The Power of Staying Present During Divorce

Given the chaos and pain that accompanies divorce, the idea of consciously choosing to stay in the present moment can be difficult and feel counter-intuitive. Divorce is the most overwhelming, confusing, and uncertain time of your life and is compounded by an emotional rollercoaster of grief. We typically want to escape, to be anywhere but ‘here now’.


We unconsciously time travel…


Our mind ricochets from fretting the past or trying to figure out what went wrong, to fearing the future because we have no idea how this journey is going to play out on the other side. With the mind being so chaotic and noisy, it is easy to get lost in our thoughts. And where our thoughts go our feelings follow. We end up reacting to a version of the past or future and hemorrhaging emotional energy that we deeply need now, in the midst of the transition.


Our time traveling mind distracts us from what is happening here and now. We hamstring ourselves in the current moment as we unknowingly bring our depleting emotions of past or future into the current situation. This causes us to be more reactive and less effective - the opposite of what we need to navigate divorce successfully.


We feel even more powerless in a process where so much is truly out of our control. We cannot even see that we have given up our power by unconsciously choosing to pile past and future troubles onto our real struggles of today.


We complicate rather than simplify divorce


The complexities of divorce are far reaching and complex. When we time travel we live in our minds rather than in the world. We diminish our ability to understand, absorb, strategize and be effective in the here and now. There are so many issues that need our full attention during divorce from becoming familiar with the legal process, understanding the intricacies of our financial situation, caring for children, managing emotions all while attempting to stay effective professionally.


When we stay present we are freed to attend to the complex issues of divorce with our whole mind and all of our emotional energy. We have more clarity and calm and consequently we engage more confidently and creatively in each step of the process. Full presence also enables us to experience the full flavor of our experiences. Presence invites us to tune into the joy of our children, the love of our friends and support team and healing power of a walk in nature, a stunning sunset or vitally needed quiet time.


So how can we avoid being hijacked from the present moment


Perhaps you have had a practice of presence and you lost your way in the storm of divorce. Or like me, you have been fairly unconscious throughout your life and never even noticed your tendency to time travel and the value of staying present. Whichever camp you fall into, here are a few tips to begin a Presence Practice that is bound to benefit and strengthen you through divorce.


The first step is to bring our conscious awareness to our thoughts. They are loud, noisy, magnetic and sticky. Once your notice the thought, you surrender it, just release it and return to the present moment. The more you practice bringing your attention to your thoughts, the quicker you catch, release and refocus on the present.


This concept is simple, the practice more difficult


When you begin, you will notice your thought AFTER the thought causes an emotional reaction and you time travel for a bit. The more awareness you bring to your thoughts the faster you notice and release them. In time, you will catch yourself right at the beginning and won’t even ride off on the back of the thought and suffer the emotions that accompany that thought.


It is good to have things to refocus on


  • Gratitude is always a good one. Get granular with it. I am grateful for X is a surface thought and won’t last. I am grateful for my kids because they bring me so much joy, have taught me a new level of love, are beautiful in their innocence, wisdom (fill in the blank).
  • A prayer or mantra is another ‘tool’ to have for shifting your attention. I used to say “This too shall pass” over and over until I was able to release my mind from being hijacked.
  • A memory or plan such as a holiday, celebration or event. Again, focus on the details to give your mind time to truly shift. 


If you struggle with time traveling and would like a co-pilot to help bring you home to here and now, reach out for a Rapid Relief Call today. It is free and will offer you immediate relief while you experience the power of and possibility in working with a divorce coach.


Our 12 Step Recovery Series offers more on this topic in Step 8 - Practice Presence.   (You can find us on iTunes, Tunein Radio, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, etc.)




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