In and Out: How Mindfulness Practice Can Save You During a Divorce

"Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in; breathing out, I know that I am breathing out" this simple practice thought by Thich Nhat Hahn can transform your divorce. You will not longer feel like your daily life has become a battlefield. Your divorce will start transforming into peaceful process, in which you grieve the loss and move on with confidence and freedom. Many of our clients harbor anger, resentment, despair, and other equally destructive emotions. Many want to revenge. As lawyers, we can navigate our clients through the complex world of family law courts, but only our clients themselves can safely navigate through their emotional states. 

Mindfulness practice is the perfect companion on the road to a peaceful divorce. As an attorney, I often use the practice of mindful breathing to center myself in court or during mediation. For clients. taking a few mindful breaths before sending a text or dropping the children off for a visit often saves them from mistakes used by their ex-spouses later on in court. The calmer and more centered you are during a divorce, the more our legal strategy will work for you. Mindfulness can help you become a logical and methodical litigant. More importantly it will help you be a happier person and parent.

Mindfulness can also help our clients process their emotions so that they do not lead them to self-destructive behaviors. When the anger becomes unbearable and you want to reach for that bottle of wine, for example, even though you know the children will be dropped off any moment and your ex will portray you in court as a ragging alcoholic incapable of taking care of children, that's when you return to your breath. Take one breath in and one breath out with an awareness of what it is that arises in you. Repeat until the anger subsides. Thich Nhat Hanh has a great practice for embracing anger as though it was a little child in you. "Breathing in I see myself as a five year old child. Breathing out I embrace that child in me." Those simple words are very difficult to practice when anger roars its ugly head but with practice your anger will start to transform and when it does you will experience miracles in your life and your divorce case. Mindfulness can be applied to whatever emotion arises. When you feel sad, lonely, fearful, you can breathe and acknowledge the feeling in you at that moment. 

You do not have to sit in meditation. You do not have to be spiritual. You do not have to know what you are doing. You just have to breathe in with awareness and breathe out with awareness. This can be done whenever you remember to do it during the day, You can practice when doing dishes, driving, even watching TV. 

There are countless books and other resources on mindfulness and many of them are fantastic. All you have to do is Google it but a good place to start is by saying to yourself "I know that I am breathing in when you breathe in and I know that I am breathing out when you breathe out."