Holistic Divorce Counseling

Holistic Divorce Counseling Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM, LMHC. Free support, resources, and comfort for all life's issues and transitions.

How to find love after a divorce with bonus Sanskrit love mantra February 21, 2013

Sometimes, the thought of being in love may seem as appealing as a root canal, but the desire to connect deeply with another soul can be quite powerful. Seeking love and connection may have been a nascent or cryogenically preserved wish, but when catalyzed by a potential partner, it can astound you with its ferocity. This is true whether you are 26 or 76. The heart wants what the heart wants. That doesn’t mean you will glom on to anyone who draws breath. If break-ups or divorce have taught you anything it is to choose wisely. On the other hand, love can sometimes appear out of the blue and rock your world.

When you think of being love sick it’s easy to picture a sixteen year old; however, if love comes rattling your cage you may find yourself unable to eat or sleep with any regularity. (They don’t call it falling madly in love for nothing.) The Cinderella story has stood the test of time for a very good reason: love can wake you up so completely that it feels as if you are reborn. Not just in terms of melding with another soul, but even more deeply with yourself, as it accesses dormant parts and brings you closer to the ineffable.

Naturally, with love comes feelings of vulnerability. Your inner protectors may prefer you not be in love as it could break your heart, and they will (unconsciously) put roadblocks in your way. These might range from a sudden tendency to criticize your beloved, to physical issues, like migraines, stomach problems, or muscle pain. If this happens, thank your subconscious mind for wanting to keep you safe, while reminding it you are an adult capable of navigating life’s challenges. You may also want to tell those protective parts you are consciously choosing to take a chance on love, even though you know it might cause future pain.

There is a vast difference between protection and over-protection. If your inner protectors are working overtime, they may wreak so much physical and emotional havoc that you could think love isn’t worth the trouble. Be careful of turning away from an opportunity to really connect with someone because of inner fears and past experiences. It is all too easy to watch over-protection segue into paralyzing anxiety. Talk realistically to yourself. Acknowledge your concerns and the risks you are taking to open your heart. Also recognize the bigger danger of allowing fear to sabotage potential joy. Assume the best. You have learned from those other relationships, and you will be vigilant enough to protect yourself while allowing some fun, affection, and connection into your life.

If your anxiety is triggered by trust issues, it is important to remember that it is not about whether or not you can trust someone else; but, whether you have built up a good enough relationship with yourself to trust your ability to handle life’s vicissitudes and disappointments. Counter-intuitively, the trust focus is on you, not the other person. Assume you have the inner strength to both open your heart and protect it at the same time. (If you are a yogi, you already know the delight in heart opening back bends, as well as the calm that comes from forward bends. Life is like yoga: you want the inner balance that comes from both, not to mention twists, which being newly in love will surely provide.) You may also enjoy reading the chapters on Trust and People Are Who They Are.

Another path to finding peace and love in romantic relationships is giving up the notion that someone has to change to be your ideal partner. If you find yourself still attached to that concept, try thinking the person who could change might be you. Start by cultivating more acceptance and compassion for yourself. The more emotional generosity, forgiveness, and understanding you bestow on yourself, the more you will have to lavish on others.

If you would like to practice a bit of heart chakra opening, try visualizing a warm pink light in the center of your chest. Breathe into this light as you say: I freely open my heart to loving myself, loving others, and receiving love.

If you think you are ready to invite love back into your life, you may want to use the following Sanskrit mantra: Sat Patim Dehi Parameshwara. As with all mantras, it is best if you do a full mala (the string of 108 beads that helps you count your repetitions). The practice is to repeat your mantra 108 times a day for 40 days. This may sound daunting, but it will only take about 10 minutes. If you skip a day you have to start from the beginning. (Here’s a little help with the pronunciation, from a video of the mantra being chanted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1L2zC6rpQ.)

Once you have attracted an appropriate potential partner, you may want to follow-up with another powerful mantra for removing obstacles: Om gum ganapataye Namaha. In this case, the obstacles are your own roadblocks to embracing love, like old patterns and self-sabotaging behaviors. (Here’s a link to a video of Deva Premal chanting this mantra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCqI3I0Hio. If you would like to learn more about mantras, take a look at the chapter called: Mantras, or read Thomas Ashley Farrand’s book, “Healing Mantras.”)

The interesting thing about attracting love is how once your body, mind, and spirit are ready it appears.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang


Intuition: Learning To Trust Your Inner Guidance June 10, 2012

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
Alan Alda

Intuition is like wisdom, it builds over a lifetime. While people generally have no trouble enlisting their intellect to make decisions, using intuition is slipperier and more elusive. Western culture typically trains us to trust our brains and distrust other ways of knowing, which can be very limiting. Intuition is the dynamic blend of knowledge from all sources, not only intellectual and historical. Your body, and each of your five senses, remembers things on a cellular level that resist description and purely cerebral understanding.

Intuition is multi-faceted, comprehensive knowing. It is the synthesis of wisdom, physical experiences, your own nature, personality, spirit, and myriad other ways life gets processed that defy understanding. Luckily, it isn’t necessary to fully comprehend something to employ it.

The following are a trio of techniques to enhance your relationship with your inner guru. With practice, you will come to trust and rely on your intuition, make better decisions, and increase your self-confidence.

TRAIN yourself to hear that knowing voice, the repository of your life’s experiences on all levels.
Practice deeply listening to your intuition and sitting with whatever comes up. You may not be ready to act, but you can be aware.
Each time you tap into your gut feelings you enhance the communication between your conscious and unconscious mind.
The goal is to appreciate this holistic way of knowing, even though you may never understand it fully.

TRUST in the mystery, as you allow messages from your brain, heart, and gut to converge and guide you.
Consciously choose to have faith in yourself. This radical choice grounds you more deeply into your unique ways of being in the world.
Develop appreciation for your inner wisdom. In time, acting on your intuition will become second nature.

TRIAGE. Sit with a question until solutions appear. They will.
Be patient, not every situation requires immediate attention.
Some things are like tea, they need to steep for a while.
Waiting can be like a buried seed in winter. It appears to be unproductive, but it’s gathering steam to burst forth and flower.

Whatever you decide, don’t ignore the whisper or the roar. It’s very easy to push these tendrils of intuition back underground, as fears trigger suppression of that inner voice. The fear might be of the unknown, of taking a chance, of trusting oneself rather than others, of upsetting your status quo, of failure, of success, of standing up for oneself, of what others might think, of disappointing someone, etc. All conspire to keep you from following your gut. They are just distractions from betting on yourself and life. It’s not about playing it safe, it’s about living fully, which is different for everyone. In “Romantics Anonymous,” a sweet little French film, the male lead says he was incessantly told by his father, “Let’s hope nothing happens to us.” It may be amusing in the movie, but it’s a recipe for a very constricted experience of life. (See “No Mistakes, Only Lessons” chapter.)

All too often, the things you ignore come back to bite you. The bite may manifest as interpersonal conflict, work issues, depression, health problems, anxiety, avoidance, inner dissonance, addiction, suicidal thoughts, or self-destructive behaviors. It takes courage to listen to that inner teacher and act on what you hear. Sometimes, the immediate result doesn’t feel good. There will probably be some emotional, behavioral, and life changing consequences since intuition is typically activated when an important decision needs to be made. Don’t mistake unpleasant, scary, or threatening fall-out as proof you shouldn’t have listened to your inner GPS. It’s just your body, mind, and spirit adjusting to something new. These repercussions might last minutes, weeks, or years, depending on how many aspects of your life were affected by your decision and to what degree.

In our culture, patience is not a virtue it’s practically obsolete. Buck the tide. Be gentle and tolerant with the time it takes to make changes and adjust to them. Practice meditation and yoga to cultivate the art of sitting with frustration and not knowing. As you do, you will become more comfortable with allowing growth and change to unfold in their own good time, rather than forcing them into some rigid or limited idea of the only options you can see now. (See “Responses To Get Over It Already.”)

Another useful technique is to use your body as a way to connect more deeply with your intuition. When you have a sense of something being right, or not right for you, go inside and find where you feel that physically. Is it in your chest? Your gut? Your lower back? Some people use this as a short cut to intuitively knowing what they don’t want to do. For example, you may say yes to something and immediately get a pain in your neck. With a little practice acknowledging that pain, you can say no to what triggers it. That may require some assertiveness skills, especially learning how to disappoint someone tactfully and with resolve.

What might interfere with listening to your intuition? Mindless activities, or anything done in a rote, unconscious way, like addictions. The purpose of all addictions, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors, is to push unpleasant thoughts and feelings out of your conscious awareness. So, if you have been entrenched in an addiction, or any other obsessive-compulsive behavior, this work may seem daunting. In time, as you deepen and strengthen your recovery, you will begin to hear your intuitive voice. It’s a slow process, so be patient. If you haven’t heard it for years, it will be a faint whisper. Later, as you develop more trust for your inner guidance, that little voice will get louder and louder, until it is almost impossible to ignore. Making decisions becomes easier with this deeper synergy between your heart, mind, and gut.

What you appreciate grows. Be grateful for your ability to sense situations, people, and your path. If you can only tune in to the tiniest whisper, be happy with that. If you are not ready to let your inner guru guide you, just wait. Eventually, you will come to trust your intuition and reap the rewards of following it.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang


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