If you are getting divorced, even under the most amicable of circumstances, you are going through a challenging time right now. Everything is changing. Life may feel overwhelming, unpredictable, and perhaps at times, just downright painful. While there is no magic wand to wave which will fast forward you to the future when this is successfully behind you, we can offer you something that actually is pretty magical: a meditation practice.
WAIT! I know. Most people's reaction to the idea of meditation included:
But the thing is, meditation is not what people expect. It is not a way to relax (although you may emerge feeling more relaxed). Nor do you have to be seated or chanting. You are not expected to clear your mind. And you do not even have to close your eyes.
Meditation, is simply a way to develop mindfulness. Through meditation, you become "mindful" or "aware" of your mind thinking (which is what minds are built to do). You learn to observe these thoughts and see them as separate from yourself. This lets you notice when they yank you, willy-nilly, all around. You start to appreciate that emotions are just mental experiences (which come and go like the weather). You begin to understand how your mind works, how thoughts are tied to physical feelings and sensations, and how you can use all of this knowledge to be more in control of your life experience.
Meditation uses mindfulness as the foundation for developing truly worthwhile skills that make the highs of life more enjoyable and the lows of life more tolerable, and everything in between, well--just easier. With a meditation practice you can learn how to:
It should come as no surprise that these very skills can make mediations more productive and efficient, and leave individuals with better relationships and problem-solving skills moving forward. They can also mitigate the impact of a litigated divorce and help you conduct yourself in the best possible way during the divorce. This can improve negotiations, decision-making, and your effectiveness during litigation.
Ten Percent Happier (TPH)
Ten Percent Happier is the brainchild of former ABC news anchor, Dan Harris. Dan is famous for having a panic attack on air and living to talk about it. As a result of that experience, Dan was drawn to meditation and making it accessible to everyone in a way that works for them. To this end, he created an amazing app with corresponding podcasts and web content where he curates some of the best meditations, teachers, and relevant content out there. After reviewing many mediation apps, we selected Ten Percent Happier because of it is super easy to use and really simplifies and demystifies meditation.
TPH Courses: Emotions and Relationships
One of the unique features on this app are the courses which focus on important life skills. Each course session has a short video introduction and then a 10 to 12 minute meditation. All in all, they take about 20 minutes each.
Holistic Divorce Education integrates ideas from two of these courses because the skills not only support the mediation process, but also help reset the relationship, communication, and problem-solving capacities of the mediating parties. Ultimately, the goal is for the mediating and litigating parties to use the skills they acquire in mediation to problem-solve future issues without any outside intervention.
Both courses are led by a phenomenal meditation teacher, Oren Sofer. One course, Emotions, uses meditation to help people become aware of their emotions, understand them, and experience them in a balanced and non-reactive way. The second course, Relationships, is really about Communication. In this course, people learn to use mindfulness to communicate skillfully.
The Effective Communication and Emotional Agility written materials include Meditation Course Supplements that summarize each session and the key-take aways. The supplements also show how these skills can be used in the context of mediation and divorce. The Meditation Supplements are great way to make sure you understand what took place in the meditation session, and they reinforce the ideas you are learning.
Remember, there is no one way to meditate. Do what works for you but do it because it is so impactful on the way you and your former spouse will relate to each other in the next chapter.
For those taking the Emotional Agility and Effective Communication courses, you will receive a certificate with a code to redeem a subscription to the Ten Percent Happier Meditation App. Click below for information on redeeming your certificate.