item.

  • Ben Franklin said, “The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness…”
  • Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • Tyler Perry said, “It’s simple: when you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against your future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward.”

Those are pretty powerful words for a powerful force.

I’m fairly confident that I wouldn’t have gotten through my divorce positively without being able to forgive my ex. Prior to forgiving him, I was angry, bitter, resentful, and full of revenge. Sound familiar? I realized one day that this was no way to live. I don’t want to make this sound like all sunshine and roses, but I was tired of my mental reel playing out my little revenge scenario. It was only hurting me, and my outlook on life, which certainly impacted my kids. When I decided to forgive him, life changed immediately. My whole outlook changed. I felt it. People noticed it.

If someone has ‘crossed’ you, and you have yet to forgive, I would dare to say that you are still angry. You are still mad. You think about it constantly. It keeps you up at night. You can’t seem to let it go. You brood about it. You may turn to vices to help you get through it. You remember every detail of the ‘infraction’ and you relive it and rehash it over and over. All this serves to do is create stress and strife in your life. It affects your health. It affects your emotions. Is it worth it?

Enter the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a selfish act. Think about it. When you choose to forgive someone, it’s a decision that you make, and then you feel better. The other person doesn’t have to give you permission to forgive. The other person doesn’t have to accept your forgiveness. You alone are in control of having the power to decide to forgive. How awesome is that?

People say to me, “I’m not ready to forgive yet because I don’t want that person to get away with it (whatever ‘it’ might be).” There is a popular misconception that if you forgive someone that it means he isn’t going to be held accountable for his actions. That is actually irrelevant. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you aren’t going to hold that person accountable. It doesn’t mean that you are going to let that person walk all over you. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences for his actions. It does mean that you are choosing to not dwell on it every day and let anger consume your every thought.

I am repeatedly asked, “Please teach me how to forgive.” I don’t know how to do that. I wish I did. I want everyone to feel the liberation and peace that comes with forgiveness. Some people like to “own” their anger. They make it a part of their life story and frankly enjoy carrying the burden. I think that’s a crazy load to carry. I tell people that forgiveness will happen if they are open to dropping some of the anger and looking forward to the future, instead of dwelling on the past.

The power of forgiveness allows you to feel peace. It doesn’t mean you aren’t still going to face noise, trouble or hard work. It does mean you can be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.

Arguably the best-known scholar on forgiveness is Lewis Smedes (1921-2002). Smedes was a professor of Theology and a renowned Christian author who wrote the incredibly popular book, “Forgive and Forget.” He said, “Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule.”

I challenge you to focus on forgiveness and do all you can to ‘break nature’s rule!’

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Blogtalk &Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

October 25th, 2010 → 8:29 pm @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

I’ve been a reader of Enterprising Women Magazine for several years now, and also sit on the Advisory Board for the magazine. It’s a fantastic group of women, with a fabulous mission to educate women business leaders.  While I’ve written a few articles over the years for the magazine, this most recent article was extra-special to write. My articles in the past have focused on leadership issues in general. This article focused on leadership and tied it to the concept of taking the high road … in business AND in life … frankly in leadership across all aspects of your life. Thanks to Monica and the team at Enterprising Women for the opportunity to write! 

Click to Zoom InHere’s an excerpt: 

Sadly, there are too many instances today where we people are failing to take the high road. We only need a quick scan of the news events of the past 12months to see example after example of people who fail to take the high road in their business dealings or personal relationships.
This led me to coin a phrase, “The High Road Has Less Traffic.”  Picture it! Envision a high road … sure it may be a little bumpy, and it’s not always easy to traverse, but it surely does have less traffic because, unfortunately, fewer people are choosing it. No one said taking the high road would be the easier or the most popular road.
You may have seen my articles in Enterprising Women Magazine in the past. I founded a consulting firm that focuses on leadership assessment, development and coaching nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve written several articles focused on leadership trends and competencies. Over the course of the past decade, it’s been a privilege to take an inside seat to observing some great (and some not-so-great!) leaders in action.
One thing has remained absolute, and that is the requirement, commitment, dedication, and focus of all great leaders to lead with integrity. Said a bit differently, great leaders take the high road. It’s when a leader begins to cross her own personal ‘guardrail’ and starts to cut corners, or make poor decisions, or lose values, that we see examples of leadership implosions.
We see the impact in our business world. There is also a huge “high road” impact in our personal lives, and I think every one of us would agree that our business and our personal lives blur together greatly.

http://online.enterprisingwomen.com/DigitalAnywhere/viewer.aspx?id=15&pageId=45&refid=237345&s=undefined

Enjoy the article and let me know what you think!

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Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

Really great article about protecting your financial assets!

October 20th, 2010 → 9:51 am @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

One of the chapters in my book which I receive a tremendous amount of positive feedback on is chapter 7 – “Putting Your Plan Together: Things to Think About.”  In that chapter, I stress the importance of understanding your personal finances and insurance needs before you find yourself trying to understand them while also dealing with the stress and emotional toll of dealing with divorce. It just makes sense to understand where things stand.  People, mostly women, tell me, “but I don’t plan to ever get divorced, and my husband handles it all, so I don’t need to worry about that stuff.”  To which I respond, “I never planned to get a divorce either… who does? And, what if your husband dropped dead of a heart attack tomorrow?  You will still be lost without having at least a solid high-level understanding of your financial picture.”

The link below is to an article that does a really great job of taking this dialogue several steps deeper and goes into great detail on things to think about to protect your financial assets (to protect you and your children!).

http://www.techzone360.com//news/2010/10/15/5069850.htm

What do you think?

 

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Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

DivorceCare: A Tremendous Resource for Adults

August 10th, 2010 → 8:53 pm @ // One Comment - Join the conversation!

In a recent post, I discussed Divorce Care 4 Kids (www.DC4K.org) as a really great resource (support group) for helping my kids navigate through divorce.  This time I want to focus on the partner organization that you can turn to for your support and resources.

The group is simply called Divorce Care (www.divorcecare.org).  DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. DivorceCare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable DivorceCare resources to help you deal with the pain of the past and look forward to rebuilding your life. There are thousands of DivorceCare divorce recovery support groups meeting throughout the US, Canada and in other countries around the world.

I started attending DivorceCare when I enrolled my kids in DC4K.  I strongly believe that parents need to be the role models. I believed I needed to show them that I was attending a similar program.  In reality, I wasn’t sure I needed DivorceCare. After all, I had a great group of family and friends that was helping me throught this, many of whom had gone through their own divorce. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I gained so much from attending DivorceCare and surrounding myself with a small group of men and women who were going through the exact same things as me … at the exact same time! Our program facilitators, Bill and BettyAnn were an absolute blessing and truly supportive, and caring and empathetic. The program was the perfect length — we met once a week for 13 weeks.

No matter where you are in the divorce process, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the DivorceCare program to see if it’s right for you. You may surprise yourself (I was!).

Has anyone else had any experiences with DivorceCare?
What do you think?

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Blogtalk &Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

Socializing with Friends is Good for You!

August 5th, 2010 → 8:50 pm @ // No Comments - Join the conversation!

Self Magazine recently reported on a study in the American Journal of Health and Behavior that socializing with friends can have as positive an impact on health as quitting smoking, working out, or eating right. That’s right. You can quit going to the gym, and just talk with friends and gain the same health benefits … well, kind of!

During my divorce, I found some friends provided a great listening ear, while others made me laugh. Some provided advice and perspectives I hadn’t thought of. Other allowed me to rant and rave in anger without being judgmental. Still others knew when I needed to just sit, or go out to lunch, or meet them at Starbucks!

Especially during tough times of marriage, separation and divorce, know when to rely on your friends. They want to help you … let them!

We didn’t need a formal study to tell us this, did we? I think most of us can relate to the benefits of having great friends with whom we can share, laugh, cry, and talk. I’m already looking forward to a girls’ weekend away that’s scheduled for eight weeks from now with five friends from middle school! We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old and while we don’t see each other very often, when we do, it’s like we’ve stayed in touch every week. I can tell you now that we will all feel the “health” benefits at the end of that weekend of just hanging out and catching up with true friends!  See you soon Kath, Kim, Karyn, Lynn and Lisa!

What do you think?

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Blogtalk &Taking Care of Yourself