Dealing With Divorce: 10 Steps To Serenity
Coach, La-Verne Parris, shares her best tips for finding inner peace and self-love in ten steps. This article is excerpted from the book, The Wellness Code: Your Ultimate Guide to Health, Fitness and Nutrition.
STEP 1: Be Compassionate With Yourself and Love Yourself Unconditionally
This step lies at the heart of how we feel about ourselves and our place in the world. Make a pact with yourself to remain in a place of self-love and compassion about yourself, your feelings, your situation and your relationships. Promising that you will be loving and compassionate with yourself for all days, is the beginning of a journey that is completely free of self-judgment and self-criticism.
Very often it is so much easier for us to cheer other people on and to be a shoulder for them to cry on. We become the “ideal friend” to everyone in our lives, except ourselves. Imagine how good we could feel everyday if we said things to ourselves like: “Wow, what a great outfit!” or “Hey, great job on that presentation today!” Now is the time to discover what it could feel like to overcome challenging situations by being compassionate with yourself.
Wherever you are at this moment in your life, take a minute or two and repeat this statement:
“I love myself unconditionally. I am a good, kind and loving person. I will be patient and compassionate with myself today, and all days, as I move forward with my goals and as I move forward in my life.”
Taking a minute out of each day to be positive, loving and nurturing with ourselves helps us to take control of our own thoughts and actions.
STEP 2: Keep Track of and Be Aware of Your Self-Talk
Simply put, Self-Talk is how we talk to ourselves on a daily basis. The average person has between 12,357 and 60,000 thoughts in one day . If we start out our day on a negative note without making the conscious decision to become more positive, it is likely that we will end the day on that very same negative note. However, if we start out the day acknowledging that we are feeling a little negative, but that the day could improve, then we have already lifted our feelings from a negative state to a more positive state. The key to healthy self-talk is to begin keeping track of your negative thoughts and replacing them with more loving and kind thoughts.
Negative Thoughts: I feel awful today. Why did I stay up so late last night? How am I going to make it through this day?
Positive Replacement Thoughts: I’m a little tired because I went out last night. I deserve to have a social-life. I work really hard all the time. I’ll make sure that I drink lots of water and try to take get some fresh air at lunchtime.
Do you see how changing our thoughts can automatically helps us to change our mood? By changing our moods and remaining on a path of self-love and nurturing, we can begin to change specific aspects of our lives.
STEP 3: Address the Root Issues of Your Unhappiness
With compassion and positive self-talk in your arsenal, you can now begin to lovingly question yourself and examine how to become happier and more fulfilled in your life. Understand that this step is on-going, just as the other steps are; because as you continue to grow and change in your life, so will the situations and circumstances that you would like to change.
Taking the time to peacefully and patiently ask yourself: “What would I like to change in my life?” can indeed be a self-empowering moment. For it is in this moment that you can be honest with yourself about your past, present and future. You can also begin to forgive yourself for any past hurts and disappointments you have visited upon yourself and others.
During this self-examination, many root issues are revealed, as well as their connected satellite issues. Whatever your root and satellite issues are, this preliminary stage of compassionate self- inquiry is an essential part of your happiness.
STEP 4: Identify the Satellite Issues that Are Outgrowths of the Root Issue
In this step you are taking a deeper look at how your root issues have affected other areas of your life. One negative issue in our lives is usually attached to multiple satellite issues. For example, if a person’s root issue is improved health and fitness and she begins her journey towards this goal by eating healthier foods, and increased exercise, she will see and feel the rewards of her hard work. She will begin to feel better about her appearance and start wearing nicer clothes, or try a new hairstyle.
As she begins to feel more confident and free from insecurities, she starts attending and participating in more professional conferences. Because she has become more confident, she is increasingly taking more risks and putting herself in new situations that are benefiting her.
STEP 5: Identify the Goals You Want to Accomplish
Make a list of different short-term and long-term goals that you would like to accomplish.Creating this distinction between short-term and long-term goals allows you to understand which goals are long-term or on-going, and which goals can be realized over a shorter period of time with tangible results. Writing down your goals also allows you to see, and question, the amount of time and energy required to achieve each goal.
STEP 6: Create a Roadmap for Each Goal
Now that you have already identified your short-term and long-term goals, it is time to begin mapping out how you will reach these goals. For example, if a person’s goal is to receive a promotion at his job, his roadmap should contain practical milestones that will help him get that promotion. One milestone should include a list of different academic courses and/or trade-related courses that would help him to advance professionally. Another milestone could include a list of key people in his desired field for informational interviews. The purpose of an informational interview is to speak with individuals who are currently working at your desired level and in your desired field. Hearing the experiences of others and taking note of their suggestions can be an invaluable resource for someone seeking career satisfaction.
STEP 7: Allow Yourself to Grow and Change
While you are on your journey of self-development, it is highly likely that you will release old, negative habits and negative people. As you put your energies into more positive pursuits, you will naturally have less energy for negative situations and negative people. You may notice a subtle shift in yourself and the things that you once liked to do. You may also sense yourself becoming increasingly uncomfortable around people who believe they were put on this earth solely to gossip and complain.
By giving yourself permission to react according to how you feel at this particular moment, you are acknowledging your own growth. You are also ushering in a new era in your own life that is characterized by strength and determination.
STEP 8: Acknowledge Each Milestone and Each Accomplishment
As you continue to take responsibility for your happiness, it is very important that you recognize each milestone and each accomplishment. Think back to when you were a child or young adult. Which types of celebrations did you enjoy the most? Did you have a ball at big parties? Or, did you prefer hanging out with a few close friends? Perhaps, you were the more solitary type who just loved looking up at the night sky?
Whichever celebratory scenario best fits your personality, start incorporating it every time you have completed a milestone on your roadmap or you have accomplished a goal. Get into the habit of being good to yourself by treating yourself to little things. Take a walk at lunchtime, write a poem, call an old friend, do any positive thing that makes you happy. You do deserve to be happy.
STEP 9: Be Grateful and Self Check-In
On your journey through improved well-being, it is crucial that you regularly appreciate the blessings in your life and that you monitor your feelings. Begin keeping a gratitude journal. The simple, yet powerful, act of being thankful for what you have can, over time, transform your life. By writing down the people, and things, for which you are thankful automatically changes your energy from lack to abundance.
Self check-in is a very practical and useful tool as it keeps you present in the moment. You are showing yourself kindness, consideration and compassion. Wherever you are, you can take a moment to ask yourself: “Okay, how am I feeling about this?” or “What can I do to make myself feel better right now?” Going through this quick self check-in will also help you to separate multiple issues occurring simultaneously.
STEP 10: Re-evaluate Goals and Be Ready to Set New Ones
Keep an open mind about your goals. While you are becoming more positive and productive you will notice that you need to augment your goals, or put them to rest and take on new challenges.
For example, if your goal is to complete your first marathon, you may want to plan other athletic challenges you want to try after you finish the marathon.
Planning ahead helps you to maintain a positive frame of mind about your goal, and it also staves off the well-known anti-climactic feeling people experience after achieving a monumental goal.
La-Verne Parris is a Divorceify professional. Read more about La-Verne and view her profile in our professional directory.