• Get ready to get all the answers you need to get through your divorce with dignity and keep your mind, your money and your kids.

    I teach my clients that every divorce is actually three divorces in one. This is the place you can find the secrets to survive the three divorces: Legal, financial and emotional.

    My time tested and proven strategies will educate you, give you hope and ease your pain. I know you are frustrated, I know you have questions and I have answers because I have been there - three times! Read my story here.

  • The embarrassing truth about seperation and divorce

    16 Aug 2014

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    I often wonder how many prayers go up to God about the pain that separation and divorce cause. Usually, by the time someone calls me for coaching, they have been living in a silent hell of shame and embarrassment, hiding their true situation from their family, their friends and the world as a whole. They are living in the same disconnect they were in when the marriage was falling apart.

    The same fragmented shadows cloaking their fighting, their anger,  their sadness, their shattered illusions…..their silent letting go.

    Never telling, always smiling, making the best and praying. Ceaseless prayers.

    “God, please change him/her”

    “God, please change me”

    “God, what is happening to my family?”

    The waterfall of fear, shame and hopelessness cascades down, not in the cleansing way but in the drowning way, leaving us gasping for breath and barely conscious to the compounding feelings that are taking over any sort of happiness that once occupied our marriages.

    People try to avoid separation and divorce. They try as hard as they can, but They don’t ask for help and they don’t look for support.

    They read books, watch Dr. Phil and confide in the closest of friends, who are totally and utterly ill equipped to help. They turn to churches who don’t condone divorce and to food that welcomes them with open cartons of frozen joy,  but they don’t dare risk being too transparent because of the shame. What if people knew they were struggling? What if people knew they didn’t have it all together?

    What if?

    What if people asked for help at the first sign of trouble?

    What if people shared the reality that marriage is hard?

    What if people admitted that sometimes they jump in to marriages without enough preparation?

    What if people admitted that they married someone who is abusive, neglecting or worse?

    What if people admitted that they outgrew their spouse?

    What if?

    One of the hardest things about being America’s Divorce Coach® has been people’s unwillingness to admit in public they need help. The would rather suffer in silence and create a facade on Facebook of an unreal reality VS seek help directly and without hesitation. That is a big part of why I am rebranding to America’s Crisis Coach™ There is something about calling a divorce a “crisis” that is more palatable. Okay, whatever it takes to help, I am here……

    The embarrassing truth about separation and divorce is that even with its prevalence in society, it’s still deemed a shameful failure. It is still taboo. It’s still yucky and best only talked about during gossip.

    The embarrassing truth about separation and divorce is that many divorces could be prevented, but come to reality because people are too ashamed to talk when they could and postpone that embarrassment until all hope is lost.

    The embarrassing truth about separation and divorce is that many marriages should end because the couple is toxic, dangerous or worse and people are more afraid of their image than their safety or sanity.

    What if?

    What if reaching out to a pastor or a professional didn’t have a stigma?

    What if realizing someone is too toxic to be married to was seen as an act of inner brilliance?

    What if the idea of telling your truth set you free instead of shackling you to shame?

    What if people loved themselves enough to do what they know is best and feared dishonoring themselves more than dishonoring their Facebook followers?

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    What I was doing when Robin Williams died

    13 Aug 2014

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    I didn’t think I would write this post. I figured enough people were putting out posts with their thoughts and feelings about Robin Williams, the unmet needs of depressed people and the life-sucking hole that suicide creates in it’s wake.

    But then today, in my work out class, I started crying. Not about Robin Williams, but about what I was doing when he died.

    When Robin Williams died I was sitting in the scorching heat, sweating my ass off watching my son practice football. It is my son’s Senior year in high school and although it was the last place I wanted to be, comfort wise, I wanted my son to know his life and the events in it matter to me. So, I was there sitting in my portable chair watching a mass of Varsity players wham into each other.

    My physical body was there, but my mind wasn’t.

    When Robin Williams died, my body was sitting in a portable chair, in the scorching heat, supporting my son because he matters, but my mind was on my best friend who had committed suicide 6 days earlier.

    Six days earlier I felt like no one understood the magnitude of how I felt. Sure they felt sorry for me, the offered their support and their time should I need it, but I truly felt very isolated in my pain.

    Six days prior to Robin Williams’ death I had come to the realization that

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about who you are

    Depressions doesn’t give a shit about what you know

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about what’s right in your world

    and

    Depression will find you, infect you and wait patiently to see what you’re going to do about it

    In the moments following the announcement of Robin Williams’ death it seemed that nearly everyone understood how I had been feeling for six days.

    In the day that followed, everywhere I looked people were pontificating about depression, the loss of a brilliant and funny man and how tragic the loss was. They were catching up to where I had already been. My friend was as funny as Robin Williams, as brilliant and as philanthropic. My friend was beloved by his family, my friend had every advantage and every opportunity to make a different choice, just like Robin Williams…. but depression doesn’t give a shit about what either of them had.

    The loss of my friend felt very lonely until the sixth day. I will never forget what I was doing when Robin Williams died. I was six days ahead of everyone else, sitting numb in the scorching heat watching my son because he matters to me.

    Six days out from Robin Williams’ death, many of you will be sitting with the pain of his loss in very different ways. Some will throw themselves on his funeral fire, some will champion the cause of mental health awareness and some will make cruel and shitty jokes. I will be six more days ahead of you all, still mourning the loss of my best friend. His funeral will be over, the questions will still be unanswered and hopefully I will be able to go to work out class without bawling.

    I do not care who you are or what you believe. I know, like I know, like I know that given a big enough burden you are at risk for suicide.

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about who you are

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about what you know

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about what’s right in your world

    and

    Depression will find you, infect you and wait patiently to see what you’re going to do about it

    I help people through crisis for a living. I do it because my education supports that career track, I have knowledge and life skills that equip me to effectively help others and I have 20 years in the field of mental health. So did my best friend and yet, he committed suicide.

    The biggest thing that makes me the best person to help others through crisis is that I have been to the brink of suicide. Depression found me, infected me and waited patiently to see what I was going to do about it.

    I am NOT someone who you would peg as depressed. My nature is not depressing. My tendencies are not towards self harm, but given the load of crap I faced after my husband was convicted of a crime and sent to prison for the rest of his life, depression found a crack in my foundation and went to work.

    Depressions didn’t give a shit about who I was

    Depression didn’t give a shit about what I knew

    Depression didn’t give a shit about what was right in my world

    It found me, infected me and waited to see what I was going to do about it

    I fought back. I prayed, I dug deep and you know what- sometimes it didn’t work. Sometimes I lost my fighting will, sometimes God was silent and sometimes digging deep meant I was in a shitty pit of despair.

    Yet, here I am with a husband in prison for the rest of his life, a marriage that is seemingly over and a dead best friend who knew as much as I do about suicide prevention and I don’t want to die

    I want to help others in crisis, who live with defeat and pain and guilt and shame and I want to help them understand that

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about who you are

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about what you know

    Depression doesn’t give a shit about what’s right in your world

    and

    Depression will find you, infect you and wait patiently to see what you’re going to do about it

    Knowledge is power. What we know about, we can fight. We won’t stop suicide for all, but we can stop it for some and that is enough for me.

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    This is excellent video about how depression feels and some ways to be supportive.

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    The thinking war within your mind- which wolf will you feed?

    05 Aug 2014

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    As seen in Faydra’s weekly column in the Red Bluff Daily News

    At a training, the hosts shared a Cherokee story about two wolves. Each wolf represents either positive or negative aspects of thinking. Inside each of us is a wolf who is hungry and demands to be fed. One wolf is evil, he is angry and envious, he is consumed with sorrow and regret. He laments over what is unfair and is filled with resentment. The other wolf is good, he is filled with joy and love, he is filled with empathy, peace and generosity. These wolves war within us and are in constant battle with one another. In the story, the grandfather is sharing with his grandson the battle the wolves are having. The grandson, excited about the battle of good vs evil asks “which wolf wins?” His grandfather replies “the one you feed.”

    Our mind is a battlefield. Inside it is at war. The factions of evil thoughts vs the factions of good thoughts. Our mindset is the choice we make about which wolf to feed. On any given day, we may have the mindset to feed the good wolf. We serve our minds positive thoughts and personal love. We only hear nurturing things in a world full of toxic mind sludge. On other days, when we aren’t as strong, when we are weak and living in a fast food mindset, we cater to the evil wolf. We feed him our negative self talk and gorge him with the comments of others that are unflattering and hateful.

    Here are two different excerpts from various letters I have received regarding my writing, my work and my personal life. Each excerpt feeds either the good or the evil wolf.

    Faydra, you are a creative genius and an inspiration. You have the talent to take someone you don’t even know and let them know they matter. The things you can do are truly unique. You are a great inspiration and your writing changes lives.

    Your bragging about how big you are is just that. You are a big woman, fat and disgusting. No one cares where you go, what you do or who you want to portray yourself to be. Miss Life Coach is such BS, tell the truth and see how many followers you have

    Here is an example of two portions of nourishment for the wolves who live within me. Which one do I dare feed? On most days, I throw a full portion of positive to my good wolf and am able to starve out the evil. On days when I am weak and vulnerable, the evil wolf catches a break and feasts on the hate that comes in the mail or on line.

    Every one of us houses two wolves within. Each of us has glutinous beings demanding to be fed. Even the most stable person hides secret insecurities. I am transparent enough to share mine. What I have discovered is there is freedom in shining a light on the negative aspects of life. Trying to live as though there are no elephants in the room is too time consuming and robs me of the energy I need to do good things for others.

    When I feed the evil wolf portions of self doubt and hate, he tears at my heart, my pride and my coping skills. Doing that makes it nearly impossible for me to have the energy to write my column, coach my clients or speak before audiences who need my message.

    Recognize the wolves who live within your mind. Be mindful of which one you feed. You control the feeding schedule and you can starve out evil.

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    What Will You Think When Life Passes You By?

    04 Aug 2014
    This is our group before the run- fresh and clean.

    This is our group before the run- fresh and clean.

    Yesterday, I participated in the Sacramento Color Run with my daughter and life-long bestie (and her daughter too). It was magnificent. The vibe, the creative approach people took to create unique outfits and the route were all really cool. It was exhilarating in a lot of ways. The run/walk began in the morning when it was still a bit chilly, but nice enough to run in without the blaze of Nor Cal heat. My group was in the first wave of runners and it was awesome to run with people I know and love. I was somewhere behind my daughter, a collegiate athlete, who was ahead of me and able to run the whole event. I managed a run/walk combo and to be honest, though the concept of the dye is awesome, the reality is that some of the volunteers who spray the colored dust, aim straight for your mouth and face and for whoever was running the “blue” station I have a message for your team “you sort of suck” and “your team made the trek through the blue zone sort of like being hazed into a sorority.”

    During the run, I was keeping my mind on the moment. That’s something I have been really trying to do nowadays. You see, my life has taken some really shitty turns the last few years. So much so that I nearly gave up on my dream to make a lasting impact on the world. Because of circumstances outside of my control and the bevy of emotions and self-doubt it all caused, I nearly walked away from what I know God has called me to do. I nearly threw up my hands and said there is no way I can survive this emotional holocaust. There is no way for me out of this pit. My only hope is terminal illness or perhaps suicide. Literally death seemed the only way out, initially.

    I am not sure if you can totally fathom the depths of my despair. The utter hopelessness and helplessness I felt. The sense of overwhelming doom and the shame that I lived with. Not something you’d expect from a life coach.

    Yet, here I was, running the color run and looking for the good and desperately wanting to feel whole and confident that I am worthy of the dreams that are in my heart. Padding along at a slow and steady pace, I took in the venue. I appreciated the sky, the tress, the homes that were being revitalized down town and thought to myself “I’d LOVE to remodel a home like that” I found that I was thinking in terms of the future. Of a life way out in front of me, sort of like the finish line of the race.

    All of a sudden, the race became a living metaphor in my mind. The slow and steady pace I was keeping. The labored breath that was lessened by stopping a moment to walk and collect myself. Life is like this. It is hard at times, but we have to keep going- one foot in front of the other until we reach the finish line. When it gets too hard, we need to stop and breathe and collect ourselves before moving on. I found myself coming to the color stations and seeing the metaphors there. How people with bottles full of colored dye, throw their “stuff” on you as you run by and it sticks to you and marks you. There you are, sweaty and tired from your race, covered in the stuff they throw on you as you go by, just doing the best you can. Yet, in the midst of that stuff, you control your mindsest. You control the reaction you have to their stuff. The color run is fun. It is full of joy and the metaphorical dye can either make you want to punch a baby or make you smile at the absurdity of it all. The choice is yours.

    photo-15By the time I reached the last mile, I recognized that under the most duress, my mind has some of it’s greatest epiphanies. During the last mile, God bared down and showed me a vision that really helped me gather my courage.

    but first, a bit of back story….

    I am pretty well known as America’s Divorce Coach and in being “her” I help others cope with the headaches and heartaches associated with divorce. I have authored six books, including a children’s series and I can’t tell you how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into my brand. Well, nearly two years ago I suffered a giant set back in life that rocked me to the core. My identity was shattered and the weight and enormity of it all crushed my chest as if a two ton white elephant were sitting on me.

    It has taken every ounce of courage and coping skill sets I could find to overcome. I have had to dig deeper than I ever imagined to climb out of that pit. It has not been easy and I guess I will let you know if it is worth it, although I believe with every ounce of optimism I have it will be.

    What God has shown me is that I need to expand my brand. I need to change who I am from America’s Divorce Coach® to America’s Crisis Coach™. Long before I knew this was God’s will, I heard from my readership it was their will. I can’t tell you how many times people said to me, “I love you and love what you do, but I am not getting a divorce”

    So I am making the change….

    I have known for some time that there was no way I could move forward with my career until I was willing to be open and honest about who I am as it relates to the issues I live with. What is scary is that who I am, feels like it has nothing to do with what I live with. Who I am feels separate from the issue that blocks me every time I want to step out and be me. Who I am feels worlds away from the reality I manage every day.

    Who I am is Faydra, a God-loving, hope-filled mom of three, lover of iced tea and my dogs. Who I am is Faydra, a writer, speaker, podcaster and secret fashionista. Who I am is Faydra, a loyal friend, defender of the shamed and eater of ice cream. Who I am is so much more….

    What I live with is the reality that my husband was sent to prison for the rest of his life for something he was accused of doing long before I ever knew him.

    That leaves me a widow, without the death. A woman left with questions about his guilt and innocence without first hand knowledge. A woman hated by many, yet loved equally by many more. A woman affected by outcomes I have no control over.

    I can’t tell you how incredibly hard it is to be both of those women. I can’t tell you how hard it is to tell this story and not know what the blow back might be. All I can tell you is what happened the last mile of the race…..

    On the last mile, I noticed people sitting alongside the road watching as people ran by. As clear as day God showed me two possible futures. God showed me myself sitting on the curb. In my vision, I was about 87-ish (and looking pretty damn good I might add) and sitting with what must have been my great-grandchildren. He showed me watching a parade. Each of the floats and exhibits represented really cool opportunities that life has to offer. Places to be seen, activities to participate in, adventures to be had. Imagine seeing vivid floats going by that represented the most magnificent things you could do in your lifetime, whatever that is for you.

    As I sat there with my great-grandchildren, God showed me two entirely different reactions I could have. It is amazing how God can make his point in a way that seems so clear in  your mind, yet so hard to describe in a blog post. Nonetheless, I am going to do my best to give you a vivid understanding.

    My options were like this:

    1. I could watch every float go by and I could shout out with glee “Hey kids, I remember when I did that! It was so much fun!” “ohhhh, look kids, I remember when I went there, it was so beautiful!” “OMG Kids! do you see that experience, I did that and oh boy, you have to do that too!” “Life is so hard, but if you keep your mind set right and overcome anything that comes your way, you can do everything I did and more!”

    OR

    2. I could watch every float go by and I could say “Wow, that looks so fun, I wish I had done that.” “hey kids, do you see that? I had the opportunity to do that, but I was too scared so I didn’t.” Oh no! do you see that place? I always wanted to go there, but I just didn’t think it was possible” “Life’s so hard kids, bad things happen and it’s not fair. Here I am at the end of the line and I missed out on so much.”

    God showed me that I had two choices. He is prepared to give me either one. My free will is what determines what I will think when I am sitting at life’s parade. I can either step out in faith or I can stay in the pit. It’s one of the many choices He has given me.

    I’m not going to say it has been easy. I am not going to say I am not scared that I will be rejected, hated and judged as I rebrand and tell my story. I am not going to say that I don’t fear. I am human and with my humanness comes the flaws of the flesh.

    What I am going to say is that I feel called and I believe that God will spare me the pain that won’t help me grow and He will continue to provide the resources and the people who will walk beside me through the color stations of this life. I know, like I know, like I know that I am here to help others survive cataclysmic crisis. I know that my enduring strength and my ability to laugh and love and shine  in spite of my whole world disintegrating equips me to be a light on the hill for others. The connections I have to amazing men and women who have suffered immense losses and refuse to sink will be made available to my audience. My podcast will morph into a show that features courageous people like me who have been to hell, yet still know heaven.

    At the end of my run, I crossed the finish line and met my daughter and friends. Together we celebrated our race, covered in blue, yellow, pink and purple dye. For them the feeling of accomplishment was palpable. For me, the gift God gave me in that vision of my life’s choices, left me filled with courage and hope.

    I hope you come with me on this journey and hear what I have to say about living in shame and overcoming it’s hold. I hope you share your pain and expose the demons to the light, for they have no power when you come together with people who understand, support and encourage you.

    I am that person. I am creating that community and I am America’s Crisis Coach. faydra-sig

     

     

    Here we are after the race!

    Here we are after the race!

     

     

    Are You Addicted to Hope-ium?

    22 Jul 2014

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    Being a hopeful person is admirable. It is wonderful to be someone full of openness to the possibilities and hopeful that everything will work out for the best. I consider myself a positive person and that could be translated to being called hopeful, but putting all of your faith in hope can leave you addicted to hope-ium.

    Action favors the successful. Success is relative and doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. No matter your definition, action, more than hope, is the key. Action steps make the likelihood of what you are hoping for more of a reality than passively wishing for things to go the way you intend.

    Do you hope that you lose weight? Do you hope that things work out with the person you are at odds with? Do you hope that you get the job? Do you hope that you have enough money to last until the end of the month?

    In each of these scenarios hoping is great, in that it puts the issues at the forefront of your mind. It makes you aware of what you want. That is a great thing, but leaving it at that, is not going to make things magically happen. Casting your responsibility onto hope is like leaving your child unattended and believing things will all work out for the best. You can’t do that. It is irresponsible to think that the most effort you need to take to get a result is to hope that it happens.

    Being addicted to hope is sort of like a dysfunctional relationship. The hope serves you sometimes because of the odds. Odds are that some of the things you hope for, will work out without much effort, but the truth is, the bigger things may not. When things don’t work out, you blame the universe, God or hope, believing that you wanted it so badly and it didn’t materialize.

    If, after you set the goal or develop the hopefulness, you map out a plan and take action, the odds increase that you will see the result you are hoping for. As you take actions and succeed, you realize that hoping isn’t as key to your outcome as action is. This is true of most areas of life. If you hope to lose weight and you wait for some divine mind shift that diminishes your appetite and makes you crave physical exercise, you’re gonna stay fat. If you hope that you get the job, but make hardly any effort to stand out from the other prospects, chances are, you’re going to remain unemployed. Do you hope that your finances manage themselves and that you have enough money to last the month? If you haven’t paid attention to what money is coming in, how you are creating expenses and how you are spending, no amount of hope will keep you from being overdrawn.

    While I wholeheartedly endorse being an optimistic, ethereal, prayerful and hopeful person, I suggest that action accompany the notion that everything works out the way it is supposed to or for the best. I absolutely believe in a divine order, God’s plan and all of that, but I also believe in opportunity, free will and our responsibility to co-create what it is we say we want.

    Don’t let hope get a bad reputation. Take ownership of getting what you want from life. Break your hope-ium addiction and take action towards what you want.

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