Back to School Survival Tips for Families of Divorce

With school events, sports, and fall activities starting up this fall, handling the communication about your children is a hassle when both parents live under the same roof. If you’re a family of divorce, it’s even more difficult. However, keeping the lines of communication after a divorce with your spouse is important for the sake of your children. Staying open and positive is essential, so parents may need to make the extra effort to stay organized.  How do you handle the keeping up with all the correspondence and activities when the stress of all the fall happenings start back up? The following tips that my family uses can help you stay organized when the hectic schedules gear up.

Tip Number 1: Inform the school and the teachers

Let teachers and school personnel know how to contact all parents of your child. Explain how all the parents are involved and want to support their child’s education. Request that you will need two copies of letters, brochures, etc. Send the teacher an email with all pertinent emails and contact information so she can easily contact everyone.

Tip Number 2: Have ONE folder for both homes.

In our family, each child has a folder and one parent reads the papers, homework, initial it, and leave it for the other parent to see. When both parents have seen it, it is trashed or sent back to school, if needed. We inform the teacher of our system so she’s aware to leave the papers in the folder an extra day or so.

Tip Number 3: Use the same visual reminders in both households

If you have a chore chart, it is easiest if you have the same one in both households so that the children know that the expectations are the same. Another trick that I use with my children is I make magnets for both homes with the specials listed for each day so that there is no confusion when they need to wear their sneakers or bring their library books. Use pinterest to find little tricks to make organization quick.

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How to Help Your Children Feel Secure During Your Divorce

How to Help Your Children Feel Secure During Your Divorce

Divorce is a traumatic experience. It is the second most stressful event in the human experience. Parents can find the process overwhelming, unpredictable, and difficult. The experience can be even more traumatic for children as they lack control of their circumstances. The adults around them are making big decisions for them. However, there are some ways that parents can help children hold onto a sense of security throughout this difficult process. In addition to finding support for you and your children during divorce, it is important to keep many elements of your children’s day-to-day lives the same so you can help ease the transition for them. It will also ease the transition for you.

Maintain Home and School Structure

One way to maintain stability for your children is by having one parent stay in the family home with the children. By doing this, they aren’t being uprooted from where they call home and losing their family structure at the same time. Financially though, this scenario isn’t always possible and a move is inevitable. However, both parents should put their egos aside and try to work together to work out whom can reside in the family home as long as feasible for the sake of the children’s security.

For children who are in school, it is best if you can keep them in that school. At the very least, do your best to maintain the same school for the duration of the school year. This may require a small commute on your part, but this sacrifice will be worth it in the long run for your children. If circumstances force you to move, maintain a home in the same school district if possible.

It can be almost impossible for your children to deal with divorce, a new home, and then a new school all at once. They may have difficulty dealing with all of the emotions associated with all of these changes at one time. Try to limit as many fluctuations as you can during the divorce so that your children can have stability in as many areas as possible.

Maintain Familial Relationships

It can be challenging maintaining continuity where family and friends are involved. You may feel uncomfortable taking them to their aunt’s house on your ex’s side of the family after a particularly unpleasant split. It’s important, however, that your children continue their weekly dinners or visits with their grandparents and family members, despite your relationship with your ex. Talk openly with family and friends that your main goal is your children’s well-being. Technology today allows contact while keeping respectfully distant. Through texts, emails, and messages you can arrange meetings for your children without an emotional interaction. Remember, you don’t want your children to lose out on valuable relationships. Do your best to foster the relationships with their family.

Continuing family traditions and rituals is also important. For example, if you all watch a movie and eat popcorn on Friday nights that should still be part of your family routine. While they may miss the other parent joining in, they will adjust to it. They will need that family bonding to understand the love and support of their family is still in place, despite the divorce. If your spouse always took the children out for ice cream on Sunday afternoons, they should continue to do so. It is immeasurable how much children look forward to these various rituals. There are plenty of memories involved in these family events and you don’t want to take away these memories due to divorce. Having continuity in their traditions will lessen the stress they are already feeling.

Start New Traditions

Now may be a good time that you and your children start new traditions. You can ask them about new traditions and rituals they may want to try. Perhaps you’re a mom that hasn’t gone camping but you’ve always wanted to. Show your children that you’re a strong, independent woman that can take her kids camping. This can be a good time for some new and fun adventures to come into your lives! These can be memories they make with you and their siblings that aren’t associated with the other parent. Support the other parent to do the same as well.

A divorce is strenuous on children so parents have to do their part to make it as easy as possible. Do your very best to keep as many aspects of their life the same as before. It isn’t going to be possible to do so with everything, but do what you can to sustain stability. You want your children to be happy and healthy after the divorce. By fostering security during this process, it will help them to heal because they recognize that your priority is their well-being.

Ten Signs it’s Time for Your New Guy to Go!

Kimberly had finally put her divorce behind her. She had gone back to school to earn that additional certification she wanted which allowed her to get the promotion at work. She had worked with a life coach to gain clarity on issues surrounding her divorce. She was feeling confident and happy and ready to move forward. She had joined an online dating site and was enjoying meeting new people. She recently met a guy, Chris. She thought there might be a future together. He was funny, attractive, and had a stable job. There was definitely chemistry between them. Yet, there were a few signs that were troubling her. Should she continue to see him?
If you’re dating and you see the following signs in your new guy, it may be time to tell you him to hit the road before you get too involved. By heeding these signs early in the relationship, you’ll save yourself heartache later.
1.) He is rude to wait staff
He’s dismissive to the waiter. He’s rude to the waitress when she forgot to bring the water. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it may be indicative of an attitude of superiority. He may have a sense of entitlement. This kind of man may not be sensitive to your needs and to the needs of others.
2.) He downgrades marriage
You notice during conversations about your married friends that he becomes defensive and makes comments that remark about how stupid it is to get married. Or he states he will never marry again and that marriage “is just a piece of paper”. This is suggestive of larger commitment issues and a lack of respect for the institute of marriage. If your long-term plans are to get married again or to be in a committed relationship, then this guy’s values are not aligned to yours.
3.) He is self-absorbed
You have started to note that he doesn’t seem to really listen or remember what you’ve told him. He talks about himself A LOT. When you’re talking, he manages to turn the conversation back to what he thinks and wants. Pursuing a relationship with this guy will only leave you broken-hearted as he won’t be willing to think of your needs and desires.
4.) He talks badly about children
He tells you he doesn’t want kids. He makes disparaging remarks about his nieces and nephews and how annoying they are. If you’re a mom or you want kids in the future, take this sign seriously. He is not a family man, so move on to someone who is fond of children and shares your values.
5.) He bad mouths his mother
If he complains about his mother and bashes her, he may have an unhealthy attitude towards women. The mother/son relationship is an important one and leads to healthy romantic relationships. If he does not have a healthy relationship with his mother, he may have issues in his romantic life.

6.) He’s obsessed with his mother
On the other hand, if he talks about his mother constantly and spends a lot of time texting her, especially during your dates, he may have boundary issues. While this seems endearing at first, if the relationship with his mother does not have appropriate limits, this could be harmful to the woman who wishes to enter a relationship with him. He may value his mother’s opinions over his significant other’s.
7.) He bad mouths his ex
You’re on a date and he makes a negative comment about his ex-wife. Then, another comment that makes you cringe. You realize that some relationships end badly, but his words are sending up little red flags. When a man is constantly blaming his ex for all his problems, it’s a clue that he doesn’t take accountability for his own life and that he may have some issues with women, in general. Steer clear of the man that is trash talking his ex on your date.
8.) He seems overly concerned with money
While a guy who is flashing cash and taking you to expensive dinners may seem financially stable, watch how he speaks about work and money. If you notice that he discusses work often and he is overly focused on his financial successes, this may be symptom that he values money over people or relationships.
9.) He buries his head in his phone
When you are out on a date, you expect the person to listen attentively and be responsive as you get to know each other. If he can’t give you a few minutes of attention without his phone ringing or he is unable to stop checking for texts on your first few dates, run from this one! Think of the little attention you’ll receive in the future. This is just plain rude. (And take note ladies, you should be courteous and respectful by laying off the technology as well during your dates!)
10.) He has antiquated views of gender roles
You’re strolling along in the park and conversing well. However, you begin to notice that he speaks about how women should be cooking or cleaning in the home or discusses women in the workplace in stereotypical roles. He may have outdated ideas of gender roles. It’s 2017 and it’s time for men and women to be educated regarding divisions of labor. You want an equal partner, not a father.

Luckily, Kimberly heeded the warning signs and let Chris go. She followed her intuition before she invested her heart too deeply. So if you’re dating and you see any of these signs, think very carefully before you continue in the relationship.

Eight Rules for Dating When You’re a Divorced Mom

Your divorce was a long and difficult journey. But now that you’ve overcome the heartache of your divorce, you feel like dipping your toes back into the water. For some women, getting back into the dating scene can seem daunting. For others, it is exciting and fun. Where ever you are in your journey, you will need to keep a few pointers in mind to make the most out of the dating pool. As a divorce coach, I’ve seen the mistakes women make when dating. Here are eight simple tips that can make the transition from single and sexy to finding a new man a little less complicated.

Rule #1: Be sure you’re ready.

Put in the work you need to in order to bring the healthiest, best version of YOU to a relationship. Be sure you’re emotionally detached from your ex and have overcome the issues that brought on the divorce. If you aren’t confident that you are at your best, DON’T start dating. Do what is needed to get your confidence. Buy a cute outfit. Start that new class. Get back into your fitness routine. If you want to lose weight, focus on that. If you want to focus on your career, do that. Put your needs first and when you’re ready, you’ll know.

Rule #2: Don’t look for a husband!

That’s right. This process is NOT about interviewing potential husbands. Think of this as a process for YOU. Learn about yourself while you are dating. What are your likes? Dislikes? What makes you confident? What are your turn-ons? Turn-offs? What qualities are attractive to you? While I was dating, I thought of it as meeting new friends. This helped to ease the pressure off the dates and just have a good time.

 Rule #3: Be positive!

This is a process. Not every date will be a winner. In fact, you may walk away with a hell of a story! That’s part of the learning curve. What did you like about the person? What attracted you to him in the first place? And what is your takeaway from this experience? Keep a positive mindset despite any setbacks.

Rule #4: Break out of your comfort zone.

Don’t date the same guy over and over. But don’t immediately go for the opposite of your ex either. Hopefully, you’ll be open to meeting lots of different people. This will help you to learn about yourself and learn what you want in your next relationship.

Rule#5: Use technology wisely.

Remember that what you post is out there for the world to see. You may need to research how to keep your online accounts private and be wary of new people wanting to “friend” you.  If you decide to join an online dating site, be sure to follow their rules for how to get the most out of this process. Think about how you want to portray yourself when making your profile. Be honest, be confident, and be positive. Be open to those profiles that don’t “exactly” match your ideal mate. Remember what I said about meeting new friends. Find a few commonalities and have an open mind to people with some differences. Perhaps you’ll learn a new skill or make new friends.

Rule #6: Leave the kids out of it.

You are so proud of those babies! We know it. But when you are on the phone or on a date, leave the talk about your son’s baseball game for when you’re speaking with grandma. Remember, this is YOUR time to shine. This is the time to brag about YOU. Confidence is sexy. By all means, you should be open and honest about having children. Just don’t go on and on about them. Kids tend to kill romance. And do NOT introduce your children to a new interest! Children should not be introduced to someone unless this is a serious, long-term relationship.

Rule #7: Leave your ex at home.

That’s right, ladies. Your date doesn’t want to hear all the drama your ex-husband put you through. Or all the ways he was a crappy husband and a terrible father. Or even how much you miss him and all the wonderful things he did. Your date just wants to get to know you and all your wonderful qualities. If you find yourself discussing your marriage or your ex, STOP! If you start to notice a pattern on your dates, then it’s time to re-evaluate if you are ready to date.

Rule #8: Have fun!

You aren’t on an interview. You aren’t at the dentist. It’s all about getting to know lots of new people, going to new places, and having new experiences. Let go of that little voice that might be clinging to some insecurities and enjoy yourself!

Follow these rules and you’ll have a great time! You’ll also learn about yourself in the process.

 

 

Five Tips for Communicating with your Ex about your Children

Handling the communication during the divorce process about your children can be difficult. How do you handle the stress when the two parties can’t seem to agree on how to divide the time between the parents or how to handle discipline? Sometimes, parents weren’t on the same page about parenting when they were married. Then they struggle to work out parenting issues after parting ways. It is heartbreaking that many parents will try to use their kids as pawns during divorce negotiations. The following article will give you several tips to keep in mind as you navigate this stressful and tumultuous time.
1) Put the children’s needs FIRST. You may think that your ex is a jerk, but the fact remains that this is your child’s dad. It is imperative that mothers not interfere with the relationship with their child’s father. You need to allow their relationship to build as it may. If we interfere, your children will only blame YOU and resent YOU. He may not have been the perfect husband or father, but it isn’t our job to point that out to his children. Which leads me to the next tip….
2) Bite that tongue…. When you want to unload about your ex because he didn’t make the child support payment or is not financially responsible, DO NOT speak of it in front of the children. They are part of him, so if you speak ill of him, they believe that you’re speaking ill of them too. Even if you’re speaking on the phone and don’t believe they can hear you, they can. And they can sense that negative energy that you are spewing about their father. So, don’t say anything negative about the relationship or their father when you are anywhere near them. Projecting your anger and describing your ex’s flaws (real or imagined), getting the children to “side” with you over their father may feel satisfying in the short term, but damages your children significantly in the long run. This may lead to alienating children from their father. The courts do recognize this and you run the risk of jeopardizing custody. If you are projecting your anger, hurt, and disappointment over the demise of the marriage by demonizing your ex in front of your children, it may be time to seek help from a divorce coach to help you sort out your unresolved feelings. So, think CAREFULLY before saying anything about your ex while the children are in the house.
3) What goes around, comes around… When you’re thinking of “sticking it” to your ex with an inflexible schedule or saying no when he asks for the kids to visit Nana for her 90 year old birthday even though it falls on your day, remember that when you want to do something special, you will want that flexibility, too. So keep in mind that being flexible and working WITH your ex will benefit you, and ultimately your children.
4) Communicate POSITIVELY. If your divorce proceedings are really nasty, keep your comments positive and stick to the facts only. Don’t dump your feelings and tell him what SHOULD be done and rant about how it’s not fair and get caught up in the emotions of the situation. If you tend to get caught up in emotions and lose your temper when speaking with your ex, communicate through texts or emails. Keep it simple, emotion-free, and stick to the facts only. Your ex may know how to push your buttons to get you emotionally charged, but YOU are ultimately responsible for your words and your actions.
5) Let the little things go. Daddy didn’t brush your daughter’s hair and style it. Your son is not wearing matching socks. They ate a little junk food. So what? The important thing to keep in mind is the well-being of your children. You should do everything possible to foster and encourage a healthy, happy relationship between your children and their father. It’s time to separate your differences in the marriage from your children’s father. Allow your ex to be the best father he can be. What a gift that will be to your children!
If you are struggling in your communication with your ex, it may be time to get help from a divorce coach to help you move forward. Take this questionnaire to see where you stand in the divorce process and to get a free e-book, “Seven Tips for Getting Over Your Ex”.
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3566577/Is-Your-Divorce-Holding-You-Back

Let Go of Bitterness

iStock-639794440.jpgPerhaps you are holding onto bitterness, anger, or resentment. You feel that you’ve been unjustly wronged and you continue to hold a grudge against your ex-spouse.  You dwell on the pain that was done to you. You tell anyone who’ll listen all the injustices you’ve been through. However, when you hold a grudge against those you feel have wronged you, you only hold yourself back from moving forward. In addition to the bitterness keeping you stuck, the Mayo Clinic has identified how holding onto bitterness may have the following toxic effects in many areas of your life.

*Dwelling on past hurts robs of you of your present day joy.

*Holding onto bitterness can spill into other relationships you have.

*It can lead to depression or anxiety.

*Bitterness causes us to lose connections we have with others.

*Holding onto grudges can cause you to feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose.

So what prevents you from letting go of the bitterness? This article will help you identify what may be holding you back and how to move forward. Forgiveness is a conscious act of letting go of resentment and negative thoughts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny or forget that you’ve been hurt nor does it lessen the other person’s responsibility – it’s meant for you. You aren’t excusing what the other person did to you. You’re surrendering your desire for revenge.

Follow these four steps to find the forgiveness your heart deserves:

1) In order to forgive, you must reflect on the facts and how holding onto the bitterness is impacting you. When you forgive and let go, you’ll no longer define yourself by how you were hurt.

2) Then, you must ACTIVELY CHOOSE to forgive the person. Let go of those resentments and pessimistic thoughts.

3) When you find yourself retelling how you were hurt—STOP. When you dwell on the past hurt, you’re essentially focusing on the negative.  When the urge arises, refocus your attention elsewhere and distract yourself with a constructive activity. (Being of service to others is a wonderful way to focus on others and find the positive in ourselves.)

4) Lastly, stop viewing yourself as the victim. Take accountability for your actions. This will be EMPOWERING because you will be releasing control that the offender has had on your life!

By utilising these steps, you can move towards opening your heart. If you are struggling with overcoming bitterness or other issues surrounding a break-up or divorce, reach out to me at terrievanover@comcast.net for a free consultation so that we can start to devise a plan to help you find your strength.

Five Tips to Cope With Changes at Work

Work is probably a vitally important aspect of your life, whether you’re working part time or full time, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just stepping into your first internship. Our work gives us satisfaction and purpose, and challenges us to grow. We make friends at our jobs and sometimes even gain a sense of camaraderie that can last a lifetime. Not to mention, money earned at work allows us to provide for ourselves and our families.

But sometimes changes occur at our jobs that cause ripples of distress throughout our lives.  When you face major changes at work, you’ll likely experience confusion and frustration. Upheaval at work can cause uncertainty at every level of your life. And when there is uncertainty, fear and insecurity are not far behind. After all, when your livelihood is at stake, you’re dealing with some scary stuff.

Try these five tips to deal with shifts happening in your workplace and to manage stress when change at work feels overwhelming.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE AND DEAL WITH YOUR FEAR – Acknowledge the changes and acknowledge the fears around them. Recognize that things will be different so that you can then manage your feelings. Understand that changes may bring out your fears, and deal with them. Talk about what is troubling you with someone in your support system and how those fears (imagined and real) can be dealt with.
  2. EMBRACE THE CHANGE- Once you’ve acknowledged and dealt with the issues that surround changes at work, you need to adopt a disposition of acceptance. BE POSITIVE!!! Be flexible and open to what is coming. A new VP may be the best thing that’s ever happened to your company. She may see all the value that you bring each day. And if she doesn’t, see this as an opportunity to teach someone about yourself.
  3. COMMUNICATE THROUGHOUT – Sometimes when we go through major shifts, we inadvertently shut off communication. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your co-workers and your supervisors. Be wary of gossip that flies freely when there is uncertainty in an environment. If you have a question or concern, address it respectfully with the source rather than listening to the rumor mills.
  4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – When there is a high level of stress, it becomes even more important that you take the time to eat right, exercise, and meditate. Do things that make you feel good. Enjoy your family. Participate in your hobby. Take a break from work–don’t even think about or talk about work!  Use this time to decompress.
  5.  REMEMBER YOUR GOALS – Through the process, keep in mind that although there may be adjustments you may not necessarily agree with, your focus is on your work. Remain focused on your task at hand and your end goals within your organization. Keep a positive attitude. Some of the initial minutiae will get worked out in the end, and you’ll come out better if you keep a positive outlook.

Keep in mind that change will be unavoidable in any workplace. But how we deal with those changes is ultimately  up to us. By keeping these tips in mind, you can be ready enjoy the ride. If you are struggling with changes or need further direction, contact Terrie Vanover at ChoosingtoRise.com for more information.

Hope written in the sand at the beach
Hope written in the sand at the beach waves in the background.

Six Steps to Zen When You Need Control

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“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Recently, I was running an errand on a late Sunday afternoon. I was feeling frustrated that the errand I had wanted to do hours ago was only now getting done. So many other things had taken place during the weekend. I was thinking, “Here I am once again running out the door at 4 pm! Every weekend it’s the same thing. I’m always running out at the last minute Sunday to do something that I wanted to get done earlier in the weekend.” 

And then something dawned on me. Rather than feeling frustrated and fighting this pattern, I decided to accept it. This is the pattern of our family. I’m going to have to learn to accept our pattern.

Here are six tips to help you learn more about releasing control and learning to surrender. If you’d like to learn more about how you can learn to relinquish control and find your inner Zen, contact me today. Let’s work together to find your strengths so that you can thrive.

  1. Recognize your situation. Becoming aware and understanding that things are beyond your control is the first step towards peace of mind. Become aware of your state of mind and admit why you are frustrated. By being mindful of your situation, you can then take steps to control how you react to it.
  2. Release control. Learning that you can’t control your surroundings and especially other people, is a key step in learning how to accept what you cannot change. We want things the way that we want them. But the universe has other plans. Things will change. People will be who they are and do the things they do. Accept that people will do things that we don’t want or like. Your girlfriend may unexpectedly break up with you, you may lose your job, your kids break up with you. Ask yourself, Is this something that I can control?  If the answer is no, then ask the next question: Will the situation be better if I accept it and choose a peaceful state of mind?
  3. Find the Fear. Control is often rooted in fear. If we lose control, then something bad might happen. If we hold onto control then the object of our fear won’t materialize. This is delusional thinking. If you find yourself wanting to control a situation or a person, try to get to what you are fearing. Question the foundation of this fear. By understanding what you fear, you will understand why you want control.
  4. Breathe. While in those moments of stress, anger, or frustration, our body subconsciously begins to change. Our breathing becomes shallow, our muscles tense.
  5. Meditate. I promote meditation repeatedly in many of my blogs. This simple act of quieting the mind and focusing on the breath is helpful in so many ways. From easing anxiety to reducing stress, meditation’s benefits are countless.
  6. Accept chaos and enjoy the beauty in imperfections. Look at what happens to you through a positive frame of mind. Practice the skill of finding the joy in disorder. Looking at the situation in a negative way causes frustration and aggravation. If it is a situation that one day six months from now you won’t even remember, then choose not to become irritated about it. And sometimes, something that seems like a negative at the moment later turns out to actually be a blessing in disguise. Choose to stay in your state of peace.  Perhaps the universe is trying to teach you a lesson or it is showing you a painful situation to serve a purpose. By choosing this frame of mind, it is easier to accept something we can’t control.

To learn more about acceptance, check out some additional resources. You can read Deepok Chopra’s book, The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success. Many of Buddha’s teachings are centered around accepting things and refraining from judgement. Surrendering is an art unto itself. Contact me today to see how I can help you find the peace you’re seeking to allow you to be your best.

Five Tips to Cope With Changes at Work

Work is probably a vitally important aspect of your life, whether you’re working part time or full time, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just stepping into your first internship. Our work gives us satisfaction and purpose, and challenges us to grow. We make friends at our jobs and sometimes even gain a sense of camaraderie that can last a lifetime. Not to mention, money earned at work allows us to provide for ourselves and our families.

But sometimes changes occur at our jobs that cause ripples of distress throughout our lives.  When you face major changes at work, you’ll likely experience confusion and frustration. Upheaval at work can cause uncertainty at every level of your life. And when there is uncertainty, fear and insecurity are not far behind. After all, when your livelihood is at stake, you’re dealing with some scary stuff.

Try these five tips to deal with shifts happening in your workplace and to manage stress when change at work feels overwhelming.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE AND DEAL WITH YOUR FEAR – Acknowledge the changes and acknowledge the fears around them. Recognize that things will be different so that you can then manage your feelings. Understand that changes may bring out your fears, and deal with them. Talk about what is troubling you with someone in your support system and how those fears (imagined and real) can be dealt with.
  2. EMBRACE THE CHANGE- Once you’ve acknowledged and dealt with the issues that surround changes at work, you need to adopt a disposition of acceptance. BE POSITIVE!!! Be flexible and open to what is coming. A new VP may be the best thing that’s ever happened to your company. She may see all the value that you bring each day. And if she doesn’t, see this as an opportunity to teach someone about yourself.
  3. COMMUNICATE THROUGHOUT – Sometimes when we go through major shifts, we inadvertently shut off communication. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your co-workers and your supervisors. Be wary of gossip that flies freely when there is uncertainty in an environment. If you have a question or concern, address it respectfully with the source rather than listening to the rumor mills.
  4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – When there is a high level of stress, it becomes even more important that you take the time to eat right, exercise, and meditate. Do things that make you feel good. Enjoy your family. Participate in your hobby. Take a break from work–don’t even think about or talk about work!  Use this time to decompress.
  5.  REMEMBER YOUR GOALS – Through the process, keep in mind that although there may be adjustments you may not necessarily agree with, your focus is on your work. Remain focused on your task at hand and your end goals within your organization. Keep a positive attitude. Some of the initial minutiae will get worked out in the end, and you’ll come out better if you keep a positive outlook.

Keep in mind that change will be unavoidable in any workplace. But how we deal with those changes is ultimately  up to us. By keeping these tips in mind, you can be ready enjoy the ride. If you are struggling with changes or need further direction, contact Terrie Vanover at yourthrivinglife.net for more information.

Six Steps to Zen When You Need Control

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“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Recently, I was running an errand on a late Sunday afternoon. I was feeling frustrated that the errand I had wanted to do hours ago was only now getting done. So many other things had taken place during the weekend. I was thinking, “Here I am once again running out the door at 4 pm! Every weekend it’s the same thing. I’m always running out at the last minute Sunday to do something that I wanted to get done earlier in the weekend.” 

And then something dawned on me. Rather than feeling frustrated and fighting this pattern, I decided to accept it. This is the pattern of our family. I’m going to have to learn to accept our pattern.

Here are six tips to help you learn more about releasing control and learning to surrender. If you’d like to learn more about how you can learn to relinquish control and find your inner Zen, contact me today. Let’s work together to find your strengths so that you can thrive.

  1. Recognize your situation. Becoming aware and understanding that things are beyond your control is the first step towards peace of mind. Become aware of your state of mind and admit why you are frustrated. By being mindful of your situation, you can then take steps to control how you react to it.
  2. Release control. Learning that you can’t control your surroundings and especially other people, is a key step in learning how to accept what you cannot change. We want things the way that we want them. But the universe has other plans. Things will change. People will be who they are and do the things they do. Accept that people will do things that we don’t want or like. Your girlfriend may unexpectedly break up with you, you may lose your job, your kids break up with you. Ask yourself, Is this something that I can control?  If the answer is no, then ask the next question: Will the situation be better if I accept it and choose a peaceful state of mind?
  3. Find the Fear. Control is often rooted in fear. If we lose control, then something bad might happen. If we hold onto control then the object of our fear won’t materialize. This is delusional thinking. If you find yourself wanting to control a situation or a person, try to get to what you are fearing. Question the foundation of this fear. By understanding what you fear, you will understand why you want control.
  4. Breathe. While in those moments of stress, anger, or frustration, our body subconsciously begins to change. Our breathing becomes shallow, our muscles tense.
  5. Meditate. I promote meditation repeatedly in many of my blogs. This simple act of quieting the mind and focusing on the breath is helpful in so many ways. From easing anxiety to reducing stress, meditation’s benefits are countless.
  6. Accept chaos and enjoy the beauty in imperfections. Look at what happens to you through a positive frame of mind. Practice the skill of finding the joy in disorder. Looking at the situation in a negative way causes frustration and aggravation. If it is a situation that one day six months from now you won’t even remember, then choose not to become irritated about it. And sometimes, something that seems like a negative at the moment later turns out to actually be a blessing in disguise. Choose to stay in your state of peace.  Perhaps the universe is trying to teach you a lesson or it is showing you a painful situation to serve a purpose. By choosing this frame of mind, it is easier to accept something we can’t control.

To learn more about acceptance, check out some additional resources. You can read Deepok Chopra’s book, The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success. Many of Buddha’s teachings are centered around accepting things and refraining from judgement. Surrendering is an art unto itself. Contact me today to see how I can help you find the peace you’re seeking to allow you to be your best.