Practice Makes Permanent: Reactive Thinking and the Promise of Rewiring our Brains Through Mindfulness During Divorce!
Divorce Hardwiring Can Be Toxic, And It Can Be Overcome!
Jennifer Kresge, M.A., L.M.F.T. and attorney Nina Meierding put on an excellent institute at the 2010 AFCC convention in Denver last week entitled "How the Brain Reacts to Conflict." I wanted to share of few of their pointers as they relate to the importance of mindfulness, because considering them might be helpful in dialing back reactivity for people in relationship transition.
But first a seeming digression.
As my profile indicates, I'm not a lawyer. I'm a twice divorced mom who speaks to parents about the benefits of mindful divorce and guides them on that journey -- a journey which I champion through Collaborative Practice and Mediation. I don't focus on the process, I focus on the parent's mindset - reminding them to turn inward and to take control of their actions and their thoughts. This then opens them to divorced-parenting that nurtures their child's spirit.
at 11:01 in the audio:
What is the biggest challenge facing parents after divorce? It's nurturing their child's spirit through the new array of divorced-parenting situations. Visitation, holidays, public occasions, extended family, behavior issues, and finances - a host of new situations that leave parents, and their children, grasping for the right way. How is a parent to proceed?
When faced with a divorced parenting situation, parents can take the time to mindfully guide their child through a nurturing solution instead of blindly pushing through their first reaction. Mindful divorced parenting is for parents who wish to do more than "just get through it", but rather wish to nurture their child's spirit in the process.
“When you come to each moment cleanly, without a previous thought about it, you can create who you are, rather than re-enact who you once were.” Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh book 2, chapter 2
This was my experience 12 years ago, as I stepped into the world of separation parenting. I was shocked. It was all so new and unfamiliar. I always knew that I’d be a mom. I always knew that I’d care for and nurture my child. But I wasn’t expecting it to be through divorce. As the first separation parenting situation unfolded, all I could think was: I don’t know what to do. And in that moment, instead of reacting, I chose to create.
In a split moment, I put together a full analysis of what it meant to be Me, a mom who fully loved her daughter; weighed against what I observed around me: tabloid filled accounts of children’s lives ripped apart by divorce.