By Angie Hallier
Certified, professional coach Victoria Crawford will be joining me in this and upcoming blogs. She is the author of The Art and Practice of Trust and creator of the Way of Discovery process, (www.victoriacrawford.com (link is external)). For 18 years, she has helped people navigate change and uncertainty and move forward with courage, creativity and compassion.
Victoria and I have collaborated on an approach to divorce that optimizes your ability to live your next best life by combining the wisdom of coaching with the legal navigation of divorce. This approach will empower you to create the future you desire.
Being with Change and Emotion
When the decision to divorce happens, the life that you once knew and were familiar with is coming to an end. Whether you were the one that wanted the divorce or not, it’s often an emotional time filled with many ups and downs. Rather than being clear about knowing how your life will unfold you are in a place of the unknown and it’s filled with uncertainty and in many cases rapid change. Important decisions must be made and yet you may feel off centered, confused or overwhelmed by the demands. To navigate through this time, you need to connect with your inner strength and wisdom for discernment, and feel empowered and supported as you move forward.
The first step begins with willingness. The willingness to recognize that the marriage has ended and the willingness to gain the skills you need at this time. This can be incredibly difficult, especially if you did not want the divorce or are still very much in love with your spouse. Even if you were the one that wanted the divorce, this can be a time filed with difficult emotions.
Coaching will help you find your center and regain your confidence regardless of the situation you are facing. During this initial period coaching will help you:
Learn how to be with your emotions and the new reality;
Learn tools and techniques for self-awareness, self-management, and stress management; and
Learn how to shift your perspective from anger and fear to greater equanimity.
These skills will help you reduce fear, anger, anxiety and worry so you can choose positive, constructive options as you take the next step forward.
Understanding the Legal Process
In my work as a divorce attorney, I find that the most difficult time of a divorce is the early stages. Someone has filed for divorce and now former lovers are embroiled in a lawsuit. Yet no rules exist and everything is in flux. Emotions are running high and it can be very hard for you, the client, to focus on or even absorb the advice I give you. Tasks you need to accomplish in order for me to help you may not get done, you may be focused on “fighting back” as opposed to thinking clearly about your own future, or you may be giving me unclear messages about your goals and priorities.
The work you do with your coach on acceptance and willingness during the early stages of a divorce will allow you to:
Meaningfully and strategically choose and begin to work with your attorneys and experts;
Understand the procedures and steps that need to occur to get to the end of your marriage contract;
Work on the tasks your attorney assigns you;
Understand the list of issues that will have to be resolved in order to divorce; and
Understand the importance of minimizing the impact of divorce on your children.
In our next blog, Victoria and I will explore how setting intentions for your divorce will allow you to become more positively engaged in the legal process.