How to Be Decisive During Your Divorce
You don't have to be overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make.
Posted May 08, 2020
I had just said goodbye to my final client of the day and was getting ready to head home after a long day of working with nine clients.
I looked down at my phone and saw I had 21 missed calls, all from my lawyer.
I gasped and noticed my heart was racing out of my chest.
Why was she calling so many times? What bad news was she going to share? Why hadn’t I checked my phone between clients?
My brain was fried from the long day, but my body was rushing with adrenaline.
I was in the midst of my custody negotiations and we had been in a back and forth with my ex’s lawyers for days. My lawyer was desperately trying to reach me, so I had to get back to her right away. I picked up my phone with shaky hands to return the call.
When I noticed my fingers were trembling so much I could hardly search for her number I stopped. I was panicking. My mind was swirling with every negative possibility and I was desperate for her to reassure me that things would be ok. I could hear my heart thumping in my chest as I listened to the hold music in her office.
The elevator music version of “Don’t Stop Believing” abruptly stopped and my lawyer barked into the phone (as she is known to do), “What do you want to do about holidays? This is the last thing we need to agree on so I need your decision now. The courts are closing for the long weekend and we need to get back to his lawyer right away.”
I could feel the urgency building up in my neck and shoulders.
Of course, I wanted this over, but I could not believe I had to make this important decision after a long day of work and with such short notice.
I felt so overwhelmed.
Rather than picking up the phone and calling her right back, I sat down on the couch in my office which was still warm from my last client.
I took deep breaths into my diaphragm, slowing my breathing with each deep inhale. I sat in that spot until I felt my heartbeat slow down and my shoulders drop.
When I was ready I stood up and decided I would wait to respond for 24 hours.
I decided to implement a tool I had been teaching to my clients for years: If you are unsure how to respond, simply wait. While this might make most people feel like jumping out of their skin, there is a reason this tool is so helpful.
When we respond immediately we often respond with our emotional brain, not our rational brain.
In this instance, I wanted my rational brain online and functioning because the question I was facing was tricky and required my best analyzing mind on board.
Here’s a secret: If you cannot wait that long, pausing for any amount of time is better than responding right away.
Being proactive rather than reactive always leads to better results.
When you are divorcing, the results of your behavior can have lasting effects, so this matters a lot!
To help you wait the 24 hours, I created a meditation just for you to listen to to help slow your mind and body so you can hold out (reach out for it).
Let me know if it helps!