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You might have noticed something kind of strange: when your world falls apart… your body falls apart too. And usually, by the time your health has taken a hit – boom – it’s too late. You’ve got your legal representative. You’ve got your counsellor. You’ve got your accountant. You’ve got your support team. Maybe you’ve even got your settlement and custody agreements all sorted. But do you have your health? Without it, the rest isn’t going to matter much at all. What to do? In the first of this two-part blog post, I’m going to explain how a the stress of breakup can make your health vulnerable. Keep an eye out for part two, where I’ll show you exactly how to divorce-proof your health.

Why does divorce make you sick?

Let’s break it down: The moment a separation or divorce becomes your new reality, your emotions and hormones take over (big time!). They kick start numerous chemical reactions within your body to help you survive the shock of a breakup – you’ve probably heard of the fight or flight reaction. Yep, that’s what’s happening here. Our body’s one incredible machine.

But, here’s the thing…

These days, the separation and divorce process is long, conflict-filled and stressful (on many fronts). This means the fight or flight response period is horribly over-extended, and your body is working overtime to produce chemical reactions well beyond what we actually need — or can cope with. It’s very important to note upfront that for those people who’ve been living in a toxic relationship, it’s possible they’ve been experiencing this fight or flight dynamic for decades. A prolonged period of fight or flight exhausts many elements within your system and throws your entire body chemistry out of whack. Your hormones, your mind, your emotions, your weight, your stress levels: everything gets more and more out of balance… and puts you at serious risk of illness. Sure, but who has time to pay attention? It’s fair enough: during a breakup, you’re so preoccupied with getting through the here and now that it’s easy to miss the telltale signs that your health is falling by the wayside. Or maybe you have noticed, but have just chalked it up to divorce stress that will move swiftly along as soon as your divorce does. I hate to say it, but it won’t, unless you nip it in the bud now.

So, what should we be looking for?

  • Skin irritation

  • Hair falling out

  • Bleeding gums and bad breath

  • A burning sensation in your stomach

  • Insomnia

  • Low energy & fatigue

  • Weight gain or weight loss

  • Bad moods & aggression

  • Headaches

  • Fogginess, dizziness, shortness of breath

  • Low mood

Where body chemistry comes into play

“Your body is its own ‘chemistry set’. It holds the secrets to precisely what your body requires at the specific time.” Nutrition Diagnostics To assess your blood chemistry, doctors order a simple test to check a number of markers in the blood — think iron levels, or white blood cell counts. These markers help identify health conditions and show the overall health of your body’s organs. When your blood chemistry is in balance, your body is better at fighting off disease. When it’s out of balance, you’re more susceptible. Interestingly, a weakened, out of whack body chemistry shows up first in the mouth, in the form of dental decay and gum disease. Why the mouth? Well, poor health all begins with an elevation of glucose in your system (yep, that’s sugar – and you know what that does to your teeth!).

What does sugar have to do with it?

It turns out that there’s a reason STRESSED spelled backward equals DESSERTS. Let me ask you this: what are you eating or drinking to cope with the stress of your separation or divorce? Come on, we’re all friends… it’s something sweet, right? I’m not going to lie: during my separation, chocolate was all that could cheer me up at the end of the day. But it was a toxic relationship: the next day I’d feel even worse… so that night I needed a double serving, naturally! For some of you, the stress reliever of choice may be alcohol (please seek help if this habit becomes unhealthy), which the body actually converts to sugar… so, same problem. Now, insulin is a hormone that moves glucose (blood sugar) from the blood into the body’s cells for energy and storage. When you increase the amount of sugar in your system, this affects insulin production and can result in serious conditions like diabetes, and can damage your kidneys, eyes, and other organs. From here, it’s a domino effect. One thing leads to another, and another. Everything is connected. And, it all starts by you consuming way too much sugar because of that nasty little beast called stress.

The stress trifecta

  1. There are three types of stress that impact your body:Biochemical (toxins in your system or a poor iron status*)

  2. Physical (parenting, intense exercise or your body repairing from injury)

  3. Emotional (everyday pressures, loss or divorce)

Sound familiar? That’s right – you’re pretty much slammed three ways by stress when your relationship or marriage falls apart.

What women need to know

The median age for a woman going through a divorce is 42 years old. So, if you have children, it’s likely that you gave birth in the last 15 years. Creating life (as beautiful as it is) depletes your system of many key elements, including Ferritin (a blood cell protein that contains iron). Most women fail to replenish their Ferritin level post-childbirth. Yep: things are busy and life just gets in the way. What’s worse, you’re a tired, single parent, caving in to the convenience of eating kids’ meals each night (with no steak dinners in sight!).

*Iron is a key component of a healthy immune system.

Facing a stressful event like divorce with a compromised immune system is extremely dangerous. And often there’s another hurdle for women: menopause. To successfully navigate menopause you require iron, too (and lots of it). So, if you’re currently dealing with a stressful breakup, have an already-depleted iron store from bearing children, and are approaching menopause, your immune system is in a severely compromised position. You’re wide open to disease and illness. Think about it: how many women do you know who have been touched by an illness in their late 40’s and 50’s? It’s a ridiculously shocking number.

The good news: you can do things now in the hope of a healthier outcome.

In the next part of this blog post, I’ll share exactly how you can guard your health as you go through even the most hellish divorce. Check it out here. In the meantime, let me know: how is divorce affecting your health? Have you found any strategies that help? Let me know in the comments below. If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of family or domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise. Download on the App Store Download on Google Play For more support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully. You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself. With much love & gratitude,

Annie Kendall

Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, you guessed it: exactly the same applies when it comes to surviving a separation or divorce.

As early as possible, you need to begin assembling an A-list support team (let’s call them your entourage) to help you break-down, break-through and then move on from your breakup! Now, if you’re already well on the way to legal separation or divorce but still feel isolated or alone – this blog’s for you too!

What you need is a group of people who will act like a nice, cushy layer of bubble wrap – supporting you, guiding you and protecting you (and your children if you have them) from the pain and challenges surrounding separation or divorce.

Finding the right mix of people takes time and can be trial and error. Some might be on your team for a little while; others are in for the long haul. This is absolutely normal – so don’t take it personally if a few people drop out of the picture.

So, who’s in your entourage?
There are those you need to help manage your emotions:
  1. You need people who’ve been through loss and healed

  2. You need a sympathetic shoulder to cry on

  3. You need a professional that can listen and give you exercises to actively move you through your emotions

  4. You need people to soothe your soul and help you heal

Then there’s the crew you need for the practical stuff:
  1. Professionals who can guide you through the process – legally and financially

  2. Someone who isn’t emotionally attached to the situation

  3. Someone to straighten you out when you’re throwing a pity party

Some of us are blessed with a ready-made network of amazing extended families and incredible friends. Others may have some key people, but not all the bases covered. Whatever the case, believe me when I say you need to extend your network and start building your support team – because you can’t walk this journey alone.

Here are 10 tips to help you assemble your entourage

Emotional Support:
  • Carefully choose one or more of the following: a friend, relative, church leader, social worker, counsellor or professional that you can speak to on a regular basis for the purpose of downloading your emotions and heartache. Tell your story. Actively work through your emotions. Be open to personal growth and look inward at YOU during this process too. Don’t bottle things up and brew.

  • NOTE: be careful of people who thrive on drama, invite you to talk more than you want to or encourage you to embellish on reality. These people are not helpful and can set your healing process back a long way.


Legal & Financial:
  • Consider your options for legal representation.There are tips on how to do this in my e-book, 5 Separation and Divorce Hacks.

  • Reconnect with your accountant (or find a new one if there is a conflict of interest with your ex).

  • Find a financial mentor or advisor if you need support crunching the numbers or covering bills.

  • Make contact with a government support officer to discuss options and payments for single parents, children’s benefits or hardship.

  • Appoint a lawyer in the case a business is jointly-owned, or perhaps to get advice on protecting IP if you’ve discussed a new business venture or idea with your ex prior to separation.

  • Download Hello Mojo’s documenting app. It’s specifically designed to help you know where to  start the process, to help you document everything important along the way, and prepare for the unknown.


Mental Health:
  • Make an appointment with a counsellor, social worker, psychologist etc (government support agencies often have a list of professionals you can meet with free of charge). In some countries, doctors prescribe what they call Mental Health Plans to subsidize payment of private Mental Health professionals. Ask your doctor if this type of plan exists in your State.


Personal Safety:
  • If domestic abuse is present, it’s vital you have a police representative or domestic abuse officer on your case and continually updated. You should also have professional counselling support and get familiar with alternate accommodation facilities should you require them.

  • NOTE: domestic abuse covers more than just physical abuse. Conditions of domestic abuse include: physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse (including in person, on the phone, or via email or SMS), neglect, financial abuse (including withholding funds), stalking, harm to an animal or property, restricting your spiritual or cultural participation, or exposing children to the effects of these behaviours. Always seek support or advice from authorities if you have concerns.


Mentoring:
  • If no one within your family or friends springs to mind, search further afield for someone who may be sympathetic to your situation but emotionally unattached. The idea: they mentor you on being able to approach the legalities of your separation or divorce just like it’s a business transaction. They help you remove the emotion from the facts and figures of the legal process, and save you valuable time and tons of money. It’s always good to bounce ideas off someone (other than your legal representative) regarding the merits and cost of battling contentious issues – both for and against you.

  • Connect with someone who has been through a loss and healed. They can inspire you to see the light at the end of the tunnel and believe in love and happiness again.


Religious:
  • If you are in any way religious, or even if you’re not, think about becoming more connected with a place of worship. This can be invaluable in helping you through the dark days and difficult decisions.


Spiritual:
  • If it interests you, meeting with a spiritual reader or psychic may offer some comfort or hope at this difficult time of your life. It did for me!


Child Support:
  • Seek professional support for your children. Student counsellors at your child’s school may be able to offer support for free or point you in the right direction.


Health & Well-Being:
  • Contact a friend, neighbour, yoga studio or personal trainer to lock in some regular exercise times. Not only does exercise offer so many benefits for your body and mind, but also, you are likely to meet new friends along the way. It releases endorphins and helps promote a feeling of well-being you will most likely be struggling with.

  • Speak to a nutritionist or doctor about the most beneficial food & beverage choices – there’s a ton of science and research to support the fact that whole foods and healthy eating can dramatically affect our mood.

  • Write a list of people including your go-to hairdresser, skin and beauty salon, nail parlour, massage therapist, kinesiologist etc. People who can help you with self care and add a little more sparkle when you’re feeling down.


Empowerment:
  • Choose a few books or authors who can deepen your understanding about relationships, breakups and healing, and everything in between. Check out Breakup Emergency by Eris Huemer, or Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser, or Life Code by Dr Phil.

  • Bookmark pod casts, TED talks and YouTube videos that inspire through others’ acts of kindness, triumphs over adversity and words of wisdom. This uplifting Youtube video features a disabled, female, muslim, comedian discussing how she overcame her challenges in life. OK, it’s totally unrelated to the subject of breakups but gives you perspective; it shows you how humour helps in difficult situations; it shows you that times can be tough but you CAN make it through – move forwards with strength, a positive attitude and determination. Or this Youtube video, for anyone who’s ever loved. Relationships expert Ester Petel examines a completely alternate point of view on infidelity. Opens your mind!

  • Join a positive online forum for support (but, of course, exit the group if it’s making you feel more depressed or idle in your journey).

Important to note: be aware that your family and close friends will live this entire separation and divorce alongside you. They love you. Their support will be genuine and unfailing. However, do keep in mind that they have a life to live as well. Attempt, as best you can, to have a laugh with them from time to time and let your positive ‘old-self’ shine through when possible so your situation doesn’t drain them, too.

So that leads me to my last point: make sure there is someone in your entourage who can make you laugh – out loud and A LOT. I know: it’s not easy to see anything funny in your situation at the start, but little by little you’ll find ways to lighten up. Laughter – and a good sense of humour are some of the best forms of medicine you can get on this journey. This is definitely a case of more is more!

I’d love to know your recommendation for books, resources, people, motivational courses, videos or blogs on the subject of relationships, breakups, healing or overcoming adversity. Let me know in the comments below!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation or divorce, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything – your important details, any communication and each piece of evidence. Download Hello Mojo app and you’ll be ready for anything, anytime.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


For more support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

And I also recommend you read my blog 10 First Steps For Divorce to ensure that you have taken the right steps to protect yourself, your children and your money.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,






Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

Facing a brand new year can bring up a whole bunch of emotions: relief, freedom, fear, sadness–and that’s even before we get started on resolutions.

Oh, those pesky promises. When you’ve just gone through a split, it’s tempting to see the brand new shiny year as the time that everything changes. I know, I’ve been there. The first New Year after my marriage split, I only had one resolution: “This year isn’t going to be as bad as last year.” How could it have been?

But by February, amid legal negotiations, it felt worse than ever.

I was livid. I felt cheated. And I’d told everyone I knew that things were on the up.

By announcing my ‘resolution’ to the world, I’d put a huge amount of pressure on myself. And it was really all or nothing. Once the year got worse, I felt like it was all over.

Then the guilt and shame kicked in. I couldn’t even have a slightly better year… what hope did I have?

Then I heard about a different way to think about what we want from our lives, and how it could supercharge my year.

Resolutions vs intentions

First, let’s talk about resolutions.

Resolutions hold your energy in the past.

They require that you delve into your past to uncover something (or multiple things) that are broken and need fixing. You’re constantly thinking about the past–what not to do.

Say you’ve completely dropped the exercise habit. It’s broken, so to fix it you resolve to go to the gym 6 days a week and run a marathon by March. Sound familiar?

Now, let’s see what an intention looks like.

Intentions compassionately set the tone for your future. They focus on what you want to create for your FUTURE. They don’t tie you to an outcome based on your past. They simply ask that you bring mindfulness to your actions and make efforts to change.

So, same situation as before: you dropped the exercise. You choose THIS intention: I’m going to make time for movement in my daily life.

Hello, achievable and positive goal!

Let’s get one thing straight: it’s good for the soul to take stock of your life at New Years and reflect on the good or not-so-good habits you’d like to change, or ways you’d like to grow in mind, body, and spirit.

It’s just the resolution side of things that can trap you: instead of feeling positive and future focused, you’re running from your past and when you slip, you can feel a sense of failure and give up on the resolution completely.

In comparison, when you set an intention, a slip-up is viewed as part of the process. You can simply move on realizing that the next moment, is in fact, a brand new one.

The secret of change is to focus all your energy,
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
– Socrates

You with me? If you love the sound of setting intentions and want to discover a really powerful way to do it, I love Deepak Chopra’s method that you can learn about here.

So what intention are you setting for 2019?

I’m making meditation a part of my day, because I know from the past that just 10 minutes can make all the difference. Gaia and Youtube has some incredible content on mindfulness, meditation and yoga, so I’m going to give them a try, and I might splash out on on a paid app like Calm or Headspace for their amazing guided meditations.

Speaking of apps, if you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything that you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


For more support, download my FREE e-book,
5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed and inspired daily.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on resolutions vs intentions. What intentions are you going to set this year? Let me know in the comments below.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,







Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

You’ve probably been hearing it since you were a kid getting into schoolyard spats: there are always two sides to a story. “Yes, mum,” you probably sighed. These days, older and wiser, we realise that mum was probably right all along.

But, sorry mum, there’s actually a pretty big exception to this rule. And it has to do with your relationship and how it ended.

That’s when YOUR side of the story is the ONLY story that really matters.

Think about it: you’re newly separated, and you’ve got it worked out: ‘he did this’, ‘she did that’, ‘who do they think they are’, ‘how could they do this to me’, ‘they’ve ruined my life’. While it’s likely all based in truth, without a doubt it’s a story that we’ve cemented in our minds. It probably has a compelling beginning, a suspenseful middle and a dramatic end to rival a Hollywood blockbuster.

And nothing your ex can say or do will change your recollection of what happened – in fact, when your ex tells their side of the story to friends and family (which, you know is a total fabrication of the truth because your story is the only RIGHT one!) it gives you additional ammunition to beef up your story; you reload and fire straight back!

Well, I get it because I’ve been there. For a long time, I lived in that place where my story was the only story.  It was full of blame, hurt and anger – with absolutely zero mention of moving on.

Despite that, I did move on, and you will too. Part of the process of that is recognising the power the story you’re telling yourself is playing in your journey. When you’re armed with what I’m about to tell you, you’ll be able to get there even sooner.

First of all, if you’re reading this, the reality of a separation or divorce is probably extremely raw for you. You’re hurting, feeling lost and struggling with the weight of many new emotions. You may also be in the afternoon shadow of your split: in the I-wish-I-could-move-on boat.  Either way, I’m sending you a great big hug.

All of the emotions you’re experiencing right now are totally normal. They’re all part of the process: sharing your story, unpacking the pain, and searching for answers to those unanswerable questions. You need to do this (for a little while, anyway).

The problems start when your search for answers continually turn up empty but you keep searching anyway. You keep doing the same thing. Telling the same story. Feeling like you’ll never move on. I hate to say it, but that’s the point that you become stuck in a vicious cycle that gets you nowhere.

Let’s not even get to that point–but if you’re already there, I’m going to share how to get back to a better place.

The breakup story

Five years on, I still recall word-for-word the story I would tell people about my breakup. In the past, whenever I told my story, I swear, it was as though I was reliving that actual moment when my world fell apart. My heart would pound, a wave of fear and anxiety would overwhelm me, resentment set in and my voice went a little higher pitched. Sound familiar?

Let me state for the record: although I can still recall this story and may even think of it from time to time, it no longer has the same power over me or my life. I’m free from it.

Breaking the vicious cycle

Three years ago, I learned how to break this vicious cycle after attending a personal growth seminar – and thank goodness I did because otherwise I would still be telling the same story and feeling just as raw as the day it all happened.  

So, let’s talk about your breakup story: how you came up with your story and why it will keep you stuck in an unproductive past, limiting what’s possible for you in your present and future.

What’s really going on?

1. The story versus what actually happened
It’s human nature: we merge what actually happened with a story about what happened. This happens so fast it becomes hard to separate the two, and we think of them as one and the same. Pretty soon, the story has become the reality. But really, the story is just an interpretation, not a run down of the facts as they occurred (again: normal). Every time we tell the story, our pain, upset and loss of power are kept alive.

2. People look at life through a filter
As much as we’d like to believe that we’re totally objective and open minded, the way we were brought up, our values and our experiences all create a filter through which we view the events of our lives. It colours everything we see.

Stop for a minute: what filters did you look through to create your story? How about your ex?

3. We see ONLY what we see
Our past and the context of similar situations determines what we see and what we don’t see in a situation: what we consider and what we fail to notice, what we are able to do and what seems beyond our reach.

Could there be something that you are not seeing or have failed to notice when creating your story? 

4. Oh, the complaining
No matter how justified, all our complaints (which is what they boil down to) are holding us back. We might get some sympathy but there’s a steep cost: our energy levels, our state of mind, our whole outlook on life (never mind the friends who are getting rather tired of hearing it rehashed for the 475th time).

Put simply, you are not going to move forwards if you are persistently complaining through story telling, no matter how hard you’re trying to fix it in another way.

So think about it: are you in any way benefiting from the attention of others through your story? Are you the recipient of sympathy or the creator of additional ex-haters to validate your story? And, how about your ex: are they doing the same?

5. The inflated power of fear and anxiety
It might sound bizarre, but one of the biggest obstacles to living an amazing life beyond a breakup is fear. No matter how accomplished, successful, or courageous we are, it’s scary entering a new chapter. And often, we allow our fears and anxieties to stop us – to determine how much we’ll risk, and to limit the range in which we live. They become super powerful in this way.

How much of your story is created from a place of fear? And, how about your ex’s?

6. Who we are
The process of who we are began in childhood, as we gradually adopted ways of being and acting to deal successfully with things that didn’t quite go the way we thought they should. By the time we reach adulthood, we’ve got habits, approaches and characteristics that make up our personality and how we react to all kinds of situations, including a break up.

No matter how well you think you know someone, when a marriage breaks up (a major this-didn’t-go-the-way-I-thought-it-would moment) both you and your ex will have different, perhaps never before experienced ways of being built into your psyche. This will significantly impact the story each of us tell. 

Everyone has their own unique vantage point

So now you understand what’s happening behind the scenes, let’s take a look at how to start changing the story. It wasn’t till I learned this following exercise that I was truly able to untangle myself from my story and move forwards powerfully.

And, when the time is right, I hope this exercise helps you move on, too.

Let’s break it down:

1. Imagine you have a big cardboard box.
2. You’ve cut out four small windows on all four vertical walls of the box.
3. Imagine there is an object standing upright inside that box (lets say a mobile phone – it’s black on the back, white on the front and gold around the edges)
4. 
Imagine you have four people, each looking through their own window.

Each person goes on to explain what they see.

Person 1 looks in and sees the front of a phone. “I see a white mobile phone”.
Person 2 looks in and sees the back of a phone. “I see a black rectangle”.
Person 3 looks in a side window and sees the side of the phone . “I see a skinny gold line.”
Person 4 looks in the other side window. “I see a thin, tall, gold piece of metal”.

The point — there is only one object and there were FOUR right answers.

Whether an object or an event–hello marriage breakdown–the same applies. Each person looks at the event from a different perspective, a different vantage point and has a different opinion on what happened — and suddenly there are TWO or more right answers.

The way you saw your breakup can be totally different, yet just as right, as your ex’s take on things.

The thing is, as humans we then take it a step further. From here, with your differing but equally right opinions on what happened, you attach your own meaning and emotion to it (remember all those things going on behind the scenes?). Suddenly you have a story which becomes your very complex version of what happened.

With a story in hand, you’re going to have actions and reactions based on the hurt, anger, resentment and whatever else that’s crept into your story.

To help you really grasp this concept, spend a moment and draw two columns on a piece of paper. In the first column write down exactly what happened at the end of your marriage (‘she said I don’t love you anymore’, ‘he had an affair’, ‘she spent too much time at work’, ‘he walked out’ etc etc). Do this without attaching any meaning and emotion.  Just state the facts — what exactly happened? In the second column, write down the meaning and emotions that you’ve attached to each of the what happened items: “He knew how much that would hurt me’, ‘It’s exactly what I feared was going to happen’, for example.

This was my lightbulb moment: after doing this exercise, I fully understood that not only was my what happened totally different to that of my ex and we were both right in how we saw the breakup… but each of us had created stories using our own filters, seeing only what our past allowed us to see.

There was no point trying to play the comparison game anymore or spend any more of my life trying to discredit his story. It was just a story. And just like that, both my story and his lost their power.

I was able to let go of my story, not take things personally, and move forwards in a really powerful way.

When you bring your awareness to all of this, reflect on what actually happened and appreciate that your ex, from his own vantage point, saw what happened in a totally different but equally right way as you. Try exercising your empathy muscle while you’re at it.

Can you imagine what possibilities can come into your present and future when you let go of your story? It’s time to start creating some exciting new stories!

I’d love to hear what possibilities you’re looking forward to welcoming into your life with your breakup story in the rear view mirror. Let me know in the comments below!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey, or you’re a victim of domestic abuse, Hello Mojo’s app is here to save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. The app gives you the know-how to start preparing your case and then document absolutely everything you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for any legal obligations that may arise. Check it out now…

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


If you need extra support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,


Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

A few weeks ago, my ex arrived a tiny bit later than arranged for the handover of our kids.

I was ready; watching the clock, waiting to turn that uninterrupted, magnesium-laced spa bath, red wine and book into my new reality. Bring. It. On.

Then suddenly, just like that: I looked at my watch – he was late. I felt my body tense up. My frown line deepened. I was frustrated and angry, in an instant. I started shallow breathing as my heart raced.

But wait, there’s more! Enter stage right: the little voices that started clamouring for my attention to the point where I couldn’t hear anything else.

Bye-bye present mama, thinking logically and able to enjoy the gift of an additional few minutes with my kiddies.

And hello triggered mum! I was on autopilot. Destination: Blame.

I’d been there before. My only response on the odd occasion that my ex arrives late (and just for the record, I’ve been late on occasions, too!) is go into overdrive: he doesn’t value my time, he doesn’t appreciate me, he doesn’t respect me as the mother of his children, and I can’t believe he’s willingly to let the children down.

Do I really believe any of this is true? No, of course not. But that’s where my head goes when I’m triggered – to a random meaning I’ve attached to any instance when my ex is late.

These days, I’m very well aware that when I’m in a triggered state I’m unable to humanise the situation, think it through consciously, or have any empathy whatsoever. And isn’t that sad?

In the situation of my ex running a little late, not once did I stop to consider: was he safe? Did he get held up in peak hour traffic on the two-hour commute (a massive effort after a long day at work!) or, perhaps, a business meeting that ran over while he was trying to close a deal to provide for the kids?

My only response was to unleash a bucket load of blame on him, and reinforce to myself that I’m the victim.

The good news: I now know how to catch myself when I’m triggered (well, most of the time!) and quickly switch it off.

I’ve learned the steps you need to take to diffuse a trigger, and I’m going to share them with you.

What is a trigger?

An emotional trigger is when somebody (the ex or your children, perhaps) does something, and rather than responding to them consciously you react on autopilot.  

As Jack Butler, founder of The Conscious Change Agent explains: “when you are triggered you go to a place in your past, where you felt less powerful.  The observer in you tends to get shut down and your range of capacity diminishes. You get tunnel vision and you can only see one way to respond. Typically if you are triggered you are in a place where you have lost some consciousness.”

The more important thing to understand is that when you’re triggered, “a disproportionate amount of meaning from your past gets brought into the present moment. It causes you to overreact or to interpret a situation the way in which a younger version of your would have interpreted it.”

The attached meaning is in no way a true reflection of the situation in the present.

How would you know if you’re being triggered?

I’ve been there, and maybe you have too. Here’s what you’ll feel if you’ve been triggered:

  1. Physically, you’re going to be breathing more rapidly

  2.  Your attention pattern is narrowed – you’ll develop a one-track mind

  3. You’ll feel stressed (sometimes sick in your stomach if that’s where you hold your fear)

  4. Say hello to the little voices doing all the talking

  5. Waves of urgency to resolve the situation right there and then

Counter-triggers

It’s also important to know that there are situations where you may be counter-triggered.  Being counter-triggered happens when someone else is in a triggered state and their reaction to you sets off a trigger in you.

Maybe your spouse or ex fires up about something that’s bothering them – and then you take the bait? But today – to better explain this concept, I’d like to talk about kids!  

Children move from a state of calm to a state of rage (you can’t have that toy!) or distress (it’s lights out time now!) or ecstasy (yes you can have a friend over, we’ll go bowling and eat sugar!) faster than presents get unwrapped on Christmas Day.

Like most parents, there have been times when my little angels have responded badly to a boundary or request. The result: an emotionally triggered child. Awesome!

The dream would be to always act in a mature fashion and defuse the situation for your child, modelling good behaviour and giving them tools to self-regulate. But there are times, especially as a single parent, where it’s complicated.

When your child is emotionally triggered, has this then set off a trigger in you?

Perhaps you recognise a behaviour or unfavourable mannerism in them that reminds you of your ex? Or, your child’s meltdown triggers feelings of resentment towards your ex for the fact that you are now having to deal with this situation as a single parent?

I could go on, and on.

If so, you’ll probably find that you’ve react to your child in a very different way than you would have in any normal situation.

Before you know it, there are two (maybe more) people in the room, all emotionally triggered.  

Talking logically at this point in time is not an option. Yelling and saying things you wished you hadn’t – that’s where we’re at.

So, how are you going to get things back to normal?

Here’s your 6-step TRIGGER DEFUSER:

  1. RECOGNISE: Write down a list of all the things that trigger you. And I mean, everything!

  2. TUNE IN: Beside each one, write down how you feel physically, emotionally and mentally when you’re being triggered.

  3. CONNECT THE TWO: Make yourself very aware that when you start to feel those feelings that you’re most likely being triggered.

  4. YOUR CALMING TOOL: What activity gives you a sense of peace and calm? What activity do you think could help you peel away those feelings and return you to a state of calm? Let’s call it your “go-to” activity (i.e. deep breaths, a 5 min walk, a quick yoga session, a cup of tea, a good book). Have kids? What are their calm-down activities? My son likes to listen to calming music, while my daughter likes to draw in her sketch pad.

  5. CREATE A GAME PLAN: Now, piece it all together so that next time you start experiencing any of those feelings you can bring awareness to it, remove yourself from the situation, redirect your energy to your “go-to” activity, and return to a peaceful and calm state as fast as possible.

  6. WHAT’S YOUR LINE?: It’s also a great idea to have a well-rehearsed line that you can comfortably rattle off to anyone that triggers you. It’s important that you can respectfully remove yourself from a situation without saying something that you wished you hadn’t. You will need to make the other person feel safe by stating an amount of time you need to disengage, and give them a commitment that you are not abandoning them but wish to revisit the issue respectfully when you are calm.

Want to know what my line is with my kids?

First, a big deep breath! “Honey, I love you and you know that we need to have a chat about what just happened. But, right now, I’m so cross I can’t do that respectfully. Please go sit on your bed, put your headphones on and listen to 3 songs. Mummy needs to have a cup of tea and find her happy place again. I’ll be back in five with a cuddle for our chat.”

Obviously, you may need to make this more age-appropriate for your children. But it works wonders–for all of us. I found it really helpful to role play this routine when everyone is in a state of calm so the children know the drill.

The best bit about this six-step trigger defuser is that you can teach it to your children (and model it to them every day – well, hopefully not!). Allowing them to self-regulate on their own goes a long way to helping them develop awesome coping skills as a teen and adult. These are skills you can’t buy.

What’s your “go-to” activity for calming down? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there’s now an app to help you save time, money and your energy. It helps you document absolutely everything you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


If you need extra support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully. 

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.







Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

0

Her Blog

In a perfect world, we’d all be peacefully tucked up in bed by 9.30pm, relaxed and ready to sleep a solid eight hours. Meanwhile, our perfect children would have happily trotted off to bed and drifted into happy dreams.

Ha! If only we lived in that perfect world, right?

If you’re anything like me, your evenings are filled with wrangling kids, getting stuff done after they’ve finally–after one more story, one more drink of water–gone to sleep and maybe even stealing a few moments to yourself before lights out.

For me, the past few years have included giving birth twice, parenting alone, and navigating a separation and divorce – yep, I’ve lost a lot of sleep! It’s been an emotional, stressful and busy ride to say the least. Hello and welcome to single parenthood! The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. You can be rested, restored and ready to take on solo parenting.

Why do we need sleep?

Simply put, sleep is how the body shuts down, rests and restores. It’s also, surprisingly, the way to “solidify and consolidate memories,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. “In fact, our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesise hormones.”

Sleep is essential to your health, mental state and well-being–particularly while you’re navigating a split or single parenthood.

Be accountable for your sleep

Here’s the thing: I don’t think I’ve ever actually stopped to consider the bigger issue surrounding why I don’t get a good night’s sleep. It’s so easy to blame my lack of sleep on the gazillion external pressures in my life today.

But are these external pressures really the issue?

Let’s talk about accountability.  Accountability for our health, for our well-being, and for the type of person we want to be for our children, our friends and our community.

You may find this a silly question but please indulge me: have you ever made a conscious decision to put yourself to bed at a reasonable hour each night?

Or, like me, is your decision to go to bed always driven by how tired you feel after a long day with the kids, how much work you still have to do, or how early you have to get up in the morning?

Or, even! Just throwing this one out there… do you allow all the little voices in your head–the ones that replay the day’s events and worry about tomorrow’s–to dictate when you can go to sleep? Oh, boy! These little critters were probably the biggest reason I lost sleep. But you know what? It’s absolutely ok to acknowledge them and tell them you’ll deal with them in the morning. It’s not easy but if I can do it, so can you.

If your answer to either of the last two paragraphs is ‘yes’, then it’s time – really time – to get accountable for the awesome (and FREE) gift of your sleep.

Embrace your night-time visitors

Getting to bed at a reasonable hour is not the only challenge for single parents. I know! You are also tasked with flying solo to attend to the numerous toilet stops, temperature checks, vomit clean-ups, bad dreams and wet beds throughout the night… not to mention being sole handler of those insanely early risers.

There’s not much that can be done about this – after all, you have children! Like everyone tells me, ‘It won’t last forever’. But geez, it feels like forever when you’re in the thick of it.

My only advice is, that if you know you’ll get night-time visitors, take an earlier mark at the start of the night to play catch up–just get yourself to bed at a really uncool hour.

Now, before I go on, let’s just say one thing: the stressful events surrounding a separation, divorce and single parenthood can often result in the onset of a sleep disorder called Insomnia. If this is a condition you’re familiar with, this post will be invaluable for you. However, it is also advised that you seek medical advice to ensure your overall health and well-being is maintained.

So, how do you get better sleep?

  1. Watch the clock
    Don’t eat for at least two hours prior to bedtime, otherwise you’ll encourage insulin release and interfere with the correct hormonal cascade at night. It’s true: our bodies have different hormones for day and night body function. That’s why getting to sleep on time and waking with the sun (if possible – okay, if you have kids it’s obviously no problem!) is also very important.

  2. Get organised
    Prepare as much as you can for the day ahead. Lay out school uniforms and clothes, pre-pack lunch boxes, set the breakfast table (just don’t stay up late to get this stuff done, okay?). List morning and afternoon chores on a wall chart for your little (or not so little) ones to help out and keep the household running smoothly.

  3. Put it on paper
    For years now I have kept a notebook and pen beside my bed. Why? Because I always have a million things running through my mind at night. “Must do this”, “remember that”, “ring this person”. So, just before bed, I note down all of my thoughts, questions, ideas, to-dos etc, and am able to sleep soundly knowing that I won’t forget any of them.

  4. Go offline
    DO NOT start a text conversation after dinner that could wait until the next day. Period.

  5. Work in your work outs
    Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle, helps to reduce stress, and can definitely improve the quality of your sleep, too. With one exception: high-intensity cardio workouts late in the day can disrupt sleep. Save your runs and step classes for the morning or afternoon and try a couple of gentle stretches before bed instead.

  6. Turn the lights down low
    Dim the lights in the hour before bed. The onset of darkness helps our brain release the hormone melatonin, which helps with the healthy timing of our sleep.

  7. Skip screens
    Make a rule to avoid close and personal screen time with your phone or tablet for a couple of hours before bed. Hard, I know (but it really is best not to stalk your ex on Facebook). The blue light that screens emit can interrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. Early research also shows that overexposure to blue light can contribute to eye strain and discomfort. That can trigger serious conditions later in life such as age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.

  8. Detox your bedroom
    Remove all wireless and electrical devices from the bedroom. Replace your clock radio with a good old-fashioned alarm clock – and mobile devices in the bedroom overnight are a big N-O. The electromagnetic radiation produced by these appliances creates a resonant stress on the human body, which directly affects our organs, glands, hormones and emotional states. Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.

  9. Create rituals
    Bedtime rituals can be a little more fun than brushing your teeth. Have a cup of Chamomile tea. Play some peaceful music or a guided meditation for deep sleep – easy to find on YouTube or apps like Headspace (play it from the next room). Or diffuse essential oils, adding them to a bath or rubbing on the soles of your feet.

  10. Maintain regularity
    Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – weekdays and weekend, if possible. Even if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, wake up at the same time, and reset.  Give yourself a gentle reminder: set a recurring alert on your phone for 30 mins prior to your desired bed time to start preparing for bed. And a second five minutes before bed when you drop everything and hop into bed.

  11. Stay cool
    Lower the room temperature near to bed time. Sleep expert Matthew Walker says the optimal temperature for sleeping is 18.5 degrees (68 degrees Fahrenheit). He says, “our body and brain needs to drop in temperature to initiate a good sleep.” Hence the reason it’s difficult to get to sleep on a really hot night.

  12. Avoid alcohol & caffeine
    Alcohol is considered a “sedative” drug, which is why many would argue that alcohol is in fact good before bed because it puts you to sleep.  Unfortunately, all it does is knocks your brain out – it does not put you into a natural sleep, which is what you really need. Matthew Walker says, “Alcohol will fragment your sleep and you wake up many more times throughout the night. It is a potent chemical for blocking your dream sleep otherwise known as your rapid eye movement sleep.”Caffeine, on the other hand, is known as a “stimulant” drug. It can keep us awake. It’s an alerting chemical. “The issue with Caffeine is to do with the depth of sleep you have when there is caffeine within your brain,” says Walker. You don’t dive as deep in the stage of ‘deep sleep’ as you would when you’ve abstained from that cup of coffee. “When you wake up the next morning you feel unrefreshed and not only do you not remember waking up or having a difficult time falling asleep but now you find yourself reaching for two or three more cups.”

  13. Code your brain for sleep
    Sleep experts say our brains learns very quickly and will quickly create new code designed to keep our bodies awake in bed if that’s the state of being it recognises. The best thing to do if you are not able to get to sleep, is to get out of bed, grab a book (not a device!) and sit in a chair with the lights down low. Read until you are tired then return to bed. It’s a process of re-coding our brains association with bed and sleep.  If you don’t wish to hop out of bed, meditating will work too.

I’d love to know which of these tips may have helped you to get a better night’s sleep, or about any others that you may wish to share. Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there’s now an app to help you save time, money and your energy. It helps you document absolutely everything that you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise. 

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


If you need extra support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully. Download it here.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,






Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

0

Her Blog

Guys, guys: do you know Garth Brooks’ hit song Unanswered Prayers? Bear with me here–this hasn’t turned into a music blog. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, jump on YouTube and listen carefully. Go on, turn it up.

Because this song has a VERY powerful message.

When you don’t get what you want in life, there’s a reason: it’s to get you to your destiny.

When my marriage came crashing down, my heart and spirit crumbled along with it. I felt so alone and lost. But most of all, I was devastated by the fact that my lifelong dream of being happily married had failed.

On the outside, my ‘everything is totally fine’ face was well practiced. But it hid the blubbering mess and desperately unhappy person on the inside.

A few months into my separation, Unanswered Prayers came on the car radio. I was actually a huge fan before Garth Brooks went off the rails, so this song instantly took me back to happier times. And more importantly, it reminded me of something very important: Life happens for us, not to us.

Coincidentally, the very next day a friend had arranged for me to meet a spiritual reader. I sat in a small mountain cabin scented with incense, listening to the dulcet tones of wind chimes in the wood, not knowing what to expect. After a lengthy pause, the reader looked at me and said, ‘Your angels want you to know that your ex was, and is, an important part of your life – he is one of your teachers. Your destiny, my dear, is still waiting for you.”

What was going on? I had a feeling that the universe was trying to send me a message.

I wondered: rather than fighting this change, and feeling miserable about everything that had happened… should I try to embrace it, and have faith that life was happening for me? I knew it was an interesting and possibly more productive mindset to have, but there was a major problem: I had a big old lump of unhappiness weighing me down. It was holding me ransom in this negative place where I didn’t know who or how to be.

So I did what I always do in times of trouble: I turned to, ahem, YouTube.

I came across a Tony Robbins clip where he talked about happiness, and unhappiness. And, particularly, how to find yourself again after misfortune. What he had to say really resonated with me, and you might find it helpful, too.

What makes us happy

The way Tony puts it, we dream about our future from a very young age. Who we are? How we are meant to be? We create a story in our head (an expectation) about how things should play out: Tony Robbins calls this story our blueprint.

On a personal note: I always imagined my grown-up self surrounded by family and friends, travelling the world, having a successful career, being super fit and healthy, happily married, raising four kids, living in a beautiful home, and being generous with time and money to those in need.

I went about life with my eyes on the prize, and yes I was pretty darn happy – up until D-day!

So, what exactly is happiness? Tony Robbins tells us, it’s when your reality is meeting or exceeding your blueprint.

That’s pretty simple. Right?

But, what happens when life gives us divorce?

It would probably be fair to say that you’d become incredibly unhappy! You feel like you’ve been thrown off course. You’re alone. Your expectations have been smashed to smithereens.

Your reality no longer matches your blueprint.

When your reality no longer matches your blueprint you feel pain. But just to add fuel to the fire, when your reality doesn’t match your blueprint AND you feel like you have no control over your situation (you feel helpless), this is when you experience tremendous suffering. Not a great place to be at all (I know, I’ve been there!)

How can we breakthrough from here?

When you’re feeling lost and alone, you’ve got a few options:

  1. Play the blame game
    Blame is definitely the easiest path to take. And, it does provide some short-term pain relief. But blaming someone or something else or even blaming yourself for your pain and suffering is not the answer. Nelson Mandela famously said that building up resentment in your soul is like, “drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die”. This is so true: it’s usually the blamer who ends up bitter. In other words, it’s best to steer clear of this option! Or, at the very least, identify when you are taking this destructive path and switch tactics.

  2. Change your reality
    This option basically helps you get over trauma by trying to replicate what you’ve just lost. Know anyone who’s jumped back in a similar relationship in no time at all? Fingers crossed for them that it works, but the danger here is that this new reality may also be destined to fail as it’s based on a blueprint that was not aligned with their destiny. Something to think about!

  3. Change your blueprint
    This option is definitely the hardest option and takes the most work. But the rewards are massive: personal growth and true happiness. It involves changing your limiting beliefs, shifting your anger and denial, and attracting different things into your reality. You need to press reset on your blueprint, and recreate your story. Storyboard new visions and dreams. Reinforce these daily via affirmations and a vision board. Look deep within your soul for those things that make you truly happy. What things inspire you? What gives you a tingle in your stomach? What lessons have you learned through life and this traumatic experience? Stay focused and be committed to a brand new blueprint.

Finding your life’s new blueprint

Everyone, at some point in their lives, has to deal with a trauma on one level or another. In your case, a devastating separation or divorce has likely taken something or someone from you. I do feel your pain.

Well, Mr Always Look On The Bright Side (AKA Tony Robbins) says, “sometimes not getting your blueprint can be the best thing that ever happens for you, because the disappointment drives you to find something more important inside of you. Or, makes you look for another aspect of your life – a spiritual aspect, a family aspect, a physical aspect. By doing this you can always find, in any situation, a benefit that can take your life to another level.”

(I totally agree!)

“We all have the ability to transcend anything that happens to us”.

I didn’t think that this was possible in the early days – but here I am! So, yes, I’m a believer.

Tony goes on to say, “some people live the rest of their days in a story about their pain and suffering – which, they definitely have the right to do. But, there’s a big difference between what you have the right to do, and what you deserve to give yourself and others.”

So, the real question you need to ask yourself is: what are you going to do with your trauma? Are you going to let this separation or divorce destroy you or help you to grow?

“Life is a series of growth spurts!”

When you’re ready to choose growth, by embracing your new reality, spending time looking deep within (way beyond the story you once created for yourself), and acknowledging that life is happening for you (not to you), here’s what will happen:

  1. You’ll realise who you actually are and what you’re truly capable of. You’ll see that you’re so much stronger than you ever thought. And you’ll be inspired to take life by the horns.

  2. You’ll deepen all your relationships. You’ll find out who your real friends really are, who you love and who loves you back.

  3. Every time you push yourself and have a breakthrough – you get stronger. You’ll build up what Tony Robbins calls a ‘psychological immunity’. You gain a positive mindset of, ‘I’m ready for whatever life has to give me’. And, YOU get to decide who you’ll be and how you’ll react when faced with challenges in the future. Tony says, “that this strength of spirit is what creates a sense of freedom and joy in your life. And that strength of spirit basically comes from living a life when you are constantly in a never-ending state of being to improve yourself and help others.”

Just because you feel lost right now and that life is not as it should be, does not mean your life is doomed and that you’ll never find yourself again. It simply means you are you are going through an incubation period and transformation. Be aware that life is happening for you, not to you. And, always remember – you’re in control of your blueprint.

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything that you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


Now available on the Australian App Store and Google Play (coming soon to USA and UK markets).

For more support why don’t you download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook to stay informed and inspired daily.

I’d love to hear the new goals and dreams you’re working on to redefine your blueprint. Let me know in the comments below.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,





 

Annie Kendall

Founder | Hello Mojo

0

Her Blog

The other night, I cozied up with a glass of wine and watched that buzzed-about TV drama Big Little Lies starring (and produced by) the ever-inspiring Reese Witherspoon. OMG… it’s a must-watch! You’ll laugh, cry (a lot, and then some!) and will be completely distracted from your own woes as you become enthralled in the twisted story line.

I saw myself in so many different moments throughout this series – in both the challenge and beauty of motherhood, the adversity of difficult relationships, those new beginnings and the steadfast friendships that get you through it all.

But there was one moment in the show when my heart skipped a beat.


The reality of TV

I wasn’t expecting Nicole Kidman to take my passion to the big screen, but there she was.

Spoiler alert! After a secretive struggle through the toxic dynamics of an abusive relationship, the character Nicole plays, Celeste, finally reaches out for help from a marriage counsellor.

In just a few simple words, the counsellor tore Celeste’s current view of her reality apart and helped her acknowledge the danger and damage that a toxic relationship was doing to her and her children. The counsellor saw straight through Celeste’s shame and guilt-ridden excuses. Then she did something that made me gasp: she told Celeste to start documenting absolutely everything – NOW. The emotion in Celeste’s face said it all!

The counsellor (my new hero) urged her to photocopy statements and personal documents, take photos of evidence (including bruises and injuries) and start making an exit plan. Plus, she encouraged her to share the abuse with a loyal friend to have a respectable witness to call on if things got nasty.

I was instantly reminded of the first day I met with my lawyer. “Make sure you are documenting EVERYTHING!”, she said with an unmistakably serious tone. Looking back, I honestly feel this statement struck me down harder than the day my marriage fell apart. It made the reality of becoming a divorcee with two under two so (scarily) real.

Now, in any other situation, documenting in exactly the way the counsellor advised Celeste would be a breeze. But when your personal safety, finances, emotions and especially your children’s future is in the balance (and knowing you only have one go at this), it’s a whole different ball game.


When it came to documenting, here’s what I wished I knew at the start of my journey:
  1. How to get started.

  2. How to document vital information as it happened.

  3. How to maintain a positive attitude.

A solution for this wasn’t out there when I separated from my husband, so I decided to build it myself.


Let’s break it down:

1. What to document

  • All relevant communication (between you and your ex, lawyers, children’s school, doctors etc., in person, on the phone, SMS, email, social media etc.)

  • Important dates and events

  • Any notable incidents

  • Evidence (turn ON Location Services and date stamp in iPhotos)

  • Financial commitments and expenses (relevant to the children, support payments, and bills etc)

  • Visitation schedules for children

  • Children’s health, well-being and behaviour

  • Commitments (promises) made by the other parent, and any defaults (financial or in person)

  • Legal representative’s meeting notes, correspondence, call times etc to cross check their bills


2. How to organise

  • Use Hello Mojo’s app! Otherwise, use an A4 notepad or a soft-copy document. You’ll also need a large folder for collecting hard copies documents or evidence.

  • Turn the track changes function ON if you’re using a soft-copy document!

  • Record chronologically (in a table label columns across: date, time, location, people involved, and then record details (a factual, non-emotive recollection). Make note where the evidence is located/stored. Lastly, tag the entry with a code for ease of reference later on eg. domestic abuse, children, settlement negotiations etc)

  • Stick to the facts. It’s tempting to blast your ex, but it’s best to use non-emotive language no matter how mad you might be. Use, “he said”, “she said”, “I said” and “then this happened”, plus the all-important, “here’s the evidence”. “I noticed this reaction from the children”. Sadly, a Mills & Boon novel will not help you in family court.

  • Link conversations as you go, particularly if a conversation bounces over multiple communications channels. If you start on SMS, then a reply is sent via email, followed up with a phone conversation, you should make notes on each entry to show the conversation trail.

  • Attach or make reference to the evidence’s location


3. What exactly is considered as evidence?

  • Emails, SMS, messenger or social media correspondence, phone logs, bills, video call logs, face-to-face conversation notes, photos, phone recordings (check the legal requirements in your state), police reports of domestic violence, witness accounts, meetings minutes or notes, a list of agreed parental commitments, proof of broken promises, no shows, agreed visitation schedules, financial records, professional or school reports concerning the children etc. If in doubt, document it!


4. How to store your records?

  • Hello Mojo has implemented multiple high-level privacy and security settings for the protection and storage of your records.

  • Keep your journal in a (very) secure location.

  • If you are keeping records on a soft copy (i.e. a Word document), BACK IT UP!


5. Other key information

  • Don’t tell: It’s going to be very tempting to tell your ex, particularly if they’re being difficult, that you’re recording everything in a diary. Don’t go there! You’re handing over your power and the privilege granted by having the notes in the first place… and could result in a subpoena if your case goes to court.

  • Make it official: If you’re documenting a serious event or incident, copy the text of this specific entry into an email and forward it to your lawyer for their records.

  • A private diary or journal: If you wish to document your feelings or your experience of going through divorce, this is where a personal, private diary or journal should come into play. Keep it separate, don’t give it to your lawyer and don’t tell anyone about it.

  • Your privilege: You own the privilege on information that you give to your lawyer; however, once it’s with your lawyer, they may advise that it should be disclosed to the other party. It’s up to you whether to accept their advice or not. To avoid accidental disclosure, get into the habit of always writing, ‘This correspondence is private and confidential. For my lawyer’s eyes only’ at the top of your emails, documents or evidence given to your lawyer. Better to be safe than sorry (just be aware that it won’t stop advised disclosure).

  • Children matter: If you have children, consider writing an entry about them once a month, including their milestones, achievements, events attended, what you have done for and with them, the other parent’s involvement, things they have talked to you about, beautiful things they have said, your take on how they seems to be fairing etc. Now, this is where you can pour your heart out.


Lastly, you need to accept the commitment to document – and believe YOU CAN DO IT!


As always, it’s better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. And, fingers crossed, this little insurance policy you’re creating never has to pay out!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


For more support and documenting tips, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,







Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

There’s the ex: new hair cut looking sharp, a big old smile pasted on their face, phone pinging with Tinder notifications while the kids happily gaze up at them. Have they been working out?

Then there’s you: bags under your eyes from another sleepless night and a mind that’s jumping between your bank balance and your break-up.

What on God’s green earth is going on, you wonder. How do they have it all together, and so quickly?!

The truth is, they probably don’t. And even if they do, I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t matter. Moving forward from a separation or divorce is dependent on ditching the comparison game. Forget the bitterness, and tell those mean little voices who are trying to convince you you’re not good enough to hit the road. You CAN attract all the good things that you desire into your life.

It’s all about mindset. And yes, I get that when you’re heart-broken, bitter, feeling like you are trapped in a situation that someone else put you in, it is hard (really hard) to stop the negative thoughts from taking over.

Louise Hay put this best when she urged us all to adopt the mindset: “Only good lies before me”. In other words, no matter what life throws at you, it’s all going to work out for the best.

But how do you go from exhausted to enlightened? I won’t lie, it’s not easy—but it is worth it.

The four ways to shift your mindset and create the life you desire:

1. Open your mind

The ex used a word you don’t like. The ex’s new partner dressed a certain way in front of the kids. There was a crazy driver behind you in peak hour. The ex made a comment about you running late to collect the kids. You were unimpressed with your latest legal bill. The children gave you attitude because they are struggling to deal with the two-home situation.

I’ve been there. But according to Wayne Dyer, philosopher, self-help author, and a motivational speaker, “most people actually spend their lives looking for occasions to be offended. They’re actually out there hoping to find some reason to be offended. And, there is no shortage of reasons – they are out there everywhere”.

Another phrase for it is the victim mentality. And when that’s where our head’s at, we’re closing our mind to what is possible for us. “Having an open mind means opening yourself up to the potentiality, and the possibility, that everything and anything is possible”. It’s a mindset that says, “I’m never looking for something to be offended by”.

Tip: Start by noticing when you do this. And when you do catch yourself, turn it around to find something in that very moment to be grateful for.

2. You can’t see gold if you’re always looking for blue

Imagine you just bought a new car. You’re bubbling with excitement… it’s a brand-new-to-market make and colour. It’s definitely going to turn heads on the road.

You leave the car dealership, turn the corner and then O.M.G. – there is the exact same car. Two minutes down the road – another – exactly the same. And another. In total, five of them before you get home. It happens every time!

Why is this? Simple: once you make yourself aware of something – you start to notice it, and you begin to attract it.

How does this relate to you dealing with a split, or to you being jealous of your ex’s amazing new life?

Well, if all you see is that your ex has it all together, and you DON’T….that’s all you are going to see (and that’s the way it’s going to be, and feel, for a long, long time!).

Tip: Try flipping this around (and while you’re at it, take your ex out of the thought equation all together). Start pushing the thought that YOU have it all together. Start seeing GOLD not BLUE. Everyday… all day long. Focus on what YOU desire.

3. You already have everything

Did you know that floating out there in the Universe – right now – is absolutely every reality you will ever desire?

The problem: you are simply not experiencing it yet.

Neale Donald Walsch says, “You need to reach into the sea of infinite possibilities and call for it – the reality you now choose to experience.”

‘How exactly do you call for it?’, I hear you ask. With your thoughts, words and actions, of course: what you say, what you think or believe, and what you do.

There is a catch, though.

You need to be strategic in the way you request things – particularly by being aware of the driving motivation behind your wish.

Let’s break that down.

Wish: I want a nicer home (your mindset: because I can’t survive in this cramped little box). Universe says “YES”.

Wish: I need more money (your mindset: because I can’t afford the groceries this week). Universe says “YES”.

Wish: I’d like to be slimmer (your mindset: because I feel and look terrible this way). Universe says, “YES”.

What is the Universe actually saying yes to? Your mindset – not your wish.

If your statement comes from the deep seeded thought that you do not have any (money, happiness, fitness etc.), you will struggle to see results. Your thoughts have a huge influence on the final outcome.

This is where affirmations come in handy. Think about it: if you tell yourself more times in a day that you are unhappy than you are happy, or poor than rich, or fat and flabby than trim, taut and terrific… guess who wins? That’s right: Mr. Unhappy, Mr. Poor, and Mr. Fat and Flabby.

Tip: Write yourself some affirmations. Write them on sticky notes – put them everywhere around the house, on the dash of your car, on your desk at work, reminders on your phone, on the mirror in the bathroom.

I am strong.

I am gorgeous.

I am bold.

I have a heart of gold.

I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

There is an abundance of money in and around my life.

I am an amazing parent.

I am fit and healthy.

I am doing a great job.

I give myself permission to shine and be happy everyday.

Come up with your own powerful affirmations. Or, for suggestions check out websites like Louise Hay’s. Live by these affirmations, and watch the goodness start to flow into your life.

4. Sending out the right vibrations

It’s no coincidence that when a thought pops into your head about someone you’d promised to call (but didn’t) you unexpectedly bump into this person on the street.

“I was just about to call you!”, you blurt out. Or stumble through, “Oh, I was just thinking of you!”.

Incredibly there’s actually a rhyme and reason to this: a science of super powers.

It’s called The Law of Vibration. This law states that everything is vibrating with energy. Absolutely everything – a chair, a book, a tree, an animal, people, our emotions and thoughts. We are living in a massive sea of energy.

Speaker and author Camillo Loken says, “Our thoughts are on a certain vibrational frequency and hence are part of the vibrating universe. The Law of Attraction, which is based on The Law of Vibration, states that we attract what we are sending out. Hence positive energies attract positive energies and negative energies attract negative energies.”

“Thought is the most potent vibration – so this means you CAN attract to you what you want and wish for.”

“When you know that your thoughts and emotions are vibrating (The Law of Vibration) and you know that “like attracts like” (The Law of Attraction) you will appreciate that you can now start to alter your life just by altering your thoughts and emotions.”

Just asking the universe for things (like happiness, love, money) is sadly not quite enough to get the job done. You must make sure your emotions and feelings are in harmony with your wish, too. “You need to “fall in love” with what you want in order to be in the correct vibrational state”, says Loken.

Tip: Watch Bob Proctor’s Youtube video on thought vibrations and The Law of Attraction to understand this concept fully.

You CAN have what you desire, today!


To Hell with circumstances. I make opportunities! – Bruce Lee

Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or end of your separation or divorce, I encourage you to learn these lessons and be the creator of your own circumstances from here on in.

Mix with happier people that are vibrating on a higher level than you are now – these people will lift your energy, your vibrations and your awareness. These people feel good to be around and in turn increase your feel-good factor.

If you’re aware to the fact that you’re not happy, it’s because the universe is sending you a message. Lift your positive outlook game, and awareness, to attract what you desire.

Always expect the best.

And make yourself extremely aware of that which you DO want (not what you don’t have). You need to focus your energy and vibrations on the specific goal – what you desire. Go for it!

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


For more support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

I’d love to know what affirmations you’re focusing on right now. Let me know in the comments below.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,






Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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Her Blog

“Oh, the places you’ll go! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” 
– Dr. Seuss

Really? Great places, I hear you scoff.

If you’re in the middle of a separation or divorce, or going through a really rocky patch, that Great Place you glimpsed on your wedding day probably looks like a not-so-great dump these days.

Truth is: Dr Seuss did set our expectations for life pretty darn high! (Fairytales, rom-coms and Disney have something to answer for, too). So how do you move on when those expectations–for life, for love–lead you to heartbreak?

Let’s break it down

Love them or hate them, expectations–defined as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case”–help us to reach for great heights. Anticipate possible dangers. And allow us to predict and forecast how an experience will unfold. They’re what drives the belief you’ll have a faithful marriage; they also underpin that argument you have with your partner when they throw you a curveball.

They ready our heart rate for moments of pure joy, or despair. Save us from danger, from risking our lives, or from doing something totally embarrassing.

Expectations carry a badge of trust or a shield of warning. They give us standards to uphold. And they offer us the opportunity to make so-called ‘informed’ decisions (that is, if you believe in crystal balls) before participating in an activity.

But, here’s where things get messed up

A Harvard study led by psychologist and happiness expert Dan Gilbert concluded that expectations can actually lessen the joy and happiness factor in life.

How?

Expectations present us with an alternative outcome for every situation – the one you role play in your mind ahead of the event, and actual reality. So, rather than wholeheartedly accepting and owning what happens to us minute by minute, there’s always a decision pending about which would have been the better outcome. We deliberate, compare and usually hedge our bets.

Expectations add inflated ambition to new experiences, a great deal of internal pressure and a massive amount of emotion, all of which may or may not be useful depending on the situation.

Where do expectations come from?

Turns out, our brains have evolved to become “experience simulators”, as Gilbert puts it.

Think of it like this: pilots practice in flight simulators so they don’t make mistakes in real life.

“Human beings actually have the marvelous adaptation that means they can have experiences in their heads before they try them out in real life,” he says.

These simulated experiences become our expectations.

Amazing, right? But that means rather than being completely present or open to the new possibilities that our future holds, each situation is influenced by an expectation.

Because of this, we miss experiencing so much joy and happiness in simply living life as it happens. We fail to listen to others’ points of view because we are too busy remembering our pre-rehearsed lines. We avoid situations where we expect to be uncomfortable or feel pain. We are convinced that we’re right. And, we would rather argue a preconceived idea than compromise, or in some cases, change our tune to agree with our spouse or ex.

The thing is, an expectation is purely conjured up in our mind’s eye. It’s not reality. However, we attach to it very real and significant meaning.

The good news: now you know this, you can change it.

Advice to help you heal and move forwards powerfully

Since my divorce I’ve spent a lot of time actively healing so I can move forwards with a life I love.

One thing I’ve learned? When you stop playing the blame game – no matter under what circumstance the relationship may have ended – you’re immediately empowered. I’m not saying your ex wasn’t at fault – particularly if there was any kind of abuse involved – but there comes a point where you have to look beyond what happened in the past in order to move on with your future.

Try this exercise: write a Mills and Boon style love story about your relationship – start to finish. The purpose: to figure out where you may be able to take (some) responsibility for the breakdown in your relationship (at first, this concept may be difficult to comprehend if you’re feeling hurt or betrayed!). This isn’t an exercise in self-punishment, trust me. It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of how things broke down.

To make this easier, I’d like to share a little about what I discovered from doing this exercise. (Yes, it has to do with expectations!)

So, our love affair began… and my story went on and on, page after page. Mostly happy, until it wasn’t.

Finally, I was done. I read and re-read the story… and, I made a major discovery.

In the early days of our relationship, it became clear that I was systematically ticking off desirable attributes on my virtual ‘husband must-have checklist’.

My list was comprehensive and detailed but very attainable (so I thought!). Perhaps 15 points long.

The issue was that as soon as I saw that my new boyfriend (now ex) had checked off just five items on my list, I started calling him Mr Right.

At this point in my story, I could suddenly see what happened: my subconscious took over and ticked off every other ‘must-have’ on my list …even if he didn’t fulfill the criteria.

And there was my problem: I now had an expectation that he could do everything on my personal checklist.

So, when I needed a qualified carpenter, a keen fisherman, or someone to enjoy country music with, I became internally frustrated with the in-house talent.

I didn’t quite realize this at the time. And I never verbalized these frustrations. But looking back, I’m sure my body language and mood would have suggested just as much.

I suddenly realized how stressful it must have been for my ex feeling like he always needed to live up to my fabricated and totally unrealistic expectations just so he could please me.

Would things have been different if not for my expectations? Maybe, maybe not. In hindsight, perhaps I should have listened to this advice from Tony Robbins: “Turn your expectations into appreciation and your whole life will change.”

The power of expectations
“It’s worth taking stock of how often our imagination, our expectations and assumptions, bleed into reality and actually change experience or change our bodies.”
Chris Berdik

As you walk forwards from here (from a separation, divorce, perhaps an abusive partner and into your new life), I challenge you to continually ask yourself if your experiences are being influenced by expectations. Are you putting your past into your future? Are you open to the power of a new experience (even if you’ve lived through the same situation before)?

Acknowledge your expectations and run with them – you still have the power. Or bench them for a whole new realm of amazing possibilities that comes from living in the moment.

If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations may arise.

Download on the App Store

Download on Google Play


For more support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.

I’d love to know what expectations have been holding you back from new experiences or that may have contributed to your reality today. Let me know in the comments below.

You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.

Love,






Annie Kendall
Founder | Hello Mojo

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