The Dark Side and How to Pull Yourself Out.

It is so good to be sitting down to write this morning.  It has been a difficult week for me.

I have been struggling with overwhelm.  My mother-in-law is here now living with us and so our family has made some adjustments to how things were.  We are all taking it one step at a time, but it is not easy for anyone — especially my mother-in-law who has lost her independence.

Every stage of life, every moment when we experience overwhelm, the “dark side” of the light may try to creep in.  What does it say?

It says things like :

What did you ever think you were doing?

Why did you say that?

This was all a mistake and I am so stupid for ever deciding to be here.

I am so awful, stupid, selfish, inconsequential.

It is all her fault!

None of this would have happened had it not been for what he did!

He is out to get me and running all over me.

He never cares about how this makes me feel!

So, we have shame — when we turn our pain inward.  And, we have blame, when we turn it externally to others.

The trick is to pull ourselves out of it as soon as we notice that we are going there.  It is never easy, but you always have the power to do it.

Here’s how :

  • Stop the thought. Notice it and ask yourself if that thought is true.
  • If you answer yes to the question, continue to ask until you see and feel that it is not true.  Turn it around.  Use Byron Katie’s method.
  • Remember that no matter what mistakes you make, no matter how imperfect you are, the truth is you are also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
  • The truth is everyone just wants to be loved, to feel loved and accepted for who they are.
  • Manage your emotional reactivity with mindfulness practices.  I have given many possibilities in other posts.  I use yoga, meditation, prayer, angel cards, breath work, herbs, tea, green juice, taking a walk, forward bends, . . . just for some ideas.

No matter what, when we experience the darkness, we must remind ourselves that only we have the ability to change the thought.  It is only within our own power to shift.  We are responsible for our behavior.

Monumental shifts can be made by one act of love in the face of the darkness.   Please share by clicking here to tweet this.

I hope you all have a beautiful first week of Summer.  Enjoy the small moments with your kids.  Enjoy the sun.  Write up what you are grateful for each day, and always go to bed at night with a feeling that you are loved and there is an infinite, beautiful plan in the works for you and your family.

Lots of love,

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How To Make A Light Shift In Your Communication

This morning, I am up in New Jersey visiting my mother-in-law who has been in the hospital now for almost two months.  She has not walked since she went into the hospital, and to say she has had a major life change is really a disservice to her.  I am in her empty house this morning thinking about all of the routines that have been a blessed part of her life all of these years.  We are not sure how much longer it will be before she is able to come home or even if she will be able to resume life in this house.  So many unknowns, but she is dealing with them with such strength.Divorce is one of those traumas not unlike aging and realizing that things are going to have to be very different moving forward.   Your life, your family’s life changes very suddenly most times.  There are those who see it coming and those who don’t.  Those who make the decision and those who feel abandoned.
A constant refrain in these times is the communication in your head about every single change or decision.  Usually when we are in high fear times like living with many unknowns, the voice in our head is very negative.  I am sure you can think up many that go through your own mind each day. Here are some that went through my head when I was in the middle of my own divorce:He never loved me.
We are going to live destitute without two incomes.
He doesn’t really care how anything makes me feel.
He doesn’t love me so could care less about working anything out.Or my worries about my mother-in-law :She is never going to walk again.
What are we going to do about when she gets out of the hospital?
We are going to have to live in New Jersey to get everything done.It is so easy to go the way of negativity and worry isn’t it?  There are probably many worse thoughts that have come to mind. What is important is not to disregard the thoughts totally.  Acknowledge they are there and coming up for you.  What is important, however, is that you turn them around whenever possible to a positive thought.  What do I mean? For example, let’s use the thought or worry that he never loved me.Thought :  He never really loved me.Now I can skillfully argue this case and present evidence for it — or I could have at that time.  I would have been very emotional about it, actually, and sure of it. But what happens when you present all of your evidence?  You stop, right?  And, that’s it.  Your mind then believes it to be so and thinks it true.  But, it is an illusion.  What happens when your mind believes this negative thought is that your body feels awful.  You feel depressed, angry, just plain down.  And, the thought is only half true anyway.  The other half true is the new thought.New thought : He always really loved me.I can find examples and evidence to back up both of these statements (and could have even back then — although more difficult, absolutely possible), but the new thought makes me feel so much better and helps me to be more loving towards him.  It saves me from attack and him from attack.This exercise may not change the situation.  You are still getting a divorce, but it changes the energy of your divorce.  It will.

Only you have the choice.  The one who sees it is the one who must act.  (Who cares if you are the one who always comes around and helps to bring a halt to the conflict.  That is okay.  Embrace your role, don’t feel resentful about it.)

I hope you have a blessed day today.

With love and light,

P.S. TODAY is the final day to register for the North Star Sessions.  You have to register here to be a part of them : http://www.candacesmyth.com/the-north-star-sessions/
Call me if you have any questions about the program : (202) 587-2772.

P.S.S. If you are struggling to find a way through this process and you live in Washington, DC or Maryland, call me to discuss my family mediation services.  (202) 587-2772.

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Sometimes life happens and you don’t know what to do

Sometimes life happens and you don’t know what to do.

My family was all in various doctors offices all day yesterday — with Kate.  I am still so worried about how she is going to be.  She has been complaining with butt pain and she can’t walk very well.  We seem to have figured it out, but we go back to the doctor today.

Times like these though make everything stop still for me.

I am triggered big time.  I hold it together for Kate and then I lose it.  I have lost so many people I loved tragically and suddenly and to have Kate suffering from something unknown throes me into trauma-panic mode.  I am definitely mother bear and hen and all.

What has helped me is to repeat over and over what I am grateful for.  I am grateful for so many things in my life right now.  So many.

A repeating list of gratefulness is a huge part of holding it together.

My constant rose quartz stone is always with me.  It gives me grounding and love.

My breath continues to work too.

We all fall on difficult times.  Things do fall apart or seem to.  This is what it is to be human.  Things that go up, must come down.  Things that go down, must come up.  It is the fluidity of life.  So, I try, I work on myself, on my trust of the universe, god.  I pray, meditate, hold onto my rose quartz and breathe.  I have been here before.  And, I know that I have the tools to not let my negative (let’s go into the dark ravine) mind take over.  That is what I teach, after all.

I am here.  I am grateful.  You and I are loved.  I promise to check back in at the end of the week.

With love and light,

P.S.  I would truly be honored to have you in the North Star Sessions.  I can’t wait to go through the program with you myself.  Its a six week program.   Here ‘s the link for more information and to register : http://www.candacesmyth.com/the-north-star-sessions/  Remember, if you are in the DC area, we will be holding two in-person group workshops.  I am so looking forward to having you there.

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Love Just Happens

After the interview with Diana Dorell last week, I have been thinking alot about love. Where does it come from? Why do some people fall in love easily and others don’t? How soon is too soon after divorce?

Wherever you are in the process of separation or divorce, these questions and the idea of going out with others, relationships are going to come up at some point. Diana gave us some great tips on how to know you are ready to get out there again, to meet people and begin new relationships. There are some clients who believe or worry they will never find someone with a toddler and small child attached at the hip. It is this very belief that keeps us closed. We close off our ability to be loved by another. It is a choice we have to be open or closed to love. To be open to love, we really do have to prepare. By nurturing ourselves and healing the wounded parts of us, we are preparing for what is next.

Talking about it also made me think of my own story and how Frank and I found one another. I am still so grateful that our love was permitted to grow just as it did. And, the truth is, as most say, it just happened. I had been preparing, in some ways. I was practicing yoga three times a week, going to therapy once a week, had been dropping to my knees crying for months. I was still very raw, actually, when I made a phone call to him late one evening. It had only been four months since my separation. I was drinking a glass of red wine sitting and looking out the front window of the apartment where I lived. It was my magical spot there. I would sit there for hours thinking and looking out on the forest across the street. I called him, my old very good friend, because recently someone had told me he had been doing yoga and meditating. Frank? Yes, Frank. So, I called him to talk, to catch up, to find out about his transformation. I had no intention of falling in love or even going out with him. I just had a very clear, beautiful interest in his life at that moment and wanted to talk. The next day we were off to the beach together as friends. It took a few hours of the beach for us to hopelessly fall into (I can still remember how that felt — we really fell into) each other, into love. And, so here we are now — over two years married, five years together, and absolutely in love with one another.

I share all of this to say, just work on taking care of yourself. Don’t try to rush anything, control anything. Don’t look for the perfect time, because there isn’t one. Don’t wait because someone has told you to either. Follow your own inner guidance system. It knows. You know. Take the time you need. Trust. Expand. Open. Allow.

Go here for more resources on going through divorce and healing your way through it. Please leave a comment here. I want to hear about what you think and how you have taken action this week. Let’s talk on the Facebook page or send me an email at candace@candacesmyth.com.

The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,

P.S. If you live in the Washington, DC area, here is the information on my new office for mediation clients in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia : 1425 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005. My telephone number is (202) 587-2772.

P.S.S. Get ready for some amazing resources! Not only do I post a weekly interview with a divorce-related professional or divorce story to learn from, but I am also about to give you a few key legal resource sites for each of your states. I will let you know when you can grab your local resource kit! Go here for the weekly interviews.

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Having the Win, Win Mindset.

Wow, what a week!  Our family was completely split up this week — traveling every which way.  I was in Portland for the World Domination Summit and then in Dallas for the eWomen Network Conference.  Frank was in Brazil for work and Kate was with her Dad visiting cousins and her grandparents in Ohio.  Kate and I were reunited yesterday and Frank just got back this morning (so sorry for the delay in getting this to you today).

Here’s a photo of Kate and me playing yesterday — it is so good to be home!

 So that’s that.  We are all home.  I am so happy I could cry!  This is what life is all about.  And, when you have been away and you come back, it intensifies so much how important being present with Kate and Frank is to me. To stop the busyness cycle and savor the minutes I have with them each day.  To set clear boundaries for myself around e-mail, computer time, appointments so that when I am with Kate and Frank, I am with Kate and Frank completely.

While we were all in our separate places this week, Kate lost her first tooth.  I have to admit my first feeling was sadness — “I missed it.”  There have been a few moments of her early life that “I missed” so to speak.  Funny things she said at 2 or her first experience with Santa clause.  Divorce splits up the time, and it has been something I have had to work through emotionally over the years.  So, whereas my first feeling was of sadness because I was not there, I took a moment to go deeper with myself.  Where did that sadness really come from?  I realized that I was feeling this sadness as an extension of all of the “missed” experiences from her life.

It’s all loss, but I experienced it more intensely because the separation, the divorce was a choice I made.  I have felt responsible at times for the fact that we are not together some holidays or every night of the week.

From that moment when I found out she lost her tooth, I decided to choose to think about all that I did get to see and experience with her.  In fact, it’s not about the experience itself really, it’s about the time you do have and how present you are in that time.  When I talked to her the next day, she told me she wanted me to see her tooth before she put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy.  She brought it all the way home in a personally decorated jewelry box labeled “Kate’s first tooth.”  It took my letting go of my own feeling of loss of the experience and Kate’s dad’s letting go of being the tooth fairy for Kate to have the experience she most wanted and needed.  We both give and receive as her parents and it works best when we are able to stop, take notice of the feeling, and let go.  I am so grateful she had time with her Dad and family last week and that they all experienced the loss of her first tooth with her.  It’s not about me.  We are all in this together.  And, I love seeing life as a win, win, win!  No more of the win, lose because I believe with that mindset and structure everyone really loses.

With a win, lose mindset and custody structure, no one really wins.

Go out there and have a wonderful week!  Lots of love from me!

Click here for more resources on going through divorce and healing your way through it.  Please leave a comment here.  I want to hear about what you think and how you have taken action this week.  Let’s talk on the Facebook page http://facebook.com/candacesmyth/ or send me an email at candace@candacesmyth.com.

The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,

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How mediation helps you to smoothly transition to life after divorce.

It’s raining this morning and the sky has luminous pink tones making all of the houses around glow. Kate is starting a summer day camp today, her first of the Summer. And, I begin a busy week.

This morning, I am preparing for an interview for a series with Teri Goetz of http://HealthyBeing.com. It’s her Summer Transformation series, and I am talking about the 3 Reasons Mediation is a Key to Smoothly Transitioning After Divorce. I get to talk about what I believe in and why. I will send you more information about the series as it starts up.

I thought I would share my thoughts with you here, first.

In divorce, communication is key. Mediation cuts down on the chances there will be any miscommunications. You are there in the room sitting next to or across from one another with a witness. And, it helps set the stage for post-divorce co-parenting. In preparing for my interview, however, what’s on my mind this morning is communication.

Mediation gives you flexibility and control over the divorce process. You design the agreement based on what will work best for you and your children. One side doesn’t write the agreement for the other’s review, therefore, setting up a power imbalance from the start. The two mutually create and review the agreements.

Mediation saves you money, time, energy. There are numerous studies of the amount spent on attorneys fees in divorce cases versus the amount spent on mediation which demonstrate that you will spend much more on an adversarial divorce versus a mediation. And, you not only spend money, but time and energy. Your’s and your kids.

Even if these three points are givens,

what comes up for you or what came up for you when you were considering the alternatives?

I know what came up for me. I worked with an attorney for over a year and finally decided to hire a mediator.

  • Fear of losing everything.
  • Worry that I would miss something.
  • I couldn’t be strategic.
  • I felt like a victim and worried I couldn’t speak up for myself.

For these reasons, it is super important that you pick a good mediator. Not just someone who looks good on paper, but someone who can talk about her philosophy with you. Someone who will meet with you ahead of time, and you connect with that person. Someone you intuitively know is a good fit. Choose a mediator who gets not only the practical work but the emotional work too, and someone who can tell you what tools he uses to help couples through what can be a difficult process. If you feel like or your spouse has been diagnosed with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, find out how the mediator might deal with issues that come up.

Affirmation

I release the need to blame anyone, including myself. We are all doing the best we can with the understanding, knowledge and awareness that is here.

Action Steps

Take action now.

1. If you are in the beginning of the divorce process, search on line for two mediators that interest you. Call them today and set up an intial consultation.

2. Leave a comment here about the post, the film, what you think.

One More Thing

Register for the North Star Sessions. It is going to be an experience you need to be a part of.
It starts again on July 16.

Go here for more resources on going through divorce and healing your way through it. Please leave a comment here. I want to hear about what you think and how you have taken action this week. Let’s talk on the Facebook page or send me an email at candace@candacesmyth.com.

The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,

P.S. If you live in the Washington, DC area, here is the information on my new office for mediation clients in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia : 1425 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005. My telephone number is (202) 587-2772.

P.S.S. North Star Sessions is beginning again on July 16, 2012. I am adding some new content on financial planning and division, plus weekly calls with experts on divorce, communication, relationships, kids and divorce etc.

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North Star Sessions™ Free Digital Workshop No. 1 : Trust and Money

Today’s workshop begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

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This is Your Life.

I was having lunch with a family law attorney the other day and one of the interesting topics that came up was how clients so often just want their attorney to take care of the divorce, how clients don’t want to be involved.  I have also spoken with some of my own clients and many discuss the divorce process as if it is beyond their own control. They feel the process takes off without them and has a life of its own.

I remember in my own mediation feeling like the process, the divorce, was so outside of myself that it hurt.  Yes, I was angry and I was avoiding things and emotions like you wouldn’t believe.  I remember feeling like I just wanted the paperwork done and didn’t want to have to go back in that room again.  I remember being exhausted in every way possible.  But, it did come to an end.  And, then that part was over and we had to adjust to an agreement that became a part of our daily lives.  The truth is though, I wasn’t thinking very clearly.  And, I didn’t really take the time I needed to get grounded on what was best for me and our daughter all the way through.  It felt like fingernails on a chalkboard any time I picked up that draft.  I just didn’t want to look at it.

All of this leads me to what I wanted to share this morning.

You are not alone.  And, divorce is not just a legal process that you get through or that someone can take care of for you.  If you want to heal and to thrive after the end of a marriage, and you want an agreeement that makes the most sense for moving forward, you must remain an active and present human being.  Stay grounded using whichever tools you use.  Keep an eye towards the future and how you want your life to be.  You must feel the anger and the pain and work with it.  You must not let the divorce take off on its own.

divorce takes you somewhere new

No, it’s not easy.  It’s damn hard.  It’s not fair.  I know.  It’s all of those things.  But, this is your life.  And, you have been placed ever so gently on this Earth to go through this right now.  You are here to learn so much in such a short time.  Take it in.  Learn the lessons you have been brought here to learn.  No matter how difficult, try right now to think of divorce as a sacred process.  It is one of life’s most difficult transitions, maybe second to death or a disappearing.  There is a coming together always, and always a coming apart.

One of the most important things you walk away with is an agreement that works for you so that you can move forward into your best life.  Amen.

Journal Prompt 

Take 5-10 minutes and write about how you have avoided some communication or resisted knowing all you might have needed to know during this process.  How are you handling and how do you feel about all of the relationships involved in the divorce process?  Your relationship to your spouse, your relationship to your children, to your attorney, financial advisor, therapist, spouse’s attorney, mediator, judge?  How do each of them make you feel?

Take action now.

1.  No matter how much you are resisting knowing, make sure you have all of the information you need to divorce right now.  Hire a financial advisor, get a divorce coach, fire your attorney and get a new one if you don’t feel right about the relationship.

2.  Take a hard look at all of the paperwork you have, line by line.  Try each line on to see how it fits.  If there is something that is really bothering you, deal with it now.  If you don’t now, you will most likely revisit it in the future in a much bigger and more difficult way.

One More Thing.

If there’s anything I can do on my end to help you, in any capacity, please let me know.

Go here for more resources on going through divorce and healing your way through it.  Please leave a comment below.  I want to hear about what you think and how you have taken action this week.  Let’s talk on the Facebook page http://facebook.com/candacesmyth/ or send me an email : candace at candacesmyth dot com.

The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,

P.S. If you live in the Washington, DC area, here is the information on my new office for mediation clients in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia : 1425 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.  My telephone number is (202) 587-2772.

P.S.S. North Star Sessions is beginning again on June 8, 2012.  I am adding some new content on financial planning and division, plus weekly calls with experts on divorce, communication, relationships, kids and divorce etc.  Get on the list to find out how you can become a part.  Here’s the link to get on the list for a free workshop and to be the first to hear about the special discounted sign up period : http://eepurl.com/lr-OD

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