Where is Your Labor Going?

Where is Your Labor Going?

You have heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder”. How about taking a step back and spending time considering WHERE is your labor going? Simon Sinek says start with WHY. Why are you on planet earth and what is your purpose? When you know your WHY, then you can go to the next step and vision living your life on purpose. The late Stephen Covey taught to begin with the end in mind. Many people thought this was just for time management in project planning. Productivity is important once you put the big rocks in your calendar first, not last. Then, you work effectively to spend time on what matters most to you.

Here is my Labor Day challenge. Take an hour sometime and let yourself dream about what kind of life you want to live. Where would you live? Who would live with you? What are doing? How are you working? In other words, how are you living? Now that you have a VISION for your life, reverse engineer HOW to get there. This is different than just project management for a goal. You will have goals. Just make sure your goals take you to the destination of your vision. We can accomplish goals but leave what we value most behind. As you create a vision for your life, values become your North Star to guide you. I have mediated more than one divorce or family estrangement because a goal was reached, often wealth, but important relationships were damaged. I have been present for the last moments of a person on this planet. He or she never asked for money to surround the bed. The cherished moments are family surrounding the bed and celebrating the life of the person passing. Live life on purpose. Make a difference. Know where your labor is going.

Rewrite Your Story

Rewrite Your Story

When you met and married, the story you began then didn’t have the bitter ending you have now experienced. That story originally was filled with adventure, with heroes, with hope. You might not have pictured the struggles or challenges while dressed in that white dress or tux. You couldn’t have imagined the stonewalling, where your partner would just not talk, even though you wanted to. You couldn’t have imagined finding the multiple texts from the other man or woman on his or her phone. You couldn’t have imagined the criticism or the nights of tears. When dreams dissolve into nightmares, you want to forget them and move on. But, unfortunately, the corpse of your marriage is still walking around in your ex. You need to have conversations about the kids. You need to talk to him or her, sometimes daily. It just hurts. It makes it hard to move forward!

But, here’s the truth, you might already know: you cannot change your ex-spouse. You might have spent years trying to make him or her change. The only one you can work on is yourself. One place to begin is rewriting your story of your relationship and divorce. We are not meaning to diminish the pain you experienced or are experiencing. What we are suggesting is this: there might be another way to walk with it.

First: Look at the story as you have been telling it to yourself. Who played the villain? The victim? The hero? The guide? Every good story has these characters. In your rewrite, change one thing: don’t make yourself the victim. You were not a victim. To begin the movement away from being a victim:

Forgive your spouse. Release him or her from your judgment. Stop rehearsing his/her wrongs. Do something which works for you. See the wrongs moving away from you in your imagination like on a conveyor belt. See them floating down a river. If you are a spiritual person, add prayer to the visuals. Tell the One to whom you pray all about the pain, hurt, and brokenness. Let the feelings out. Let it all go. Own your own responsibility.

Hey, we get it. It was a harsh and wrong thing. But still, own 100% of whatever was your part of what happened. If 20% of the problem yours, then own 100% of that 20%. Own your own dependency or your codependency; own your own cycles of anger; own whatever was true about you. And do the work to heal your heart. Start to write your new story beginning today. Rewrite what happened, with yourself as the hero, not the victim. Rewrite the story including what you might have done. Tell the truth with a new spin: “My spouse did this, this and this other thing. I know he was struggling with his own identity, his relationships with his mom and dad, his own failure as a son and brother. He had not faced his own sister’s death at 16. He still believed her death his fault. These factors and his inability to work on them kept him from seeing another path. Recognizing this, I am choosing to move forward to be the person I am called to become even through the hurt experienced in our marriage.”

Now you give it a try. Rewrite your story and then begin to live into this new narrative you’ve written, one day at a time. When you take back your power by reframing the past, you become the hero in your own story. You can own what happened and own what you are going to do with it. This is a powerful step forward as you forgive, own and become all you were meant to be. If we can help you in this process, give us a call for a free consultation at Genesis Mediation. 

How to Pick an Attorney

How to Pick an Attorney

The attorney selected for your case is critical to the outcome. If the other party retained a “bulldog,” aggressive attorney, the chances for mediation are slim. You will need to match the intensity of the aggressive, litigating attorney. This will be a VERY EXPENSIVE and DESTRUCTIVE process. I know very few people who enjoy the “win.” In fact, you can win the battle but lose the war.

As a mediator, I cultivate relationships with cooperative or collaborative attorneys. A cooperative attorney will fully represent you. He or she will also advise you about the cost, not only financially, but relationally about litigation. Cooperative attorneys can become agitated with one another, yet they keep the best interest of their clients in mind. I just settled a case involving two cooperative attorneys. A good mediator can help resolve issues between attorneys as well as the clients. There were moments in the case where I needed to help each attorney reflect on the current pathway and help problem-solve with creative options.

Collaborative attorneys are actually trained in collaborative practice. Thus, you need to ask if he or she has received training. Attorneys, clients, and mediators are all at the same table. A collaborative agreement is signed by all, defining the process and scope of work. Other professionals may be brought in as needed. As a client, you are fully represented, yet both attorneys are literally working for both clients seeking a peaceful and sustainable resolution. The process can still be expensive, yet less costly than litigation.

In mediation, I often need to send people to an attorney for a legal consultation. Mediation is based upon informed consent, thus understanding your legal rights is critical. Sometimes, clients wish to get an initial consultation before commencing mediation. Others will wait until several legal questions arise from the mediation process, then consult with an attorney for very precise counsel.

Therefore, when picking an attorney, you need to know WHY you need an attorney, HOW you will use the attorney, and WHAT you expect from your attorney. Genesis Mediation offers a FREE 15-minute consultation. We would be happy to help you understand how an attorney would interact on your case, and if needed, give you a number of attorneys to interview. And yes, you should interview several attorneys before selecting the one to represent you. We will be honest with you about if your case should be mediated or litigated and point you to the appropriate attorneys to match your need.