July 22, 2019

Five Essential Elements to Feeling Better, Single, Apart or Together!

When life throws a curve ball, you may be overcome with feelings of sadness, confusion, pain or despair.   You may want your ex to change, your finances to be different, the betrayal to be undone, the law to be different. While venting and complaining may have emotionally protective value, ultimately they’re not going to make you feel better.  And, focusing on the negative is not going to change the fundamental facts of your life.  However, there are simple perspective shifts that can help you navigate any adversity  and make all the difference in how you feel, how relate to yourself, with your family and in the world around you.

So, how can you start to feel better when everything involving your life seems to be falling apart? By exercising your own agency and starting to take ownership of your power to alter your thinking. The most powerful, and compelling part of each of our reality is informed by the stories in our minds.  That inner narrative informs all that you see, do and feel.  And, while it’s powerful, with some small shifts in perspective and tweaks to our inner narrative you can shift it slowly, and begin to feel better.  Your present circumstances do not define you.  Each moment is an opportunity to press re-set and begin to cultivate a new reality. Positive re-framing the facts of your life will activate your ability to heal.

If you take a look at what I call the Five Essential Elements, you can begin to shift your internal narrative in a positive way.  Those five elements are: patience, respect, clarity, peace and forgiveness.  By focusing on just one of these five elements each and every day, you will become better equipped to move forward in a healthy way.

The Five Essential Elements allow you to press re-start from wherever you are so that your life can truly become better.

1) Patience

Patience through and beyond your difficult process is the key to your future. It opens the path to true feeling calm, and it gives you the strength to live in the present moment with mindful awareness. When you practice patience, you’re training your mind to transform what could be a catastrophe into an intentional and constructive future for your family and for you.

2) Respect

Self respect can be elusive and the most important to hold onto when you are going through shame inducing experience. Respect for yourself, your humanity, your pain, is important so that you can process and move through it.  When you notice you are feeling bad about yourself or your situation, consider whether you are exposing yourself  to people or circumstances that are feeding the negative loop.  For the moment, shelve the relationships that are not serving you.  Write yourself a letter naming all the people and experiences that lift you up.  Commit to spending more energy engaging in what allows you to best accentuate the positive.

3) Clarity

Clarity is your capacity to receive and respond with lucidity, taking nothing personally.    Getting clear on priorities is vital in order to negotiate best outcomes for your personal needs. Clarity activates your ability to make smooth, easy decisions. Part of being clear in your decisions depends on how much you can let go of blame and allow yourself to make, acceptance and compassion more accessible. Visualize and internalize specific goals. Keep your focus on positive, forward movement and interactions in order to dispel negativity and keep it out of your orbit.

4) Peace

Of course we all want inner peace.  One way to move toward practicing peace is to strive for neutrality, which keeps you free of tension in your mind, heart and body.   This freedom allows you to sustain your resources and keep yourself feeling nourished by your own attitudes and choices. Practicing peace helps you reconstruct your divorce or separation as a sanctuary of new possibilities.   Recognize that peace is a choice and takes effort.  Consciously remove yourself from a pointless argument cycle as you begin to welcome a pathway to peace.

5) Forgiveness  

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It’s a moment of letting go of what might have been and realizing that everything is just as it must be. Forgiveness allows us to release grudges and to feel truly free from the inside out. Remember, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  Recognize that your present circumstances are not an indication of your future. Whether you feel wronged or have wronged another, forgiveness begins when you have compassion for yourself.

If you engage in the daily practice of focusing on one of each of these five essential elements, over time you can truly press re-set. This habitual mindfulness of your circumstance and relationship through the lens of patience, respect, clarity, peace and forgiveness will no doubt make your road forward smooth.  As the negative loop dissipates, you will begin to clear the path for possibility.  You have the POWER RIGHT NOW  to design your own elegant, satisfying story moving forward.  One re-framed story at time.

Gabrielle Hartley is an attorney, coach, mediator, consultant, speaker and author. She is known for a unique, non-toxic approach to divorce that she developed over two decades in practice. Gabrielle keeps 99% of her cases out of the courtroom and at the negotiating table as she effectively supports her clients to create a healthy, uplifted post-divorce life for them. Gabrielle served as court attorney for Judge Jeffrey Sunshine in NYC matrimonial court and is a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.  She currently resides in Northampton, MA with her husband and three sons. Visit Gabrielle at gabriellehartley.com to learn more about hiring Gabrielle for speaking at events, divorce coaching or mediation services.

Better Apart: The Radically Positive Way to Separate (HarperWave), by Gabrielle Hartley, with Elena Brower, is the first book to apply the life changing healing wisdom of meditation and yoga, combined with practical advice to help anyone going through the painful and seemingly intractable realities of divorce.  Using powerful, mind-body exercises and legal insight Better Apart shows you how to meaningfully shift your mindset and move forward through any-or all parts of this emotionally fraught process.

BIG THANKS to Attorney Gabrielle Hartley for contributing to this eNewsletter and our Blog.  Her book, Better Apart, is must-read if you are contemplating a divorce or separation, or if you are a divorce attorney like me.  It should be a textbook in schools.  That is how vitally important her concepts are to society at large. Her co-author, Elena Brower, is a world-renowned yoga instructor and spiritual guide. Her teachings, both on and off the mat, have inspired many to go on their own spiritual journey, including me. The collaboration between these two women, a very yin-yang partnership, bringing pragmatic legal concepts, processes and procedures together with physical and spiritual tactics on how to handle such an emotional journey is simply priceless.

Theresa Rose DeGray

Attorney for the Minor Child

1. What is an Attorney for a Minor Child (AMC)?
An attorney for a minor child, often referred to as an AMC and also called Counsel for the Minor Child is an individual the court appoints, either upon motion of a party or when the court determines an AMC is necessary to advocate for the best interests of the child. The court will consider the appointment of an AMC if the parties are unable to resolve a parenting or child related dispute. The AMC’s role is different from that of a guardian ad litem (GAL). The AMC represents the child’s legal interests and supports the child’s best interests, while the GAL represents only the child’s best interests.

2. Who can be an AMC?

Only an attorney who has completed the comprehensive training program required by Practice Book Section 25-62, which is sponsored by the Judicial Branch, is eligible to be an AMC. The AMC cannot be the same attorney that is representing either of the parents.

3. What is the role of an AMC?
In cases where the parties are unable to agree on a parenting plan or there is a child related dispute, the court may appoint an AMC to be the child’s attorney. The court will specify the role of the AMC in each case. Just as the parents may have their own attorneys advocating on their behalf, the AMC represents the child’s wishes and advocates on the child’s behalf. The AMC can speak in court on all matters pertaining to the interests of the child including custody, care, support, education and visitation. The AMC can also file motions and call witnesses on behalf of the child in court. Unlike a GAL, an AMC does not testify as a witness, but participates fully as a lawyer in the case.

4. What can a parent in a family court matter expect from an AMC?

The AMC is expected to avoid any conflict of interest, be courteous and professional and act in good faith. An AMC is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys in Connecticut. The client, however, is not either of the parents, but the child. The AMC’s duty is to the child, and the parents should not expect the AMC to advocate or argue on their behalf.

5. Who pays the AMC?

The parties to the case pay the fees for the AMC. Each party is required to submit a financial affidavit to the court. The court will consider each party’s financial situation and order how such payment is to be split between them. In some cases, the parties may qualify for the appointment of an AMC that is paid for by the state. The parties must submit their financial affidavits to the court for review. If the parties meet the eligibility requirements of the Division of Public Defender Services, the court will appoint an AMC who is paid for by the state.

6. Can an AMC be removed from a case?

If a party believes that an AMC has acted improperly in a family case, he or she can file a motion to ask the court to remove the AMC from the case. After the motion is filed, the court may refer the motion to the Family Services Unit of the court. If the parties involved in the case cannot resolve the motion themselves, the court will have a hearing and decide the motion.

REPOSTED FROM: http://www.jud.ct.gov/faq/family.htm#1

Divorce without an Agreement

While it is always preferable if you and your spouse can work out the terms of your divorce, if you are unable to do so, a judge will make the decisions that will impact your family, such as:

  • who will have custody of your children
  • how to divide your property and assets
  • how to pay your debts
  • whether either spouse gets alimony

Note: This information also applies to dissolution of civil unions performed in a foreign jurisdiction.

REPOSTED FROM: The Connecticut Judicial Branch Website.

For more information, please contact Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray at 203-713-8877.

Divorce with Agreement (“Waive 90”)

If you and your spouse have an agreement as to all issues, you may ask the court to waive the 90-day waiting period that is otherwise required for divorces.

Note: This information also applies to dissolution of civil unions performed in a foreign jurisdiction.

What are the benefits of requesting that the 90-day waiting period be waived?

  • You can obtain a divorce as soon as you wish, subject to the court’s availability, as compared to the regular process, which takes at least 3 months.
  • You can move on with your life more quickly.

REPOSTED FROM: The Connecticut Judicial Website

For more information, contact Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray at 203-713-8877.

This firm is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief amongst other things, under the Bankruptcy Code.