Creating balance in life can be tricky on the best of days. Add in the dismantling of a relationship through a separation or divorce that overlays work, family and community, possibly even an underlying health condition or infidelity/affair and the walls can feel like they are crumbling all around you. The intensity of a severing of a relationship is in a sense a forced dark night of the soul.
The logistical nightmare of divorce, legal and otherwise can be overwhelming. The demands of emotional stability that you are striving to provide for either children or your parents to secure THEIR feelings of worry about how you are doing seems more than one can bear. The subtle faces of depression begin to rear their ugly head: increased desire to sleep, over or under eating, stuffing the pain with pharmaceuticals, alcohol or cigarettes.
Lastly, there's the desire to confide your pain in a good friend or close community member when you come to find that all of the hard work you had done to create community is met with closed doors since no one wants to hear about your yucky break up/ separation/divorce or even continued custody and financial battles with your ex.
All of these can leave you feeling very isolated and alone, deeply sad and sometimes angry to the point of wrathful fury.
I can completely relate! After being married for seventeen years and bearing three children, I became divorced when they were ages 7,9 and 11. The process of discovering if divorce was the right choice, the pain of coming to terms with it being the correct decision and the strength it took to haul my booty out of the home that had been his family's home, having to commute 60 miles each day to see our children since I had been the stay at home Mom for over that 11 year period was brutal. My personal character was attacked non-stop through the legal battles. Through some insane circumstances, I was left for a year's period with only 30% custody even though I ended up living 15 minutes from their father.
Through my own transformation, I created a very simple well-rounded approach to empowering myself through mental, physical, emotional and spiritual behavior changes that reshaped my path and my world. I explain this journey in my webinar 9 Things You Can Count On In Divorce. It's not a journey for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for true joy, love and freedom it's the only journey.
My weekly radio show, The Mother Rising, on Voice America's Empowerment station hosts guests on the cutting edge within the divorce community. Not only do my listeners learn new tools and techniques for navigating the power players and emotions around divorcing that rock their soul, but they also gain inspiration to make regular behavior changes that will allow for more joy, love and freedom in their evolving lives.
Being paralized by our isolation and alienation can not only have devastating effects on our personal health, but also can send ripples of ill health to our children, finances and our extended family and community. In Clear Choice Divorce, my weekly expertly guided support community that engages any stage of divorce, I use the model of the 9 Things You Can Count On In Divorce throughout the 12 weeks of online conference call sessions where we explore the complex logistical, legal, relationship, child rearing, financial issues and more.
Join me on your journey back to your own true self.
The Reason I Became A Helping Professional
Coaching sort of came to me and then I turned around to embrace it. I intuitively was helping friends and family with everyday health and wellness coaching when one friend said to me, "You are the BEST coach. I don't know what I'd do without you." I didn't actually want to be a coach. I thought it sounded quite goofy and cheesy and unqualified. I had a BA in Neuroscience and a Master's in Health Services Administration. I had previously had my own consulting business integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine into conventional medical environments and I didn't want to see all of my hard work and training dismissed. I was then introduced to Wellcoaches which is a coaching methodology that is evidence based and is associated with the Harvard Medical School's Institute for Coaching.
The more I learned, the better fit it seemed. So off I went to obtain my offical training and certification. I truly thought that I would work with people on their overall health and wellness challenges; however, when it came down to it, I was surrounded by people wanting to know how I had gotten through my yucky divorce so smoothly. How did I keep my mind so clear and focused on the positive when they knew how messy the world around me had become. And to my surprise, my training, style and deep understanding of divorce, children, the legal process, and dealing with a soon to be ex/ex who is needless to say, CHALLENGING launched me into Divorce Wellness Coaching.
From this the book of my personal journey through divorce is being crafted and has a tentative release date of later in 2014. Additionally, a range of truly pragmatic coaching package options were developed.
I look forward to the possibility of creating a chrysallis that holds you safely during your transformation into your new life!
Shortly after I had been married, I recall hearing several stories from other older couples who had been married and divorced about how they had been able to put their children first and have a peaceful divorce. These were the stories of them sharing Thanksgiving together and being present at graduations together, sitting side by side, even though they were divorced.
When I was divorcing, my thought was that I, too, could do this for the children. In fact, I really wanted to be friends with the man I had been married to for seventeen years. I wanted to continue to call my sister and brother in law and see how they were. Friends and family were quick to share stories of other couples who had divorced and after time, they were able to become close. I held hope within my heart for this scenario.
It turned out that this was not going to be an option in my case. This dream is simply not possible when we are dealing with a difficult person. This vision takes two people to create the harmony for which you are striving. As if it isn't challenging enough to simply have to deal with a difficult ex, the surrounding community often sees our soon to be ex/ex as a normal rational person. It often becomes apparent that the subtleties of narcicissist and psychopathic behavior are present within this individual and can undermine the dynamic of your relationship. When this is present, there is truly little chance of the "pretty divorce". Additionally, it may not be over with the divorce. You may have to continue a relationship in some way with this person due to shared assets or children.
The good news is, it's going to be ok. I have had many clients who are able to empower themselves by learning to work with this challenging person in their life. It's about understanding the nature of their craziness, in what situations are they on better behavior. How do you structure the relationship so that they are forced into these conditions where they will behave better AND most importantly how do you learn to create boundaries both for yourself and for your children?
It's not an easy journey; however, it is a very powerful one. The self-esteem and empowerment from within that I have witnessed in my clients whom have successfully navigated these rocky waters with monsters from the deep is AWESOME!
I am bi-polar, an alcoholic and a drug addict and scared. I am grateful for the sense of structure and supportive influence that Margaret has provided during our Wellcoaching sessions as well as in the follow up emails that she has sent each week. She has been both empathetic and receptive, and has been able to keep me accountable on some very serious issues without a judgemental attitude. My situation has required discussions of drug treatment, alcoholics anonymous, interacting with family and friends/toxic relationships, creating a supportive environment, maintaining my medication for my bi-polar, managing all of my medical appointments, searching for work and returning to school. Margaret always has informational resources handy to assist me in moving forward. She has been easy to talk to and I appreciate her deep candor. Margaret’s coaching has been a hugely positive influence on me and has truly been a boon. I have really worked to make some challenging decisions on next steps for myself and she has helped me to see for myself with clarity the options and how the choices may play out. ~ Anonymous
Thank you for our wonderful sessions together. You are an inspiration and a loving and intelligent being and working with you has been and continues to be a pleasure. I have had several topics that have required compassionate understanding and illuminating, and your instruction, suggestions and guidance have helped me gain clarity and knowledge that has helped me move through these issues with grace. Additionally, your powerful, no-nonsense and sheer and utter confidence in me as a strong woman has helped to shape my view of myself and all the potentiality that is held for me. Your perspective on my life, life learnings, and my divine purpose allow for the emergence of a calm confidence in myself for which I am grateful. You are honest and astute as well as highly intuitive and educated. This combination creates a sensitive guide who is able to hold the space for myself and other clients to grow. I look forward to our continued journey together as I move through the different challenges in my life’s journey. Many Blessings ~ Jane Gould
Working with Margaret has been such a remarkable opportunity. It’s amazing how far a good sounding board and a little accountability will take you. Margaret has asked the right questions and captured the best ideas from our conversations to help me get really clear and focused about what my life and wellness goals are, and why it’s important to me that I achieve them. She provides me with the external organization that really helps me see what is important and the incremental steps that I need to take to get there.
The biggest goal I’ve been working on is a career change, and though she is not a career coach per se, Margaret understands how important it is to find work that reflects our values and accepts our work style. She helped me narrow down the field and each week works with me to set goals that are moving me closer to a dream job. I feel so hopeful and confident about a job search that felt endless and hopeless just a few weeks ago. With her perspective as a working mother, I’ve also found her to be such a confident role model. She knows I can create my dream job because she is creating hers! She brings a deep level of understanding and a holistic perspective to what could have been a very narrow and limited topic.
I feel so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to take on a host of life challenges over the past several weeks. I feel I’ve made significant progress, and have learned some skills and developed some routines that will carry me successfully through the coming years. Thank you, Margaret! ~ Sarah Neuse