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Ep. 89 – Andi and Lee Vallely

So what are the psychological effects of divorce on children? It depends. While divorce is stressful for all children, some kids rebound faster than others. The good news is, parents can take steps to reduce the psychological effects of divorce on children. Special guests Andi and Lee Vallely from Shift Happens discuss with us a few supportive parenting strategies that can go a long way to helping kids adjust to the changes brought on divorce.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? We have some special guests with us today. We have Andy and Lee Vellely. I hope I said it right. Anyhow, we’re gonna focus in on, uh, they are coaches and we’re gonna focus in on children and divorce and kind of see where the conversation brings us. So get ready and 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.

Doreen: Hey, Jeff.

Jeff: Hey, how are you?

Doreen: All right. Introduce our amazing, beautiful friends that we’ve known forever that are like coaches and they have an amazing practice. What is it called now?

Jeff: Shift Happens.

Doreen: Shift Happens. Okay. Go.

Jeff: Gotta make sure you say it right.

Doreen: Yeah. Because it could be another word, right?

Jeff: Well, we okay. Our guests are Andy and Lee Vallely. Hopefully I said it right as well. Welcome to the show everybody.

Andi: Thanks for having us. Thanks for having us.

Lee: Is that our cue? Yes, that was our cue, right?

Doreen: Well, let me, let me go back a little bit in time because Andy and I had had a beautiful discussion.

It’s episode 24, so if anybody wants to go back and listen to that, it’s about transformational coaching and we discussed, you know, about the clutter in the world and looking within and finding your inner peace. Wisdom will always guide us into the direction of peace. That’s what Andy taught us back then, so I’m sure we’re gonna hear more about that today.

But we really wanted to focus in on children because all of us, what’s really interesting, and I think it’s so cool, as we sit here today, now we’re recording on Zoom so we can see each other. And I know that for our listeners, you can’t see us necessarily, but we’ll have some little treats for you and maybe you’ll see us is that we have all been through divorces. Right?

I wasn’t sure.

Andi: Except this one. Except for Lee.

Doreen: Okay. But it’s a second marriage for you guys?

Andi: For me, yes.

Jeff: Not for Lee.

Doreen: And you’re well, for not for Lee. And you are in business together.

Andi: Yes.

Lee: Yeah.

Doreen: And the same with Jeff and I. So kind of interesting. We might have to share some stories about that, how we’re still smiling.

Yes. No, no. It seems to work for all of us, so that’s an amazing, beautiful thing.

Jeff: So might be entire podcast episode.

Doreen: So far, our listeners, you know, they’re obviously mostly after divorce. post divorce, because during divorce it’s really hard to kind of, you have so much going on, so we try to coach people after divorce or when they’ve been separated for a while and they’re in a good space because, you know, there’s so much emotion and so much healing that goes on.

But you have helped some of my clients with their children in the past that have had some difficulties either dealing with a parent on some level or dealing with the divorce or dealing with things that children go through, you know, especially our teens today and or combination of all those things.

So we thought we would kind of focus in on children, but I’m sure as I said that we’ll go into other topics as well. So, where do you wanna start, Jeff?

Jeff: Well, let’s start with how about question number one?

Andi: Okay, let’s go for it.

Doreen: Let’s go.

Jeff: Well, I mean, you have a parent, whether it’s the husband or the wife or the ex, the spouse, and they’re having a difficult time with a new, let’s say it’s a new divorce, and they’re trying to explain what’s going on to the child.

How do they, how do you help them explain it to the child? How do you break the news to the child?

Andi: Would you like, would you like me? Okay. The first thing is kids learn what they live, not what you tell them. So the most important thing is that the parents, Is very in tune with taking care of themself and that they are in a good space.

If they present something like it is going to be the end of the world, the child will perceive it that way and act accordingly. If they present it as though this is what’s best for all of us and give the reasons why it’s gonna be a more peaceful environment, even for the child. And you know that they have put plans and structure in place for the child.

You know, kids need structure as much as they tell you they want freedom. They really do relish having structure because there’s an element of safety. When they’re structured, when they know what’s going on and kids need that. So the presentation and also the pre-planning has so much to do with how the child is going to respond.

And also, you know, Lee and I were talking about this, of course, telling them this is what we have said in place for you, but also letting them know that their voice can be heard and will be heard. Meaning that if they have a plan in place and it’s going along and you know a certain period of time enough where you feel this is an ample time to make a decision has occurred and the child feels like this sort of time sharing is very uncomfortable that their voice will be heard. I think it’s really important for the kids to know that they do have a voice in all this, but of course, placing the structure there for them initially.

But again, the most important thing is that the parent is in a place of peace because kids feel your energy. And if the parent is in a place of panic, the kid’s gonna feel that panic.

Doreen: You know, you said, and I wrote this down, kids learn from what you live and not what you tell them.

Andi: Yes. Kids learn what they live, not what you tell them.

Doreen: Yeah. I love that because I think what you’re suggesting to everyone is, we kind of as parents have to get our stuff together.

Andi: Hundred percent.

Doreen: You know, so that if we’re all nervous and upset and acting out towards our ex or even just body language, you know, I use examples in some of my episodes before the child comes to the door and he or she’s with the parent, the other parent, the ex.

The mom or dad doesn’t even like say, Hey, how are you? You know, just like turns her back. Even just not saying anything, but just their body language I think says so much to them, right?

Andi: Yes, absolutely.

Lee: Yeah. I mean, it’s be the change that you wish to see and the more you can feel comfortable, then the more your kids are going to feel comfortable and they’re really good BS de detectives.

Doreen: Oh, yes, they are,

Lee: You can say all the right things, but if you are not feeling it, they will know. They will absolutely know. And of course it’s not that you have to be, you know, a big smile on your face or anything, but it’s, that self nurture, isn’t it, so that you can give them that stability.

You want to give that stability in yourself first. So that they will feel comfortable. So when you say anything to them, they will feel comfortable in what you’re telling them.

Andi: Yeah.

Jeff: What about any differences in the ages? Like let’s say the difference between a four and five year old versus a teenager with an attitude?

Lee: Yeah.

Andi: Right. Great question.

Lee: No, they’re exactly the same. Absolutely identical. Of course. Yes. Yeah. I mean, of course, because a four, five year. They’re full of that wonder. They’re full of that, they’re open. So I wouldn’t say easier necessarily, but maybe a little but certainly more of a case of ho holding that space for them.

Whereas a teenager, as Andy was saying, it’s more a case of letting them be heard and they will be.

Andi: Yeah. Yeah.

Doreen: Right. And so, When you are dealing with, and I know that you have, I believe you have courses for teenagers as well.

Andi: Yes.

Doreen: When you’re, when a parent is dealing with a teenager that’s being somewhat challenging, let’s say behavior wise, school wise, acting out is there any advice on those levels?

Let’s just assume hypothetically that in mom’s house she’s kind of got it together. She’s walking the walk, she’s got rules in place. She requires them to do their homework, get to bed on time, not stay out. You know, there’s rules and then dad’s house is complete opposite. And that it could be the opposite. It could be mom and dad, you know, whichever.

Where there are no rules, there are no set, you know, understandings. A child really is just free spirit gets to do what they want. Have you had cases like that, situations like that, and how to deal with. I can imagine you’re shaking your house head and the listeners can’t see us, but I hear that so much, right?

Andi: Yeah. Yeah. I have to tell you,  in that case, the work is truly with the parents. You know, a lot of times a, a parent will call me about their kid, I need you to help my kid. And I’m actually having that situation right now. Been saying to the parent, you know, the work is actually with you at this point because the parents are on two different pages and it is creating a very chaotic circumstance for the parent that’s, that has boundaries.

It’s creating a very difficult time, so it’s not so much with, you know, people think, oh, fix my kid. Well, there’s nothing to fix. The kid is learning what they live, you know?

Doreen: Right.

Andi: It’s actually the parents must get on the same page.

Jeff: Sounds almost like training a dog. You’re not training the dog, you’re training the dog owner.

Lee: Yeah.

Andi: Truly

Jeff: Not to have that kind of comparison, but first thing that came to my mind is that, you know, fix, train my dog. You, you know, it doesn’t work that way. Both owners of the dog need to be trained properly on how to raise the dog.

Andi: Correct.

Doreen: But the unfortunately, as a, you know, the lawyer in the group here, the reality is that not all parents, co-parent on the same level.

Not all parents have the same boundaries. Not all co-parents go into the post parenting obligations that they have with the intention of really parenting. Some of them use the child as a way to get back at the other, you know, their ex. So in those circumstances, you know, in my own cases that I’ve had, I’ve noticed that you keep your boundaries, you keep trying to act, the act, walk the walk.

Work on yourself and then eventually, you know, cuz my kids now are in their twenties, you start to see that it pays off, right?

Andi: Yes.

Doreen: You start to see that they’re making good decisions and you’re like, wow, that may really makes sense. So, you know.

Jeff:  Where in my case, you know, I’m still having issues.

And I think a lot of it stems to, from the differences in the parenting

Andi: Oh, yes.

Jeff: Or the lack of, I would say lack of co-parenting.

Andi: Sure, sure.

Lee: Yeah. And there’s no, there’s no right answer on this. I mean, that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s all subjective because you can do all the right things and it doesn’t work out.

And I know that doesn’t sound very positive, but that’s a fact of life and as long as you do all the right things, as crazy as it sounds, at least you can. You can feel comfortable in that. You can only do what you can do. It’s the serenity prayer, right? You know, you take care of what you can do and you leave the the rest.

You just hope that that will be enough and it will be enough in the fact of it will be the best that you can do.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And starting off with the earlier, obviously the younger they are, the better.

Andi: Right. Being consistent. Being consistent, you know, it’s like, well, this is the way we do things here. So when you’re there, things may be different, but this is the way we live in this house, you know?

Jeff: Yeah. I think we used to call it, reprogramming every time somebody back to back to our house. How do you reprogram a child that’s come back from, like when Doreen was saying that some parents raised their kids totally different. I know one example she had was one was vegan and one went to McDonald’s,

Andi: Right.

Jeff: So how do you reprogram them when they come home? I’ve gotten away with this. I’ve gotten away with that. I got new toys. I got stay up late. What do you mean I don’t get this and I don’t have to go to bed early?

Lee: Well, that’s it. I mean, you know, you go to school, right? And you go into, I remember I used to go into a geography class and the guy was so easy, easygoing, we could just hang out. And it was great fun. And then we went into the next class and it was mathematics, math. And oh my gosh. He was so strict, you know? And we had to, we were almost like stand sitting to attention. But it wasn’t a case of like, we had to remind ourselves, oh, wait a minute, we’ve gone into the math class.

It was like, uhoh. Here he is now. That’s an extreme example, but it’s, it’s not that we have to necessarily reprogram, it’s more a case of being a consistent so that when they come to you, they know the rules. They know that they can’t do McDonald’s or whatever it is, or they can do McDonald, you know, they know that it’s, I think that we could generally, we could maybe misunderstand how flexible kids are, and we all are. You know, it, as long as we’re consistent with it, if we’re wishy-washy, they’re going to be wishy-washy. If we’re consistent, they’re going to be consistent.

Andi: Yeah. And I think also we have to remember that it’s our job to parent. It’s not our job to be their friend.

Doreen: Right.

Andi: Excuse me.

Doreen: Bless you.

Andi: See, a lot is that in that situation. Excuse me. The parent wants to be the favorite and you gotta give that up.

Doreen: I wanted to talk about that because you said something when we first started today about kids crave discipline, structure, boundaries, and what I hear from clients, Is that, well, dad is doing all these things, or Mom is doing all these things with him on his time, her time.

I just don’t wanna be so you know, have so many rules here because he is having such a challenging time over there. And so, you know, I don’t wanna discipline him. I don’t wanna put, you know, put those boundaries in place. And I think what you’re suggesting is that is the opposite of what we should be doing as parents.

Lee: Well, yeah, except that it’s the way you put it because they need consequences.

Andi: Yeah.

Lee: And what happens a lot of times, you know, if you cut and wall a kid that there’s no consequences, so they don’t. They don’t feel, and it’s amazing how kids actually say they want consequence. They want to feel that structure.

So it’s again how you put it, you know?

Andi: Yeah.

Doreen: Right.

Andi: The biggest thing when we worked with kids that were in treatment a long time ago, but I will tell you that what was most profound to me, that was the biggest aha from working in that environment. And we worked with them. You know, we had kids, they weren’t kids, they were in their sixties, seventies, but the majority of the people that we worked with, I would say were in their late teens, early twenties.

So by the time they got to us, you know, they were already young adults. But the most common statement that I heard, and this blew my mind, was that I wish my parents gave me more structure. That time they didn’t want it.

Doreen: Right

Andi: Back they were like, that’s what I needed. That’s what I needed.

Doreen: Yes. So for the parents that are having challenges, setting those boundaries that now have a consequence.

Andi: Yes,

Doreen: Because I’ve done a couple episodes, I think two episodes on boundaries. They have to, my understanding of a boundary, at least the way we teach it as coaches, is that you have to set the boundary.

It has to be communicated and understood. It has to be clear. And when the boundary is broken, they, or not appear to that they understand the consequence. If you do this, then you will be, you know, you can’t use your car for a month or you know, you can’t watch tv, whatever it is, so that, it’s very, very clear.

What it is and then the follow through. Because how many times do the parents, they’ve broken the rule, they’ve broken the boundary, they know the consequence, the child, but the parent is saying, okay, fine. They’ll, you know, Because kids will be so good at saying, but mom, I can’t be restricted.

There’s a dance on Saturday. We already bought the dress. We already did it. And if the punishment’s, the punishment, the boundary has been broken, they don’t go to the dance. Right. It’s just the way it is.

Andi: Yes. Correct. Correct.

Jeff: I feel like, uh, you’re talking about me?

Lee: Course you can. What is the situation?

Jeff: Over 18 doesn’t live with me anymore. Doesn’t need anything. I doesn’t need anything from me except love. But you know, the boundaries aren’t working and neither of the consequences. What’s, if it’s not working, what do you do?

Lee: Well, you’ve become lovingly assertive. And, that is, you keep going with those consequences.

You keep going with those boundaries and, you know. Until, I mean, when do you stop caring? You never stop caring. Right?

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: No. Well, what I was gonna suggest is maybe the consequence, the boundary and the consequence have to be revisited because now you’re talking about your situation Jeff.

Your son is out of the house. He’s an adult, he has his own dollars. So those consequences don’t work anymore. So now there’s other consequences that maybe just need to be better set, better understood, something that would work, and maybe bring some change that way, you know? But there comes a point in time when they become adults and they become self sufficient.

And then, you know, maybe we have to look internally as to why we’re still trying to hold on. I know we’re holding on because we love them. We want them to be safe. We want them to flourish. Whatever we believe is flourishing. Whatever we believe is good for them.

Jeff: It’s in their best interest. Yeah.

Doreen: It’s in their best interest.

But there comes that point where now they’re in their twenties and then they’re in their mid twenties. It’s kind of like maybe there’s some work there too. Right?

When it’s time to kind of let go, it doesn’t mean you stop loving them.

Lee: And again, that’s the lovingly assertive part because lovingly assertive is not if this, then it’s in the moment, right?

So lovingly assertive is, okay, I can see how this is not working, or this isn’t the way to go. So we can readdress that. And what is lovingly assertive is it’s a win-win. So we’re looking I need this, this is my house, you know, my rules type thing. Not like a, a big sort of big deal about it, but this is what I need and I, and I see that you need this, so how can we come to this win-win situation?

Jeff: And yeah, it’s not applying any power. It’s just they’re the facts. This is my house and boundaries, and you have a right to follow ’em or not.

Andi: Right. Yeah, absolutely.

Doreen: So, what about when you’re dealing with or I guess advice on, you know, starting a new life for the child, meaning new schools, new set of friends, you know, after the divorce there’s so much upheaval anyhow.

Usually you have a new home or someone has left the home. There might be, like I said, new school, school districts. That might result in new friends, new groups, any advice for how the parents help their kids to kind of navigate and get into that new life?

Andi: I was just gonna say, to me, it looks like y you know, again, it’s all in the presentation. It’s like, do you want some cherries? Oh my God, these are the best cherries I’ve ever had. Or do you want these cherries? You know, it’s all presentation. So I think it has to be looked at like a new opportunity with, you know, a world of possibility.

And from that, and also teaching your kid to be present at rather than futurizing, because where do we suffer? We suffer at the mercy of our thinking. And if we let our thinking go to town on what could be awful and what could be terrible, and how things will go wrong, and how sad I’ll be, well, you’re gonna feel sad no matter what.

You won’t be able to see the opportunity in front of you. You won’t be able to see that maybe the best friend that you’ll ever have is sitting next to you in class, but because you’re so closed and your mind is so busy in a space of thinking about what was, you won’t see that it’s right in front of you.

So I  think that’s the beginning of how to begin to go about it. And then of course every situation is different, but that’s just in general.

Doreen: I think we just spoke about that. I don’t know if it was in last week’s episode, Jeff, or an episode before, but we talked about the fear of the unknown.

Oh, I know what it was. Last week, we spoke about the emotions that the stages of divorce, the emotions of divorce, and of course one of them is fear. And we, Jeff, what do, what do we call fear?

Jeff: It’s false evidence appearing real.

Doreen: Right. So the thought that this can happen and that can happen when it hasn’t even happened.

Jeff: It may not happen. It may never happen.

Doreen: And may never happen. And in fact, as Andi suggests, it could be something amazing that happens as the opposites of it. You know, I like to ask, um, the questions sometimes of our clients and listeners, you know, why? And I try to, you know, not be too sarcastic, I guess, but maybe sometimes it comes off that way.

But why do you choose to have that thought? Couldn’t you have the thought that she’s going to meet her new best friend, she’s going to find her new group, she’s gonna get involved in, you know, do so well at this school. So there’s two options of thinking, right? Or something maybe more neutral in between.

Andi: Yeah. Beautiful.

Lee: Yeah.

Jeff: Beautiful.

Doreen: Yeah. So, what else, Jeff? Let’s talk about, let’s talk about your course for teens. And it, yeah. Tell us a little bit about what you do, how you do it.

Andi: So, well, our course is just about to be available online to anyone. I believe it’ll be up and running.

Well, it’s already up and running, but it will literally be available next week, which is great.

Doreen: Oh, it works out perfectly.

Andi: For anyone. So that’s really beautiful. But we have, we created this course a couple years ago actually. It was totally organic. It was from the request of, we had a couple clients that kept saying, you know, can you work with our kids?

We love what you do. Could you create a weekend like you do for adults, for kids? And, you know, you hear it the third time and you’re like, And, we did, and it was, we were really blown away with how much the kids took to the information because the information is, it’s universal. You know what, what we’re talking about at the course universal. So, and we did it again and we happened to have somebody from the school district, one of the, these superiors at the school district. His kid was in our class and he contacted us afterwards and said, you know, you need to create this for the classroom. Would you please do that?

Long story short, there’s a lot of red tape in that area and we covid hit actually. It was initially intended to be presented as a curriculum. We went and created it in a space where it was a 20 minute modules so that it could be presented online. Not ever, I’m having a clue that we would launch it in the way that we’re launching it.

That’s available, which has been beautiful.

Lee: And what’s great about it? It’s a baseline. I mean we were talking recently because we made this two years ago, you know? And since then we’ve had different ideas, different insights, and yet each time we go back to it, it’s got that base level. And what I mean by base level is just like you guys are saying is, is we’ve got those fundamental.

Understanding is there. And once you have those fundamental understandings, then you can branch out. Then you can go more subjective with different if then type right situations more specific and, and that’s the beauty of it. It gives the person, whether it be a teenager or a very younger child or even, or even someone in their twenties, you know?

It gives them a baseline of being comfortable in their own skin and once you, a person is comfortable in their own skin, everything else starts to get a little bit easier, you know?

Doreen: Yes.

Jeff: One thing I really, when I was looking over the chorus, one thing I really liked about it, that it was customizable.

So you said it’s customizable, which is kind of neat, but there’s also a part for the parents. You know, you said earlier that the parents have to be involved, but part of the course is with the parents as well. Can you tell me a little bit about the customizable part of it?

Andi: Yes. Well, the customizable part is when we work individually with a client.

So with a client that’s obviously customizable to where they are but for the course in general, we do have a parental component and we absolutely suggest very strongly that the parents, that they watch it as a family. That they go through this course as a family, because what happens is they get a, they gain a common language that they can use in the house, for how they’re feeling, for what they’re experiencing.

So that you know, even if they’re in a really low mood, it’s not a thing. It’s a temporary experience and nobody has to become offended by it. So it takes the pressure off of having to explain yourself. It takes the pressure off of life becoming a drama. Because when you understand that life is a series of experiences and we get to choose what we make really big.

And how we show up for that experience, it’s a different ballgame. Once the kids, again, as Lee said so beautifully, feel comfortable in their own skin situations can occur, but they’re still whole and they’re still solid and they’re still okay. And that’s the beauty of it. So foundationally that what, that’s what it gives to whomever is experiencing the voice.

Lee: And going back to the idea of setting boundaries and so on. The beauty of this is that you are working on the same page you are, you know? It gives the parent a discussion like we had a young, girl who her mom went on one of our retreats. And the young girl was there. She was only like six.

And later on she was quoting these little things that we said, mom, do you realize.

I mean. Well, they had a language, you know, that they could use together, which, which is phenomenal. Even with teenagers, they start to use, I say google aps.

Andi: You know, the adult courses he uses the R-rated word?

Lee: Yes.

Doreen: Okay. Okay. Well, let me tell you what I think is kind of cool about it because you know, I’m always thinking as a life coach, but I’m also thinking as a lawyer. So this is not, the modules are not therapy. Right. It’s coaching. So if the child, if dad or mom doesn’t agree to the course, because you know, co-parenting, at least in Florida, right?

This is not like if you wanna take your child to a therapist in Florida under shared parental responsibility, both parents have to agree yes, but this is a great option because it can teach your child a language and coaching and through the use of modules. That is not therapy, although it’s coaching, and I’ve talked about the differences of that in some of the episodes, but it’s a way to really get them engaged and not have to have the permission.

If the permission, it would be beautiful to have both parents on board, but in the circumstances where you can’t.

Andi: Yes, yes.

Doreen: It’s a nice thing. Plus, I think what’s also kind of cool about it is I’ve heard in the past, like some children, I don’t wanna go talk to a therapist. Well, this is done in the beauty of your own living room or family room or wherever you wanna watch it.

Right? And do the exercises. And it can be done on without anybody really anybody knowing. Cuz I know some other kids we’ve dealt with, they’re like, well, I don’t wanna go to a therapist. Everybody’s gonna talk about it. People are gonna know this is done in the privacy of your own home.

Lee: Absolutely. Yeah.

Doreen: Which is kinda cool too.

Andi: Yeah,

Lee: It’s very non-invasive, you know? It’s very indirect and I know, as you say, it’s customizable. And it’s customizable because it’s very general in one sense, that becomes specific to whoever’s listening, right? Who whoever’s watched.

Andi: Right. Like you can’t take it personally. Like one of them, they’re just coming up for me. Like one of the modules is separate realities, you know? So how cool is it for a child to know, oh, you know what? My parents don’t agree because, not because either one of them is wrong. But people both see the world through a different lens. That’s not, you know, that’s not offensive.

That’s just, oh wow. Oh wow. That’s okay. So I can have compassion and understanding for both of them. I see why they don’t agree, but it doesn’t have to be offensive. I don’t have to choose a side. They’re just experiencing separate realities. So how cool is that if the parents were open to looking at it together to be like, Okay,  I might not agree, but you know, I can’t take offense to it cuz that’s his reality or that’s her reality and, you know, it just can take the pressure off, you know.

Doreen: And in today’s world especially. Isn’t that a beautiful thing to really have as a concept that we can all have separate realities.

But still live in peace and harmony together. And have respect for each other. And that we don’t have to go out and do what we see too much of nowadays, you know, which is really people just being at each other constantly.

Jeff: Go ahead. I

Doreen: ’m sorry, Jeff, go ahead.

Jeff: Oh no, I was just gonna say when you talk about the parents’ course, you talk about atomic happiness.

Andi: Happiness, yes.

Jeff: I love that. Let’s talk about what is happiness?

Andi: Well, it’s happiness beyond your wildest dreams, my friend.

Jeff: Where do I sign up?

Andi: Right.

Doreen: Me too.

Andi: On the website. But that force is fantastic. We created that course for a business that we were working with where they just wanted to get everybody on the same team.

And it was just it. And I will tell you it’s a lot of the same concepts. That’s why we were saying what we share with the kids is fundamental. But when we present it to adults, we just present it maybe with different stories or different scenarios that will resonate more with adults, right? But the information is universal and the truth.

Once you get outta your own way, your natural essence is happy. That’s our natural essence. We just have so many stories and so much gunk, and we call it poop, whatever in our mind that gets in the way of us actually being present in the moment and seeing the wonder. Like a kid, you know, a kid sees wonder from a leaf, you know, they pick up a leaf on the ground and they think it’s yes.

You know? Until we tell them, no, there’s a toy that is much better than that, that we can spend $200 on. They don’t know that until we should.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: And you know, when you said, be on the same page in the business that would be great if it was the same thing with parents, that they would be on the same page and be on the same team.

Lee: And you know, there’s a great equation that we use in the atomic happiness and in the course it’s yes. And that is potential minus interference equals performance. And you’ll know this, Jeff, because I mean, in martial arts for instance, you know that not the potential is there, the potential of all of us is there?

The interference is what prevents us from having that amazing performance. Now that sounds pretty obvious, right? And, and as we start to realize what the interference is, we start getting out of our own way. And that’s where the happiness is. The happiness is our natural wellbeing. We don’t think that because we’re so used to being negative, looking for what’s wrong in life generally.

But when we start to realize that, ah, it’s me doing the interference. And just that noticing, just like riding a bike, you know, when you ride a bike. Oops, I’m going right. I need to go left. Because if you do that, you fall off.

Doreen: Right, right, right.

Lee: Notice you just notice you, you’re just noticing, ooh, you know, making little adjustments without even realizing, starting to get out of your own way.

And then all of a sudden your performance, what’s your performance? It’s anything, right? It’s your happiness. It’s your being comfortable in your own skin. It’s even conversing with others. Whatever it is, your performance naturally improves. You just keep getting rid of that interference.

Jeff: That definitely wrote, wrote down that one too. Thanks.

Lee: Yeah.

Doreen: Well, for our listeners who are just fresh out of the divorce. And they are just feeling a lot of negativity. You know, they’re negative about everything that’s happened in the divorce, where they are probably at themselves, certainly at their x. Getting outta your own way and all of that, do you have any advice, like, is there some big like message that you can tell us that will help us to start to think differently?

Lee: It’s the fundamental teaching that we have and that is always remember that you, as in every single one of us are a diamond you are not broken. The behaviors are maybe need adjusting, but you are the potential. You are the diamond. There’s nothing wrong with you. Again, behaviors you might wanna improve, skills, you might wanna improve, all of those things, but they are not you.

You do not need to be fixed.

Doreen: So the essence of who we are is beauty and love. And I think so many of our clients, you know, post divorce, are just dealing with not feeling that way.

Lee: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And it makes such a difference that the actions might be identical to what you were doing before, but with that understanding, now you’re fixing behaviors, you’re not fixing self.

Doreen: And when you fix the behaviors, what happens?

Lee: Well, I mean, I’ve sort of shut myself in the foot because really, because really when you start to understand that you don’t need to be fixed, the behaviors tend to fix themselves. They’re an illusion after all. Right? They are an illusion. So fixed like, this is me.

No, it’s your personality. You know, it’s your situation. It’s not you. And a lot of those times, just because we’re, again, more comfortable in our skin because we understand we’re not broken, our natural again, the interference falls away and then we start to perform so much better anyway at all.

We at least see the wood for the trees. We see what we need to do as opposed to that sort of panic stricken or broken type attitude of thinking, I’ve gotta do, I’ve gotta change everything about myself, or I’ve gotta change everything about my kids, or I’ve gotta change everything about my situation.

You start to actually, no, I just need to breathe. I just need to be in the moment. And then the answers start to show themselves.

Doreen: That’s such great advice. Jeff, anything more?

Jeff: I was just thinking, you know, when you talking so much more Oh yeah. I was thinking about when you said mention diamonds.

There’s an old saying that pressure creates diamonds. It takes a black piece of coal and turns it into a diamond after, I don’t know how many years. But the pressure that you might put on yourself can be good or can be bad.

Lee: Right, right.

Jeff: So I mean, what would you, how would you address something that you know, the pressure is good, but maybe in somebody else’s case it might be bad..

Lee: Well, I mean, I’ll leave it to you.

Andi: Okay. Because I was gonna say, I don’t think any pressure is good.

Lee: Yeah.

Doreen: I don’t either

Andi: Ever being a bonus. And actually what we say is take the pressure off. That’s actually probably the first thing that we say to anybody that’s coming in some sort of package. Is take the pressure off.

Lee: And here’s the thing, is the diamond is the metaphor. And what we’re talking about, the diamond is the diamond’s already whole already perfect. So in that metaphor, you know, the pressure of the diamond, the pressure creates the diamond. We’re already the diamond, so we don’t need pressure, you know.

Doreen: Exactly, we’re already there.

Lee: We’re already there. We’re already, we’re already there. We’re already the dining, right? Yeah. And just going on onto that point, because it’s such a valid point because we’re taught, aren’t we? You know, you gotta work hard for a living and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s putting pressure on ourselves.

But what is the pressure? The pressure is the interference. And the interference is how we look at what is happening in our lives. So, there was a great statement that a colleague of ours, Michael Nes, is actually one of our mentors, and he was in a situation with Jack Camfield. Jack Camfield.

Doreen: Yes, I know him well.

Lee: Yeah. Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Doreen: Yes.

Lee: And he said to Jack Camfield, so are you busy? Are you busy? And he thought for a little while and he said no. He said, I’ve got a lot on, but I’m not busy. And you know, that’s the thing is what is pressure? Pressure is how, what we determine is pressure.

Whereas one person could handle so many different things and feel quite fine about it, somebody else could deal with one thing, absolute pressure. So again, it’s that interference. The more we start to understand our language and keep going back to that self-nurturing, being comfortable in our skin, we can actually handle so many more things than we ever thought was possible.

Doreen: Yeah, it’s so true. I know that, you know, I deal personally with anxiety almost every morning. Because I run three businesses, so I’m thinking about all these things. And what I do is I meditate and I journal and I realize that really everything is just fine and perfect and beautiful, and but it takes time to, it takes time for me to reprogram myself, my thinking to get it there.

You know? It’s like just something that I’ve dealt with. Just waking up with that anxiety constantly. Having to refocus, and I find that it’s helpful to do it during the day. You know, when you’ve got a million emails, not a million, but hundreds of emails coming in and people pressuring, the phone is ringing and somebody’s unhappy and somebody’s happy, and then you, whatever else’s going on, it’s just like, but everything really is okay.

Right. It really is.

Jeff: I bet Lee’s gonna tell you that you’re creating your own interference, right?

Lee: Did he even lift my lips right there?

Doreen: Yeah. Well, and, and I think awareness is the key, you know, because our brains are gonna do what they’re gonna do.

It’s what you do when you know it. So many of us, I think, live on this autopilot. We don’t even know what we’re thinking. We’re just gonna through, you gotta question and it, it’s that stop and, and take a deep breath and like really everything is okay.

Lee: And I love first thing in the morning because there’s been so many studies done on that, that how you start the day is usually how the day goes.

So, absolutely. It’s gotta be that first thing, first thing, you know, have a, a little bit of a ritual again, that structure, that first thing in the morning. Is have a word, a word that like snaps me into that way of thinking. So I sounds weird.

Andi: Wakes you up.

Doreen: Jeff and I do the miracle morning. I dunno if you’re familiar with it. Every morning. Yeah. You know, which is of course meditation, journaling, reading, what else is in their affirmations, goals .

Jeff: And then taking the dogs out for a poop.

Doreen: Right. That’s, that’s not really a ritual for you, but it has to be done.

All right guys, well tell us, tell the listeners how they get in touch with you, your website, all that kind of beautiful stuff.

Andi: Our website is Shift Happens Global. And we’re on Instagram shift happens global. We’re on Facebook shift Happens global. There’s a pattern and yeah, there’s a pattern.

Yeah. So that’s our website and our Instagram’s just shift Happenss Global and Facebook. Thank you.

Lee: Yeah. And you can actually, we could even give you a link if you like, cuz we can send you that happiness toolkit. Thanks. And it, and it, it’s really, it’s really good. You know, you can Sign up, it’s free.

Andi: Yes. The Happiness Toolkit is free and it gives you a morning meditation, morning journal. Yeah. With the morning routine.

Jeff: Well, why don’t we get the, why don’t we get the link and put it on our transcript?

Andi: I’ll send it to you.

Lee: That’d be great.

Jeff: Absolutely great.

Doreen: So, really nice. So all, all of our listener listeners can go ahead on your website and get this for free.

Andi, Leee: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Doreen: Oh, that’s perfect.

Andi: We’ll send it to you. You put it in the link. It’s, it’s really nice.

Doreen: Oh, perfect

Andi: Journal in there. And stories and meditation and it’s really cute.

Jeff: Well, I knew I was gonna have a lot of fun today with this. I’m so glad you guys came on.

Andi: We always have fun with you guys.

Doreen: Yeah, we always have fun. We always have fun, but really, we so appreciate it. And you guys are just amazing. You make a beautiful couple and I already feel the interference is going away. I feel calmer letting. No, we really love you guys.

Andi: You guys are magic.

Lee: Yeah.

Andi: And we love you and it’s so delicious to see you.

Thank you.

Jeff: We love you too. All well.

Doreen: Have a great, amazing week.

Andi: Thank you.

Jeff: Bye-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.


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