Sunday, 8 October 2017

Choosing Your Divorce Battles and Mindfully Letting Go!

Heads up on the liberal use of a powerful word...

So yesterday I had a perfect parcel of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson arrive in my post box. And as I do, and sometimes do not give a f*ck, I dived head on in to see how good this attitude really is. How much does or does not giving a f*uck affect us?  


I wondered about the energy - be it positive or negative that fuels this powerful word, that makes us either laugh or cry, feel beautiful or ugly, small or powerful. This word gets used a lot before, during and after a divorce or breakup. It has the power to fully start argument and to end them, it is the difference to the level of heat in a disagreement or agreement. It is used liberally and the thought of using it in our lives to 'let go' rather than 'hold on' amused me.

Divorce as we know, has been, for way too many years a place where emotions, wills and narcissistic behaviours properly hand out together. It is a place in peoples lives where both men and women regularly bringing their tired asses back for a really unkind bun fight.  The sort of unpleasantness that leaves humans really depleted, exhausted and nerves raw with the kind of Ren and Stimpy cartoon character bloodshot eyes-out-on-springs effect. 
  
Are you not all done with fighting before agreeing to divorce? Is it at all possible that now the divorce decision has been made, that we need to give so much of a f*ck? Is now not the time to begin putting everything back in to some kind of semblance of kindness and workable order? So you can both separately, and with your kids, continue on with your lives with fewer battle scars mentally, emotionally and sadly sometimes physically?  

Why does having a divorce supercharge the dynamos of anger, hatred and fierce fighting in lovely people once the hardest decision has been made?  Surely the divorce flag stuck on the top of an Marital Emo peak has to be the ultimate in demonstrating the 'un-workability' of a relationship. So why is it that divorcees choose to climb it again and again with court filled battles, each time a little more weary, financially poorer and dragging the kids along for the epic journey of distress too?

Choosing some of the 'battles' that present themselves whilst going through divorce is surely an opportunity to subtly not give a f*ck about what you had to either go through or live with in your married life.

So how can we make calmer choices and pick our fights with our Ex's more wisely?  Think back to a bad patch - you know the one which would have left you feeling emotionally bruised and depleted of all positive energy, busily running around like an avoidance crazed person trying to forget the fight that just happened... And ask yourself this... Was what just happened all worth it? 


Could a simple email have asked the question rather than a raging phone call or turn up at the front door and be the Netflix special of the night? Being more aware of how our actions make our bodies feel after an fight with our ex can help us also to take that magic mindful step back and not enter into the fragile divorce war torn zone...

Try this: 
  • Do something different like become aware of how you feel after an argument, notice how good do you feel when you properly choose to make a decision not to go in guns blazing? 
  • Perhaps take a step back, be the bigger person and not react or fire off?
  • You may not have 'won' because you didn't react, but know that in some way you did win, you held your counsel and you did something different.
  • Notice if this feels better. Is there a sense of relief? Is this a step closer to you making a better, more conscious and calmer decision next time? By not giving negative energy to a situation, did it lose some of its fire?
Picking our battles is difficult when we are emotionally raw. Learning acceptance is about noticing how letting go of the times that really, really don't matter in the grand scheme of divorce, is better than holding on to the poison of anger, fight energy and disappointment. It doesn't make what happened right. But it could just be about the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck...


Have a great rest of the week, go with awareness and kindness into whatever you chose to do...

Natasha x

Thursday, 5 October 2017

How Divorce Can Spectacularly Screw Your Kids Up With BBCs Dr Foster

So with a week to go, I have been running through my book pitch with various friends. One was prompted to ask me if I had seen the latest episode of a BBC TV series running at the mo called Dr Foster.  I replied I hadn't, for reasons such as time and other activities.  She said "Watch this episode".

So this morning I took time to watch a disturbing, deeply saddening car crash of 57 mins of TV.  It was indeed a shocking demonstration... how parents can spectacularly screw up their child/children during a divorce.  Simply in this particular divorce, as can happen in others, the fight had really become all about the parents. We parents try very hard, when we are going through tough life events, to avoid opening up our life bags. You know the ones we hide inside of us, the ones most likely to be stuffed full of raw emotions, deepest fears and experiences or may be not... Then one day, when we are in hurtsville proper, the residue of the most painful of human emotions then seeks to find its way out in other ways. It no longer gently knocks on our conscious mind's door, but instead spills out into our lives and creates proper life carnage along the way for all involved. 

Photo by Annie Spratt 

Divorce is a separation, and really, if you have children this means that until the two of you have sorted your stuff out, it is no longer about you. We all know those ageing parents who still continue to harbour anger, bitterness and unpleasantness towards their Ex, my god, all those years holding all that toxicity inside... 


So what can we do?  We can get healthier emotionally, mentally and physically. We can be kind to ourselves first so we are able to extend kindness to our Ex's, and begin as grown ups, to build a firmer, albeit different foundation for our children. They are managing what is happening as they see it, do we really think they can handle dealing with the back log of everything that we parents have been carrying around for years too?  
Photo by Caleb Woods

Holding onto pain, shame, guilt and anger is our emotional appendix of our life.  When it bursts it is dangerous, it damages our health, our bodies and our emotional well-being. The fall out is our children carrying a whole load more than they need to.


Here are my thoughts on not screwing up your children in divorce:



Photo by Carolina Sanchez B
Communicate Away From Your Children: Until you are in a better place to show your children you are indeed two human beings who can be kind to each other know this. 

Your children are not equipped to deal with the level of emotions flying around between you, and really do you as a loving parent want them to? Find a place - go for a walk, preferably up a big hill to take some energy out of your conversation to start with. Have someone be with your children so you can talk elsewhere.  Go to meditation if you can afford it - we dug deep, borrowed and found the money to go to meditation. Wherever you go to talk, go with a positive intention to listen, talk kindly, gently and chunk it down so the topics are manageable. 

Children Have Spot on Radars - do not underestimate the obvious negative energy mass swirling between two people that your children pick up on.  They know before you do that there is trouble brewing. They know how you are feeling before you've even seen your Ex for a meeting.  Be mindful of how you are feeling in front of them before a drop off or pick up.  Take deep breaths, check in with yourself, if you need to try this mini-meditationAs parents we are in the thick of our thoughts and we do not always see clearly, but children do, they know.  They have a mighty fine 6th sense. 

Sit on Those Emails - so back in the day my grandmother used to say simply "Sleep on it".  If you have big emails, communications to have, write the email or text, put it into draft and sleep on it, sit on it for an hour, distance yourself from the emotion of it for a while. AND do not be thinking that drinking wine is going to make you a divorce wordsmith - because it just isn't - is it?  Entering into a communication battle is not going to help the situation, and ultimately is going to impact on your children's, yours and your Ex's mental health.

No Talking About Your Ex - no matter how mind exploding, anger inducing and frustrating our Ex's can be, just try not to talk about them in front of your children. I grew up in a household where this happened. It was just a whole load of stuff that I didn't want to know about, carry or hear. I am pretty sure that children in this day and age are still feeling the same. If you really feel the need to vent about your Ex - and why add more negative energy to the divorce pot? Then go do it - a good shout out at the top of a hill worked for me, go for a walk and chunter away to your heart's content, try if you can not to spread it about, it makes people feel bad.  

Even better pay to speak to a good counsellor, coach or me about your Ex, just not to your gorgeous children. If they are your Ex's children, they are half of him or her - does that make them all those things you hate about your Ex? Here's a thought
Photo by Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash
- is there any wonder we have a society lacking in self-worth and compassion, just hating the bits of ourselves that were attributed by one of our parents to the other. 


So back to Dr Foster. I had to go out for a walk, put my face in the sunshine and properly hold back tears of utter sadness of this episode.  What this has given me is more confidence that my book about changing the way we look after our own well being through a divorce, cannot come soon enough.  

Be the light for your children

Natasha Xx


I AM SO EXCITED!!!!  I have LITERALLY just created a private FB Group How to be a Divorce GoddessIf you want to be part of a positive, supportive and new divorce community, it would be lovely if you can join us.

My mission is to change the way society looks at divorce by creating a community of 'empowered, good and kind' divorce trail blazers, the showers, the way seers and goddesses and to do divorce differently! This is where I will be spending time during the week to answer any questions, share with you thoughts and tips to help you along your journey, post my FB lives and have some fun - laughter is the best medicine! 

My wish for this group is to support each other, share experiences of the breakthroughs, tips to help keep your emotional, physical and mental well-being in a good place through your divorce and meet like minded lovely people all going through big stuff.

Join me here: Divorce Goddess

Instagram: Divorce Goddess
Twitter: Divorce_Goddess


Friday, 28 July 2017

How We Feel When Our Kids Go On Holiday With Our Ex...

So today I am feeling a little funny... it is indeed that time of the year when the longer holidays happen.  It is the time when those house monkeys, little people, or whatever you choose to call your children/teenagers, pack their suitcases and go on holiday with your Ex. 


So this year I was mindfully aware of those persistent wobbling shout outs of “they're leaving, they're leaving and soon” tapping at my grey matter. I took deep breaths and continued packing wet suits, hiking boots and other such requisites for a seaside holiday in the UK, getting everything ready to be packed in my Ex's car. 

So here is the BIG thing, for most of the time, these gorgeous little people of ours are intrinsically part of our everyday life. We know holidays are going to happen, and even in the most chilled of estranged households with farewells full of care, love and adieus in song, once you close that door to your home the house still becomes oh so quiet... and I have a Bjork song going off in my head at this juncture and feel for a few minutes afterwards like I might explode with sadness.

I know I have not met any divorcee as yet who whoops it up as soon as their kids have left.  It is like the life tracks switch with an almighty ALL CHANGE, and our human emotions never fail to present themselves in their raw soft 'belliedness' as a sense of loss abeit temporarily. 

I find the first day the house monkeys leave properly hard.  I mooch about really very mindlessly, I may make a cup or several of tea then let them go cold. I casually flick through my social media which can be a soul destroying thing to do anyway during the summer holidays, let alone if you are a single parent, with eyes glued to the wall of family togetherness on holidays.  

And this is OK - of course it is, but just on this particular day of loved ones departure the LONELY WHAMMY hits. This year my Ex is taking the house monkeys to good friends - you know the old ones who you are both still in contact with, but this time it is with his lovely partner.  I feel sad and yet happy for them all - well why would you not? Oh and just a little bit sorry for myself.  

So next I fire up the laptop and go straight to a last min holiday website and where, just for a few minutes – actually it’s probably more like an hour, I transport myself off on a fanciful trip to Rome or a Greek island or somewhere where I can lie on the beach for the next couple of weeks that they are away.  Except… this isn’t going to happen, not this year - why because that really would be a huge, even unbearable avoidance tactic... why so? 

Because… I am committed to writing a book, based on this, my blog with all sorts of divorce experiences, a big dose of helpful stuff and a whole load of helpful and supportive gorgeousness.  I’ve also taken step off my comfort zone cliff and signed up for a course with Shaa Wasmund of Stop Talking Start Doing book fame.  So there is no way on earth am I going to be able to, just yet anyway, take myself off to a hot sizzling beach and idly zizz around with a cheeky gin and tonic on the side.

So how do we all get through the day THEY go away?  Are we our children's dependants? Yes for me it does feel very much like it especially during times like this summer holiday thing. What I do is this, I always set myself a task and a half to keep me out of mischief… either a course to finish, a book to write or a house move – get me with the pressure thing! This year my task is to kick my book writing into touch.  

So for the rest of this first day, after the virtual mini break on said laptop, I go into being kind to myself mode. I do a little deep breathing to help calm my thoughts or combine both on a walk up into the woods near to where I live.  I perch on my fav tree stump and I breathe and I gather up the wilder, more unhelpful and busier thoughts and pop them off on their way off into the skies. I take in everything around me and think of all the wonderful things I am grateful for – this can be a long list on a day like today… I love being in nature because it works - it truly flippin' works when you need to destress – it’s magic what happens to me after time in amongst the natural green stuff.  


My house is STILL deafeningly quiet, so I may say a casual “hi” to my inner teenager. I ignore the vast array of teenage playlists on Spotify and I put some of my own shake ass crazy tunes on Spotify and I rock it out for a full 30 minutes. Exhausting and exhilarating myself all at the same time and hearing the music I love!  I smile - how can I not when my body is all tingly from dancing, with amazing energy moving and whooshing through me, reminding me I am alive and happy!  

It is easy to hunker down and want to be a little small after our kids have left for their hols. We can either take the opportunity to have a pickety unkind pick introspectively, mess with our own heads and have a cuppa with the fear monkeys, or we can be kind and compassionate to ourselves. So we can re-tune into the different energy in our homes when it is just us, ourselves there and be with the quiet. Accepting and embracing the peacefulness of listening to the background noise of our home as it moves, the birds outside or to just being with our thoughts, kindly.

This year I have also bought a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo which I am curling up with tonight... I look forward to having a sneaky clear out of my house monkey's enclosures and well, this just helps me feel a little nearer to them...  

Wishing you all wonderful holidays.  
Love Natasha

Monday, 19 June 2017

Finding Love or Love Finding You?

So I am on a bit of a run with this 'love thing' at the moment... Feeling the Summer-like energy of others as they are finding love and the excitement of new kisses exploding like flowering buds and butterflies in the garden of joy and bliss...  So the musings this week include, am I feeling incapable of finding my great love? The answer is an unquestionable no.  Am I worried about being single? Negative again. I am indeed content with the fact that love will find me, when it is good and ready and my challenge is for my mind to allow it to happen.

The many variables of elusive love is a mission for so many, this frantic - will I won't I - will he or she? I read recently that Millennials are beginning to realise their whole ethos around love and the need to control it is not going so well.  With high expectations, vague and debatable commitment and failure to be authentic is now properly muddying their romantic waters.

So... where do we find love? When 'should' we find love or 'should' we even be trying to find love? Divorce and separation as with love, happens through all the seasons, and with it for so many come the wondrous opportunities of the jewel in our human crowns.  And this is the thing, finding love in the depths of the super internet highway of apps and websites can become all consuming. Checking dating sites can become the new FB go to, the elation, disappointments and frustrations being created when an orange message bubble pops up. Our pesky monkey minds have died and gone to mischief heaven... these sites whilst for some are the answer and love is veritably found, are for many a source of angst, disappointment and confidence wobbling exercises - as if we didn't need any more of it after divorce... 

Is it possible then to try, just for a while, to not seek love but instead allow love to find us. When I teach mindfulness I encourage my clients to try practising acceptance with 'letting go' rather than being resigned and 'holding on'. So is the thought that we could allow love find us, rather than the relentless seeking of it, not be such an enormous relief to so many? Just 'being' with the idea that if you are not on the great 'love' search that you could just possibly still find love by just 'being' rather than 'doing'?

So 'should' we be finding love, with the constant consumption of our spare time on our devices? The feverish checking of messages, a cheeky Smile or Like, noticing how we are feeling as we go through the yes's, the no's and the lack of messages or do we just sit back and wait for Mr or Ms Properly Right come waltzing through our door? I believe and trust that love will happen if you let it.  

This is not to say I am shying away from online opps for fear of rejection or disappointment, only that I am OK with not having to search. My feelings of self-worth are good, positive and I feel fully in my power.  I know love is there for me, with its sneaky unexpected boom out of nowhere pop of cherubic 'bullseye-ishness', as opposed to "when I have sorted my business out, my teenagers finished their exams or before I get my car fixed"... because I fully believe that love happens when we least expect it, when we aren't trying to control it and that I find even more exciting. 

Love is not something that should be on our list of things to 'do', real love flows like water. And when we get busy and build obstacles, scared of declaring our underbellies to another, attempting to dam the stream of water, and like water, real good sweet love always gently finds a way through, trickling around our avoidance style efforts. 

The loves in my life have been the ones least expected, the kind of loves that caught me off guard and the mind blowing serendipitous ones. I know this happens when I pay least attention to any aspect of my life. The Universe gets to work and stuff happens, it is our challenge to let go of our control freakery and fear, paranoia and perhaps a little of the social shame for not having a partner... and trust lovely folk it can happen, with a little trust.

Enjoy your week and may someone lovely bump into you...

Natasha x

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Ex's and Mothers Day After Divorce

Ok so Exs and Mothers Day... how does this feel?  Divorcing kindly takes effort, big effort and respect, attention and time... being in a good place, if possible with your Ex leads to a far more harmonious life for your kids, for you and your wider circle of family and friends.

Mother's Day is one of those such days that is important for everyone.  Our own mum's surrogate mums and even the mum of your kids, who, (perhaps you don't care to or want to remember that hurt you through divorce) can with a little stepping up, be honoured for the sake of your kids. Even for just one day of the year can make the difference and would it not be a gift to your kids to know their mum is worthy of respect and kindness for their own well being, sense of worth and development? Their mum is half of them, of who they are and children need to know that the person they were borne by, despite any marital misgivings, is important.

We all know there is merit in respecting your Ex, as the person who bore your kids and for their future in helping create a climate of respect for women in the world and this can begin at home with you.  Do we not think this is where we, as humans begin to build a firmer, more cohesive and respectful society starting in our own community?

Could it be entirely possible within your power to do something completely beyond your comfort zone, outside of the box, to ensure your kids have the resources and ideas to help celebrate their Mother's Day?  How good would you feel that for even one day, you are supporting your kids as you acknowledge the importance of their Mum in their life by helping organise a card or bunch of flowers - even from the garden? Check in to this post to see how on his Ex's Birthday Billy Flynn made a difference.

My Ex has a saying "happy ex-wife, happy life" - it works for us - we respect each other enough to support this - neither of us wanting to continue rowing or arguing after we separated and divorced.  We were all done with this during the last couple of years of our marriage and so why go for more?  Can Mother's Day be an opportunity to make some painful stuff less so? Arguing is exhausting, energetically draining and a waste of time... what we can do is help each other and if by giving the children the chance to see that good stuff can come out of sad endings, this day might just be a chance...

Mothers Day is an ideal opportunity to show up for your kids, maybe surprise their mum and surely... any level of support, kindness and effort on Mother's Day is going to be appreciated... so go do it ... help be the reason for smiles on this day.

Natasha x

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mindful Internet Dating After Divorce


So there is a little part of me tempted to explore the avenue of internet dating to 'find' love. Having spent a weekend with a happy divorced school friend who successfully found love via the internet, I thought it about time I took a peek. Not the swipe left or right, or fishing site, but a committed, authentic and productive portal of intention and fun, honesty and laughter.

So bracing myself I logged on, thought briefly about what I wanted to say, I wrote a few lines, answered half of the questions about films, books and the like and ventured to press go... it was free to begin with and that felt less scary, with little commitment and time to explore.

I spent a couple of days looking at messages and approaches - feeling good about the attention and curious too. The site had 'hooked' me, I wanted to see faces and I liked that it was initially about who people were rather than looks, this dating site felt more authentic. I contemplated the money screen and how this was going to change things for me, payment is a mindful intention to commit to something.  

So the paying bit had me thinking, when we see an advert for a product or service, we are being sold something.  We buy into it with the full force of quality assurance and service laws behind us.  Even the big giants of second hand goods on the internet have processes in place monitoring quality, truth and integrity. So why do we not do afford the same respect to our own selves, as we sell our 'I am single, I would love to meet someone who will hold me, kiss me, cherish me, love and want to spend the rest of my life with' pitch. WOW indeed a huge order for a service or product provision.... so why are there so many dating men and women not giving each other the integrity, honesty and the respect we deserve?  

For divorcees and single folk there is a whole load of emotional pain, hurt and heartache on the cards before we even press the 'pay' button. So why do so many bypass the common laws of humanity by presenting false personas when it comes to love over the internet? Do the untruths attract back what is put out there?  Do we not all want honesty - especially second time round? My friend and her partner both lied about their ages and are blissfully happy. So is this about the law of attraction, luck or karma? What does help us find our soul mate? 

Is honesty something we all want? If you are not feeling gorgeous in your body - get fit and healthy, celebrate your extra years and believe your life experiences can only help you in the next relationship. Do the emotional work before you internet date and ask yourself whether you really are ready for a new relationship? Are you ready to make time for a relationship if the right person comes along?  If you have kids, are they ready? Is this about your loneliness? Lovely people - get comfy with your stuff, with who you are and know that you are worthy as you are... 

Be mindfully aware of how others on the site could be feeling, what they may have gone through and their reasons for pressing 'pay' too. Thank people for their interest and be interested in them, be thoughtful and kind. Try not to set high expectations or thoughts about your date, try not to pressurise yourself and focus your attention positively as to why you are on the site. Have fun, flirt and allow it to be easy without the need to control too much. Be open to meeting your soul mate and a love to get old with...

So who am I connecting with on this particular site? Kind, polite and regular smiley guys with a whole load of gentle honesty about life. I've found a group of men who have the same thoughts and beliefs about life as I do, who have been through some tough times and are on a journey of self-discovery and growth.   

I've had my first blind date for years, was I nervous - yes, disappointed - no because he was authentic. After a coffee we ended up in the local vinyl shop comparing our years of music buying and laughing... there was no pressure except for a cheeky lunge for a kiss at the end and I came away feeling that truth, gut instinct and kindness can help us all meet good and lovely people online.  

My question to you is this... is it about where you go shopping that matters or is it knowing your self-worth and being fully comfortable in your own skin that attracts the right people in? Is kindness and respect important? Is being mindful of whether you are fully ready to move on, with a positive and committed intention going to attract your soul mate or is it luck? We shall see...

Natasha x 

For daily inspiration and top tips follow me on Twitter or Instagram and I can follow you too! 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Divorce & Happier Handovers for Kids and Co-Parents

Handovers for parents and kids during and after divorce can be difficult, challenging and painful. 

Kids of divorced parents essentially have two homes and it is the kids, NOT us, who are on the move, packing, repacking and sleeping in different beds. Generally, we parents aren't the ones changing homes each week or month, it is our kids. So how can we best help them?

Take a moment to check in with how the kids may be feeling with all this moving, ask yourself how would you feel, have been there yourself and already know? Next take on board all the possible crapola of parental anger, guilt and painful energy you and your Ex can put out at handover - I still remember my parent's handovers today...

We hear stories of parents who stop half way down the street, their kids having to walk the final 30m of shame to their other parent's house... because these two adults couldn't face each other. The stony-faced, rushed and humiliating handovers in service stations or grandparents being meditators? Divorcees, we need to shape up! Are these not the sort of 'handovers' that make us recoil, feeling the shame and guilt inside that we couldn't try a little harder to be kinder to our Ex for our kid's sakes?  

What I know is this, working together as divorced parents is so worth the looks of love and unbridled excitement clearly visible on kid's faces as soon as they see their Dad or Mum. What a gift out of all the pain to know that handover time can be easier, more co-operative and kinder? How good does it feel when handovers are uncomplicated, simple and compassionate? Do you know how this feels?

An easier said than done reality for many couples I hear you shout. Work is needed with drop offs, they are big, impactful moments of emotion around children, and happen regularly. I am not here to judge others mean's and ways of managing their children's drop off', however, what I do feel is that it is the children left shouldering our adult life bags of "stuff" during bad handovers, and really is this what we all really want? 

So I wanted to share 5 ways for happier kids handovers.

#1 GETTING THE PARENTS ORGANISED

One of the biggest stressors for kids is not knowing what is happening and when. Not everyone is an organisational wizard, so for the children's sake try to help your Ex get organised by supporting them with helpful, not condescending suggestions. For happier handovers, give yourself permission to let go of the frustrations you had when you were married. Try to be a little flexible with your thoughts. Perhaps gift your ex - nicely, a kid's visit diary or if you are tech minded - set up an electronic diary or calendar and show them how to use it - be helpful! And use it! Help each other to help future handovers be happier.

#2 GETTING THE KIDS ORGANISED 

Get your kids ready and be on time! Helping your kids as much as possible learn valuable life skills like getting themselves organised. Do whatever is possible to have your kids feel happier that they are going to see their other parent; take favourite toys; snuggle blankets; school uniform; swim gear and have the majority of it packed ready to go. Be on time! Kids worry if they've forgotten stuff, or if they haven't packed yet... help them, encourage them and lovingly support them... oh and did I say... BE ON TIME?

#3 YOU CAN'T ORGANISE YOUR EX 

Aaaahhhh the frustrations and the lack of control... yes! Ex's can be difficult, they have bad days, no sleep nights, they feel ill, they are angry... you can't change this and some days you just have to choose your battles, let it go... Handovers are not about you or your Ex, they are about your kids. Kindness, respect and understanding for your own peace of mind, and for your kids ... and just maybe, it can be as simple as taking a deep breath and letting go of any outcome... letting the inner control freakery take a holiday...

#4 HOWEVER YOU CAN ORGANISE YOURSELF

Begin with you, get yourself in order. Check in with your own stress barometer as to how you are feeling? You'll find the stress somewhere in your body, believe me, your body will be hunching, clenching or aching somewhere.  Find your calm mojo before the handover, meditate, breathe deeply, rediscover your inner cool... don't be tempted to drink coffee, alcohol or ramp up negative energies with a bitching session beforehand with a friend or your mum. Look after and nurture yourself, helps you feel calmer and this can only be good for everyone.

#5 HAPPIER HANDOVERS 

Be smiley, smiling helps us feel better! Not the comedic, grit your teeth, frozen face smiles but genuine, warm and soft smiles. Truly wish your gorgeous children a wonderful weekend with their Dad or Mum, gift them your smile so they can relax knowing that it will be okay. Take a moment to ask yourself, how you felt after a smiley goodbye?  Was your gorgeous aching heart beating a little easier? Is your life not worth more of this gentle, kind and compassionate stuff? Is being a BIGGER person with your Ex in front of your kids really that hard?

Life is too short to have us all sad over weekends with our behaviour at handover, the school and working week too stressful to be loaded with anger and pain in families - divorced or otherwise.

Easing up on ourselves and letting go of 'fight club' at handover is a whole load better, gentler and happier for everyone. And our children's lives can only benefit from it...

Natasha x

For daily inspiration and top tips follow me on Twitter or Instagram and I can follow you too! 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Love and Being Single on Valentine's Day - #notjustforvalentines

So once again we all find ourselves in the hearty wash cycle of February. Marinating whether we like it or not immersed in love marketing, preparing mentally, emotionally and physically for the DAY of LOVE that is Valentines Day  ta dahhhhh, so nearly upon us.

"Love" is now literally flooding our purchasing world, in supermarkets, card shops, social media, wine shops, more supermarkets, coffee shops - we are all swimming in the expectation of the possibility of love.   Except for one thing, "Where is the love?" asks the Black Eyed Peas.  If the figures are right, currently in the US 1 in 4 people have no one to turn to or talk to... The saddest of stats on this burgeoning, over-populated and increasingly lonely planet of ours...  Yes indeed, where is the love?  


Perhaps then, we could start with the place we are least likely to look for love and that is within ourselves?  Why so?  Are we so disjointed, distracted or disinterested in who we really are, that we have forgotten that love truly begins with ourselves?  So here is a little experiment... take a few moments, either in your mind or on paper and note down a list of people and things that you love................. How many of you had "me", "myself" or "I" on your list?  If you did, I would love you to say why in the Comments box... people need to hear how good it feels to love yourself... I will start... I love myself because I make myself laugh, I make a mean paella and I trust my intuition.


So if love begins with ourselves, surely then the love we can give others from this place within us is our most authentic love?  Is this why perhaps self-love is sometimes the toughest love?  Is this why it is always an easier option, although not necessarily a less painful one, to go looking for love elsewhere?  Caring, loving and cherishing ourselves gives us the rock-solid foundations and equips us with a whole ocean full of abundant love to give wholeheartedly to another.

Recently, whilst teaching a teen mindfulness session I mentioned February 14th. What I observed were the veils of sadness, despair and anxiety that dropped across lovely, fresh, gorgeous faces with one commenting how she "hated" Valentines Day.  Hate is a strong word for a day supposedly about love... but for this young woman, Valentine's Day is synonymous with everything that is, on so many levels, wrong with our society. Shame, embarrassment, the 'lack' of love, the loneliness felt by too many during the February cloudy gloom?  I am on a roll with my soap box, so throwing in humiliation, judgement and the one-up-man-ship of cards, flowers, tables for two and the contrived extraordinary efforts of the marketeers to continue the shameless highlighting. Or could this be seen as supporting a less than love healthy world helping us all to feel the love? 

What I love is this .... there are so many people old and young in love, and there is nothing so wonderful as seeing love in its most kindest, affectionate and longevitous form. Be it the first buds of young love and shy glances, a couple giggling with their children or later life lovebirds walking hand in hand.... these are all reminders that love is amazing, real and there for us all.  

Are you feeling the loneliness of Valentine's Day? So whether you are single, married or divorced?  I dare you to rise to the challenge of being your own Valentine this year ... Gift yourself some lovely s, buy beautiful underwear and wear it for the day, call someone you care about and tell them you love them - family, friends, children, grandchildren... Let's just not stop the loving because it isn't happening the way we want it to... 

Be the change #notjustforvalentines, use the hashtag to remind your friends and followers that love is not just for Valentines Day... spread the love, be your amazing, loving and authentic self...

Peace and love gorgeous hearts, peace and love Xx


For daily inspiration and top tips follow me on Twitter or Instagram and I can follow you too! 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Love is Reaching Out So We Can All Talk More

There are moments in our lives where we all really need to talk.  We bottle up our thoughts and emotions, feelings and experiences until we either suddenly explode in anger or we harbour our 'stuff' and become a prisoner of the darker days of depression.  Divorce can be a place of shame, guilt and sadness and invariably is the big elephant dressed up in fully stigma regalia in most rooms and is absolutely difficult to talk about.  

After we agreed to divorce, I spent time with coaches and counsellors talking and I talked a lot!  It felt good to talk and to be listened to.  The relief of having a safe, non-judgemental place to speak of my shoulder burdening worries and fears, helped me feel better. I realised too that it was not just me feeling the way I did... this was huge and is, on a simple level, it was just being human.
With this in mind I wanted to share with you 3 simple ways to remind us all how we can help make the biggest difference to those we care about and love today, this week or month...

1.  Pick up a pen and write to someone, telling them how much you love them no matter how little time you spend with them. Let them know how much they mean to you and the gratitude you have for them being in your life.

I am so fortunate, my wonderful Mum always, always sends me newspaper clippings, a card she has found or a scribbled note, in her familiar, crazy, smile inducing handwriting with a quote she has seen and feels I would benefit from.  

And without fail in amongst the faceless junk mail and formal letters, there is, the oh my goodness, the gift, the moment of joy I feel as I open postbox and find an envelope in there with handwritten script on - AND it's not my birthday. 

Whether you are on your own, divorced, or not, the very fact that someone has taken care, time - and money, because stamps are not so cheap anymore, to put pen to paper and has given you time in their thoughts and efforts is loneliness salve.  It shouts a big "someone cares" out and we feel the warmth of kindness. 

So this month I have bought a book of stamps, inspiring cards and I am sending gorgeous people I care about a note telling them I love them, handwritten... simple. And it's not even Valentines yet!

2.  Pick up the phone and have that intention to talk to someone... Take advantage of the free minutes you may get to speak to and check in with a person, who you know may just be having a hard time.  These tough periods of time happen in all our lives and it won't be difficult to chose someone to put a call out to. 

Talking to someone, giving them space to share how they are feeling, letting them compassionately and gently know you care about them and hearing them by acknowledging their problem can be so powerful.  

Those going through separation, divorce or bereavement do not always have someone to talk to.  Couples currently in a difficult relationships may have challenges finding a non-judgemental ear and for many lovely people there can be a gaping hole needing to be filled by caring lovely people close to listen to them.  Pick up the phone, make that call and if they don't pick up, do LEAVE a gorgeous message - tell that person you love them.

3.  And lastly, my top tip, is when we are feeling alone and sad, a little lost and overwhelmed in our lives it is so hard to make contact with others, even with our friends.  It is worth remembering that we too can also reach out and ask for help.  Having courage, being brave and feeling worthy of being heard is part of the process of picking up the phone or writing a note, this is how others know how we are feeling.

Even if we do not always think we are such good company in those darker moments and our inner joyous mojo is feeling less bright - make a list of those you can call, the friends, family and loved ones who do care and will listen to you talk, cry, grumble... 

Everyone has tough times in their lives, SO reach out, smile, send love, write, speak, talk ... and the big fantastic happy bonus is... we feel better in ourselves too... winner!

Wishing you all a happy communicative week ahead.

Natasha x  

Time to Talk is a campaign to encourage and support those suffering from depression, isolation and January blues to talk about their experiences and to give them a safe place to share how they are feeling.  With 1 in 4 people suffering from mental health issues communicating has never been more important.  

Monday, 2 January 2017

Wishing you a wonderful, kind and positive year that is 2017


Wishing you all a truly wonderful, positive New Year that is 2017... may you give present moment awareness to those sometimes scary areas of life that need tending with kindness and love.

May you feel brave enough to speak your words of truth as you honour those in your life who you love with respect, support and compassion.

And finally nurture and tend to yourself so you can shine your lovely light...



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