Are You Playing The Blame Game?

Some interesting facts:

While the divorce rate for first marriages in 2012 was approximately 40%, in the past few years divorce rates are actually going down! (According to the Vanier Institute of the Family). This should mean that it is somewhat safer to get into a long-term relationship, no? J

According to Dr. Terri Orbuch’s recent study, however, one of the primary things holding people back from moving on after a break up or divorce is some form of blame – either blaming their former spouse/partner, or blaming themselves. And, interesting to note, men typically blame themselves, while women more typically blame their former spouse/partner.

As a practitioner myself, who also has ample personal experience, I can attest to the fact that blame is among the top factors that keep people from being able to move on, and to develop a health new relationship.

How can one deal with blame?

According to Dr. Orbuch, it is important to move from blaming yourself or blaming the other person, to blaming “the relationship.” This way it evens out the finger pointing to be between you both, in some way, or to see the unworkable factor being outside of you or the other person, reducing the emotional charge.

Here is an approach that I recommend: to discover the underlying purpose of the relationship. The relationship had a reason for being in your lives – to provide an opportunity for you to learn, grow, heal, etc. When you can discover what that purpose was (and is) you can deal more powerfully and healthily with the ending of the relationship. It is then no longer relevant to point a finger at someone or something, which only has you expend unnecessary negative energy, which harms you in the long run.

I invite you to try on a new perspective, as you see fit.

I also invite you to join me for my upcoming FREE WEBINAR!

 

aweber2

In this Free Webinar you will get:
  • New Inspiration for What is Possible in Your Life
  • The Critical Steps To Attract The Love Your Really Want 
  • Clarity & Confidence To Make Decisions With Ease
  • Power to Be True to Yourself, Once & For All

 

I look forward to being with you!

Are You TRULY Happy?

happy-clouds
I was nursing my 13 month old son the other day. It was one of those really busy days – I’d just finished being interviewed for an up-coming tele-summit, there was a lot to do around the house, my husband had important deadlines to meet and needed my support with some things, and it was only 11am still… you know…THAT kind of day?
As I sat feeding my little guy, I stared into his eyes, he stared back into mine. It was a loving exchange of energy. I suddenly became aware of the amazing fact that here I am, amidst this (busy, full) life, with a new son after having 3 older children. And I reflected on the past where I didn’t think that I’d have any more children; simply given my circumstances at that time. And in that reflective moment with that sudden awareness, I had a profoundly euphoric feeling come through me. And then I had a wonder, “is THIS true happiness?”
How often do we talk about things like “I want to be happy (or happier)” or “I’ll be happy when ‘x’ happens in my life,” or “I’m not happy with how ‘x’ is going in my life,” etc. Happiness is an often spoken-of concept, but what does it really mean? And, how does one actually get happy?
I know there are a lot of books on this topic. And, I’m sure if you are reading this piece right now, you are the kind of person who has likely read at least one of those books, or been to courses or seminars that touch on the idea of creating happiness in your life. I’ve woman-eyes-closed-smilingpersonally LED those seminars! Those books and seminars will often espouse things like, “Happiness doesn’t only come with external things. We can cause it from within ourselves.”
But, as much as I KNOW that, I have to say, I feel like I’m an ongoing student of happiness. There’s always something new to discover about the idea of “being happy” – but REALLY happy.
I am sharing this wonder and thought with you today.
I invite you to join me in being a student of happiness in your own life.
What does that mean? Well, as you go about your regular, normal, busy, etc. day-to-day life, play the game of discovering moments of happiness. It may come with being grateful for something or someone. Or, it may come with appreciating and acknowledging an accomplishment of your own – big or small. And really let yourself connect to the feeling that comes with that gratitude or acknowledgement.
Explore. Wonder. Get present.
See what your access might be.
I’d love to hear from you: are you taking this on? And, what are you discovering?
smiling-baby

Divorce and Parenting: Teaching Valuable Life Lessons to Your Children

Parents Talking To Kid

By Guest Writer: Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

As a divorced parent, what lessons and behaviors are you modeling for your children?

The messages you convey will influence your children into adulthood.Here’s valuable advice on leaving a positive imprint on your innocent children.

Bad things can happen to good people. Divorce is a prime example.  Good people get divorced. Responsible people who are loving parents get caught in the decision to end a loveless or deceitful marriage.

The consequences of that decision can either be life affirming or destroying, depending upon how each parent approaches this transition. Parents who are blinded by blame and anger are not likely to learn much through the experience. They see their former spouse as the total problem in their life and are convinced that getting rid of that problem through divorce will bring ultimate resolution. These parents are often self-righteous about the subject and give little thought to what part they may have played in the dissolution of the marriage.

Parents at this level of awareness are not looking to grow through the divorce process. They are more likely to ultimately find another partner with whom they have similar challenges or battles and once again find themselves caught in the pain of an unhappy relationship.

man-on-laptop-by-a-lakeThere are others, however, for whom divorce can be a threshold into greater self-understanding and reflection. These parents don’t want to repeat the same mistake and want to be fully aware of any part they played in the failure of the marriage. Self-reflective people ask themselves questions and search within – often with the assistance of a professional counselor or coach – to understand what they did or did not do and how it affected the connection with their spouse.

These introspective parents consider how they might have behaved differently in certain circumstances. They question their motives and actions to make sure they came from a place of clarity and good intentions. They replay difficult periods within the marriage to see what they can learn, improve, let go of or accept. They take responsibility for their behaviors and apologize for those that were counter-productive. They also forgive themselves for errors made in the past – and look toward being able to forgive their spouse in the same light.

These parents are honest with their children when discussing the divorce – to the age-appropriate degree that their children can understand.They remind their children that both Mom and Dad still, and always will, love them. And they remember their former spouse will always be a parent to their children and therefore speak about them with respect around the kids.

By applying what they learned from the dissolved marriage to their future relationships,Friends giving advice these mature adults start the momentum to recreate new lives in a better, more fulfilling way. From this perspective, they see their former marriage as not a mistake, but rather a stepping-stone to a brighter future – both for themselves and for their children.  When you choose to learn from your life lessons, they were never experienced in vain. Isn’t this a lesson you want to teach your children?

*     *    *

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new e-book, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce?A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! The book provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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To Match or Not To Match – Is that the right question?

It is possible for people to be fulfilled, happy and prosperous, and to be connected to a partner, spouse, or kindred spirit with whom they can travel through this life.

The reality is that not all couples are a match for that kind of relationship.

However, it doesn’t mean that relationships that are not a match for that kind of lifelong relationship are necessarily “wrong” relationships. There is more than what meets the eye – in a physical sense. Mostly we make decisions from a limited array of ‘senses’ – sight, touch, smell, sound, taste. But there is a whole universe of senses that go beyond these physical senses.

Call it what you will – ‘the universe,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘God,’ ‘the Holy Spirit,’ etc. There is a force, a power that, when connected with, you and I are abundant in our abilities and acquisitions beyond what we could otherwise accomplish.

Unfortunately we are not always aware and connected to that force.

Fortunately we can always connect to it, at any point. It’s never too late. That force is never going to be gone and unavailable.

When it comes to couples matching, often times people come together with a particular set of needs, whether they’re cognizant of those needs or not, and pick a mate that fills those needs. Part of those needs could include a particular spiritual life lesson and growth, to move on to what is next in a spiritual sense. Once those needs are met, often times the relationship, you could say, is expired.

Commonly, people have already married or committed in common law “till death do us part.” So when there are problems between them they either fight to resolve them with no success, ignore them hoping one day they will just go away or give up and blame something – themselves, the other person or some external source – for the unviability of the relationship, which they say was the cause of the break up.

Unfortunately that kind of thinking doesn’t leave either person responsible for the fact that they picked that person, for whatever reasons they did.

In this type of mentality, people remain stuck in their limited view of themselves and life. The view that is only possible contained inside of the physical five senses we are most familiar with.

What can you do in this situation?

It is important to investigate the underlying purpose that brought the two of you together. For example, you may have a particular life lesson you need to learn with this person. And, until you learn that lesson you will keep having the same situations occur over and over, until you finally learn the lesson.

Once you’ve discovered the underlying purpose of your union, there are two ways you can explore this situation and determine what is next.

It may be that there are no further lessons to learn with this specific partner. It may be that your union has fulfilled its purpose and it is time to part ways, each one continuing separately on their journey with new discoveries and developments.

A second possibility is that the type of relationship you have been in is expired and it is now time for a new type of relationship, with your partner. That would mean “burying” the relationship – give your respective eulogies of appreciation for what the relationship gave you while it was alive, and send it on its way. Then, with a new opening in front of the two of you, create a new type of relationship with a purpose that you are both inspired by; Then, together step inside and live out the day to day creation and fulfillment of that relationship.

Either approach takes courage, confidence and trust. Both are simple. Neither is particularly easy. But, relationships are not about being ‘easy.’ Relationships are about giving you a place to grow and transform as the other person provides a mirror to reflect back on you what you need to see, in order to learn and grow.

I invite you to celebrate your relationship with this perspective in mind…

 

 

 

Confessions of A Multiple Divorcée (Now Happily Married)

many wedding rings
It’s been a while since I’ve written to you! I’ve missed you!
But I need to tell you the truth about what’s kept me from you…
See, I have a new love in my life.
Yes, it’s true. But, it’s not because of anything you’ve done!
I still love you, too! And, I’m not ending our relationship!
It’s just that this very special person came into my life, stole my heart and we’ve been on, well, a sort of “honeymoon” since.
Actually, it’s been a “Babymoon” 🙂
You guessed it….I’m a Mom, again, for the 4th time!
Mom Dad Baby
We call him D.A. (his initials). He was born August 2nd. And, what can I say? He’s a real charmer! My husband and I are in a new kind of heaven.
To be frank, when I look at my life now and think back to just 5+ years ago, I am truly grateful for the love in my life today.
I want to share something personal with you…
As you may know, I’ve been married, had two beautiful children, and then divorced. Thankfully, we ended amicably. Although there were challenging times that could have led to an ugly legal battle, our better-selves won out and we worked things out peacefully.
Then, I later got engaged to one of my best friends: I thought we could turn that friendship into a romantic life partnership. When it became clear that we were not a match (for many reasons) I’d already become pregnant. We ended the relationship, which was a difficult break up. In time we developed a new relationship as parents, and even later became friends again.
While all this sounds sad but with somewhat happy endings, I was left with a lot of questions about myself and my ability to be in a relationship that lasts; about whether or not I even wanted to be in a relationship ever again!
I was scared. Scared to truly open up and give myself to another human being; to another relationship.
After a lot of transformational and spiritual work, I’d gone through a journey and discovered…
I needed to change.
As wonderful and talented a person as I am 😉 there are things about me that DON’T WORK in relationship!
For example, among other things, I’m an independent woman. From a fairly young age taking care of myself, travelling, living in another part of the world, having jobs to sustain a modest livelihood, went to university, started a global not-for-profit, etc. That’s all well for a strong-willed career-minded woman.
But there was something missing; a kind of fulfillment that I just didn’t have, no matter how good life was with all of my achievements. I really wanted to share my life with a close beloved soul mate. I had this vision of me and “him” lying down on a picnic blanket, facing each other, like two children, in love, looking into each other’s eyes, opening up about any and all of our deepest feelings,  desires and fears, while  feeling the comfort and safety of being with each other; having each other’s backs. But that vision was just that – something I could see but didn’t have a sense of how to actualize it.
One of my discoveries was that, while I CAN take care of myself and don’t NEED anyone to take care of me, I want to be taken care of. This notion was hard to swallow as a Must-be Independent Woman. But when I let go of the “Must-be,” and simply allow myself to be an Independent Woman who is open to receive and be loved and cared for, I was no longer limited. And, when I could be open to receive, I could also give, fully and unconditionally.
It was soon afterward that my sweetheart and I met.
There is so much more I can say about that, but, at the very least, had I not made this discovery, I wouldn’t have been open (both consciously and subconsciously) to my next relationship that would be with my life-long beloved partner.
I am grateful. After a significant amount of time having an underlying sense of doubt about whether it is possible to truly be in a fruitful, passionate, meaningful, fulfilling relationship, I can now say, YES, IT IS POSSIBLE. (not to mention I’ve coached others through similar journeys)
This is my wish for others: to have their own experience of complete fulfillment, no matter what their past experience was. This doesn’t mean there will be no “rocky roads” or that everything is some unrealistic version of “perfect”.  There is constant inner work to do. For me, that “Independent Woman” hasn’t gone anywhere. She is still right here. But when I am not cognizant and mindful, “she” can take over – and she does sometimes! – And life isn’t so pretty in those moments and there is some “clean up” to do.
Whether you’re in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship, I invite you to look at yourself and see what might be in your way of fully giving yourself to your (potential) beloved. Enter a comment below and share what you see – I’m very interested.

When is the Right Time For a New Relationship After Ending an Old One?

Couple on Date

If anyone thinks they have the one right answer to this question, I would be hesitant to take their advice.

Ending a relationship or a marriage is a tough decision to make and is often very difficult and painful to get over.

In my profession I have worked with many people in this situation, plus I have my own experience to pull from regarding the ending and healing from a past relationship or marriage.

What I’ve also come to discover is how the relationship journey can and does continue, post-breakup or divorce. It is possible to move on, and it is possible to meet the person you can create a life with and be happy.

I am often asked: “How do I know if it’s time to get into a new relationship?” or “I am afraid to get into a new relationship that might go the way my last one did. How do I prevent that?”

Well, here are some important things to consider when answering these questions for yourself:

  1. Are you blaming your last partner for any aspect of why the relationship didn’t work? If your answer is even a slight “yes” this is a sign you have some things to still learn and grow from regarding your last relationship. That includes, how and why you picked that person in the first place? Was it to fulfill some need or void you didn’t think you have in yourself to fulfill? Or, was it because you simply didn’t want to be alone? Sometimes the answers to these questions are far beneath the surface and it isn’t easy to see right away. But when you start to ‘own’ the relationship, for all that worked and all that didn’t work, then you can start to move on independent from that relationship.
  2. Are you “OK” with yourself? It is important to be able to be with yourself – the truth is you’re the one with who you’re in the longest lasting relationship. Often when one avoids being with themselves, it’s a sign that you have some internal relationship building to do. What does that mean? It could mean exploring and understanding what is really important to you, what are your core values, and how are you or can you express those values through what you do, either for work/career, or hobbies, or through social interactions, etc. Often times in relationships people either don’t have that sense of them self and they use the relationship to fill that void, or they had that sense of themselves and have either forgotten or actively given it up in order to accommodate the relationship. This can lead to resentment and suffering. Either way, being OK with who you are and what your values are is an important place to be when you get into a new relationship.
  3. Do you know what you want? The truth is most people don’t know what they actually want. At best, they know what they don’t want. I have found that people don’t spend the time to explore, investigate and speculate on what they really want for their life. This can leave people reacting to circumstances and falling into situations, like relationships, rather than creating a life that is an expression of what they actually want. Give yourself the gift of that exploration. You deserve it and so does your future partner, who will also benefit from you having done that work. They don’t want to be your “next victim” of being your “wrong pick,” when for them you might be their “right pick.” This exploration doesn’t have to take too long , which can make it harder to put yourself out there, but you do want to afford yourself whatever time it takes.

 If you or someone you know is facing these types of questions and you want a place to do some exploring, please contact me for a COMPLIMENTARY SESSION to begin that journey.

Also, KEEP YOUR EYE OUT for an upcoming invitation from me to a FREE WEBINAR COMING SOON hosted by a good friend and colleague of mine on the topic of How To Date To Marry and not waste your time on anything else.

Who Gets The Kids For The Holidays?

Easter

With Easter, Orthodox Easter and Passover Holidays coming, it can be stressful enough as it is for any family. Who is hosting which dinner, lunch or brunch? Who to invite? Which invitations to accept, without offending others?

Add to this mix being separated or divorced and needing to decide “Who gets the kids?”

For many separated parents, that decision is made through the Parenting Plan or Separation Agreement process. Some parents figure it out on a per-holiday basis.

And even when there seems to be a decision made, it isn’t always easy for the other parent not to be with their child or children, when it’s not “their turn.”

Here are some ideas to consider that have worked for me and for clients I have supported:

  1. Alternate year agreement. One way to alternate years is to say, “Parent A gets the children for Easter/Passover (etc) on the odd-numbered years, while Parent B gets the children on the even-numbered years” Usually this will be written up in an agreement, (which helps to remember from year-to-year).
  2. Holidays with the Parent who the child doesn’t live with. Sometimes children live with one parent (possibly in a different city) full time. In such a case it can work to have the child spend the holiday period with the other parent. Depending on the relationship and willingness between the parents, the parent living away from the child may travel in and spend the holiday with their child together with the other parent.
  3. Holidays All Together. Depending on the willingness of the parents, it may work to have the holidays be a time to spend together. It’s not about the parents “being together.” It’s about the children having a meaningful and memorable holiday. I have had the privilege of my own parents rising above their past differences to be at the same holiday table with me and my family.
  4. Multi-Ethnic Family. You may be in a formerly mixed marriage situation, which means you don’t share the same holidays. This can work out well when the holidays don’t land on the same dates! What happens when they DO land on the same dates? Either you could apply the “alternate year” approach where by one parent gets them this year and next time a holiday lands on the same date, the other parent gets the kids. Or, there may be room to compromise by splitting the day or days themselves. For example, this year the first two days of Passover coincides with Catholic/Christian Easter Weekend. Kids could be with the Jewish parent Friday and Saturday and with the Christian or Catholic parent on Sunday and Monday.

Passover SederThese are just some scenarios and some ideas. You may have others.

And, the key is to make the decision and then stick to it, ideally letting go of any resentments and upsets when you’re the one not with the kids. This part is not always easy, but it is certainly possible.

Try to bring the spirit of what the holiday is, to your attitude and to your interactions with your former spouse.

I wish you blessings for the holidays, whatever you should be celebrating at this time of year.

If you are stuck regarding holiday decisions, or any other decisions related to separation or divorce matters or family-life matters, set up a COMPLEMENTARY STRATEGY SESSION with me and let’s get it sorted out.

Email me at tallie@familyforeverlifestyle.com