Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Struggling to “Be Here Now”?

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Click here to read my English usage blogs.

Many of you know Ram Dass’s famous book, Be Here Now, the 1971 precursor to Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. From the titles of these books, you get the idea that there is something to be gained from focusing on the present rather than being run by our painful past or anxiously awaiting the unknowable future. Easier said than done, perhaps.

We have all seen (or have) the bumper stickers that say, “I’d rather be ____.” And who doesn’t say wistfully, “I wish,” ending the sentence with fantasies of Friday/the weekend/vacation/a new job/a new relationship/more wealth. There’s nothing wrong with wishing and hoping and fantasizing. It’s a testament to our optimism and unique ability as humans to imagine the future. However, this same ability sometimes works against us.

One of my clients told me that he and his wife are going through a tough time. He’s afraid they may not make it. After a brief pause, he added, “Jane, I want to be hopeful. So I’m just going to put my anger and hurt aside.”

If it’s possible for this man to truly let go of his anger and hurt with the snap of his fingers, then more power to him. But if his hope depends on ignoring his painful feelings, that hope is bound to be short lived. Anger and disappointment, ignored and pushed aside, tend to recirculate. As much as we try, denying “what is” doesn’t make “what isn’t” more attainable.

Like this husband in pain, I often wish I were “there,” or at least anywhere-but-here, now. But we can only change that which we acknowledge exists. If we can practice sitting with our feelings as they are—all of them, not just the comfortable or happy ones—if we can stay present with the present, we notice that our feelings evolve.

Anger dissolves into hurt, sometimes tinged with regret. Hurt and regret give way to sadness and mourning. If we don’t run from this grief, it eventually leads to a unique combination of acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, and compassion. From this fertile soil, wisdom sprouts, flowering into grace. Grace releases us from the grip of suffering. We begin to notice that we feel free where we formerly felt constrained and tight. This process may happen slowly or quickly, but with patience, compassion for our struggle, and perseverance, it will happen. Isn’t this worth being here now for?

Announcements

Click here to read more about Jane’s popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, #15 on Amazon’s bestseller list in the spirituality category.

Dear Jane Podcasts
Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.

Click here to read Jane’s article in USA Today on the lessons we can glean from celebrity breakups.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
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#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. You can view the entire contents of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation online here. Plus get over 200 Subscription Quizzes that can be done online with instant answers or downloaded and copied to your heart’s content! Only $29.95/year (over $171.00 in savings!). Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Order your copy today!

Three Keys to Creating an Extraordinary Relationship

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Click here to read my English Usage blogs.

While love can make us soar to new and giddy heights, it can also bring us to our knees. Love can be difficult, daunting, and more often than we wish, devastatingly painful. Ram Dass, one of my favorite Buddhist teachers who speaks truths with both lightheartedness and great compassion, has said that relationship is the hardest yoga of all. So maybe we shouldn’t think any more highly of a monk meditating on a mountaintop than we do of ourselves for having the courage to struggle with loving another human being.

Most of us have secretly believed, at one time or another (or frequently), that if we just changed partners, it would be SO much easier. And we may be right. The problem is that our hearts don’t always know if letting go is the answer or is simply an avoidance strategy. What if we pick the same person/problems in a new disguise? What if our partner is right and we’re the problem?

When couples come to counseling, they want to know what I think: Are they better off apart? Is the relationship worth salvaging? Will it get better? How much better? Will it ever be good enough? Relatively pain free? Do they even dare hope for happiness? When will they know when they’re “there”?

Even with 27 years of experience as a relationship coach, I am terrible at predicting the future of relationships. I worked with one couple who I would have bet wouldn’t last another six weeks past our first session. Ten years later, they still write me holiday cards with photos of them with their growing brood, their smiles real and joyful. They always write something that gives me way too much credit for their happiness. I laugh, mostly at myself and how wrong I secretly was about their chances.

Another couple, who seemed to have only minor issues, left their third (and final) session grateful, holding hands, reassuring each other of their mutual respect and love. The next I heard, only a few months later, one of them was living with a new partner. Like many of their friends, I murmured to myself, They seemed so good together.

USA Today, in an interview I did for them, gave me the title of relationship expert. I chuckle at that. Is there really such a thing? What are the qualifications for such an exalted title? Should expert status be conferred by statistics? Is it how many couples I have worked with who have stayed together? Or maybe how many couples I have helped split amicably, avoiding costly attorneys’ fees? Or should someone be dubbed a relationship expert who is a good predictor of a couple’s chances?

We have such high expectations of relationship: We want to feel loved, safe, heard, respected, supported, beautiful/handsome/sexy, and…we are inevitably disappointed when our partner isn’t a deep enough reservoir. Should we give up and move on? Can we do better? Will learning tools or increasing our self-awareness really help?

If there are tricks or theories or strategies or paradigms or sociological studies, how do you know which one(s) to pick or whom to trust? A numerologist will give you one set of parameters for finding and keeping your “perfect” partner; an astrologist, another paradigm; a psychologist, a third set of compatibility factors. A Buddhist guide might help you see relationship through the lens of karma. The psychic has spirit guides, tea leaves, or your palm at his/her disposal. Most of us take the smorgasbord approach: We try a little of this, a little of that, hoping to cobble together our own paradigm for success in relationship.

So, as USA Today’s relationship expert and, more truthfully, humble observer of hundreds of couples, let me add another morsel to your plate with my three keys to creating an extraordinary relationship. I believe that these are the “must have” tools that will help you find your way back to trust, intimacy, and friendship.

Jane’s Three Keys to Creating an Extraordinary Relationship

1. Ask open-ended questions. When people tell me what makes them feel most loved, they’ll mention roses, sex, cards, candlelight dinners, long walks, back rubs—all the usual stuff. They never mention being listened to. But I’ve found that it’s the act of love that is most appreciated, melts even the most cynical heart, and is a more potent aphrodisiac than chocolate or flowers.

2. Provide a safe haven. You know that Allstate insurance commercial with the two hands cupped together, palms up? When the chips are down for your partner, be that. Don’t judge or give advice; just gently hold their precious spirit in your hands. This is as close to unconditional love as one adult can ever offer another.

3. Offer truth, not just mere honesty. You may be honest if you tell your partner, “You were an inconsiderate boor” or “You’re an idiot.” Honesty can be hurtful to a relationship because it can contain judgments and assumptions. The difference between honesty and truth is that truth is nonjudgmental. I can say in truth, “I am really angry that you talked about my weight loss struggles in front of our friends. It felt humiliating.” When I teach couples this distinction, they sometimes argue that the truth sounds so much scarier because of the vulnerability required. I say, “Exactly! How do you expect to have intimacy without vulnerability?” It’s a choice—a courageous one. Truth is a form of love. When we are willing to tell the truth and hear it, we let our partner know that we are risking everything for the sake of the highest good of the relationship.

In my book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, I offer many more tools that will minimize your pain and maximize the intimacy and joy in your relationship. But these three may be enough to get you out of your relationship rut and back to remembering why you were attracted to each other in the first place. Here’s to your courage, your vulnerability, and your compassionate intention!

Announcements

Click here to read more about Jane’s popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, #15 on Amazon’s bestseller list in the spirituality category.

Dear Jane Podcasts
NEW! Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.

Click here to read Jane’s article in USA Today on the lessons we can glean from celebrity breakups.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online. Plus 161 Subscription Quizzes that can be done online with instant answers or downloaded and copied to your heart’s content! Only $29.95/year. Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Click to order

11 Keys for Getting the Most out of Relationship Coaching

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Click here to read my English usage blogs.

Every couple hits rough patches. Some may even find themselves suddenly “skidding on black ice.” But whether the problem in the relationship is chronic, causing simmering resentment, or seems to explode like a land mine, almost every couple contemplates getting help at one time or another.

In a tight economy, the pressures that couples experience intensify. This can put you in a push-pull situation: Already strapped for money, you are faced with the additional prospect of paying for a service that has no guaranteed outcome. Yet you suspect that if you don’t get coaching, your relationship won’t survive. You have to weigh the immediate costs of professional help against the potential costs of a breakup, including double rent or an additional mortgage, a forced sale of your home, moving expenses, attorneys, and additional childcare. Even if you aren’t married or don’t have children, breaking up isn’t just hard to do; it can be costly.

So how do you know when the right time for relationship coaching is? How do you know if it’s going to work? How do you know if your relationship coach/counselor is good?

Because each couple’s situation is unique, there are no simple answers to these perfectly reasonable questions. However, there are some things you can do to decide if relationship coaching is a good option and to maximize your chances of a satisfying experience. Here are 11 Keys for getting the most out of relationship coaching:

1. Don’t wait until you feel hopeless. Maybe you’re already at this crisis stage. In that case, don’t delay in getting help. If you’re on the fence about relationship coaching but think you want to salvage your relationship, consider this metaphor: When a scuba diver descends too quickly, her ears may hurt from the imbalance of pressure. At that depth, it won’t work for her to continue trying to relieve the pressure by swallowing. She must swim back up to the point at which the pain began, clear her ears with a good swallow or two, and then descend slowly, checking for pain levels periodically. Successful counseling is akin to the scuba experience. It is often a matter of finding the initial spot where the pain began. This is easier for everyone—coach and couple—if you don’t have so far to travel back or can’t even remember the last time you felt no pain. Crisis intervention leaves little time or energy for exploring the root causes of heartache, which may often include past relationships and childhood events. So, just as you wouldn’t let a physical wound fester without treatment, don’t ignore your emotional wounds.

2. Don’t use your coach as a referee. When couples are angry, they want someone to listen and see their side. That’s expected and reasonable. But don’t expect a good counselor/coach to take your side. That need can be met by friends who may commiserate out of sheer loyalty. A seasoned relationship coach knows that taking sides is counterproductive for the couple. She should listen to both of your feelings, fears, and complaints. She should then connect these to the deeper issues that precipitated your problems or even predated your relationship. A good relationship coach will provide you with useful insights (those AHA! moments), tools for communicating, and homework to raise your self-esteem, which often declines as a relationship deteriorates.

3. Don’t focus on being liked by your relationship coach. She’s not there to take sides; she’s there to help you find clarity, learn relationship skills, and develop higher self-esteem. If you try to be “teacher’s pet,” you may feel betrayed the first time your coach calls you on a behavior, which she will no doubt do if she’s any good. Don’t idealize her. Remember, when she’s not being paid to be the perfect listener and guide, she may not even be someone you’d like as a friend.

4. Commit to the process. Presuming you feel some “chemistry” with one another after the first session, your relationship coach will probably ask you to commit to a minimum number of sessions or length of time. If one or both people can’t make even a minimum commitment, there may not be enough elasticity in the relationship to make counseling worthwhile. If you have one foot out the door already, be up front with your coach. Don’t pretend that you are more invested in working on the relationship than you actually are or you’ll end up fighting the label of “the bad guy.”

5. Unless you have been abused, don’t threaten your partner with leaving during your counseling timeframe. If you’ve committed to three months of counseling, don’t walk in after three weeks and say that you’ve changed your mind. Give your relationship coach a chance to help you through at least one emotional abyss. I once worked with a couple where the husband threatened “the end” in the middle of every session (even though I asked him repeatedly not to do this). After enough of my calling him on his threatening behavior, he was willing to admit that his ultimatums made him feel a semblance of control. But he could also see that his threats fueled his wife’s distrust and provoked her in destructive ways. Once he stopped “crying wolf,” they both became more vulnerable about their underlying feelings and fears. From staunch enemies they grew (in just a few weeks) to become each other’s best friend.

6. Don’t withhold. If you have some big secret, there are many ways to handle this. Here’s how not to handle it: Don’t tell your relationship coach your secret in private and ask her to keep it from your partner. That’s poison for any relationship. If your counselor reinforces you in any way in keeping your partner in the dark, find a more ethical counselor. You don’t want to work with someone who colludes on secrets. How can you trust that she isn’t holding a secret of your partner’s that you would want to know? You’ve probably heard the saying, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” Your secret, be it about infidelity, credit card debt, or herpes, is already eating you up or you would have shared it with your partner. Because secrets reinforce our fears, they inevitably damage our relationships. Here’s what you can do if you have been keeping a secret from your partner: If you can’t imagine telling your partner outright, then go ahead and talk to your relationship coach privately. Tell her you need help finding the courage to share your secret. She won’t sugarcoat the consequences. Yes, you may lose your partner. But in my experience as a life coach, the relationships that almost certainly end are the ones where one or both parties had a secret they were unwilling or too afraid to confess. Think about it this way: You are afraid to tell because you are afraid of being abandoned. But the reality is that you are likely to be abandoned if you don’t tell. Why? Because your relationship is a mirror. If you are afraid of being abandoned, your relationship will mirror that fear in some way. If you think you are unworthy of your partner because of your secret, they will unknowingly mirror this back to you. Secrets set up a Catch 22, no-win situation. So you might as well offer the truth and find out if your partner can forgive you as you learn to forgive yourself.

7. Be truer to your values than to your fears. No one wants to be abandoned. But if you abandon yourself or your core values to keep somebody in your life, you will regret it. Most of us have done this at one time or another and know how bad we end up feeling about ourselves. Yet we sometimes try to “work around” our values in order to avoid loneliness or dissention. If your partner is behaving in ways that offend your moral sensibilities, speak up. If you try to talk about other, less sensitive topics in counseling when you are bothered by something bigger, you are wasting your precious time and money. Give your counselor an opportunity to help you honor your values and to explore your partner’s core values. Maybe your partner is behaving in ways that go against his/her own ethics and feels ashamed. If so, there’s a good chance that a relationship coach can help your partner realign with his/her values.

8. If you disagree with your coach’s interpretation, speak up. Even the best relationship coaches have filters based on their own life experiences. But a good coach doesn’t care more about being right than about the success of your relationship. While you don’t want to be rude, you don’t want to worry about objecting. You’re not there to coddle your coach’s ego just as she isn’t there to massage yours. She may disagree with your point of view and you may feel defensive. That happens. But you shouldn’t feel bullied, intimidated, or humiliated.

9. Don’t shoot the messenger. You may not like what you hear from your coach. But if it rings true, even if it bruises your ego, don’t blame her for doing her job well. Ignoring the truth translates to you and your partner suffering needlessly. Try to remember that a hard truth is better than a soft lie if your priority is a healthy, happy relationship.

10. Talk openly about financial issues. If you are wobbling about coming to a counseling session because of financial difficulty, let your counselor know before your next session. Obviously, it is respectful to give her time to think about how she wants to handle this. But perhaps even more importantly, she may make a connection between your financial difficulty and other issues in your relationship. Being truthful about financial stresses will help her put the pieces of your puzzle together in a way that could be quite illuminating as well as financially stabilizing.

11. Practice compassion.
You might not be in counseling if this were already so easy, but if you can’t find any compassion for your partner’s emotional wounds or the fears that drive his/her counterproductive behaviors, it’s hard to move forward or find hope. Ultimately, the capacity to create a successful, intimate, joyful relationship lies in our ability to recognize and remember that everything that doesn’t look like love is simply a disguised cry for help. Your relationship coach should demonstrate enough compassion that it “wears off” on you. It is compassion that promotes healing, vulnerability, truth, and forgiveness. Although there are few promises that can be made about the outcome of your time in counseling, I guarantee that the more compassion you practice, the more satisfied you will feel about the experience.

Announcements

Click here to read more about Jane’s popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, #15 on Amazon’s bestseller list in the spirituality category.

Dear Jane Podcasts
NEW! Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online. Plus 161 Subscription Quizzes that can be done online with instant answers or downloaded and copied to your heart’s content! Only $29.95/year. Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Click to order

Lessons from High-Profile Celebrity Divorces

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

To read my English usage blogs, click here.

This may not sound like the title of one of my usual newsletters, so let me explain. First, an explanation for the gap between newsletters: I was on a roller coaster ride for a number of weeks, first with a surprise health issue that is now fortunately resolved and then with some 15-minutes-of-fame experiences.

After two minor surgeries (one surprise, one planned) I flew to Club Med Cancun to teach my Creating Your Abundance from the Inside Out Seminar. The participants—a mix of savvy business folks, marketing experts, health professionals, and professors—contributed so much to my already jam-packed workshop that I decided to compile all this wisdom into an e-book, aptly titled Creating Your Abundance from the Inside Out, which will be ready for ordering in September.

Club Med was followed by a “Cinderella at the Ball” experience in L.A., where I was escorted by my wonderful producer friends to meetings with TV executives for a possible reality show. From these gleaming high rises, I was taken to the Paramount Studios set of “Monk,” where I met Tony Shalhoub and reconnected with his co-star Jason Gray-Stanford (my buddy from the televised Grammar Bee that he hosted and I judged). When I flew home, I was still on Cloud 9 but grateful for my day-to-day life with my family.

Just as I was settling in, I was contacted by USA TODAY (They’d googled Relationship Expert and voila!) to offer some wisdom on how to have a “sane” breakup using celebrity divorces as backdrops. Below is the article as it appeared in USA TODAY online. An edited version appeared in print on July 11, 2008, in Section D, Life. If you’d like to see the original with all the celebrity photos, click here:

Staying Civil in Divorce Court is Hard to Do

Christie Brinkley and architect Peter Cook ended their brutal divorce trial Thursday with a settlement that gave the former model custody of their children, Jack, 13, and Sailor, 10, and all 18 of the couple’s Hamptons properties. Brinkley, 54, agreed to pay $2.1 million to Cook, 49, who was granted “parenting time.” The settlement, which followed allegations of affairs, expensive porn habits and bad parenting, was “a very bittersweet moment,” Brinkley said.
While the ugliness of the trial didn’t rise to the level of the divorces of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards or Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, other celebrities have had more success in keeping their breakups civil. USA TODAY and relationship expert Jane Straus, author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, look at the good and bad of celebrity divorces.

Ryan Phillippe, 33, and Reese Witherspoon, 32
Married: June 1999
Divorced: June 2008
Children: Ava, 8 and Deacon, 4
Issues: Irreconcilable differences
Back story: Witherspoon and Phillippe stayed amicable after their split, even after rumors surfaced that Phillippe was having an affair with his Stop-Loss co-star Abbie Cornish. Phillippe says that he and Witherspoon “have done a really good job at keeping things peaceable and completely focused on the children.” Witherspoon has opted to keep the details of their divorce private.

Straus says: If only more ex-couples could bite their tongues until time has had a chance to help them heal. Once nasty details have been publicly aired, it’s much harder to ask friends, family, or even the public to forgive and forget.

Hilary Swank, 34, and Chad Lowe, 40
Married: September 1997
Divorced: May 2006 (announced)
Children: None
Issue: The double Oscar-winning actress told Vanity Fair in 2006 that Lowe’s substance-abuse problem was at the heart of their split.
Back story: The two remain good friends, and Lowe publicly raves about the way Swank supported him throughout his path to sobriety. “In the end, it just didn’t work,” Swank told Vanity Fair. “But I would never look back on this relationship as failed. I look at it as 13½ years of success.”

Straus says: This attitude shows hard-won wisdom on both Hillary’s and Chad’s part. They’ve been through the agony of addiction and come through with grace as demonstrated by neither of them having to play “victim.”

Kate Hudson, 29, and Chris Robinson, 41
Married: December 2000
Divorced: October 2007
Children: Ryder Russell, 4
Issues: Irreconcilable differences
Back story: Maintaining her friendship with Robinson was very important, Hudson told Harper’s Bazaar in September 2007. “For both Chris and me, our main focus is, and was, Ryder. And happy parents, happy baby. Therefore, I love Chris to pieces.” Hudson is so at ease with their split that she spent Father’s Day this year with Robinson, Ryder, her new love Lance Armstrong and Armstrong’s three children.

Straus says: Some couples come to realize that their purpose has been fulfilled once they have a baby. If they have no stake in feeling wronged, they can split amicably and focus on their children’s well-being. It helps if money isn’t an issue, of course.

Paul McCartney, 66, and Heather Mills, 40
Married: June 2002
Divorced: McCartney filed for divorce in July 2006
Children: Beatrice McCartney, 4
Issues: Without a prenuptial agreement, Mills sought a financial divorce settlement of $250 million.
Back story: Despite his wealth, McCartney lives on a modest property, according to court documents, and offered Mills $30 million. Mills wanted $6.5 million a year for herself and daughter, $25 million for a London home, $6 million for a New York City apartment and $1.5 million for an office in an English seaside town, according to People magazine. In addition, both McCartney and Mills have blamed the other for leaking details of their private affairs to the press.

Straus says: “Most of us believe we would feel satisfied — even thrilled — with Paul’s seemingly generous offer. But we all get used to a lifestyle and can then feel offended or even threatened when it is being taken away from us. Maybe the lesson here is that it is a slippery slope from privilege to entitlement.”

Alec Baldwin, 50, and Kim Basinger, 54
Married: August 1993
Divorced: November 2002
Children: Ireland Eliesse, 12
Issue: Custody battle
Back story: Basinger has charged that Baldwin is “emotionally and physically abusive,” and Baldwin has accused Basinger, 53, of having “a pathological need” to turn their daughter against him. In 2008, Basinger filed a motion to stop Baldwin from publishing A Promise to Ourselves: Fatherhood, Divorce, and Family Law, a book reportedly about their divorce, though Baldwin told the New York Daily News that he has not divulged private information about Basinger. The book will be released in September.

Straus says: “This ex-couple demonstrates a need on each of their parts to get the public to side with them. If they could agree to keep their communications private, they would be letting the public know that their daughter comes first. Wouldn’t that be the best PR of all?”

Charlie Sheen, 42, and Denise Richards, 37
Married: June 2002
Divorced: November 2006
Children: Samantha, 4, and Lola, 3
Issue: Custody battle
Back story: Richards described Sheen in court documents as abusive, negligent of their daughters and a patron of prostitutes. She also has asked the court to give her final decision power, despite their joint custody arrangement. In a May statement, Sheen said Richards continues to publicly discuss and harass both Sheen and his new wife, Brooke Mueller.

Straus says: “Like many newlyweds, Denise may have thought she could change Charlie’s notorious ways. At the time of their split, she may have felt disillusioned and hurt. Many parents find themselves fearful and confused about the data on vaccination risks, so this battle shows concern for their children. Let’s not judge them for this.”

USA TODAY also asked me to write an introduction with advice for a “successful” breakup. Due to space limitations, it didn’t get printed, but I thought it might be helpful for some of you.

“Successful” and “divorce” are not two words we usually put together in the same sentence. Is it even possible? Well, if some celebrity couples can manage it, even with the paparazzi on their heels 24/7, maybe we can too. But just as it takes two to make a successful marriage, it helps if both partners are mature enough to abide by some basic rules when they come to the painful decision that it’s time to split up.
Rule #1: Don’t tell your family about all the terrible things your partner did. What if you get back together? You will feel embarrassed that you’ve forgiven your partner and your family may find it hard to forgive him/her for hurting you.
Rule #2: If you need to talk, which you probably will, talk to a counselor/therapist. You deserve compassion, but a professional listener won’t support you in wallowing in self-pity any longer than necessary. A counselor’s job is to help you understand your relationship patterns so that you can break the unhealthy ones and move on.
Rule #3: Never fight in front of your children or share any gory details. Getting them to side with you is nothing short of cruel.
Rule #4: Don’t talk about money too soon. During a split, feelings tend to be volatile. Anger and revenge can morph into remorse in the blink of an eye. You will want to get stabilized emotionally before you divvy things up. Even if you agree on how assets will be split, have your own attorney look everything over. But make sure you hire a lawyer who is supportive of mediation so that you don’t lose everything in a potentially futile court battle.
Rule #5: Keep your new life private for a while. While it can be tempting to show off new eye candy on your arm, why risk turning still-smoldering embers into a wildfire?
Rule #6: Remember the loving feelings you had when you first got together. Why? Because simmering resentment doesn’t help you get over the relationship; grieving does. Grieving requires remembering the good and feeling your sadness and loss. You may feel uncomfortably vulnerable, but you will also heal that much more quickly.

Announcements

Click here to read more about Jane’s popular self-help book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, #15 on Amazon’s bestseller list in the spirituality category.

Dear Jane Podcasts
NEW! Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
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An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online. Plus 161 Subscription Quizzes that can be done online with instant answers or downloaded and copied to your heart’s content! Only $29.95/year. Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Click to order

Ten Thoughts to Invite Surprising Changes

Monday, April 21st, 2008

(Click here to read my English usage blogs.)

Sometimes it seems that there is no getting away from personal growth, even when I consciously attempt to distract myself. Today, I was googling one thing, which led to another and another, before stumbling upon Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. I remember learning about this in college physics, but it never occurred to me then that what Heisenberg discovered has such profound implications outside of scientific circles. Now, after all these years, I think that this Principle deserves no small amount of awe.
Essentially, Heisenberg determined that the mere observation of a particle causes it to then move in an unpredictable manner. I started relating this to us. After all, aren’t we a bundle of particles? Do we, by simply observing ourselves and each other, alter our paths in surprising ways?
If observing my thoughts changes my subsequent actions, then I might want to be more thoughtful about what I think. So I came up with a list of Ten Thoughts to Invite Surprising Changes to my own bundle of particles.
1. Do what matters most and let go of the outcome.
2. Be truthful, not just honest. Truth contains compassion.
3. Your Self is a renewable resource. Share it.
4. Find meaning in the smallest of things to notice what is truly great.
5. Affirm all children. Remember that everyone was once a child.
6. Recognize and remember fear’s many disguises: anger, hate, resentment, boredom, cynicism.
7. Forgive yourself by admitting your mistakes, making amends, and granting yourself compassion. Do this often.
8. Try amazing things. The world isn’t served by your laying low.
9. Love is more than a feeling; it is a choice.
10. Be the person your dog thinks you are. (taken from a bumper sticker)
Feel free to send me your list of Thoughts to Invite Surprising changes. They don’t have to be original, just meaningful to you.
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Announcements

Create Your Abundant Life With Jane
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008
Enjoy the luxury of a hassle-free, all-inclusive stay (food, drinks, lodging, and transportation from Cancun airport) at this newly renovated Club Med. PLUS experience transformational seminars and one-on-one coaching sessions with famous, top-notch personal-growth speakers and bestselling authors—at no extra charge!
I am offering a NEW program specially designed to enhance your experience at Club Med:
Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
What if you discovered, while on vacation, that your limiting beliefs were not true?
How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Do you feel that you don’t have enough:
• Time
• Money
• Energy
• Love
• Intimacy
• Fun
• Self-esteem
• Inspiration, or
• Direction
Don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack. There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:
• Fear
• Self-judgments
• Limiting beliefs
Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.
I will give you cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to experience the abundance that already exists in your life and manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.
All-Inclusive Price (except airfare): Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600) / $1000 for children under 18. Your Club Med Vacation includes: 1. world-class accommodations featuring CD players, mini fridges, televisions and much more 2. full open bar 3. endless gourmet buffets and a variety of all-day dining options 4. transportation to and from Cancun airport 5. all programs 6. one-on-one consultations with the presenters. You may also sign up directly with Club Med for exciting excursions. You must book before April 23 to secure this reduced rate. Contact Teresa Williamson @ 650-759-1005, media@podium-pr.com or Raha @ 925-915-1515 soon as there are a limited number of reservations available.
Additional seminars from other transformational speakers and best-selling authors:

Cameron Johnson: You Call the Shots

Maybe you’ve watched Cameron on the Big Give with Oprah – now meet him in person. Cameron is recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. Over the last eight years, Cameron has given hundreds of speeches worldwide. Cameron is also the author of the international bestselling book, “You Call the Shots.” Cameron will inspire you with his story and motivate you to the next level of success.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson: Build Your Personal Mission Statement

Teresa is the creator and founder of TangoDiva.com—a worldwide online social network and travel magazine for women. She is also the author of “FLY SOLO: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone.” She has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspaper articles around the world. Teresa will teach you how to create and build a mission statement that can guide you to success.

Chet Holmes: How to Double Your Sales

Super Strategist of the Fortune 500, Chet Holmes had more than 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients, taking his place as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant, and motivation expert. He is the author of the NO.1 bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Chet will teach you how to double your sales – no matter what your business is.

Stephen Pierce: The Art of More

For many, Stephen Pierce’s name is synonymous with success. Recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet marketers and Business Optimization Strategists, Pierce wears several hats when it comes to his businesses. He will teach you how to expand your business in a competitive world.

Spike Humer: Consciously Creating Your Future

Dedicated to the passionate pursuit of creating joy, excellence, and positive abundance in life, health, relationships, and business throughout the world. He will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your life.
Contact Teresa Williamson at media@podium-pr.com for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane Or call Teresa @ 650-759-1005 or Raha @ 925-915-1515
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Dear Jane Podcasts
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Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online.

What’s New:
• 60 additional pages at the same low price
• More quizzes
• Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
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The Gift of a “No Holds Barred” Apology

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

(Click here to read my English usage blogs.)

Recently, Ron Whitney, a life coach and lay counselor at his church, wrote to tell me that he had read my book, Enough Is Enough! He added, “I hope I am not being out of line, but as I read the chapter on forgiveness, I could not help but think that you might appreciate a letter I wrote to my ex-wife several years ago.”

Well, I thought so much of Ron’s letter that I asked his permission to reprint it for you. It is a wonderful example of (1) an unconditional apology (no ifs, ands, or buts), (2) self-forgiveness, and (3) nonattachment to outcome. (Ron asked for and expected nothing in response.)

Dear ____,

I have agonized over writing you for several years, trying to figure out how I would say what I want to say.

I want to tell you how deeply sorry I am that I offended you in numerous ways during our marriage. I am deeply sorry that I was not emotionally available to you. You were right in your frequent complaints that I “was always down the street and around the corner.” I am deeply sorry that I allowed my interests in Auburn football, softball, umpiring and church activities get in the way of our relationship. I am deeply sorry that I did not express my anger toward you when anger would have been an appropriate response. I recall on more than one occasion you asked me if I never got angry with you. My response was always, “I choose not to get angry.” I was so arrogant. I am deeply sorry that I did not confront you in a loving, compassionate way when I thought you were out of line. I am deeply sorry that I denied for almost all of our married life that I had a problem or that we had a problem.

I hope that you will forgive me for these ways I am aware that I offended you and caused you great pain. I also hope that you will forgive me for those offenses of which I am not aware.

Sincerely,
Ron

How many of us long for such a letter? How many of us would feel unconditionally loved by someone’s willingness to admit the wrongs they perpetrated against us?

I hope that Ron’s letter to his ex-wife serves as a reminder that you deserve such a letter, whether you ever receive one or not. And perhaps it’s time for you to write such a letter to someone who deserves the gift of your amends.

Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, www.stopenduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.

She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, www.grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes. Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

10 Keys to an Extraordinary Life

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

When I am asked to summarize the essence of my book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, I offer these ten keys. I hope they serve, on a daily basis, to help you create the extraordinary life you deserve.

TEN KEYS TO CREATING YOUR EXTRAORDINARY LIFE

1. Recognize that you are enduring.
Do you feel that you never have time to stop? Do you distract yourself with eating, working, volunteering, cleaning, etc.? Do you resent that you never have time to do the things your spirit longs for? Do you feel resigned rather than inspired? If you wake up most mornings feeling anxious, bored, or numb, looking forward to some imagined future time when you will feel happier – “when my children finally start school,” “when my bills are paid off,” “when I retire”-then you are enduring.

2. Release your self-judgments.
Your negative beliefs about yourself that are holding you back-you’re untalented, too fat, not smart enough, etc.- are probably rooted in your childhood. Why would you let your “inner seven-year-old” run your life? These judgments are real but they are only as true as you have believed them to be. Give yourself compassion for having carried the burden of your self-judgments. Replace them with affirmations and find new evidence to support your willingness to believe in them. Affirmations are as true as you allow them to be.

3. Question your limiting beliefs.
When you tenaciously hold on to the belief that the world works in one particular way (against you), or that there is only one right way to do something (and you are doing it wrong), or that your actions will inevitably result in a specific and predictable outcome (bad), you are strapping on blinders. Make a commitment to take off those blinders. It will take practice and patience to stay out of “limiting belief territory,” but eventually it will become second nature. You’ll quickly start to see that life no longer feels boring and predictable.

4. Drop your acts.
When you put on the armor of an act, you sacrifice your authenticity for protection. For instance, you think no one can hurt you if you’re tough enough…or that everyone will love you if you’re nice enough…or that everyone will respect you if you never admit to being wrong. Your acts will become your prison. Instead, give yourself joyful permission to become more of who you really are. You will feel free and you will find that who you are is much more interesting than any character you could possibly play.

5. Face down your fears.
What fear is keeping you from living your extraordinary life? Whatever it is—quitting your unfulfilling job, leaving an abusive marriage, telling the truth about your past—you must face it head on. Recognize that F.E.A.R. means “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Think of the worst-case scenario and see yourself living through it with dignity. Get support from others. Create an affirmation, such as, “I am now courageous.” Then, just do it. Remember that no matter what the momentary outcome of facing down your fear brings, your worth as a person is constant and never in question.

6. Free your feelings.
If you feel bored, you are probably ignoring or avoiding something. Make an effort to connect with your feelings. Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Check in with your body. Do you feel any tightness or pain? Give that pain or tightness a name, such as fear, hurt, anger, resentment, sadness. If your body feels light and open, give that an emotional name such as joy, love, happiness. Whatever emotions you feel and name, just allow them to be. If they change, let that be. Let yourself be. Learn to honor your emotions. Give them an opportunity to inspire you.

7. Heal your anger and resentment.
When you can acknowledge that your resentments are fueled by your personal regrets, you free yourself to step out of the victim role. It is not that you are letting others off the hook for unkind or unfair behaviors; they are still responsible for their intentions and actions. But the moment you uncover your regrets, you are empowered to let go of resentment.

8. Forgive yourself.
Make a list of the wrongs you have done to others and to yourself. See them as results of survival strategies. Acknowledge the consequences of these strategies to yourself and others. Grieve for your losses and your mistakes. Make amends with yourself and others. Create an affirmation to replace the self-judgments that drove you to using your survival strategies. And remember to treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you.

9. Know, speak, and live your deepest truths.
Commit to being truthful in all you say and do. Realize that being truthful is not synonymous with being honest. Truth is a complex blend of honesty mixed with compassion and vulnerability. When you are “brutally honest,” you are expressing your judgment but not expressing your truth. Your spirit knows the difference between truth and honesty. When you express your highest thoughts and intentions, you are able to live a true life, not just an honest one.

10. Create your extraordinary life every day.
To live in your truth is to allow your spirit’s energy into every cell of your being and into every thought and action. Here’s what this means in everyday terms: When you tell the clerk at the grocery store checkout counter that she has given you too much change, you make truth and spirit matter more than money. When you hear gossip and don’t pass it along, you make truth and spirit matter more than your momentary desire to feel important. When you tell someone you love him or her, unsure of whether he or she will say it in return, you make truth and spirit matter more than your fear of rejection. Make these decisions every day. It takes courage and commitment to be your extraordinary self. You will be amply rewarded with a rich and fulfilling life.

Read excerpts from Jane’s popular book, Enough Is Enough!, watch and listen to her TV and radio interviews on various topics, and sign up for her free newsletter, order her book, or have Jane as your personal life coach by clicking on stopenduring.com.

When You Don’t Have the Hallmark Card Mother

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

I admit it: I’m a people watcher, especially at the card racks before holidays such as Mother’s Day. I have watched people read every card diligently, scrunching their faces or shaking their heads from side to side, only to walk away cardless and, I’m sure, frustrated. Not every mother/adult child relationship can be expressed with flowery poetry or gushing accolades. If this is true for you, how do you handle Mother’s Day?

First, make a deal with yourself not to send false sentiments or you’re likely to build resentment, not ease it. If anything, it may be that Mother’s Day is a time for you to grieve what you never had.

If your mother was not the kind to bake cookies, attend PTA meetings, or tuck you in at night with a kiss on the forehead, that’s a loss of what never was. If your mom was on the Mommy Dearest side of reality—angry, perhaps addicted, or emotionally unavailable—then you have a right to grieve for the nurturing you deserved but didn’t get. The key is to not get locked into feeling guilty for what you can’t feel.

Maybe what you really need is a chance to forgive rather than conjure up gratitude out of thin air. Forgiveness is a gift we owe ourselves. Most of us just hope it will come to us, that we’ll wake up in the morning and there it is—instant, magical relief from resentment. But forgiveness takes conscious effort.

The first step in forgiving your mother or anyone is to acknowledge fully the wrongs that have been done to you. If you don’t make an honest inventory—if you minimize the hurtful behaviors—you are likely to feel stuck in resentment, bitterness, and avoidance.

The second step is to give yourself compassion for the effects these actions and behaviors have had on you. Give yourself what I call in my book, Enough Is Enough!, a pity party. A pity party is where you give people who care about you a chance to let you cry, sulk, pout, or whine for 30 minutes. They are not to judge you or try to fix your relationship with your mother. They are with you just to mirror compassion back to you. If anyone else in the group also needs a pity party about their relationship with their mother, they can take a turn too.

By the time you are done with your pity party, you are likely to feel lighter. That’s the magic of forgiveness work. I see it in my life coaching practice all the time: A client comes in angry or hurt by someone’s actions or words and stuffs it with self-admonitions like, “Oh, I shouldn’t complain. Other people have it a lot worse.” This line of thinking leads to self-abandonment, not self-care, resentment and regret, not forgiveness and compassion. Once someone gives herself permission to express the resentment and underlying hurt, they feel relieved and freer.

So a few days before Mother’s Day, practice true forgiveness. Acknowledge whatever wrongs were done to you by your mom. Don’t make excuses for her. Just feel the sadness for yourself.

Do you need to tell her you forgive her? It depends. If you mother has never admitted to any hurtful behaviors, then she may just get defensive or hurtful. But if your mom has admitted to being less than perfect, then letting her know you care enough to forgive her might be the best Mother’s Day gift you could possibly give her and yourself. Maybe Hallmark has a card that says just that. If not, you can always create one on the computer.

Jane Straus is a personal life coach and the author of the popular and insightful book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. Visit her web site, www.janestraus.com to read excerpts from her book, see clips from her seminars and TV interviews, read her magazine articles and blogs, or to schedule a session with her.

How to Forgive and Let Go

Monday, January 15th, 2007
 
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Dear Jane,
How do I forgive some family members for what they have done to me? I hate going to family events and skip the ones I can.

Often, we attempt to forgive because it would be more convenient for everyone concerned if we just hurried up and did it. Forgiveness, however, is a four-step process. In order to do it well and thoroughly, we don’t want to skip a step.

Step One: Acknowledge the wrong(s) done to you. Don’t sweep anything under the rug. Don’t minimize the transgressions.

Step Two: Give yourself compassion for the anger, betrayal, and hurt that accompany telling the truth to yourself. This is the step you really can’t rush. It may take a day to work through these feelings but, more likely, if you have ignored your feelings up until now or shamed yourself for having them, you will need time to honor the pain. How much time? You can’t put a stopwatch to your feelings. We tend to become stuck in feelings when we try to push them away, not when we give them their due. If you want to forgive others, have a pity party first, which is something I talk about in Enough Is Enough!

Step Three: Forgive yourself for any situation where you have not been your own best ally. Maybe you didn’t speak up when a family member was demeaning or insulting you. Maybe you cried when you wish you had said “Stop.” Maybe you even defended or excused their behavior by thinking, “Well, Aunt Mary was drunk when she said that so I can’t hold it against her.” Forgive yourself for not standing up for yourself.

Step Four: Notice what happens next. By doing the first three steps, you will feel less triggered by the transgressions. You won’t forget them; your Spirit just won’t feel a need to remind you that you have more healing work to do. If you are still upset by what someone has done to you, keep doing the first three steps. There may be more layers to the healing your Spirit requires.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

Protecting a Child from Family Members

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007
 
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Dear Jane,
My mother and I have not spoken for several years. I have no desire to reestablish a relationship with her, but I recently had a daughter of my own (she’s 3 months old) and I don’t think it’s fair to her to not know one of her grandparents. (She does spend time with my father.) I have legitimate concerns for the well being of my daughter spending time alone with my mom and stepfather, but feel I should give her the opportunity to establish a good relationship with them if it is possible. Should I wait until she’s older? How long is that?

It is time to transition from being your mother’s daughter to being your daughter’s mother. If you choose your mother over your daughter, would you perhaps be reenacting whatever betrayal you suffered? If you have legitimate concerns, why would you consider putting your daughter at risk in exchange for the hope that something won’t happen?

It sounds as though you haven’t really fully acknowledged the severity of whatever occurred that caused you to sever your relationship with your mother. In my experience, children don’t break off a relationship with a parent unless they have strong reason to do so. In Enough Is Enough, I address the importance of acknowledging the wrongs that were done to us so that we don’t re-create the same situation for our children and so that we can forgive at a deeper level.

You say you have no desire to reestablish a relationship with your mother. If that is the case, then let it go for now. Or see if you and your mother can work on your relationship with professional help. But do not use your daughter as a “peace offering.” If you want your daughter to have contact with her grandparents, be there with her. Don’t put a time limit on this arrangement. You are responsible for your daughter’s safety and your loyalty belongs with her, not with your mother.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.