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Ep. 82 – Our Brains Are Amazing Machines

Our brains are efficient and amazing machines. The brain processes continuous information all day long. However, it is efficient as well. In this episode we discuss how to gentle refocus thoughts to help our brains to focus on the positive so that we can start rebuilding and working towards moving past the divorce and on to creating a new and positive life.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? Hope you’re having a great. or if you’re not having such a great day, it’s okay, cuz remember, life is a balance of 50 50, good and bad. Anyhow, today we’re gonna talk about our brains. You know, our brains are amazing, amazing machines, and we have thousands of thoughts every day.

The question is, what are you thinking about? How are you using that amazing thing we call your brain? So if you’re ready, let’s get started with episode number 82.

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.

All right, so we’re gonna talk about our brains today, Jeff.

Jeff: That’s right.

Doreen: All right. And just as a little bit of what’s going on with you? You’re not feeling so good.

Jeff: I’m a little under the weather. I always say that something’s trying to get a hold of me because actually I do believe that your brain is so strong that you could talk your way out of sickness and you could talk your way into sickness.

Doreen: Well, Not always.

Jeff: See, you’re a doubter.

Doreen: I’m not a doubter. But anyhow, you waited a whole week before you went and got a little, you know, antibiotic or whatever, but,

Jeff: Well, I finally admitted that something got a hold of me.

Doreen: Yeah, you did. As you continuously got worse. But yeah. Anyhow, so if you cough a little bit, we will, we will forgive you.

Jeff: Thank you so much

Doreen: Because we love you and we care.

Jeff: Aw, thank you again.

Doreen: And let’s talk about our family really quick. So our middle daughter, Megan, is going to Argentina tonight.

Jeff: So excited for her.

Doreen: Yeah, she’s studying abroad. It’s her last semester and she’s gonna be in a flight in a few hours. So, really exciting.

I’m super, super happy for her and I know it’s gonna be amazing. Right.

Jeff: Yes. Yeah, I’m looking forward to picking her up.

Doreen: We will do that as well. But we’re gonna travel there first, hopefully, right? We like to go visit her. Anyhow, so we’re gonna talk about our brains today and how amazing they are.

You see our brains can take in a lot of information, but the brain cannot process everything all the time. That would be impossible, right? So what our brain does is it automatically filters out what is important from what is not important. It will notice what you decide to tell It is important to look for.

And I’d like to use the example of, we live on the marsh here in sunny South Florida. When I look out the window and I look at the marsh, what I see is I see foliage, I see the water, I see birds. And maybe from time to time I might see like an iguana, but my brain is only paying attention to like the, all of it, right?

It’s not detailed in and looking at really one thing over another. Now, if I was a bird, enthusiast, right? Because we have amazing birds here.

Jeff: We do.

Doreen: We have Turkey hawks here every morning, and we have other types of species of birds. But if I was a person that was totally into birds, I would probably notice the birds before I would notice anything else.

Right. Just like if I was a water enthusiast, kind of like you are. You love the water, you know, what would you focus in if you look at the marsh? Well, when I, when I look at the marsh and the water, I look at where the tide is, if it’s an outgoing tide in going tide, low tide, high tide, what the visibility might be, kind of analyzing the water.

And it’s important because it’s just an example of what your brain looks at because of past history, because of what you believe, because of what you’re thinking. That’s the primary thing. Have you ever gone and tried a new car and all of a sudden, whatever type of car it is, whatever car color, whatever color the car is, now you see, you know, you leave that dealership and maybe you didn’t purchase the car, maybe you did, and now you see that car all the time.

Have you ever noticed that?

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: Yeah. It’s interesting cuz your brain is finding evidence of what’s important to it, right? So why is this important? It’s important because what you want to do is to have a happier more peaceful, enjoyable life, right? To seek out pleasure and to get away from pain. That’s what we do as humans.

So if you’re looking for things through your thoughts that are, let’s say the results are better for you, right?

Jeff: To serve you.

Doreen: Serve you, not thinking negative things, but thinking positive things, then you’re gonna seek out things to find the evidence of the positive as opposed to seeking out the negative.

Jeff: Very similar to what they say, the glasses half full instead of half empty.

Doreen: That’s true, that’s true. Because if you believe, for example, let’s just say let’s as, I have people say this, from time to time, they don’t believe that they’ll ever find love again. Or maybe they believe or they’ll express to us when we’re coaching them that they have this negative thought about themself. They don’t think they’re good enough. They don’t think they’re good at something. Let’s just take the example again of the, they’ll never find love again. So what happens is when you go on a date, What are you gonna find? If you believe you’re never going to find love again?

What do you think you’re gonna find in that date?

Jeff: Oh, it’s, you’re gonna see nothing but the faults in the other person.

Doreen: Or whatever it is, right? So let’s say he didn’t open the door for you, or maybe she was on the phone, during the date. And so your thought goes to, boy, he is not a gentleman, he didn’t open the door, or, you know, she’s not interested in me.

I must be boring her because she’s on the. Right.

Jeff: Right. I’ve had that happen to me once before.

Doreen: What?

Jeff: I thought, you know, things weren’t going well. She’s on the phone a lot and I actually brought it up. I said, why are you on the phone so much? She goes, and her daughter was not feeling well and the nanny was trying to get ahold of her to talk about her daughter being sick.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: So I felt bad that it was in my own mind that I was thinking that it was something that it totally wasn’t.

Doreen: Right. Well, what do you mean you went on dates before you got married?

Jeff: No.

Doreen: I’m just kidding. Of course.

Jeff: Never went on a date before.

Doreen: Ever, ever, ever. Here’s the good news though, right? The good news is that when you’re aware of this, because most of us, we don’t think about this, right?

We just live on what I wanna call default. We’re just going through our days things are happening, thoughts, hundreds, thousands of thoughts are going through our brain, but we’re not thinking about what we told our brain to. Right. And the most amazing thing is when you understand this, that you have the capacity to slow down and to think about what you’re thinking.

For example…

Jeff: I was just giggling cuz you’ve never said that to me before about slowing down.

Doreen: Why?

Jeff: I’m being facetious.

Doreen; Yeah.

Jeff: You know, you always tell me to slow down and think, cuz I tend to operate a lot better when I take my time and think things through.

Doreen: Well, I think a lot of people, not just you, you know, are just trying to rush through things for the entire day and not take the time to think through what it is that they’re trying to do. Right? And if you take the time to think through something, even though it’s gonna possibly take you longer to get whatever it is accomplished, you’re gonna do it to a higher capacity, you’re gonna do it and probably not make a lot of mistakes. You’re gonna really be aware of what you’re trying to accomplish. Right?

Jeff: Well, lemme, let me stop you there cuz I, I do agree with what you’re saying. However, the time that it takes to slow down is made up when the time that you save by doing it correctly,

Doreen: Correct? No problem. No, no question, right?

Jeff: I mean, you’re not slowing down and taking more time to do something.

Doreen: But most people don’t. A lot of people out there just don’t slow down, right? You know, we’re all on fast, fast, fast. Go, go, go. And it’s just not a great place to be. Eventually it just leads to all kinds of issues and burnout and stress, and maybe even health problems. Right? And you go through your life just living on like this autopilot and being unhappy.

But let’s take the example of, let’s say we had a client recently that said I could, I’m not gonna ever find love again. You know, love just isn’t in the cards for me. So if you can just change your thought a little bit. It doesn’t have to be drastic, but what I said to her was, well, is it possible that you could find love again?

And all she could say was what?

Jeff: Yes, it’s possible.

Doreen: Of course, it’s possible.

Jeff: Possible.

Doreen: I mean, we got married in less than six months and we weren’t planning on meeting each other. Right. Just kind of happened.

Jeff: Not at all.

Doreen: So it is possible. So when I got her to switch her thinking just a little bit to I’ll never find love again, to, I could find love again.

Now when she goes on a date, she’s probably gonna notice the things to find evidence of she could find love again, right? That it goes from maybe he, you know, he didn’t open the door to, oh, he is so excited. He just wants to get on a date and if she’s on her phone, maybe it’s because, like you said, something else is going on, right? Yeah. It, it doesn’t it’s not looking for that evidence of the negative.

Jeff: And maybe the, I could fall in love again, might change into, I will fall in love again

Doreen: Eventually, when you can get there. I mean, the thing about changing your thoughts is that you wanna change them to something you believe.

It’s very difficult for people, especially after divorce, to just jump from I’ll never find love again to, oh my God, for sure I’m gonna, my gosh, I’m gonna find love again for sure. Like, I don’t expect that much of a jump. It’s those gentle little just changes and thoughts that are real. Like it could that make all the difference.

Jeff: Yeah. But sometimes you have to think of something enough before you believe in it.

Doreen: Well, and that’s what we do when we coach people. We first get them to identify what they’re thinking. and how it’s, what it’s showing up for them in the results in their life, right? So it’s the thoughts.

You have a circumstance. The thought is whatever comes into your brain, then you have a feeling, you know, whatever that feeling is, that’s that adjective, happy, sad, angry, whatever it is. So you have the circumstance, the thought, the feeling, and then from that place of feeling, you’ll either act on some level, or maybe choose not to act, you know, in action or, but which is still on.

Jeff: Which is still acting.

Doreen: It’s still doing, taking a, making a choice and then you have a result. Right? So the, the lady who says I’ll never find love again, probably is going to end up not going on dates because she has this negative thought process about going on dates. So my question for the listeners is, if you had a choice between thinking positive thoughts or thinking negative thoughts, what would you choose to think?

Right? Why would we choose to think negative thoughts? How would that possibly serve you?

Jeff: Well, I don’t think we choose it. I think our, we just go with the flow of our brain. Well, that’s what we’re saying. And so we wanna be aware of it. Being aware is a key here. And you know, it’s, let’s just take, I wanna explain something else.

There’s a circumstance that happens in your life. Let’s just say it’s the filing of the divorce or being served with the divorce papers, or maybe it’s your spouse saying to you, I want a divorce. Okay? Now, those circumstances in and of themselves, they’re what we call facts. When you file your divorce papers, it’s a fact.

In other words, it could be proved as a matter of law. When your spouse says to you, I no longer wanna be. Those words are factual. They said those words right when you get served with the divorce papers, that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean anything though until when?

Jeff: Until you ever thought about it.

Doreen: Correct. That’s why it’s really amazing to see people going through divorce and some have a really hard time at it, a lot of negative going on, and you have another person that’s in a different mindset. They’re probably not thrilled about it, but they’re accepting of it. They’re moving on. They’re getting results in their life, starting to make changes in their life towards a new chapter.

Jeff: They’re possibly getting along with each other.

Doreen: Well, that would be helpful. Right?

Jeff: Kids are doing well.

Doreen: Right, right. So remember that whatever the negative circumstance is that’s happening in your life, and right now, I’m gonna presume that for a lot of you, it’s about the divorce, right? The divorce is a fact.

If you’re going through a divorce or you went through one, it’s a matter of law, meaning it’s it’s factual, right? So how are you thinking about your divorce? How do you choose to think about it and how do you want to think about it? You know, getting served with the divorce papers if you believe that your ex is a jerk, and put any adjective you want there.

When you get served with the divorce papers, you’re probably gonna think, see, told you he’s a jerk, right? But if you have a more of a neutral thought about your ex, maybe the thought might be something like, well, we haven’t really been getting along very well for the last number of years, or whatever it looks like.

And so, you know, this is sad, or am I really that shocked by this?

Jeff: Yeah. Well, sometimes you aren’t looking at the thoughts that you’re having. You’re looking at the results that you’re having and then realizing it’s caused by your thoughts.

Doreen: Correct.

Jeff: So I, somebody might look at the results like, oh my gosh, this divorce is so hard on us, or hard on the kids.

That’s a result. It’s also a thought.

Doreen: That’s a thought.

Jeff: It’s also a thought, but it could be a result of your, what thoughts you’ve been having. In other words, your thoughts.

Doreen: Well, I think what you’re trying to say, I’ll interrupt you just to get to the point, is that if you have a thought that the divorce is challenging, difficult, negative, I’ve gotta get every penny.

If you have all these kind of negative thoughts about the divorce, most likely the result is you’re not gonna settle your case. Right?

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: That’s a fact. It’s like I have this negative thought about my divorce, about my soon to be ex, which results in a feeling of probably anger. Let’s just take anger as an example, which means the action is, I’m not gonna give him or her, you know, a little bit more to settle this case because I’m angry, which means the result is the divorce takes longer.

Jeff: Well, it sounds like what we do in coaching, it’s a direct correlation that your thoughts will create, you’re the results that you want, that you have.

Doreen: The other thing I like to do when we try to really understand our brain and changing it from negative to positive thoughts, so we get more positive results in our life and who wouldn’t wanna live that way, right?

Is I like to ask the clients, and I’ll ask the listeners out there, so what, in other words, so what are you making that mean. For example, let’s go back to the divorce being filed. So what?

Jeff: So what?

Doreen: What are you making it mean? And you could do that with things that happen in your life continuously. You can ask yourself, so what you know, and see what comes up for you.

Because everything after the, so what is your story? Everything after the, so what is your story? And then you’ll know if you have a negative story or a positive story, right? So a lot of people, for example, have the idea that they are failures, right? They’re really hard on themselves and they look for evidence to find.

That they’re a failure in everything that they do. So some of you on the other hand believe that you’re a winners and you look for evidence that you’re a winner in everything that you do. So what do you think, what do you think about the, so what, what do you making?

Jeff: I really like it because it’s, it kind of breaks it down to, is this really important or is it not important? So what I mean, so what if they took the kids to McDonald’s and you’re a health nut, so what? You know, if, you know.

Doreen: I like to use the we had somebody recently, she was upset because her soon to be ex brought the child home late. You know, they have a visitation schedule and she was very upset about this. Right? And I said, so what, what are you making that mean? . Well, what it boiled down to, she had such negative thoughts about her ex that she was looking for anything he did to call him out on it and to prove that he’s whatever she’s believing, you know, negative. I don’t wanna use the adjectives that she used, right? Because I can’t say that on live podcast.

Jeff: Did you really ask her so what?

Doreen: I did.

Jeff: And what’d she say?

Doreen: I said, so what are you making this mean? Right? I said What about if you could make it a different story for yourself, right.

Jeff: Yeah, I bet that empowered her a little bit. Well, kind of said I do have the ability to create my own thoughts and my own feelings.

Doreen: Absolutely. You know, as lawyers, we are, we find evidence for our client’s positions, right? So if we’re representing the wife or the husband, or whichever side we’re representing, right? You’re looking at as a lawyer to find the evidence to prove your case before the court or in a mediation, whatever it looks like. Right?

Really good lawyers though, also understand the other side’s evidence. They understand what the other side is going to present and what their position is. They usually know this by way of what we call discovery, taking someone’s deposition, you know, certain filings in the court. Knowing both sides of the equation is usually a helpful thing too.

Jeff: What about the lawyers that let their clients have it when they knew they were doing their stinking thinking and having the wrong thoughts in the wrong,  I mean the wrong results you let your clients know. And I really think that’s makes you a great lawyer.

Doreen: Well, I appreciate that. I mean, look, every situation, every divorce and every client is different. There are no two divorces that are the same. Everyone is unique. And the way in which we approach, you know, as a lawyer, the way in which I approach the client depends on the individual, depends on where they are in the divorce, the emotional issues that they’re dealing with.

And yeah, we do a lot of coaching because I think being a good lawyer also should include explaining to your client in the best way possible. I’m gonna use the expression to get out of their own way. Because sometimes they wanna have an agenda to hurt the other person, as an example. And that’s just not beneficial because at the end of the day, what are you gonna use to decide the divorce?

Well, there’s case law that tells us what to do. There’s statutes and there’s a judge, and good divorce lawyers know what’s gonna happen in a courtroom. It’s gonna fall between here and here. All the other stuff is the story. The story can be important when you’re creating a theme for a divorce, like to present.

But the story is generally not helpful to the client. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about myself, right? So my parents went through a divorce when I was five. My sister was three. My mom moved us from Massachusetts down to Florida, and my father was basically non not involved in my life or my sister’s life.

He was non-existent. He was definitely an absent father. Never, never took us out on visitations, all that kind of good stuff. My mom had it hard. She was, you know, worked at a school. She wasn’t making a substantial income. She’s a single mom with two kids, and I’m going back many moons ago. I won’t tell you how many, but it was tough.

It was tough financially. It was tough emotionally for her. And basically I had to, as a result of that work at a very young age. So I started working when I was 13, doing odd jobs here and there, and by 15 and a half when you were legally able to work. I went and worked and I worked all the way through to this very day.

I put myself through school, you know, my father was not around, so I didn’t have that intact family or a father figure in my life. Now, I could tell the story a poor me, the girl that was abandoned by her father, whose mother didn’t have the dollars to be able to support her or send her to school who had worked to .put herself through college and persevere, you know, or get through it Right? And pour me, or I can tell the story, which is, you know, that I eat in spite of whatever obstacles I found a way, it gave me the strength. I persevered and here I am today with a, what I consider a beautiful life.

Jeff: Well, you worked a lot of jobs. You put yourself through law school. I mean, there’s a lot of successes that came from that.

Doreen: But I could tell a story a much different way.

Jeff: Of course you can.

Doreen: Right? So all of us have the ability to tell our own stories or to retell the story, and that empowers you, that’ll push you forward in a direction of positivity and great results as opposed to poor me, and a story that doesn’t serve you, that’ll just continuously, your brain will look for the evidence of that and you’ll just be in that cycle. So my question for the listeners is, how do you wanna tell your story? You get to make up the meaning you give to your divorce and your life.

You can make it mean something wonderful and amazing or okay if you can’t get to that amazing part, or you can make it mean something terrible and offer and awful. So the only difference is what you decide to focus on. So no matter what’s going on in your life, I encourage you to always ask the so what, anything that happens to you, let’s just try it on for a day. So what are you making it mean? Let’s assume that you’re late to a meeting. So what you got stuck in traffic. So what?

Jeff: So what?

Doreen: Your ex brought the children home late. So what? You didn’t, you didn’t get that job that you just interviewed for.

Jeff: Damn him.

Doreen: No. I mean, so what?

Jeff: So what thing can be fun?

Doreen: Yeah, it’s fun, right? You gained three pounds.

Jeff? So what?

Doreen: So what?

Jeff: So you may, you may not be the most popular person in the gossip room.

Doreen: No.

Jeff: But I tell you what, you’re gonna go home with a lot happier.

Doreen: Absolutely. Absolutely. So for today’s episode, again, to bring it back full circle, it’s remember, your brain is an amazing machine.

You have the ability as the humans that we are to refocus what you think about from something negative to something positive and ask yourself continuously, so what? What are you making? Whatever the circumstance is mean. And choose from there. Be aware of your thinking. When you look out the window at the marsh, what do you want to focus on?

Jeff: Slow down and look for the positive.

Doreen: Absolutely. All right.

Jeff: It’s there.

Doreen: It’s there. All right, my friends, go try on the exercise today, if you can ask yourself when you have a negative thought, so what. Why am I making this mean this today? And how might I just change it just a tiny little bit to start to change the results that I’m gonna get in my life?

Jeff: Sounds like a plan.

Doreen: Sounds like a plan. All right, my friends.

Jeff: And it was episode 82. I liked it. It was great.

Doreen: Well, I like it too. I hope they like it as well. And please, if you have any comments or things you want us to talk about.

Jeff: Love to hear from you.

Doreen: You can always reach us. Our website is and if you’re interested in having a complimentary consult with us, just fill in the information and we’ll talk to you, set a Zoom call and see how we might be able to help you. I got some really exciting, we have some really exciting things coming up for those of you that are interested.

Stay tuned, but it’s not gonna be until next year, but the beginning of next year, right now, we do one-on-one coaching, and I know that’s a little pricey for some people. I think that you need to afford it is my personal, you know, we spend money on many things and we make many choices in life.

Jeff: And this is an investment in yourself.

Doreen: This is an investment. I mean, because when you get your thinking where it needs to be, you’re gonna get paid back tenfold. But I am creating with Jeff another program for next year that will tell you. All right guys. Listen, have an amazing week. Love yourself. Be kind to others. And remember, you can have an amazing life.

Yes, you can after divorce. All right, we’ll talk to you later.

Jeff: Have a great one.

Doreen: Bye-bye.

Jeff: 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.


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