Episode 128 – 10 Positive Practices to Find Light in the Darkness – Professor Llewellyn E. Van Zyl

In this episode I discuss finding your strengths and strategies to deal with depression.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host, divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Joining me today is Professor Lowe, Ellen van xhale. lol and let's just jump right into one. So tell us a little bit about yourself.

Llewellyn 0:29
So I'm a professor of positive psychology at University in the Netherlands and also in the University of Northwest University in South Africa. And my area is really trying to understand how to help people live happier, healthier lives. So we've tried to identify people's strengths are and figuring out how can we utilize those strengths to help them to become the best possible version of themselves. And that's pretty much my, my, my area.

Michael 0:52
So, okay, so rabbit holes, this is why I do create an outline because things like this happen. How do you determine someone's strengths? What's Is there a quiz? Is there a test is there like what? How do you do that?

Llewellyn 1:05
So when I when I asked you, Michael, what are your strengths? What's what comes to mind for you? What are the things that you really absolutely amazing at?

Michael 1:18
Amazing, that's a tough word. I feel like I'm, I feel like I'm a good interviewer. I feel like I feel like I have a lot of persistence. I don't give up very easily. I feel like I am articulate, personable, generally, even when I am tired, but thanks to caffeine. I mean, those are some of the ones that come come come to my, you know, brought to the forefront of my mind does those things

Llewellyn 1:50
that you see how difficult it was initially for you, when I asked you? What What are your strengths are? And it's like, well, I don't know, I know. It wasn't the moment you start thinking about it. Oh, I'm persistent. Oh, I am quite articulate. Oh, I'm quite personable. So do you know why it's so difficult for you to identify these things that are so good in you? Why doesn't come naturally?

Michael 2:13
I think it's a human thing. I think we are all sort of negatively biased in a lot of ways, right? A long time ago, we had to be in order for our species, there's a drive. So I think. And I think also that part of that survival was also being part of a group in a tribe, and you didn't want to do anything to sort of stand out in a way because maybe you would get kicked out. And so I think there's just tendency and us to just sort of just go along to get along type of thing. I don't know. That's my, my guess.

Llewellyn 2:43
Exactly. So that's one of the big components. We're programmed that way, because like it helps us survive, because we're more negatively biased, because we want to be able to increase our probability of surviving. And if I usually do this activity, where most people do, like in 30 seconds, write down everything that's negative about everything that you're bad at, right? And they'll come up with a list of like 1820 things, and it will be possible to turn the paper around and in 30 seconds, write down what's what are your strengths, think you're good, or they'll have like maybe one or two things. There are two reasons besides the the overarching, like trying to survive. One is what is the one word kid between the age of six months and eight years years? The most, most frequent word?

Michael 3:30
That is no.

Llewellyn 3:33
Exactly across cultures, whether you're Zulu, or whether you're American is no, don't do that. So you're naturally trained to, to avoid the things that you're bad at. But when you do something that's absolutely amazing. You might say, oh, okay, that's quite nice, right? But we don't celebrate it. And because of that, like when you talk about like your perseverance, your personal ability, it's average, because everybody is creative. Everybody is a good interviewer. Everybody is persistent, because we see the things that we're absolutely amazing at as normal. And that's not the case. So we're not programmed that way. So the idea behind the horse strengths thing is that we all do have our strengths, things that we are good at inside of us. One, we just need to know what they actually are. So get a list of them, and to figuring out, what can I actually do with them? And how do I use them? So we can use like the VA strengths inventory, you can Google it, it's free to do on the Penn State University's website. Or you can also do the Clifton Strengths Finder. So this helps you identify the practical strengths. But you can also ask people, if I ask you to tell a story of something that where you felt like your absolute best, you will start to tell the story where you're utilizing the strength a lot and it's my risk. countability or my responsibility, my role as your guidance or your coach or counselor to give you the vocabulary, because you already know what they are, I know I'm creative, you know, you have high levels of perseverance, you know that. So, don't know what the word is, you don't know how to identify. So there are tests that you can do, we can ask you to tell the stories, the string spotting exercises, you can also ask, a very nice exercise to do is like, I'm not sure if you know what a 360 degree evaluation is. It's, it's something that they originated in Organizational Psychology, where they would ask leaders like we'd ask your manager and your employees and your customers, and your family, all to give feedback on anonymously, on what they think your strengths, your abilities, and these things are so that we can figure it out, get a holistic view of who you are. So we can help you create a bit of mental plans to help you to become get to the next level of leadership or whatever. So what we've kind of like done in from the positive side perspective, do the same thing. But we asked people to have anonymous little survey going Google Docs and and create one or whatever, and submit it to your wife, or your friends, or your kids, your manager and some of your co workers. And just ask basic questions. It's what do you think? Are the three things I'm absolutely amazing at? What are the three things that come to mind? Just to counterbalance it, what's the one thing you feel I can develop in a little bit more? And what do you feel I should stop starting, continue doing and taking all this stuff together, you get a very holistic view of what makes you special from the other person's perspectives. And then we have this, we have this thing called the Johari Window, which basically indicates there are things that on one thing about like a matrix on the one end, there are things that you know about. And there are things that that I as someone that doesn't know you knows about. So there are things that I am, you know about quadrant one you are, you're from the United States, you're quite personable, you just told me you're have high levels of perseverance, there are things that you know about you that I don't know, the people around you. There are also things that I know about you that you don't know. And there are things that you neither you nor I know about you. And this is things for example, like you might be very good at, I don't know playing you playing electric guitar back, maybe you'd be super good at playing bass, but you've never tried. The moment you pick it up, it just naturally happens for you. So it's identifying. So identifying those things. Neither I nor you know about, it's very difficult, because like, you have to try things and go out and do things to experience this, right. Yeah. But that blind spots, and also the string spots, like asking other people for feedback and see how this aligns to your view. That's an important thing. So I think this is some activities that you can use to identify the things that you're that you're really good at that makes you unique and makes you special. Yeah.

Michael 8:04
Oh, well, like I said, that's not the topic of the conversation. But it's fascinating to me, because I think it's important. I think the one of the things that occurs when you go through a divorce is you lose your identity. And then you got to figure out how to gain it back. And I think you don't do that without diving into yourself. And I think the stuff that you just described, that's what it is, is diving into yourself and figuring out who you are, what are you like, separate from from the life that you had? So I think I think it's all good stuff and took some notes. I think I've taken the via strengths already. But but all the clips and I haven't heard of that. I don't think so, I'll dive into that. Because I think it's, you know, sometimes it can help direct not only, you know, your personal life, but excuse me, your your work life as well, you know, you can try and figure out, you know, if there's certain jobs you might be interested in, or whatever, it's good to know, your strengths. So thank you for that. The reason I had to go ahead,

Llewellyn 9:07
I'd say this is part of this process, though. Because in order for you, you're ready, you're writing the set, we have to find it, you have to cross out a new identity of you outside of that relationship with going through divorce is one of the most difficult things that a person can do. Because one, it's you going through the same process than you would when you are when you've when someone has died close to you. Sure problem is you're constantly faced with that person. So you don't have the luxury of having closure in that way. So you have to really go out and really craft this new identity. And unfortunately, because you're in this relationship so much you're in this little bubble, you don't know where you are, and identifying your strengths and figuring out how to use them a lot more is a core aspect of living a happier, healthier life to get you through these dark times. Because if I am For example, if we know that you are creative, you have high levels of perseverance, and your client as an example, how can I, how can we use this to help you, I don't know, deal with this awful divorce attorney that you can that you confronted with, right? Because if I'm using something that I'm good at this, this creativity, I feel naturally feel a lot better because I'm good at it. And I don't have to do something that I'm not, but I have to know that I have to use my creativity, or my kindness or my curiosity that way. So I'm using these strings to solve these problems. That's where this becomes a fundamental aspect of things that give you energy, and not things that necessarily drain energy from you.

Michael 10:46
Yeah, yeah, I totally, again, completely agree it. And I think it's, I say this all the time, it's really about, you know, setting the intention, you know, making the decision, you know, and that's, I'm going to figure out who I am. How do I at least now there's, you know, after this discussion, there's, you know, okay, how is, you know, we'll give you some clues here and some things you can or some some advice or some ways or some paths forward where you can get you don't know you are your last one here is go find out what your strengths are, I think is at least a jumping off point a starting point. So I thank you for, for covering that. I didn't expect that. So thank you. The reason I as I think every psychologist, Dr. therapists that I've had on this show I found on psychology today.com. And that's where I found you, I found an article that you posted. And it's more about getting through seasonal depression, if I remember correctly, and but I think it applies to, and one of the things you mentioned in the blog is about the holidays. And it's obviously we're in that time period, and, and this is my fifth holiday since separation, and then ultimately divorce. So these are difficult times. And so I want to try and in and I've had a similar episode not too long ago, but I think this stuff is important, because I think, you know, suicide rates are, you know, I think they spike around the holidays. I think there's, you know, it's I know, it's hard, I live it, I live it, I've lived it for five years, and it still has moments where it's like, this is not what I want, you know, I'm not sure what I would you know what I would change at this point, because it's, you know, reconciliation is not possible. I mean, just even for me, but but it's just I still think it's good to give a guide and give some some guidance to get through these times. So, so you gave a list of 10 different things and printed them out, and we're gonna we're gonna cover them one by one. And the first of those that you listen to is practice gratitude daily. Let's get specific. What does that mean? What I know that for me, I journal every morning that I'm sometimes I travel will work, but when I'm home, every morning, I'm writing my, um, my gratitudes three, three things I'm grateful for. What what does that specifically look like? Is that the process? Does it matter if you do it in the morning and the night in the afternoon? And it does it? Does it make any kind of a difference? What other studies so let's let's focus in on practicing gratitude daily, what does that mean?

Llewellyn 13:22
So I think gratitude is one of the big things in my field. And I think unlike other people that you've spoken to, that's trying to train, you just manage the stuff, we're trying to help you to get more energy into the cup, and not just trying to contain the cup, but to see all the holes. So the idea behind gratitude is that it's the ability to show appreciation towards towards others, but also to become more aware of the things or to relive the positive things that that has happened to you. So it's almost like, if you think about negative stuff, you think about your divorce activities, same aspects in your brain, then your pain receptors, right. So you have you go through the same thing, the memory is just as impactful as the actual event itself. And the same thing with gratitude, the same with positive stuff. So the idea behind gratitude is to help to relive the positive experiences you've had before, but also make you more conscious of the things that actually gives you energy. So there are two things, two activities that are that are really profound, the very impactful. So the one is I called the gratitude visit. And the idea behind this is to say that think about someone in your life that has the most profound impact on on the shape of who you are. Maybe that was a your old mentor or your old coach at at high school, or maybe it was like someone at university but think about someone that had this major impact in your life that's still alive. Write a short 250 word letter to this person, indicating who they what impact they had on your life, what profound effect it had. And how are you feeling about this? And how it's changed over time, make an appointment and physically go there and read it This activity itself has shown to dramatically decrease depression, stress and anxiety over the short and medium term. And if you practice these activities, it has a long term sustainable effect up to like a year, year and a half. So just as an example, in terms of practicing gratitude daily, the idea is to help you to become more conscious of the small little things that's actually happening that's positive in your life. Because we negate that sometimes I'm going through a shift day, and all of a sudden, like some ladies gives me like, I have one item in the queue. She gives me space in front of her, I pay for it, I go, right? I don't I'm not consciously aware of it. But I feel at that moment, I'm like, oh, no, thank you so much. It says, donors, but because I'm not aware of it, I'm so engulfed in this negative stuff that's happening around me that I don't see these things. So it helps you to become more conscious of this fact. So the idea behind this is to say, to try and consciously look for three things that you're grateful for every day. So at the end of the day, you reflect upon the day before the preceding couple of hours, and think about the three things that actually happen that you feel grateful. That's the first aspect. But not, but listing them is not the most important part. The most important part about this is saying, Why did these things? Why do I feel grateful for these things? Why were they positive for me? So the lady giving me space in the queue? Why was this important for me? Why did this make me happy? Well, I was feeling like shit, I didn't want to be around people, I felt self conscious. I felt irritable. And it helped me to get out of the out of the building a lot faster. So it showed me that there is still some kindness left in the world, this person saw, I was frustrated. And she helped me in that respect. So then I started become more consciously aware of why these things are positive for me. And that helps me to become more conscious of these things in the future. So it's more of a conscious exercise, making more conscious of these of these facts.

Michael 16:59
And so let's again, I love specificity. And we don't want this for five minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, like, What's the timeframe?

Llewellyn 17:06
So at the end of the day, all that you need to do with it, it takes you two minutes or 10 minutes, it's just literally writing down three things, what you're grateful for for that day. And one reason why this was each one of these things, why it was a positive thing for you. That's it should not take you longer than 10 minutes, not even longer than five minutes. Gotcha. Okay, and do that for 30 days.

Michael 17:27
And you can you can, so I always like to think of things. experiences I don't. I'm not, I don't think of events. But does that work too? So like, you know, I went to a football game with my daughter last year, it was amazing. Like, is that something that has? I don't think of those types of things. But is that something that's also effective as well?

Llewellyn 17:50
It's important to do things in the day, right? Of course, we look about that it's important to look at these big events, you went to the football game, why was it was meaningful to spend time with her? I don't see her that often I build a relationship, right? These overarching grand things are there. But it's easy for us to think about the grand things, because they're they're few and far between that such a positive effect on us that they already ingrained themselves into my memory that this is a positive event. The purpose of the gratitude stuff is to make you aware of small thoughts, okay, things are actually happening in the day to day life. That's not so massively impactful.

Michael 18:27
Gotcha. Okay. That's an excellent. And I agree, and I think it's important, and a lot of a lot of folks talk about this gratitude, I think it is incredibly important. The next one is engage in mindful meditation. Again, let's get specific. Because what does that mean? How do we do that when all those kinds of good stuff or all those kinds of good questions.

Llewellyn 18:50
So I think that I kind of listed them all the things from from empirical research that had the most the biggest impact, right. And the only two things that showed sustainable effects was mindfulness and gratitude over the long period of time to increase positive effect wellbeing and decreased common health problems. Mindfulness is a is an interesting thing, because I am not, I'm not very mindful. I eat quite fast, I work quite fast, I'm not really conscious of what's going on around me. So it's really difficult for me as an individual to focus and sit down for five minutes every day and just let my mind go, right? It's extremely impossible. But one of the things that I found that works for me, instead of walking, or instead of sitting down, I go on a mindful walk. So the idea behind this is I walk in I tried to be conscious of every step that I take. When I put down I tried to feel the conscious of the earth pushing up against me and me pushing down on it. I tried to be conscious of the sensations that I'm having in terms of what I'm feeling at that moment. So the the physical feelings the cold brush of air. I tried to be more conscious of the sounds So I just walk around the block. And it takes around 1015 minutes for me to do this. And it really helps me to become more aware of the business stations that I'm having. So I didn't know, for example, that I had heart pain as an example. I like it because I'm always rushing, I don't know what my body is telling me. And the first couple times is walking. It's like, why am I having this weird sensation here? And I was walking, and the baby came so excruciating, that I went to the doctor and not so Okay, you've got a, you've got a little bit of a heart problem there. And it seems like it's been there for quite some time. But because I'm not like very consciously aware of what's going on in my body, because it was rushing. I didn't know this. Yeah. So for me personally, the mindful walking thing worked really well. When we talk about what the literature and stuff tells us, it's literally just, you only need five minutes a day where you sit down, where you calm yourself, where you allow your thoughts just to go forth out dating, it influence you, that has the most significant effects is that 80% 20% rule, you do 20% of the work to get 80% of the benefit. So after five minutes, the amount of benefits you get in terms of increasing life satisfaction and whatever is not as much as that first five minutes, if that makes sense. So you can sit for two or three hours and meditate. But you get only a slight little bit more benefit than you would for five minutes. And I like this app, there's these the smaller I don't want to I'm not sure if I can I can say the apps names. But yes, absolutely. Go on. This I breathe, for example, which is nice. One calm headspace is another one. And they take you through these five minute guided meditations. And that's it. And but you have to do it consistently for a couple of weeks for you, for it actually to have this effect.

Michael 21:54
So is that does it matter in terms of when morning night again, you know, that kind of stuff.

Llewellyn 22:01
So, for me, personally, I don't think it has that big of an impact when you're doing being calm. But I do know, for me, when I go through this walk, I feel I feel exhausted afterwards, because it's a very intensive activity. And I know people meditate and do this mindful eating or whatever, like at night because they can go to sleep afterwards. As an example, another activity I think you can kind of like do is like mindful eating. So what we do with with chocolates, for example, is that we ask a person to take a piece of chocolate and a wrapper, a small little chocolate, and just slowly open it or just feed it in your hands, and then slowly open it, smell it, put in your mouth, don't bite it, let it melt. That's also a mindful based activity. It's called savoring. And it also helps you to be more aware of happiness in the in the in the present where gratitude is happiness in the boss, mindfulness and happiness in the present. It's a very, that's an hour activity. It doesn't matter if you do it in the morning, or in the evening, just as long as you have this five minutes for yourself. Yeah.

Michael 23:10
Okay. Yeah, I think I struggle with that one a little bit, too. I'm similar in terms of like, um, you know, let's go, let's go, I got shit to do. Plus, you know, single father. So, you know, even half the time it's still, you know, it's, it's challenging. And, you know, there's not often where you can kind of just take a few minutes for yourself. I mean, it happens for sure. But I think it's, again, it's being aware of these things and trying to set the intention. I'm making a part of your life. And I think we can all you know, as much as you know, Oh, I'm so busy. I think I can find five minutes. I'm pretty sure that the next one because yeah,

Llewellyn 23:46
sorry. Sleep, right, eventually. So five minutes before you go to sleep, just even if you just lie on your bed and just feel like the pressure of the Batum. For underneath you, whatever. That's also being mindful. Also meditating. Yeah,

Michael 24:03
very true. Yeah, I think that's a lot of this stuff. Right? I think, you know, we, for whatever reason, again, humans were negatively biased or whatever is like, Oh, it's just seems like this bit of meditation or what is that? That's weird. That's different, or I can't do that or and it's really I don't, I don't think it's as complex as as, as we make it out to be sometimes. Number three is practice practice random acts of kindness. Again, let's let's get let's go with specifics. What do we mean?

Llewellyn 24:36
So when we talk about run it as kind of talked about pro social behavior, right? We are We are social animals. Like you mentioned before we were a tribe, we want to work together to get to a common goal. And we ran me by colleagues of mine ran multiple studies on this acts of kindness because we know kindness is the mechanism to kind of draw people together. It makes me feel good. So they did these experiments where they did like, Okay, do one randomly act of kindness every single day, right. And then they did like one every week, one every month and five on every day or five on a day. And they felt that if you do five random acts of kindness in a day, that's the only thing that actually affects, like, life satisfaction and well being at least. So the idea is that decide to do five random acts of kindness, once a week. And it doesn't have to be, oh, I'm giving $1,000 to the homeless guy on the street. It's small, little gestures like the lady giving you or you're giving a lady an old lady in front of you. space in the queue, for example, right? Or helping someone with their homework, or it's really small, little acts of kindness, that makes us more aware of how the impact that we have on other people's lives. So the idea, again, is do the small five tiny little things on one day, once a week.

Michael 25:58
All right, I can I can, I can do that, for sure. This is the next one is number four. I really liked this one. Yes, this one sort of, kind of, I don't know. It made me feel a certain way. Some Joy, I guess. It uses the word joy, do things you used to that used to bring you joy as a child. I really liked that one. Again, let's let's talk about that a little bit.

Llewellyn 26:24
Let's talk about the science behind. So when you're growing up as a kid, and you're getting exposure, but if you think about like the old Christmas movies that you watch, when you watch them today, you still have for some reason, a warm feeling, right, or if you see your a song from back in the day, when you were a child, it still brings up this even if it's just for a millisecond. Because at that stage, your brain is still wiring itself is still making new connections between things. And under these normal, it's called confined, positive experiences. You create positive memories attached to the by doing things that you used to do that was fun, and joyful and meaningful as a kid helps you to relive those experiences and reactivates those pathways, think about driving, you're driving to your work. And you used to take the shortcut because it was quite nice and scenic. And all of a sudden you realize okay, but this is taking too long, I have to take this the highway now. It's a lot faster gets me there. And the more I do this highway stuff, the less I I start forgetting about this other route. When I discovered this route again, I'm like, Oh, yeah. And that's that, that that favorite tree of mine, and oh, look at that, bam, you automatically reactivate the path and you automatically do that again. So doing things that gave you joy as a child helps you relive those experiences. So it gives a little bit more energy to the thing. But it also helps you connect the things that you used to find fun. And it used to be interesting for you. So it helps you relive that kid inside of you. A lot of research that shows that. But how effective just that is.

Michael 28:00
Yeah, I love that one. Here's one that I we had this brief conversation before we before we started, this is what I struggle with maintain consistent sleep, a healthy diet, I do okay, their exercise every day. Definitely not. I mean, that's the Lord pray a large rabbit hole. But let's at least talk about the importance of consistent sleep.

Llewellyn 28:25
So I think probably everybody that you've spoken to, or will speak through will always talk about a healthy body healthy mind. But one thing I think that's really important is sleep hygiene. Now, when we talk about sleep hygiene, it's about having not that the amount of sleep is not as important as the quality of the sleep that you get. And when I talk about the quality, we're talking about like these REM cycles, where you're like in deep sleep or your dream. So the idea behind this is to say that sleep helps reset your neural pathways it basically hits reset on your emotions, on your physical even, like physical ailments like pain, chronic pain or things it needs reset on them, because your body gets a chance to to process stuff. Now the problem why most of us, me included have bad sleep, it's because we have poor sleep hygiene. We don't go to bed. At the same time we use our bedroom for different things. It's not just for sleeping. We do multiple things when we're not supposed to we don't have a routine in where we don't have a sleeping ritual. So a lot of people talk about like getting into sleep right? Make sure that you go to the same same time to bed give the same amount of hours. You just space for when it is not fun. It's tough. But what people also do not talk about just like how important waking up are after seeing this. When you wake up in the morning. What do you do the first thing when you wake up in the morning? Depends

Michael 29:49
on the morning but it's either go wake my oldest daughter up or go make coffee.

Llewellyn 29:57
It's something you do before that

Michael 30:00
Get out of bed, I guess right?

Llewellyn 30:01
Grab your phone.

Michael 30:02
Oh, yeah, yeah, that's, you see?

Llewellyn 30:06
Yeah, you're not quite because the moment that you pick up your phone the moment because your mind is activated in work mode or in like, energy mode, or I have to do cyber stuff. Yeah, leave your phone when you wake up. Even if you just put it down, don't check it just take five minutes and wake up. And allow yourself to think about things and, and experience the process of getting awake. Otherwise, you're, you're negating most of the benefits that you get from the sleep. At least the last sleep cycle, you're losing. Because you're automatically running again, your brain automatically start being at 110 kilometers miles an hour. So before sleep rituals, sleep hygiene, but also in the morning, finalizing the sleep process by allowing yourself to have a slow start five minutes, or also have a ritual. Be consistent. Want to make coffee before I wake my kid up. I want to have my read my newspaper or whatever. Write a small little ritual.

Michael 31:03
Gotcha. Okay. Again, all doable stuff. Number six, I think it's probably one we all struggle with. I think practice self compassion and self kindness. So again, let's let's talk about that. How do we do that? What's it look like? Why is it so damn hard? I think we kind of touched on this already. But yeah, let's talk about self compassion. Self kindness.

Llewellyn 31:25
Michael, if you say off of the things, that you're thinking about yourself to another person, what do you think that other person is going to do?

Michael 31:35
Oh, yeah, he's gonna tell me go fuck myself. I'm pretty quickly. Yeah. 100% probably

Llewellyn 31:41
beat you up as well. Right? Like, so what to Why are you so why do you say these things? Like, oh, my god, it's so stupid. Oh, I shouldn't have said that. Oh, I should have done that. Like, why are you so hard on it?

Michael 31:54
I think and then you can confirm this, but I suspect this true. And I think I've talked to other folks that, uh, you know, it all comes back to your childhood, I think I think we're obviously negatively biased as humans, that's part of it, I'm sure. But I think on, you know, good, bad or indifferent. You know, because we are negatively biased, the negative input that we get, I think, especially from our parents, as children, I think sticks with us. And so I think for me, the negative that I hear is typically my mother, right? Yeah, it's just that was sort of put into me from from from long, long ago, like you said, you know, what's the one word? What's the what's the word? kids hear the most? No. So I got I suspect that that's, that's what's going on?

Llewellyn 32:38
That's exactly. So you're trained here to think about these things. And you're as critical on yourself as what these important life figures in your case was for you. Sure. Why? Because you are doing this because you feel like if I make a mistake, oh, people won't like me. That's the fundamental thing that's behind it. I'm useless, though. Like I can't do anything, right. That's the thing that's underlying it. Not the mistake that you

Michael 33:01
write. But knowing.

Llewellyn 33:05
But knowing that everybody makes mistakes is an important aspect. And we talked about self kindness. I like to use this example, where if you've got this massive zit on your face, this massive pimple, you're walking in town, and what do you think happens?

Michael 33:20
What do you what are you experiencing? You're gonna you're gonna imagine that's what everyone's looking at and pointing out and talking about and right.

Llewellyn 33:27
Yeah, exactly. And you're like, Oh, my God, like, I'm just disgusting. I don't want to see this. Everyone's looking at it. Excellent. Great. How many people in that same day than you when you walked through this yesterday in town? How many people's big massive pimples that you see, right? No, no one. Because we're also like, focused on the stuff that we realized that actually, no one actually cares. And nobody cares if you make a mistake, unless you make such a massive mistake that that goes viral is on the internet and follows you for. And unfortunately, most of us are not that lucky. But it was not quiet waste. But the fact that it's like, we all make mistakes, it's fine. And it's okay. And I think the big thing that I always try to tell myself is like it's got this whole thing about radical acceptance. It's to say that, can I change something about this situation right now? Can I change? I'm going through this divorce. At three o'clock in the morning, I wake up and then I'm like, Oh, shit, this is happening. Like, can I change at this moment? What can I do? Yeah, nothing. Today, I'm in the morning. Right? So why am I spending energy? I can maybe do something tomorrow morning. Or I could find a lawyer, I could do whatever. But at this moment, there's nothing. So allowing yourself just to accept the things that you're experiencing and knowing that the emotion that you're experiencing is not bad. Depression, anxiety, stress, they're not bad emotions, you're adding value. They're not going to hurt. They are they're just like happiness, just like sadness or whatever. They're Are there and just allowing it to be because it's not going to hurt you and accepting the feeling. And I think that's the that's the big thing. You have to become aware here we're talking about self kindness and compassion. You have to become aware of the way in which you approach these problems, these negative thought patterns, so catastrophizing, I would go and think blow everything out of proportion, life is going to end, nothing is going to ever be the same. No one's ever going to love me again. Right? Yeah. I've had, I've had multiple dates in my life, right? I've had relationships before I can have relationships later. But in that moment, I know I catastrophize. And if I catastrophize. Okay, this is just what I'm doing right now. Let the thought go let it run its course many catastrophize I just say, well, it's just thought. It's not reality. I think that's the that's the big part. Yeah. showing yourself compassion.

Michael 35:52
I think so it to me, it always comes back to you kind of said it before, you know, it's mindfulness is such a big part of this up to me it, it really, it boils down, that's such a huge part of life is just being mindful of your thoughts. And, you know, it's one of the things I do coach guys, and just one of the things that I focus on is not, I don't want you to change your thoughts right away, I just want you to recognize them, and get into the habit of like, Oh, that was negative, or that wasn't very nice to me, or whatever. So you can start getting into that it's a mindful practice, right, you're paying attention to your own thoughts. And once you start catching them, and being conscious of your thoughts, because I think we go through our life, largely on autopilot, a lot of us, you know, we just, we just, were going to make the coffee, and then we go to the bathroom, and we sign on the email, and it's just all very just sort of on autopilot, it feels like not every day, not every moment, but it kind of feels like that. But if you can start being mindful and paying attention to what you do, then you can start making some changes, but boy, is it fucking really, really hard.

Llewellyn 36:56
I think the big thing there is that when, when you're becoming aware of these emotions, like you're, you know, the emotions are there. But you also have to look at what the triggers are. And I think that the big thing there is like, this is sort of a different type, but like exposure to it. So I know, for example, there is a, I went through a breakup, there was a many years ago, it's not the same as a divorce, like it was a very bad breakup. And there is a town in Germany called Essen, and where this person stayed, and I for the life of me, could not see if I see the word Essen it would trigger these emotions in me and I couldn't even drive the road or the stuff up. But systematically, I just allowed myself to like I would drive boss, I would look at the sign on. Well, what's what's happening, right? Like, there's, I'm not getting hurt, I'm not gonna die. I've lived a different life, but exposing myself to that, and over time, it becomes a lot easier. But the trigger is important. And the reason where this comes from, like you said, the beat the stuff that lies behind it, understanding those things being okay with it is another aspect. So a little bit dual. Yeah, I

Michael 38:05
think it's important to also, you know, look back at your childhood to get an understanding of of your patterns as well, because, and it's not to lay blame the feeder of your parents, although it may be well deserved, but we talked about things you can control, you can do fuck all about that, even if they were shitty parents, that was in the past, but at least to take pressure off yourself so that you understand that your habits and patterns didn't come from you. It's not like you were like, You know what, I'd like to be really, really anxious, can I get that one? Right? You know, it's not, you know, or whatever it is, right, whatever sort of some of your bad habits, bad patterns, all these things they're developed a long time ago. And I think it's important to just at least understand that, again, not to place blame, and although it may be well deserved, but just to understand that you're not a fuckup, you're not a terrible person, you might have some bad habits and bad practices, thought patterns, or whatever. But that came from from long ago. So you're right. One is I think you got to be aware of sort of what you're thinking and be mindful of those thoughts. And then and then to understand sort of, you know, why you are the way that you are, I think it's I think it's incredibly important. How often, you know, sort of a rabbit hole, but how often do you when you're working with someone? How often does childhood sort of come up or in classes or whatever. So

Llewellyn 39:25
it's one of the fundamental things in even from our paradigms perspective, right. So behavior, there are certain things that's inborn, but we're trained in every other aspect. And whether I was working with a ferocious student or whether I was working with executives in large multinational companies, it's always the same things we have to try identify what's going on in the past because I won't be able to resolve it but I can become okay with it. And I'd like to the whole metaphor about your your psyche is this car, your first car that's given to you, right, it's this old Beat up Ford Mustangs, the tire that's off way broken in a taillight that is out, right the thing barely drives, you didn't have money as a 16 year old to to buy a new car. So you have this card, you have to make the best of it. Sometimes you've got to get a little bit of money and you can buy a new tire, right? Or you can fix the light temporarily. But this is the car that you've been given a list of things, you have to drive and make the best of it. You can you can fix things over time, if you've got the energy, the money to do it. But it's becoming okay with the fact and say that this is my car. And I have and there's nothing I can do about it. It's a gift that was given to me whether it's a good gift or a bad gift or circle, it was something that was given to me. And being I had to make comfortable and make peace with the same thing in my own mind is that my parents did absolutely the best that I could with what they had at that stage. Like, it's not like they like you said you didn't choose anxiety. And this, she or he also tried her best with what she had available to her maybe now 20 years later, she's a better person, because she was also a child when she had you and you're growing up with her. And now she's a lot wiser. That's why she's maybe a better grandparent, and she is a was a parent. But just realizing that she really just struggle, he really just tried to do the best that he could. And that's okay. It doesn't mean that you're sorry, it doesn't mean that you're adding value said it was okay. What they did was just feeling comfortable. And realizing that it is what it is.

Michael 41:30
Yeah, it's number seven, limit your exposure social media. Boy, I love this. That can be really, really hard. But talk about that. Why why is it important? How does that help you get through sort of a depressive time period?

Llewellyn 41:44
So what is what what do we do with social?

Michael 41:48
Just scroll, scroll and like, and I think I mean, I'm guessing probably part of the answer is, and I think there's studies that bear this out, I'm sure you'll touch on it. As we compare, right? We see whether it be maybe our friends, of course, because we're not nobody's posting or people rarely post that, you know, they had the worst day of their lives or whatever. It's always like, Oh, I went on this trip, or I did this thing. And life is amazing. You see the best parts of everyone's life. And so I think I'm guessing there's a lot of comparison that occurs when we when we spend a lot of time on social media.

Llewellyn 42:23
That's exactly that's exactly the right answer. The thing is, like, we're even more sensitive towards this in December, where everybody we're consistently confronted with Jingle Bells and happiness and fake happiness and consumerism. And everybody's like having a jolly old time. So it's always in our face. And if you're already down, if you're already in that hole, you constantly being faced by this, especially in social media, where it's your friends, like posting these things. If it's strangers, you can still say, Okay, well, what's happening, but when there's someone close to you, you feel like it's, they're having some trouble, like, why aren't they inviting me to this room? I'm going through a difficult time. So we constantly go through this comparison, but we're even more sensitive during this time. So it's important to try and avoid it as much as you possibly can. Because it's just going to dig that hole that hole a lot of people for you.

Michael 43:19
Yeah, no, agreed, I think and it's a tough one. Because we're all so engrossed. You know, in social media, it's just such a part of all of our lives, but I think it's good, I try to take a break at least once a year for a week. I probably should do it more, but but I do try to, at times just step away, a lot of it is you know, I run a support group on Facebook and for divorce men, and there's, there's right now just over 7000 and it can get, you know, just overwhelming not necessarily the sad stories don't don't affect me as much as is, is just some some sometimes the the negativity that I see in the anger and that stuff can can weigh on me. But I think it's a it's definitely an important part of this, it but it's also it's kind of weird because you're, you know, your friends are on there. And so like you feel like you know, that's how you're connected to folks, but I don't think it's a it's not a real true connection. And I think that if the benefits if the you know, the negatives outweigh the benefits and I think it's good, good idea to step away for a little bit.

Llewellyn 44:25
So for you specifically, because you're very very empathic by nature. It's so these things hit you a lot harder when you see it on Saudi Arabia, for example, right. So it's not about the stories about the effects but the emotion. No, I again, self awareness. Yeah, it's getting if I know this about me, and I know this is going to be difficult time or whatever, I need to separate myself from that because otherwise I don't have the capacity to carry other people's emotions right now. That's also negative and not just the positive in

Michael 44:54
Yeah, for sure. So number eight, I love this one. Write a letter to your past self. Let's talk about this one. Let's get specific on this one. What are like what passed? How am I kid? My like what thought, you know, a year ago? Like What? What? Who, which Michael and I are writing to and and what am I writing to them to him.

Llewellyn 45:16
So I would like to say like, I was the happiest in my life when I was 10 years old. I was, I was going, I was starting the puberty thing, and my good friends had no issues, you know, like, at least but I can what I can remember. And at that stage, when I even though we were very poor growing up, I knew like I knew, Okay, well, one day we'll be things will be fine, right? And, and at that stage of that, no worries, I had certain expectations of what I think my life could have could have been like, I can tell you, there is no way in hell you are asked my 10 year old self where I would be when I was 35 or 38, I will say I was Deadlands. I have like this, I have that I've been running a company, I've been doing all this stuff, seeing the world like I would never thought I would leave my hometown. So I would never writing a letter to this person. And saying like, dear 10 year old Lou, I am before the future. And I've got a story talking about what happened to you this year explaining like, I know when you were like when I was when when I was there with you. And you said you wanted to do this business. But let me tell you how my life has changed. Yes, there's been good things, there's been bad things. But overall, this is where I'm at, look at what I've conquered. Look at what I've what I've been able to achieve this year. So the idea is then, one, I like to do it every year, just for the year itself. But look at all the good things and all the amazing things that I've actually been able to do this year, even if there's nothing, just the fact that despite all the troubles I'm having, I'm still here, I still push through all of this stuff, during my resilience, even just explain that that highlights not only the positive things that's happened to you, but also shows you your characteristics, your strengths, the things that you've been utilizing a lot more, to writing this little letter to yourself, really helps you become more conscious of this fact, but also to celebrate all of the small victories that you've had over the year.

Michael 47:19
That's a good, I'm going to do that one. I don't I it's not something I've ever sort of even heard about or thought of. But I'm gonna do that one this year for sure.

Llewellyn 47:30
A friend of mine, so maybe no good, good. Friend of mine does this thing where he writes an email to himself from a different account, similar thing, but it sends it like 20 years in the future, like when he's like 60 or something. So he sends just like a yearly update also to himself, so that when he's older, he can also reintegrate relive all of these positive experiences, it's a different thing for a different purpose. But it's a it's such a nice way to become more conscious of the positive aspects in your life.

Michael 48:00
Yeah, I love that. That's, I was thinking about that, like, you know, because I, you know, I think like most folks are maybe unique. I doubt it in terms of like, man, what did I have for lunch three days ago? Fucking, I don't know, you know what I mean? So you get to the end of the year, and like, I'm gonna write all my positives and like, Fuck, what did I do this year? So I think, you know, to have that. It's interesting to have that mechanism where you do, you know, sort of send some positive stuff on on a somewhat regular basis. You don't do it every day. I'm guessing but but that's interesting. I love that. I'm gonna try and do that one as well. Number nine, spend time with friends and family. Yeah, I mean, that's, that can be a tricky one going through divorce. But there's, I think, always I think, and I, you know, some of y'all out there, I know that, you know, when you go through a divorce, you lose friends, and maybe you lose majority may be all. But there's got to be someone there that you can go see and spend some time with. So but, you know, it might take a little bit more work, maybe maybe it includes just being around people. And this is something I know, I was just my couple episodes ago, I talked about getting through the holidays, one of the things I forgot to say was volunteer. And so maybe you don't have a friend or a family, but maybe you can go to a soup kitchen or a pantry or those types of things. So let's talk about that. What Why why is that important? I mean, I obviously good human interaction is important. But But specifically, how does that helped during this time period.

Llewellyn 49:33
So you actually took all the words out of my mouth, but the big thing is like we have to spend, we have to spend time around people, even if we don't feel we have the energy, whether it's random people, whether it is people that we care about the idea is just to be in a social environment where we can actually contribute and we can actually feel value. Now, there was this one study that was done Harvard study where they tracked people for 70 years, right? across their lifespan. And they found that that the only predictor of happiness the only predictor is positive relationships, the only public over ever money to whatever it's having the ability to have mutually beneficial relationships, where I feel I get something out of it, and you do as. So the idea behind this is exactly if you don't have friends or family, go volunteer. If you don't feel like you want to volunteer, go to the the lady in the supermarket and just have a two minute conversation with her, just so that you feel valued. And we do it consistently. What I, for example, like to do, especially around Christmas, is I tried to make an active point to like play a game like online games with my friends, as an example, just to feel that that connection, I tried to also randomly, not randomly, but like I tried to find at least one person every December that I haven't spoken to the entire year that that I had a good relationship with, just to also get that experience. But relationships help us to cope with things to help us feel valued, and then help give life meaning. So yeah, it's important to try and spend some time on people and not lock yourself up in your house.

Michael 51:20
Well, and that's I know, for men, that's a struggle can be a struggle, especially not only divorce, but life in general, we can tend to isolate. You know, that's why I believe, and I'm sure there were studies that bear this out, or at least there certainly is educated opinions about why male suicide is so much higher than female. And I think that's part of it. I think we we haven't mastered or we we certainly weren't allowed to, in some ways like to learn to lean on other folks and express ourselves to those folks and get support. I think it's really, really hard for men. And so I think we have to work harder, when we're going through something to make sure we don't isolate to make sure we get around folks, because like you said it gets sort of it gives you meaning it gives you comfort, I think in some ways, because you feel devalued and to be around folks. And to have pleasant experiences. I think it's just it's so, so important. It's

Llewellyn 52:18
about the perils of vulnerability. And I think there is not one person, I think, like if you have friends in your life, you feel I don't want to bother them. But there's one person in your life that's close to you. And you would go and say, Listen, I'm going through a rough time. And I just, I don't know what comes with it. Can I Can we go out for a coffee? I can guarantee you not one of them will tell you no. But it is showing vulnerability showing, like reaching out and putting yourself out there. Because that's what that's the thing that kind of like withholds us from access to this floodgate of positive stuff that could potentially help us it's this, I have to be the strong one, I have to be the I can't put up a bad face because everyone will think I'm stupid, we'll use this or

Michael 53:04
Yeah, no one cares. Yeah, well, and that's, you know, like you said, it's, it goes back to I'm gonna guess right to your childhood and story, you're telling yourself that was developed during your childhood? Oh, nobody cares, nobody wants I'm a fuckup nobody wants to hang out with me anyway, you know, she left me, you know, I'm useless, all those things. And that comes from somewhere, obviously, the events of divorce will will sort of influence that. Right. You know, rejection will do that. But if you have a solid foundation, you know, I think you probably still would have some of those thoughts, but you certainly would, would bounce back a little bit quicker. And I think you wouldn't probably struggle as much as I know, I did. I mean, because I didn't have a solid foundation. You know, I had a, you know, I had a rough childhood ish. You know, I mean, many, many have had it worse. But but you know, it's sometimes it's really hard to sort of see through. My buddy Chris says it all the time, bounce your feelings off the truth. And sometimes your feelings are, are so heavy and so weighted and so resonant and it's hard to see that they're not always true. But I do think that being vulnerable allows you to get support so that others can help you see the truth in which is you know, you're not worthless, you're not a piece of shit, you're not, you know, you're going through a rough spot, but you're you're worthy of love and support, same as anybody else. So number 10. This is a good one. And again, I think I this is something that I recommend is recommended. By pretty much it. Obviously there's some bias here on the podcast, you know, probably, I don't even know 90% of my guests, maybe are some type of psychologist psychiatrists doctor, but number 10 is don't be afraid to ask for for professional help. And again, I think that's one of those things that it's getting less stigmatized, but Think again, for men, it's gonna be a little bit more challenging, you know, but it's it goes back to sort of to that, that vulnerability, right? The the ability, or the action of just raising your hand and saying, I need a little help here.

Llewellyn 55:17
Even your support group on Facebook, right, it's not like it's not professional help in a way, but it's a community, it's people that are going through similar stuff that's willing to share willing to listen. And sometimes, and like I am, I just want to say this upfront, like, I'm a very well established psychologist, I've published many papers, and I don't really believe in therapy reom. Because the like the therapeutic techniques that we kind of, like, utilize, I think it's a waste of money. The only thing that has an impact, the only thing that has an impact is that the fact that we're sitting with a therapist, it's the first time in your life where you can be true to yourself. You can share whatever's on your mind, you can soundboard with someone that listens and cares, right. So that helps you to kind of restructure things. So my role as a therapist is only there to basically soundboard. And to facilitate your understanding of the things going on, you can do that by yourself. Right. But the thing is, like, that's the only thing, the most important thing that helped facilitate growth and development is having the ability to feel that I can be myself without judgment out whatever, and having someone to listen to me and care for me authentically. And you can have that same thing. In a support group, you can have that same thing with someone that you care about with a good friend, I would supplement this with what I would these types of activities. These are so self help activities, but like validated, self administered intentional activities, and has shown to actually impact on the things that I'm struggling with. And there's a site under what university it is, but it's like what the Greater Good Science Center, you Google it, and they have a full all of these self help activities, there's 1000s of them. Whether it's an individual group, organization level, that shows very simplistically, this is what you can do. This is how it's done. And this is the science that supports it, select try some of these activities. Those are the things that we'll have that will be sustainable. These are the things that you can practice, because you're not going to see a therapist at 2am in the morning, when you're anxious about the lawyers meeting that you have tomorrow morning. Right? Divorce?

Michael 57:35
Yeah, I I'm surprised. But not you know, I think it's I'm always the guy who leads leans on science to the best of his is silly ass brain, we'll let him write whatever I can try and sort of understand. And because I think it's, I'm always, I'm always interested in the mechanism like, Okay, this is good, but why is it good? And how is it good and be specific, because then I can be specific about how I handle it or approach it or attack it or whatever. And so I think it's interesting that you say, So. So? Is there any type of modality that you would say is helpful? CBT? Or, you know, I don't know, some of the others. That's the one that comes to mind. Narrative therapies, is there anything that any modalities that you do think is is beneficial as a therapy?

Llewellyn 58:24
So when we talk about so CBT, I think it's about changing how you think so you can change how you feel so you can change how you behave, right? That's the that's the overall model. But all every every psychological paradigm, whether it's psychodynamic therapy, whether it's constellation therapy, or positive psych, it's about self awareness. So I like CBT, because it's, it helps reach change the stuff, but solutions orientated therapy works very well, for me, personally, because it's solutions orientated, I have a problem. There's a framework, I want to generate the solution. I don't want to think about it. Because I am very self aware, I do know how to do these types of things. I know how to do a psychological test, but it's like I need to have solutions to my problems. And this way, that's where the solutions oriented stuff kind of helps very well. But that's more coaching orientated. But I do like I do like CBT because all my interventions that we also developed is based on that principle. It's about becoming aware and changing your mindset. So CBT is a good one, solutions orientated is another one. But, you know, be very careful with with I think with with other types of

Michael 59:38
approaches. Yeah. Okay. Fair enough. Fair enough. I think I think it's like I always liken it to dating. Don't Don't settle for the first person you come across, you know, therapists wise, you know, they're not all good. Clearly, right. No, no, no profession has 100% Six, you know, success rate or, or anything of that nature. Are you know, 100% of quality people or ethical people, that's just that's not fucking possible? I want to before we get so thank you for doing this, and I'll thank you again. But there's something that popped in my head that I'm wondering if you could address scribbled it down. It's something that I think guys that go through divorce, we struggle with this. And maybe maybe you can speak to this, maybe not I'm taking a shot in the dark here. It seems to me that when we, we are told that, you know, the now ex wife or soon to be ex wife, for some guys wants a divorce. They see and I understand their portion of it. And why they do this, they see every word we become the worst person in the world, once they make that decision, we are they are we are written off, we're the villain in their story where every negative thing we've ever done, and in the course of the relationship comes up, and I understand that they need fuel, you know, to make the leap, so to speak, they're not going to leave someone that they look at fondly, right. So they got to sort of not conjure, but in a way, you got to pull up all these things to fuel them to leave the other side of that coin. This is the one that I don't understand. Why is it that we that are getting left only see the positive and can't see the negative sometimes, like we just we we put them on the pedestal like oh my gosh, you know, you're so amazing. Please don't leave me all these even though six months ago, maybe you would have been like, oh, this, this bitch, she does this. And she does that. And she does this. But once they decide they're leaving, we we put them on a pedestal is there what what mechanism is work there if you if you know if you can speak to that, because it boggles me I don't understand it.

Llewellyn 1:01:47
It all has to do with like the, the way in which we tried to get closure on the situation. And I think the big issue there is about hope. And hope is good was said in The Hunger Games, and they like they summarized quite well. A little bit of hope, is amazing. A lot of hope is. And the problem here is like you feel that you can still fix things you can still like this is just the thing that's going through, right, she was amazing. And look at all stuff going on, you're trying to convince this person of these things. So just like this other person is trying to get closure in their specific way. You're also trying to get closure and in a way and your type of closure is to try and reestablish that relationship to try and rework it. So you're in that if we look at those that Kubler Ross model on the dealing with grief, that's big part of the denial aspect, you're still trying to come to terms with it. And then you jump to this whole bargaining thing was like, okay, but maybe if we can do this, maybe if I do that, and then like going through this thing to try and convince not her, but me that I can still solve this, or I can't solve it, whatever the case will be. So it's really has to do with hope. And it's, it's a, it's an incredibly interesting phenomenon. But it also has to do come down to your own self belief. If you feel worthy, if you don't like if you feel like I can actually I am actually a good person, or I am actually worthy of love, whatever. If you don't have that strong sense of self and self belief, then you start to think that this is my option, I have to make this work. Because if I'm not this, I'm not worthy enough of that. So it has really come back to that whole self compassion thing. It's really just starting to be, you start to learn that you are okay. And that, like this is just again, your process that you're going through. And you want to make you want to kind of like close this door and you're in the best possible way. Because you don't want to feel like oh, you ruined this person afterwards. But you also want to feel worthy first, because he tells you your shit in a divorce proceedings, what's going to happen eventually, you're going to feel shit and you're going to be shipped because that's all that you hear upon. Yeah, so I think that's the, there's the psychodynamic process, but that's how I think, what what lies behind it.

Michael 1:04:12
No, it makes some sense it, it's sort of certainly around fear, I think self worth, right. You know, if you're if you do get left and what your worth and your identity and all those things. It makes more sense. You know, we sort of talked it out, but I always struggled with it. Like why am I because I did it. Why am I putting her on a pedestal like, what, six months ago would have been like, Oh, she is such a pain in the ass. But now it's like no, she was the perfect and like, which, you know, again, in hindsight, you know, four and a half years later, like he kind of chuckled at yourself like perfect. Come on. Nobody's perfect, but sure shit, she wasn't perfect. So I just I find a lot of guys do this and but now that we sort of talked to it makes it makes a lot of sense. So thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it. Well, let's cover like, how can let's cover how can people find you? What's the best way to get in touch with you or read your papers or that kind of stuff?

Llewellyn 1:05:10
I think the best thing is just to if they want to contact me, you can just email me. It's my name, willen 101 at gmail.com? Or just go on psychology today and send an email. I'm available wherever on social media, I think. Yeah, I think that's pretty much I didn't get in touch with me. All

Michael 1:05:28
right, awesome. So the last question I asked everybody is, what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just starting his divorce journey?

Llewellyn 1:05:37
That sounds very cliche, but it's cliche for a reason. Know that it's okay not to be okay. And despite all of the things that you're kind of going through at the moment isn't one of the only times in your life we have the opportunity to one really get to know yourself to keep self discovery to it's not often in your life, where you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself, right? So knowing yourself, knowing that you can change and figuring out what are the things in your life that you want to change that you want to work on to be a better person, this is the most opportune time to identify those things. And I think the last thing, I think, in my own mind is just that a relationship is based on a combination of two people's contributions to a problem, right? Or the situation. You did something, she did something, and these two things did not go very well together. And it doesn't make either of you bad people, you're just bad together, we're on the right track, but on the wrong trains, the moment that you realize that, it becomes a little bit easier.

Michael 1:06:48
Well, I couldn't agree more. Thank you, again, for doing this. I really appreciate it. You know, hopefully we can we can stay in touch. And you can do this again.

Llewellyn 1:06:57
would be very nice. Thank you so much, Michael. It was so nice to meet you. And thank you for the opportunity to come and talk to you. Feel free to email me and talk to me and like wanting to do something else. You guys I'm more than willing more than willing. And also, like if you really like to listen to this, like I look to your podcast, but I couldn't find it. I wasn't on Spotify. It's on Spotify is yeah, just like Phoenix wrong.

Michael 1:07:22
Yeah, I'll send you a link. It's on Spotify. It's everywhere. It's on Spotify. It's on YouTube as well. But only to certain I started on YouTube. Like episode 40 something 50 Something maybe. So it is on YouTube, but it's on Spotify. It's on Google podcasts on Apple, although, but I'll send you a link.

Llewellyn 1:07:40
Thank you so much. Yes. Have an absolutely wonderful. Merry I don't know. I don't know. Yeah,

Michael 1:07:46
you can say Merry Christmas. You can say Merry Christmas. It doesn't bother me. But yeah, thank you, you as well. Enjoy your holidays. Have a Happy New Year. And again, thanks for joining us. I really appreciate it. Thanks, Michael. Yep, take care. Hi. Bye. Bye. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned in prison to my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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