Conscious Divorce

Divorce is a Legitimate Choice

For many men and women in a wide variety of situations divorce is a legitimate and appropriate choice.

Getting divorced is a process and consists of 3 main elements:

  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Legal

Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions. The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, helpless, empty and emotionally raw and overwhelmed.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, the best recommendation I have is to put together a team of knowledgeable, experienced professionals who will work on your behalf for the best possible outcome for you!

Lawyers, mediators, therapists, coaches, accountants, clergy and financial planners all have valuable points of view to consider. If you have children, stay in close communication with your children’s teachers and the parents of their friends.

An important part of the repair process is learning to honor and heal the many emotions of divorce. Please remember that all these emotions are a normal and natural response to divorce: Continue reading

Spring Cleaning of Your Mind, Body and Soul

It’s that time of year again! Spring cleaning is the annual ritual of cleaning a house from top to bottom in the first warm days of the year—typically in the spring. Historically this was done in the spring as the cold weather was giving way to warmer temperatures, because, it was widely held, houses are more difficult to clean during winter.

The origins of spring cleaning probably date back to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Iranians continue the practice of “khooneh takouni” which literally means “shaking the house” just before the new year. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture.

Another possible origin of spring cleaning can be traced to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home in anticipation of the spring-time holiday of Passover. Observant Jews conduct a thorough cleaning of the house, followed by the traditional Passover festivities.

In Greece and other Orthodox nations, it is tradition to clean the house thoroughly either right before or during the first week of Great Lent, which is referred to as Clean Week.

During this spring-cleaning season, I invite you to join me and check out what’s dusty, out-dated, or has been over-looked within yourself. Let’s take a trip into your inner attic or basement; look around and decide what should be cleaned up, put away or tossed into the trash altogether.

Let’s start by identifying the 8 Major Life Categories that will form the framework of your spring cleaning efforts:  Continue reading

Are New Year’s Resolutions a Set-up for Failure?

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Are you successfully achieving your goals? Or have you failed already?

If you are in the minuscule percentage of people who are successfully achieving your goals, congratulations!

For everyone else, don’t give it a second thought if you have already failed and have decided “to heck with that stuff anyway!”

New Year’s Resolutions are a set-up for failure. Changing anything in life when you do so with intention is hard enough, never mind trying to change something based on faulty thinking and faulty planning.

Here’s a simple three-step formula to make any change you wish in your life:

First, decide what behavior you want to change or goal you want to achieve. Carefully craft a statement about one or two benefits that will come as a result of changing this behavior or achieving this goal.

How will your life be enriched or improved if you change this behavior or achieve this goal?

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Stress is Just a Fact of Life—How to Live Life With It

Stress is not pressure from the outside: Challenges at work or at home, money problems… Those are the stressors.

Your response to those situations, those stressors, is what we call stress.

This distinction is important. Stressors are the multitude of daily occurrences that require you to adapt. Stress is your response as you attempt to make the adjustment.

Stress can be positive or negative. Meeting a deadline, preparing to drive on ice, making it through a crisis on raw courage, cramming for an exam, making a terrific impression at a job interview or an audition, walking into a room full of strangers at a party, are all defined as positive stress.

Stress can also be destructive. It can turn into distress. It can gnaw away at you and sap your energy over the months and years.

Violin strings need just enough tension to make beautiful music, but not so much tension that the strings snap. That is the way it is for people and stress. Each of us has a level of stress that is positive and not harmful.

Your body will tell you about your stress. It will send you messages when you are experiencing too much stress:

  • Tight throat
  • Sweaty palms
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vague uneasiness

Be aware. Listen to yourself.

Once your personal distress sounds the bell of awareness and lets you know that the stressors in your life need attention, the management decisions are up to you!

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Gratitude Is Deliberate and Intentional

There is no limit to what you don’t have, and if that is where you put your focus, then your life will inevitably be filled with endless dissatisfaction.

Most people focus so heavily on the deficiencies in their lives that they barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.

Getting into the habit of showing appreciation and being grateful affirms you. The things you are lacking are still there, but all of a sudden you will recognize the multitude of goodies you didn’t realize were there as well!

Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change your way of seeing yourself and the world.

We know from tracking personal stories of people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis that they exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who record hassles or neutral life events.

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.

The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life; they are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.

People who practice the principles of gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated, by their peers and people in their social networks, as more generous and are more likely to help someone with a personal problem or offer emotional support to another.

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Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com