and separation as many of us will know takes us up to those peaks of stress in the mountain ranges that house the really big
scaries such as death, moving house and life threatening diseases.
It is during these times that we really
need to remember to look after our minds, bodies and spirits. We all know this,
however dealing with and organising self-care, in the big grand scheme of traumatic
relationship breakdowns is sometimes, well just slightly further down the list
of to do’s.
So we forget to help ourselves and that is when our stress levels
ramp up, leaving us existing on, well, not very much.
So I wanted to tell you all about Reiki,
this amazing stress busting tool which helped me, my children and Ex enormously
through our separation and divorce.
Reiki is a form of healing rediscovered
in ancient Tibetan Buddhist texts by a Japanese minister in the late 19th
Century. Pronounced “ray-kee” the term in Japanese means “universal life force
energy”. Rei means universal power and essence and Ki means vital life force
energy and is the equivalent of Chinese Chi or Indian Prana.
I love Reiki, so I completed a Reiki
course in the Middle East about six years ago and I have found Reiki has had a
profound effect on my well-being and health. Reiki rebalances, relaxes and renews
your internal energy system.
It is this sort of help that I needed
when I began my divorce journey over 18 months ago. I had not really hung out
with my Reiki since my training until I rediscovered it one day whilst going
through the very sad and painful process of dividing up our worldly
chattels. This piece of paper literally
fell out of a book and landed at my feet, I picked it up, unfolded it and these
were the words I read:
The 5 Principles of Reiki: Just for today, I will let go of anger
for today, I will let go of worry
I will count my many blessings
I will do my work honestly
I will be kind to every living creature Dr Mikao Usui
And I sat on the floor, holding these
incredible, resonating and beautiful words and I cried. I cried a lot and I
felt as I cried these tears, that I was releasing so many fears and letting go
of ‘stuff’ that I was carrying around with me. Yes I so wanted to let go of
anger, worry and I really wanted to be kind to everyone whilst going through my
divorce. I was so tired of hurting and
being so fearful, full of sadness and grief.
So what was I doing NOT giving myself
In the very action of giving oneself
Reiki I was acknowledging my worth as a kind, loving and respectful person. Giving Reiki to myself was the most fantastic
step in helping me feel calmer, more in control and empowered to let go of some
of the ‘stuff’ I was holding on to.
Children and Reiki
My children also totally love Reiki and
are amazingly receptive to it. If they are feeling upset, worried or they have
aches and pains I am able to use Reiki to help them. This is a most gorgeous gift a parent can give their children. It is incredibly bonding and stabilising as well for your
children to know you can help them in other ways to feel less anxious.
Get Trained Yourself...
Reiki is a great stress buster... The
treatment is relaxing, calming and the wonderful training I was given has been
invaluable during the last 18 months. If you can, try to find a local Reiki
teacher, get yourself on a Reiki course and learn too. There are so many courses
now around the country being held during the week and at weekends.
You then get to help all those
beautiful people around you feel great. Or,
if YOU just want a relaxing yet life energising treatment, find a therapist close by –
Reiki always makes me feel wonderfully sleepy. Having a Reiki trained
practitioner help to ease away worries and stress aches and pains connected to
your divorce….why would you not?
With love Natasha This was published as a guest blog for The Divorce Magazinewith grateful thanks...
It is official, I am so excited to be joining the UK's ITV Daybreak on Tuesday 22nd April to talk about my positive experience of mediation and my Blog. I am also going to be interviewed for Sky News, Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Sussex and Channel 5 News. (I will post a blog with coverage links in due course). Sheila Gooderham ofThe Mediation Specialists will be joining me on the Daybreak programme and Sky News and a big lovely thank you to her for all her help.
Simon Hughes, the Family Justice Minister, told The Times: "Mediation works and we are committed to making sure that more people make use of it, rather than go through the confrontational and stressful experience of going to court." "When people separate we want them to do it in the least damaging way for everyone involved, especially children. that is why we want them to use the excellent mediation services available to agree a way forward, rather than have one forced upon them." Where there is evidence of domestic violence, couples will be exempt from the new rules, the Ministry of Justice said.
I have been married for almost 18 years and have two children. I co-ran a business with my Ex-Husband who lived overseas for most of our married life together. Sadly due to the amount of time spent apart we both agreed to a divorce during the Summer of 2012. WHY MEDIATION... What made us both decide to proceed down themediation route was the love for our children and their welfare. Talking to our children about our impending separation and divorce hit all of us really hard. My Ex and I each saw the fear, pain and confusion in our beloved children's eyes. In order to alleviate the damage to our children, both of us understood that attending mediation could be the only way forward to help us achieve this. Mediation seemed to be the most compassionate yet logical way to proceed along this potentially fraught path of pain, grief and guilt. We had been recommended mediation by other couples who had been through the process with an amicable outcome. Knowing this gave us confidence in mediation, they were real couples who were still friends and giving their changed family unit the respect it deserved. We each chose our solicitors who supported the process of mediation. It made sense and we had no wish to fight anymore now that a decision to divorce had been made.
Mediators understand the legalities, but without any game plan. This assured us enormously and gave us a platform of trust and positivity for the sessions. The process gently took our egos out of the situation in a reassuring and balanced way. The children just wanted to know that everything was going to be alright and when we functioned as a positive divorcing unit rather than two warring parties their stress levels reduced.
Our mediators were kind, professional and were very good at alleviating any angst whilst working through a couple of the trickier points. Our situation was so complicated financially that we were assigned two mediators and I really believe that they were working for all our benefit. They were very complimentary about our attitude which was helpful and affirmed to us that we had chosen the right path. Both my Ex-Husband and I operate very differently in life and yet we were both confident, trusting and relieved about the process we had chosen which helped us rather than hindered us in this life changing process.
Preparing for mediation involved collecting together our paperwork regarding mortgages, bank statements, pension documents etc. We were also asked for our initial thoughts on where we were going to live, how we would manage co-parenting and financial support that was most beneficial for our children and for us both.
We have had 7 sessions. This is not due to any difficulty in communicating and workingas a divorcing couple, but because of the constant changing scary financial situation that we have had to work through and the fact that my ex-Husband has been living overseas and only visits monthly. MEDIATION FEAR MONKEYS They were always going to visit ....
Would we like and trust our mediators? During separation and divorce you are fearful, wary and vulnerable. There are many people giving you helpful advice; trusting your instincts and having confidence in your mediators is important.
How scary is it in the mediation room? Yup.... Why scary? This is new, you may not have been through mediation before, neither of you know what to expect or how you are going to react to each other. Especially if either of you are hurting and are angry.
Can mediation work for you? There was a fleeting moment when my Ex and I Iooked at each other across the table and knew that each of us had decided to be brave and take that leap of faith and trust that is mediation.
Will it be emotional?Yes, this is a life roller-coaster you are on. Will there be tears? Tissues on the table oh and tea - YES! Mediators really want this to work for you and for your children, they are caring and human.
Is this the best process for you? Yes, if you have trust in the process and each other. Whether you sign up for the mediation process or court process is up to you. Whichever route you decide upon, be focused and committed.
How will we feel after a session? My Ex and I were so relieved that it was balanced, calm and simplistic. We gave each other a hug afterwards and thanked each other for being kind. This is a practice we continue after every session. It reaffirms our commitment to our children and to both our futures.
Mediation payment? We found that attending mediation sessions were far less expensive then meeting with our solicitors and this was important to us. Knowing that our finances would not be so depleted was a comfort, especially during a time when finances are an important part of the present and the future.
IN SUPPORT OF THE PROCESS Mediation covers legal and financial. It does not cover emotional. It is important to understand that non of us are trained in being divorced or prepared in any way - let alone emotionally. Whilst the future steps on mediation are to be encouraged, it is important that the emotional concerns of divorce are addressed as well
I have set up a divorce coaching/mentoring business based on my positive experience to help and support those thinking about or going through a divorce. I also write a blog, reaffirming positives surrounding a good divorce, changes in life surrounding the process and my experience. I have a genuine desire to encourage other couples to try mediation with a view to having a mindful and kind divorce.
With love Natasha
Many thanks to Patrick Barrett of Simpatico PRfor all his help
We wonderful fully functioning human beings react so differently to the scary stuff that rises up unannounced and knocks us off our feet. Divorcing, especially a good divorce is really about getting personal help, professional advice and accepting loving support. Acknowledging and accepting exactly what is going on begins with us having a really good, close and kind look at ourselves. We need to check out which defence mechanisms we adopt when faced with sudden trauma. How do they affect those we love around us and do they serve us positively in our divorce? So which type are you? Do you choose one or a combo? Do any of these resonate ...? DENIAL - we love ostriches, they like dropping their heads in the sand, its cooler below ground, cooler and quiet. Denial is the most common of all defence mechanisms. The alternative of removing your head and facing the huge scary problem sometimes is just too much.
Denial lovelies find it hard to take the first step, so nothing changes or moves on. They either don't talk to anyone about 'stuff', or talk only to a couple of friends or family. Vainly hoping that one day they will wake up, without the rock of angst in their belly and the fearful problem will be magically sparkled away.
Humans don't fare so well behaving like a bird and ostrich behavior can be costly. You are so good at finding sand that you need not talk and face the OMG marital machinations that are your life. So when denial reality strikes, it is hard and the disappointment mountain looms with its aspects of failure, grief and sadness. Know though you are loved and supported especially when you dust the sand off and be a really brave gorgeous human.
ANGER is the strong life rescue ring circling us when in the uninviting waters of divorce. So, on this ocean of life, there is nothing getting past this angry baby. If anyone dare to get too close a tongue lashing is handed out and the angry at yourself self-flagellation completes the process.
Anger keeps your buoyancy aid pumped to bursting, it's protective so no need to look a little deeper into the darker waters of your marital angst. Being too tucked up, angry at everyone and the Exocet missile-like anger emotion consumes our entirety with random timeliness.
Within the divorce arena, anger can energise, empower and sadly leaves you bereft of the good stuff needed to give yourself respect, grace and balance. Anger screams past the focus markers, the ability to move forward becomes ever more difficult and it becomes harder to let anger go. Anger likes momentum, it extends to your family and friends who want to support you, you bristle, you are consumed with resentment and pain. And the thing is you DON'T WANT to feel like this. You want all the anger to go away and you really don't want to be cross anymore. This is not the lovely you, letting a little go at a time and understanding that you can feel better about it is testament to anger not aiding your life. INTELLECTUALISATION is the yadda yadda yadda of all the defence mechanisms... you have it covered, you've read the books, listened to tube clips, you are in the zone and actually you have it all figured out. You are giving every bit of energy to understanding what has happened without the big hello to emotion.
So you have successfully convinced, in your divorced messed up head, all those people, but mostly yourself, as to why you are dealing with your divorce situation in a calm, controlled and orderly manner. Well hell those books and spouting off about all the thinking you have been doing is not convincing anyone, no, nada, nicht and non!
Whilst you are stitching all the feelings and emotions such as grief, regret and sadness into your protective, self-help analysis jacket, are you feeling any of the pain? Thinking you have it covered is no band aid for what needs to come out. In the act of letting go of your relationship it is important to acknowledge the grief of finality, the indeterminable sadness of loss and allowing yourself tobe able to cry about it is incredibly cathartic.
DISPLACEMENTis the lots to do, very busy White Rabbit. So much to do with all those thoughts, hurts and feelings that you are quite happily able to pack into a bag with a moving on swiftly. DIVORCE stuff, hell no you have too much to do, lots of other stuff to think about and you are busy busy busy.
It's fantastic, you worry about everyone else, your children especially, your Ex, the pets, your friends and it seems a good idea to continue to concentrate elsewhere. OK so this is when you really need to ask yourself a couple of honest questions.
Do all these people really need your worries and concerns on top of their own? You are emotionally dumpingand it would be quite a good idea to maybe try and stop, this is not helpful to anyone.
Is hemorrhaging all this energy going to serve you in any way positively in the end and help YOU actually stay on any kind of track?
You try every which way to do all those jobs you need to do, which are now molehills compared to the divorce job that desperately needs looking at. Be kind to yourself, take small steps and have a little look at the important 'now' stuff.
REACTION FORMATION - is JUST FANTASTICAL! You are rid of the person who has been making you miserable for years! Yeah, no more putting up with them and their ways, snoring, moaning its all gone and its all going to be OK.
The 'brilliant moving on so quickly you' is now standing on your own positive soap box of what is left of your relationship. Thank goodness it has finally happened, great now its all gone and YES the rest of you, especially the children are going to have to swallow it! What a fabulously negative scenario!
Don't be tempted to dish out to all and sundry an unhealthy dose of sadness, especially to those who are finding it hard, when you aren't. You can play really mean, head games with your kids about their said other parent, dismissing their childhood with the marriage refuse. WOW, throwing the whole marriage thing out the window, those years of your life Button pressed on reject reject reject... ouch ouch ouch we say.
At some point you may slip off your holier than thou protective cloud of damnation and start to live with your negative fall out, your divorce dumping and you may just not feel that clever. Your reaction formation armor has protected you whilst everyone else is, well, just trying to remove the discarded detritus of their 'now' sad life you've thrown at them in the process. Be the kind, generous person you are, be the bigger person and let it go, gently. MINIMISATION - OK this is me, every bit of me. The person everyone thinks is wonderful at divorcing. "You are amazingly calm, incredibly positive and really holding it all together"!! Yeay minimisation - it worked!! I have created my whole divorce situation to be the coolest,most easily sorted life catastrophe ever. BUT I am in denial. Minimisation is the optimism, except with fears of not being able to continue, coping and steadying the shifting life walls for my children to have some semblance of a normal life. I am best at telling everyone it will be alright, all the time and pretty much most of the time it does go OK. Is it because I am positive and my brain doesn't want to play with the fear monkeys any longer, or is it my refusal to address the bigger scarier picture? During the first few months of my separation hanging with the scary head monkeys of penniless, bitter, lonely and divorced woman, I spent truly lonely moments as a result of everyone thinking I was doing great. There were times when I wasn't OK and those lovely people were confused. Why did I suddenly and desperately need help and support? Now I am not so cool, or guarded about my feelings and I can open up the soft underbelly of my fears and not be so fearful of hurting. Learning to ask for help was scary but it helped me become stronger. SO KNOW THAT .... Whichever defence mechanism you feel perhaps entrenched in, trust that with time you will come out of it. Understanding how you are feeling and accepting what you are going through is part of a natural human process. Whilst the temptation to fight against how you are feeling, let it go. It is OK to feel angry, be in denial and reactive in all of the above ways. You are grieving too and as the great Sufi saying goes "this too shall pass". So don't be tempted to beat yourself up, try to be kind to yourself and look after your mental and physical health. Exercise, do yoga, meditate, drink lots of water and eat healthy food. Take walks, play with your children, spend time with your loved ones and really know that one day you will look back and you will see how far you have come on this divorce journey. Defence mechanisms were designed to once protect our human existence, if dropped we expose our vulnerable underbelly which is so hard during divorce and separation. Hiding behind defence mechanisms to cope with divorce is not going help our hurting selves move forward. Nor aid our ability to heal our divorce wounds even with support, love, and friendship. “No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.”- Barbara de Angelis With love Natasha
COURAGEfor me is having a really honest, down to earth, good hard look at those niggling, pestiferous little thoughts. The ones that every now and then come up and hit you on the head announcing that they are still here! They are the thoughts that refuse to go far, far away, so you and your life can have a littlepeaceagain. Courage likes to bang on the door of the homes of my fear monkeys, their families and their ancestors to boot. Courage really likes shaking my life up.
STRENGTHis what I now believe I have which has the ability to kick the those monkey thoughts into touch. You know the stuff that you once allowed to rule, with rock and roll aplomb your head, your heart and your life. Strength is what takes you to the next level, the actionable truth level. Deciding to leave my marriage of nearly 18 years in the end was ultimately not about courage, for me, it was about strength. You see, up until that point of agreeing to a divorce I had always seen courage as something others had and it was their courage with a means to an end. But courage became the foundation of my thought processes that lingered, that bothered and drew me into those movie house life experiences, seeing the whole picture of where I was, how I was living and behaving. I began to challenge my fears, my horizons and I started to build and extend the path of my journey into the next stage of my life. This whole process ofcourage programming took me almost 8 years, until I finally knew I had the strength to take all that hard earned courage to the final level, marital dissolve. I decided that, whereas COURAGE had once had its place as procrastination in my head, it was time for me to hand over to STRENGTH and walk the walk. Courage gave me the strength of mind to take the step into the gaping scary abyss which was essentially the end of a marriage and a watershed in my adult life. Strength is what held me together afterwards. It empowered me to believe that what I had decided upon was for a kinder, more loving and peaceful future life, for myself and those around me. AND this life I now know, does not evade me. It is present every day and I have gratitude for this luscious, hopeful and loving valley that is my life ahead.
But the end result, no matter how fearful and scary it is, gives you the peace, that you knew would eventually honor YOU, for the courage and ultimately the strength it now takes to continue every day, week and month. AND especially when you have the festival of pride that likes to knock at your separated door on random tough days, waiting for you to cave in. Strength, when you have it, is what keeps you from looking back too often to see if you made the right decision. It gives you that resolute understanding ofworthiness, instinct and brilliance to see through the wavering wobblies of being human. GOING BACK? We all know its sometimes easier to turn around, hush your truth and once again stand back in that uncomfortable line. The line of discontent and sadness, of once again handing away your power to control, giving up your core life beliefs and your big heart's truth to be the good Partner. However it can be done, as I did for 6 more years giving my marriage respect, love and good service until once again courage rose up and tapped me on the shoulder. THE HURTING YOU So and especially so, if there were terrible hurtful wrongs done to you, gather up your courage and let strength be your unwavering guide. Know through honoring your incredible, resilient and brave self it will be easier to disarm the guilt, anger and fear that seeps its way very often and so successfully into a divorce. Being able to have a good, respectful and kind divorce is the understanding, self belief and confidence in your decision. It is the knowing that you don't have to continue with the arguments, the emotional slinging of mud and negative energy arrows of dis-empowerment that can fly so gently and dangerously into your marital arena. Whatcourage gave me was the balance of thought, the equilibrium of mind and strength to know that I could change what was no longer serving me in my life.
Be the very coolest, let your strength be your guide and have the courage to start to climb.
"To hold a woman close and kiss her lips is a wasted moment, if one does not in that moment of the kiss taste her spirit and commune with her soul with a deepness that only a true love can know" George Scrase
Do we all KISS enough? Do we have time or indeed make time to kiss the one we love with total heart felt love? Is kissing a portal of entry into a loved one's or indeed anyone's heart and soul? Kisses start when we are young. They are the safety net of love. They are bestowed with the smell of your Mum's favorite scent or the brush of your Dad's prickly stubble on your cheek as they kiss you hello or goodbye or just because you are loved.... Kisses come from love, from our good beating hearts and they are the demonstration of a beautiful, bare soul intent. We really, really want kisses to be there for us when we hurt ourselves. They make everything better, they are the antidote to pain and the panacea for all upset that can be thrown up into our day to day lives. Kisses are there to help each other feel immeasurably better, to relieve pain and to know we are loved in that melty, fuzzy and warm kind of way. So then what happens? What happens after a few years in a relationship or marriage? Do we all still feel the need to indulge ourselves in that moment of abandonment of connection, with the dreamy breath on the cheek and that real knowing of the person you are kissing? Or heaven forbid does that soulless perfunctory peck start to rule the legendary Kissing Tree... Do we sneak alittle tonsil hockey in between cooking supper, fielding children traipsing through the kitchen searching for pencils for homework and managing day to day maintenance of our lives .... Or do we just temporarily forget how good it is to kiss each other, to explore and know what it feels like again to really kissthe person you love, truly and unconditionally with your gorgeous heart. If it is, that there is the tiniest chance that you may have forgotten the art of the soulful connection that is kissing. Begin to kiss each other again. Start to explore all the forgotten, less visited ground that melts you both at first base. Enjoy the simplicity and connectivity kissing gives, undaunted in the knowledge that it can make you feel oh so much better. At my wedding 18 years ago, my Ex and I, full of excitement, joy and endless future possibilities took to the dance floor to the wonderful Louis Armstrong's A Kiss to Build a Dream Onand celebrated the first time we kissed which led to hope, love and future blossoming of our lives together. Kissing is the cool, feel good stuff that is heart warming and tummy tingling .... So I am slightly at a loss as to why the French group GRUBUB (Group for the Rehabilitation of the Single Kiss) in the Northern French Town Brest Wants to Reduce Kisses to ONE!!! Quelle horreur .... whereas Paris, other parts and the sunny South are happy to continue with 2 or 3, 4 or 5 ....
So this kissing business... Whether it is with a new or old partner, your husband or your wife. This is the stuff that brings a smile to your lips, puts a little of the light fantastic into your eyes and the flush of a rose tint into the apples of your cheeks.... and does it leave you desiring more ? With love Natasha x
I am so totally happy that my Blog is tickety boo once again.... now we are both ready to rock and roll with the Easter Holidays, happiness positively just oozing out. The gorgeous Head Damsel from Damsels came to my rescue, with the power and patience of sisterhood, she has popped the very excited me back on the blogging super highway.
So after all our servicing and time out, the Blog and I are feeling like it is a great time to check your own internal positivity meter. Its about giving yourself time to say hello to your gorgeous inner child and celebrate the beginning of all things new, Spring like and not forgetting the abundance of fantastical amazeful chocolate ... everywhere....so can't wait until Easter ....
Make space in your life for laughter with your children, your friends and family. The important, supporting and patient people in your life that you know are 100% there for you during your journey. HUG these wonderful people, really hug them and understand the benefits that come with the power of touch and connection. Tell these wonderful people how much you love and care for them. Make SPACE for the incredible YOU! Walk, meditate, read and believe that the sky is not going to fall in because you take time out for yourself. Celebrateyour beauty, the compassion in your big amazing heart and your valuable, important place within this wonder World community. Have gratitude for your Life and start to really live your life. Make changes, positive changes on whichever path your intuition guides you and trust that this is all the good stuff that gives this life of ours awesomeness in every way. Courage, courage, courage. With love X
Adventures afoot... I have put out a positive call to the wonderful Universe, the Law of Attraction and with this Link to The Secret who have handed me a plane ticket for tomorrow morning ... on my own .... with my lovely children left in safe loving hands.....
I am flying away to a strange city.
AEuropean citycrammed with art aplenty, slightly warmer climes and room tobreathe. I am feeling the overwhelming relief, as a tired, stressed and busy human being to have an excitingopportunity to indulge in a little time out... for thesoulstuff that encompasses me in travel, architecture and food....
I feel, at this very moment, whilst packing my standard, 'thou shalt not go bigger or risk public shaming' cabin bag, the mostfortunate, happiest and bravest person. To have a mini adventure, to be able to absorb a little of all the mind expanding stuff that world travel can bring to each of our precious lives.
With the sure beliefin me needing time out and putting the'positive thoughts'out there. I do obviously believe in the big and huge hope that my good friend TRUSTwill magically hand me a plane ticket. WellTrust IS hanging around at this time, hallelujah and knew very well indeed that it could return this Mumma revitalised.
I will be ready in such a short time,rejuvenatedenough to take up the reigns of myLIFEagain and continue with a huge smile onwards and upwards....
So this is part of our life bag, we ALL need, as human beings to forget and have that time out from the frenetic pulse of life that engulfs us at times, be it for a day, a weekend or a longer period of time. Fearing any outcome of the'chicken lickensky' that is deemed to come tumbling down factor is not going to move any of us forward.
Stuck in the headspace of those fear monkeys, leaves us sad, trapped and frustrated for never making that ticket happen. What gives me more of the raging fear monkey days than swallowing our dear Pound, the Euro or Dirham is NOT being brave enough to book thatticket.
My blog seems also to be protesting too much and has gone on strike. In as much that it refuses to publish pictures for its ownself-glamourfication. So it too, it would seem is a little 'down' in the mouth and in need of respite care. Perfect and serendipitous timing...
So if you could grant me a couple of days, until the end of the weekend ....for my Blog and I to be ready and revitalised, fixed for pictures and the like. We will I can assure you, come bouncing back with a whole heap of enthusiasm for the joys of travelling alone, being brave and putting a warm, 'what will be' adventurous smile on my face..... Now .... what AM I going to pack ....? With love Natasha