One of several reasons that qualified me as a life coach was enduring my own series of personal crises. For those who don't know part of my story - I led a blissful few extravagant years when I was rudely awakened, literally, to the feds at my door. And before I could say "bagel & coffee", I had frozen bank accounts, powerful enemies, legal turmoil and a blemished reputation. Some mornings can be brutal!
I often identify with my divorce clients because the separation and divorce process can be remorseless, humiliating, painful, expensive and drawn out- much like my past legal woes. As much as someone wants to move forward, they are often sucked into negative interactions and unnecessary drama. It reminds me of when I wanted nothing more than to start my life fresh but some sort of legal trouble seemed to frequently appear that made me feel stuck.
Dealing with those unexpected and crushing issues discouraged me from pursuing more productive opportunities. It took so much time to gather information that my attorney or the courts required because of an excruciating emotional process connected to the task. It's not time-consuming to email bank account information to the attorney. But when you tack on the anger, sadness, fear and sense of being violated- suddenly the ten-minute task turns into an afternoon of venting, crying, indulging in vices, or anything else.
Here are some beliefs I practiced to keep my head up, be productive and maintain some stability during my legal battles.
Owning the future.
Keeping in perspective that I would not be in the "holding pattern" of the legal procedures forever, I worked my hardest to build a future. It was often helpful to envision my new life looking 2-10 years ahead - depending on when I would be 100% free from my legal messes. Maintaining the image of the strong and happy woman I strived to be guided and motivated me. I now regularly use vision boards as a tangible reinforcement, and I encourage my clients to maintain vision boards of their more successful counterparts as well, to bolster spirits during lulls.
Detoxing and cleansing negativity from the unjust circumstances was a crucial step in regaining some balance in my spirit and laid the foundation of a brighter existence for my family and me. This included cleaning up my social life, working on home life, improving health and more. It was an advantageous way to take my mind off of matters while waiting for the circumstances to play out.
Nurture and empathize.
It was crucial to take care of myself so I could be better available for others - most importantly my young son. My son and I were in it together- what happened to me also happened to him even if he wasn't completely aware of it. At first, I had a rough start facing my problems and was unavailable for both of us. It took some time for me to attend to the overwhelming emotions that came up but pleased I was eventually able to begin to heal. I then had to acknowledge that others had feelings about my troubles as well. It was important to keep communication open with those I cared about even if their thoughts and feelings were tough to hear. Nurturing my own healing process and identifying with those closest enabled me to feel supported and helped those relationships grow.
Taking charge of time.
Legal battles can sometimes make either party feel powerless and most of the time I felt like the powerless party. I soon realized that I did have some control over where and when the legal proceedings entered my daily life. Compartmentalizing helped a lot and I accomplished that by limiting the time spent on the legal matter. I prioritized the days and times to dedicate to reading, responding or further action, only delivering an immediate response if a deadline was looming. This way I was able to focus on more favorable pursuits - such as career and family - building on the positive and minimizing the negative.