Free Webinar: Loving Your Life After Divorce | Join us February 27 at Noon EST |   REGISTER NOW

Ep. 75 – Grass is Not Greener

We’ve all heard the expression “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side”. In this episode, Doreen and Jeff dive deep as to the meaning of this saying and how it can affect your present happiness and how you can choose when and how to feel. Living in the present with appreciation, even when your circumstance is divorce, can truly be a place you should be ok with. Let’s learn why.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? Kind of excited cuz today we’re gonna talk about a subject that’s a little in depth, so bear with me. We’re gonna talk about the concept of the grass isn’t greener or also known as I like to call it. It doesn’t get better than today. So if you are ready. Let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Hey, my friends and Hey Jeff.

Jeff: Hello there. How are you?

Doreen: I’m okay. It’s been a trying week.

Jeff: Yes, it has.

Doreen: A little more than a week. Our beloved dog Blue died on, suddenly on December 29th while we were actually headed down to the keys on our boat for what we thought was gonna be an amazing couple of days before New Year’s, and then celebrating New Year’s.

And then Jeff, your birthday’s on the first. And I talked about her death, unfortunately in the grief of her death, which I’m still feeling. Of course I know you are as well, Jeff. Last week, she passed on the boat so, you know, time does heal all wounds, but I really think it’s more about the thoughts that we have about the circumstances, even when the circumstances are something like death or divorce. Right?

Jeff: Yeah, that’s true. So that kind of triggered our podcast for today, because a lot of you are going through negative thoughts or have negative thoughts about your divorce expected, of course, right?

Doreen: Yes, of course. It’s a negative thing and but it’s your thoughts about the divorce. So I sometimes when I meet people as a, you know, my capacity as a lawyer and I have a consultation with them, I really listen to what they have to say.

Jeff: Okay.

Doreen: Because I ask them why they wanna get divorced if they’re the ones seeking it. You know, sometimes they come to me and they’re the ones that got served the papers. Right. So that’s a different conversation with them. Right. But when they’re coming to me to determine if they want to file for divorce, I really listen to their mindset and their reasons because of this concept that I share with them. And it depends on the person, you know, how op, how open they are to hearing from me about it, but that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. So I’ll give you an example. So let’s say that your husband is just not a person that communicates.

In your thoughts, right, right. Or isn’t romantic, isn’t sweet, isn’t that kind of guy? Well, you may find the guy that’s really sweet and romantic. But he’s sweet and romantic with everyone, you know what I’m saying? Like, yeah, you’re gonna trade one set of problems for another set of problems. There is no perfect. Right.

Jeff: Or relax in a different characteristic and something else.

Doreen: Exactly. Something else that maybe is on her or his, or in this case, her want list that you know, he’s gonna lack in. Right. He doesn’t have a job, for example, he’s really romantic, but he does, he can’t make a penny. So it’s our thoughts about things.

So the concept of the grass is not greener is really appropriate in my mindset when it comes to divorce, but you can also look at it doesn’t get better than it is today. So this, right?

Jeff: Yes. This episode.

Doreen: So this episode’s gonna be a little involved and you might wanna consider listening to it a few times if you need to. Even myself and I, you know, we obviously prepared for the episode today, but it’s something that I still work on every day.

Jeff: Definitely take notes.

Doreen: Right? So generally the concept is that your thoughts under the circumstances that you have, right, are what create the happiness, joy, or sadness, let’s just say, right?

It’s not the circumstance itself, right? It’s your thoughts about the circumstance. I’ll give you an example when it comes to divorce and why this is true and why circumstances are always neutral. Okay? Is because why is it then that when you have a circumstance like divorce, you can have one client that is really unhappy, sad, angry, and have another client that is also going through a divorce that’s excited for their future and happy you know, that they are at peace with it. Maybe even friends with their soon to be ex because they’re at peace. So it’s not about your divorce, it’s about your thoughts about your divorce.

Jeff: The thoughts, that’s huge cuz your thoughts are gonna create your feelings and that’s gonna create your emotions that come from that.

Doreen: Right. So, I have to, when we, when we talk about the grass isn’t greener right, what we, and that it doesn’t get better than where you are now, even if you think you’re in a really bad place. Starts with first understanding, living in the present moment, right? And what that looks like. So many of us are on autopilot.

We don’t embrace what’s happening in the present. We’re so involved in speeding things up, getting things done, thinking about if we get to this other place in our mind. . Whether it’s finding this great new person or making a lot of money, or when my kids are older, whatever you’re thinking, that is gonna make you happier in the future.

You spend so much time on that, that you’re not in the present, and I promise you it’s not better there than it is here. So let’s talk about present moment. What does that mean?

Jeff: Well, for an example, let’s say you’re in a yoga class and you’re focusing on the pose, you’re focus, focusing on how it feels. You’re not in the pose thinking about what you’re gonna make for dinner later, or you have to do this this weekend or a job that you have to get done. Yeah. You’re focusing on the class itself. You’re focusing on being there on being there in the moment.

Doreen: They try to do that. They try to get you when you’re in yoga, to have that present state of being there. Meditation is another example. If anyone out there has tried to meditate, I mean, I find it very challenging because I find myself thinking of all the things I have to do, all the things I want to do, all the things I need to do , as opposed to just being in that moment of silence and calm.

Jeff: And clearing your mind.

Doreen: I know that we talked about some of the exercises that in meditation, both of us, we went and saw Deepak. And down in California and they teach you different exercises about how to be present, one that stands out somebody, one of the teachers recommended was about just whatever you’re doing in the moment to really feel it. So do you have any examples of that?

Jeff: Absolutely. I know one thing that helped me was the breathing exercises focusing on the breath, the inhale and the exhale of the breath, and you focus on something, so small like that, it definitely clears your mind quickly.

Doreen: Well, another thing that came to mind to me is they said, take an activity you do, and you take for granted like it’s on autopilot and feel it. Like be in the present. So I like the example of brushing your teeth because when you brush your teeth, we just automatically do that. We don’t think about it. But if you’re in the present moment of it, and this is just an exercise, and then we’ll get into the subject, you know, how does the water feel?

What is the temperature? What is the bathroom? If you’re brushing your teeth at your sink, what does it look like? What does it feel like? What about the taste of the mint to really get the sensation of being there in the present? Right.

Jeff: I like that.

Doreen: Yeah. So anyhow, I wanted to, there’s an author that I think has such a telling thought in his book about, about what we’re teaching. And you wanna tell the listeners about that?

Jeff: Well, it’s Mateo, I’m gonna try his last name. It’s not a very common name, but it’s Tabba Tabba Tabba. Yeah, I’ll spell it for you. It’s T A B A and again, T A B A I. So it’s T A B A T A B A I Mateo.

Doreen:  Yeah. And the book again is The Mind Prison.

Jeff: The Mind Made Prison.

Doreen: Oh, I’m sorry. Okay.

Jeff: Yeah. The Mind Made Prison and the quote is being aware of the present moment simply means never believe the illusion that the future is going to be better than what’s going on right now.

Doreen: Isn’t that true?

Jeff: It’s pretty deep. But I tell you what, if you really analyze what he says it is so true.

Doreen: Yeah. And the concept is two things. It’s the concept of first being aware of your present moment. and your thoughts about whatever’s going on based on whatever circumstance in your life. Like let’s say you’re divorce. First, being aware of that, right? Like stopping and saying, Why am I feeling the way I am?

You know, what, what is going on presently? And embracing that, that’s the first part. But the second concept of this is after being aware of the present moment and having just some basic understanding of that is that it’s not better over there. We go through many times in life thinking if I was skinnier, if I had a great person in my life, if my kids behaved, if I had money in the, in my, you know, if I had $10 million, I would be happy.

But here’s the stick in it. When you get there, you’re not gonna be happier. You think you’re gonna be happier, but now you got 10 million and you also have a lot of other thoughts that can be negative. Now I have a business, I have 200 employees. I have customers that I gotta deal with on a daily basis. How am I gonna maintain this? I could just never stops.

Jeff: And it’s not necessarily that you’re not gonna be happy with the $10 million or in the future, but you don’t want to rob your happiness today by thinking about how happy you’re gonna be in the future.

Doreen: Yeah. There’s another, you know, when you think about that, have you ever had a situation where you’re looking back at your life and you’re going, wow, that was great.

When I was, you know, 18 years old and for example, you know, I’m gonna take body image. Like, back when you were eight, like I, I could say to myself, oh my God, when I was 18, my body rocked. Right?

Jeff: I think it rocks now.

Doreen: Thank you sweetie. I gotta work on that one. When you were 18 and you, you didn’t appreciate it then cuz you were always trying to make your body look better. Does that make sense?

Jeff: Well, yeah. It’s called the good old days. Remember the good old days?

Doreen: Yeah. Thinking about, hey, when it, remember when things were like this? But when you were there, you didn’t feel that way. Right?

Jeff: Exactly. Well, there was, it was a good old days back then. So you think about 18 was the good old days, and then back in 18, you thought that.

Doreen: It was horrible.

Jeff: Yeah, it was horrible.

Doreen: And if I could only be in the future where I would be where I am today, things would be better. But it’s not, it’s not.

Jeff: Sounds like it’s all about your thoughts. Oh, it is, right? Isn’t that the truth? Yes. So there’s another author that I also love who’s Eckhart Toley. And he, you know, he’s been an Oprah and he’s very well accomplished.

He has an amazing business. He’s an author obviously, and a person of thought but he says, Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make now the primary focus of your life. Be here now. Breathe into this moment.

Jeff: I like that.

Doreen: Isn’t that great? So a lot of people think that sounds great. Like come on, it sounds great. Like it.

Jeff: It does.

Doreen: It sounds very, you know, it’s comforting, guru kind of, you know, concepts. And especially today, it’s like, yeah, I can I, that makes sense. But living it is the issue and it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge when you’re going through things in your life that are like divorce or the death of my dog and things like this.

And you’re like, if only I had this. And it’s really, really hard when you’re going through challenging times.

Jeff: Yeah, definitely. And you know that your capacity for joy is highest at the moment you’re at right now?

Doreen: Well, because joy and happiness doesn’t come from the things externally going on in your life.

Jeff: I know where it comes from.

Doreen: Where does it come from?

Jeff: Your thoughts.

Doreen: Right. So the divorce itself, let’s say you got served with divorce papers, right? It’s a fact they knocked on your door and they said, I’m serving you with divorce papers, or you’re served that act in and of itself doesn’t cause you to be happy or unhappy.

It’s your thought about it that causes you to have a feeling of happiness or sadness, whatever it might be, right?

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: So it’s really important to remember that the eternal circumstances in your life, no matter how bad they are, isn’t what is causing you joy and happiness or sadness. So what I really wanted our listeners to know that it’s a thought, it’s a choice. It’s a choice. You have a choice to think about what is going on in your life, the circumstances as something positive or negative. Right? Now we talked about grief last week, and there’s a place for having sad thoughts, angry thoughts, right? When you get served with the divorce papers you have a right to grieve that.

You have a right to be sad about that. Your thought can be, what did I do wrong? Why is he doing this? You know, our marriage used to be good. All these things that are gonna bring up all these negative feelings, but you also have the ability to really work on your thoughts, to change them, to be in a better place of happiness.

Jeff: And they say, give yourself permission to be happy. Now you’re able to take that control that you have over your thoughts and decide when you want to go from, okay, I’m, I was sad for a little bit, and now it’s time to get back into the happy, change your thoughts.

Doreen: You do have and it’s work. And that’s what I’m, that’s what we’re trying to say is that, you know, how do I say it?

It’s like you can be on a hamster wheel all day long. Just going through the motions, right? And being in a sad, negative place. Or you could stop for a moment and really think about your thoughts about things. Right? We’re just so focused on future, the future circumstances changing us, making us happy.

Jeff: It doesn’t work, does it?

Doreen: No. You know, because there’s no present moment better over there, then that will bring you more joy that than where you are right now. You know, you have the capacity to think about things differently.

Jeff: Yeah. Just like we said, it’s your choice on what thoughts you want to have in that moment, but if you decide that you want to be happy, now you can have those thoughts of being happy now.

Doreen: And this doesn’t mean that you don’t work towards goals. We’re super, super future focused, working towards goals. You know, I have personally, as you know, more than anybody, cuz you know, you see me in action as far as work, I’m always striving to do better with regard to business, right? I have lots of goals with regard to business.

I think about them all the time, and I’m always striving to be better, to reach a certain goal, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not also or that I don’t have the ability to be present and happy now. In other words, if I say I want my business to make $10 million and that’s my goal, and that’s when I’ll be happy, then I’m missing the whole point of it.

Jeff: Yeah. I mean we want you to dream, we want you to plan and organize your future but don’t let that devalue your present day, your today happiness.

Doreen: Well, and you can, you, like, I know that when I reach a certain goal financially in my business, right, that I know that I’m not gonna be happier there than here. So what I’m trying to do, and, you know, how they say live, what I preach.

Jeff: Yeah. Or practice what you preach.

Doreen: Practice what I preach is that the exercise of reaching my goals, let’s just take in business permits and the knowledge of having that present thought and understanding that it’s not gonna be better there than here. I can enjoy the process better.

Jeff: Hey, you can enjoy the accomplishments that you’re making towards the future, but the accomplishments that you’ve made are happening right now, so you can enjoy the process and the accomplishments that you’re making today.

Doreen: Right. about really enjoying the journey.

Jeff: Yeah, right. Yeah. I looked up in the, in the Google, in the Google world, and I found a really nice quote. Can I read it?

Doreen: Yeah, sure. Okay. Of course.

Jeff: Life is a journey. Enjoy the trip, aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It’s all about those little steps that make the journey complete. The journey is a reward. Stay patient and trust your journey. Life is about the journey, not about the destination. Life is a journey. Travel it well. Life is about the journey.

Doreen: You know, when people are in divorce, really important to remember that when circumstances happen that are extreme in some way, you know, like divorce, like death sickness, it’s really hard because you can, you can really come up with a lot of good reasons why it’s your circumstance that’s making you unhappy but it’s really knowledge your thought about that. So how do you reconcile the combination of future goals and working towards future goals with also being in the present, right? So it’s about really not trading your present moment happiness for some perception that some circumstance in the future is going to give you the happiness, you’re longing for.

Jeff: Gotcha.

Doreen: Right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: Like why trade happiness today for a thought that you’re gonna be happier later? Because it just doesn’t work that way. The grass is not greener. You can have the ability when you get there to have happy thoughts, better thoughts, productive thoughts, or you can have the ability to have thoughts that don’t serve you.

Jeff: But you can also have the happy thought and controlling your thoughts today while you’re achieving happiness in the future.

Doreen: It’s kind of like when you know your brain wants to think that if I get there, I’m gonna be happy. You’re denying your present happiness for a future thought. I mean, kind of sum it up, I know it’s kind of deep and you know, I’ve been doing this thought work for years and it’s still a challenge.

You know, it’s still a challenge. I have to still slow my brain down, slow my thoughts down and take time. And what I find that when I’m able to do that, I’m, first of all, I’m happier, I’m calmer, I have less stress and a more productive. getting where I wanna go.

Jeff: And I’ll be on the other side where you’re constantly reminding me to slow down because I’m such a go, go, go, go, go, go, go.

That I forget to check myself and my happiness and my thoughts, and I end up not so happy. So, I’m definitely agreeing what you’re saying.

Doreen: Well, it’s about the journey. Right? So another quote, it’s kind of deep and I’m gonna take my time reading it, but I think it’s really relevant, especially when you’re trying to balance your present with your future goals and your future thoughts of only if I was, and you can put in whatever you want there. Right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: So ask yourself, let’s start there on what are you saying in your life that’s but only if

Jeff: Or I’ll be happy when

Doreen: Correct. When whatever it is. Put your when in there. Right. So again, in this book, Mind Made Prison, there’s a quote it goes like this. Plan, dream and organize all you want. Just don’t start believing that what you have planned for in the future is going to be any better than your current moment. You are going to be in your present moment your entire life. If you are focused on how good the future is going to be, you are just running on a hamster wheel hoping to get somewhere. Life is right now in the glorious moment right in front of you, I believe if you are not allowing yourself to be happy now nothing external in the future is going to change that permanently.

Jeff: That was great.

Doreen: It’s a very deep statement. So I think it just blows, it blows my mind away.

Jeff: Yeah. I’m still grasping the thought of this whole thing. And I really, really think I need to work on that.

Doreen: But I think a lot of people need to work on it. Like, don’t beat yourself up about that. That’s a thought, you know, that’s again, just another thought that you’re having that I’m not doing it. Right. And that’s, you could have a thought that you are learning.

Jeff: Well, I think the other thing is awareness. You know, I have to be more aware of my thoughts and that way I can change them if they need to be changed.

Doreen: And you know, you talk about y you know, wanting your goals and working, you know, steadfast on your goals, but it’s all about creating a life and a goal. But do it from the acceptance now of the present moment and being happy there. You know, you don’t need all that stuff that you think you need to be happy whatever it is for you, right? Whether it’s having a nice house or having money, or again, finding somebody in your life that’s not what’s going to make you happy. It’s really truly the journey.

Jeff: And typically when you have all the stuff, you quickly realize that the stuff doesn’t make you happy anyway.

Doreen: Right. Cuz you’re gonna have a new set of thoughts. It’s just stuff not better there than here.

Jeff: That’s true.

Doreen: Grasses aren’t greener.

Jeff: On the other side.

Doreen: No, it’s not . So find yourself when you’re having those moments, you know that this just happened to me the other day. I was like, I can’t wait until, and also our daughter, Samantha, you know, she’s got a new puppy.

She said to me last night, cuz he’s a puppy, you know, he’s so cute. Oh my god. Oh my gosh. I mean, what’s his name? Bo. He’s a springer spaniel. He’s so cute. Like puppies are just the best. You know, but with puppies come a lot of work and they cry and they bark and they mess up and they pee and poop on the floor and they tear things up.

She goes, I can’t wait until he’s trained. I can’t wait for six months. And that’s what she said. So I find myself saying I can’t wait until. I suggest that if you have those thoughts and you find yourself saying, I can’t wait until catch yourself, like that’s where the thought work comes in. Say, ah-ha. Oh my gosh.

Just like our daughter who said, I can’t wait until he’s trained, catch yourself and really work on that. It’s like a such an aha moment.

Jeff: I’m waiting for her to say, I missed the days that when he was a puppy.

Doreen: Well, that’s what happens. Look at Blue. Yeah. You know, I could say, I you know, I’m sure, although I cannot recall as I’m sitting here now, that she was, you know, we had to work with her a lot.

Oh boy. She didn’t come into the house as a puppy, and she was just fully trained. I mean, but I can’t even remember those days. But I’m sure back then I was thinking, oh my gosh, I can’t wait until she’s trained you know.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: So being happy regardless of your circumstances is really, really what we’re trying to portray today.

Trying to teach, you know, so notice when you’re trying to escape the moment for some future, what if, if only, think about that. How many of you do it? Because it doesn’t get better there than here even after divorce, even now.

Jeff: Do you resist living in the present or do you live in the future? And if you’d like to talk to us about it, we’d love to hear from you.

We, we’d love to help you. Sometimes, we all need, coaches to help us and s support  from somebody else. So please get in touch with us.

Doreen: Yeah, I’d love to hear from the listeners about their, If only, I’d love to hear what they think about that. You know, how, how they’re gonna, maybe, hopefully based on this episode, change that, you know, if it resonated with you, we would love to hear from you.

You can certainly leave us a review. You can certainly leave a comment as to this on this episode. It’s a deep subject. One, like I said from the beginning, I find myself having to really catch myself all the time in practice. And for you, it may be new, it may be a concept that you are more familiar with than us.

You know, we would love to share because I think that the world could really be a better place, a happier place if we all learned this. You know, there’s so much negativity out there. And it’s not necessary. We can live in a much happier state of mind.

Jeff: What’s your email, Doreen?

Doreen: My email is [email protected].

Jeff: And if you’d like to reach out to me, it’s [email protected]. Love to hear from you.

Doreen: Yeah, we’d love to share some of your thoughts and some future episodes. You know, maybe you could be a prime example and help somebody else, especially after divorce. This is all about a community and coming together. Alright, everyone, listen. Try to have a no. Live in the present.

Jeff: Live in the present.

Doreen: Have a great day. You’re here, you’re listening. Things are okay. And be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. And remember, you can have an amazing life and you probably already do right now in the present moment after divorce.

Jeff: Enjoy the rest of your day.

Doreen: All right everybody. We’ll see you next week. Bye bye.

Jeff: Bye. You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

Start creating your best life after divorce and book your complimentary Discovery Call