Important things to do before you say ‘’I do’’

Important things to do before you say ‘’I do’’

Marriage can be a wonderful institution. Love, companionship, the rearing of children, spiritual togetherness and financial partnership – the list goes on and the benefits are great, but with one very specific condition…you need to go into it with your eyes wide open!

Whether it is the first marriage or a second or third, every time the circumstances will have changed and especially if you have not managed to make the first one work, perhaps you need to consider if, before you went into marriage, you really examined all the pros and cons and carried out the important things to do before you say ‘’I do?’’

Eliminate fears

Please don’t think this article is in any way designed to discourage you from getting married – on the contrary, it is specifically designed, together with the collaboration of a couple of my trusted colleagues to assist you and just make sure that not all your efforts are placed simply on putting the big day together, but also on carrying out what may be the less enviable tasks that will ensure your marriage is a long-lasting and happy one.

One of the biggest fears, and the one that often leaves the Bride or Groom standing alone at the altar as their spouse makes a break for it out the side door of the Church, is that you are going to lose out on all the great things a single life can offer you.  

Well, truth be told, there are advantages to being single and forming a partnership for life is not easy. MARRIAGE IS DIFFICULT – this cannot be put any other way or emphasised enough, so without a doubt, well before you enter into it, you both need to face the reality that most marriages end in divorce and you need to ask the 64 million dollar question – ‘’why is this so?’’

If you break it down, there are probably dozens of reasons for this, but it is my belief that going into marriage is just simply too easy, so too many people do not face these considerations or answer that important question. Possibly this article will prompt you to do so – I hope so. So, what are what I and my colleagues believe to be the three most critical reasons that so many marriages end in demise?

  1. Financial disparity

One of the biggest reasons for failed marriages is constant arguments as a result of not being financially aligned with one another. It is quite incredulous to me that some couples actually don’t even discuss their finances and how they will be handled once they are married. Do they simply assume that they will carry on as they are? 

In marriage, this is just not possible, or advisable, even if you are both breadwinners and quite comfortable with handling your own finances. There are in fact many benefits to be derived from shared finances, but the couple must be clear on exactly how this is to be structured and who will be in charge of it.

An excellent Financial Advisor I know sent me a very basic list of the top 5 things every married couple to be should do or know prior to marrying and these are…

Things to do…

  • Sit down and talk about and be honest with each other about debt, spending, and short and long term financial goals
  • Meet with a Financial Planner together before and after getting married to ensure your finances are well-advised on and in the right hands 

Things to know

  • Your individual credit record matters
  • There’s no such thing as a joint bank account in SA 
  • Tax returns are completed separately 

You can get more great advice on this from my trusted colleague Melissa at – https://melissaweberfinance.wordpress.com/ 

 

  1. The wrong marriage contract

Leading on from this and closely aligned to avoiding financial disparity is avoiding marrying with the wrong marriage contract in place. By law in South Africa if you do not specifically have an Ante-Nuptial Contract – or ANC, you are automatically registered in community of property.

This is less than desirable and has been the cause of many a divorce as both partners surrender all their worldly goods and wealth (assets and liabilities) into one pot, as it were, and it leaves both partners exposed in the event of financial bankruptcy by either partner.

It is essential therefore to have an ANC drawn up by a registered notary prior to marrying and you have 2 options of ANC contract to choose from. An ANC without accrual means there is absolute separation of estates and spouses are therefore liable for their own debts. Financial protection is afforded against each other’s creditors and assets are owned by each spouse separately. At the dissolution of the marriage, the spouses have no claim whatsoever against the other party regarding the assets in their respective estates.  

The most popular form of ANC is that of the ANC with accrual, which means that when the marriage is dissolved, either by death, divorce or annulment, the spouse who has had the lesser growth in his/her estate, measured during the commencement of the marriage, will have a claim for half of the difference in the growth of the two estates against the spouse who has had the larger growth or accrual in his/her estate.

For details on all the final points, great advice and to have your marriage contract of choice drawn up, I recommend my other trusted colleague Lindi Smith of Lindi Smith Attorneys at –www.lsmithlaw.co.za

 

  1. Non-aligned personalities and unresolved issues

As one rather good article I read on this subject put it – ‘Alignment in a relationship means that you are living and loving in the same direction as someone else. If you do not take the time and effort to align your vision, core values, and passions with your partner, it will slowly start to take a toll on your relationship. Relationships should never feel difficult.’

There are two things that I strongly recommend, therefore, prior to marrying, a) take some time out for yourself to get any of the ‘’I wish I had done this when I was single” list out of the way – For some great advice on this refer to this article – https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/relationships/things-to-do-before-marriage – and b) most importantly, attend a Relationship Workshop together with a Life Alignment Practioner or Life Coach to examine and talk about the important emotional and personal aspects of making life with your partner workable.

What will your relationship workshop entail?

As just such a coach this is where I come in and I would be honoured to ensure that you will examine the most important issues and potential pitfalls of marriage before you utter those vows of commitment to each other for a lifetime. Some of the things we would discuss and attempt to reveal are issues like:

  • Healing old wounds –Ensuring you are aware of and have totally healed old wounds from previous relationships or marriages. Marrying on the rebound is only too common and often leads to disaster.
  • Aligning your expectations – Being aware of the silent expectations that you may have of each other – have you really voiced these or do you just take them for granted? Have you discussed both short and long term goals for your lives, like children, finances, where you want to end up living and what you want to be doing in the future?
  • Children and family –Talking of children, how many marriages have failed because of one spouse or the other not being comfortable with having children, or in the case of second marriages, living with their spouse’s existing children? Never forget that blood is thicker than water, so don’t simply ignore the potential danger of unhappiness caused through the interference of anyone related to your spouse to be.
  • Even the name!– As insignificant as it may seem, even the change of a name can have implications. As a practitioner of all aspects of body, mind and soul, I know through my Soul plan program that even a name change can be significant and cause friction down the line.

…and so much more…

My business is Self and More and I am here to help. As stated right at the beginning, this has not been designed to scare you off, but to make you more determined than ever to take the actions you need to take, prior to marriage, to ensure it is a peaceful and happy one.

Whole books have been written on this subject so this just exposes the tip of the iceberg – for anything else you need to know simply talk to me – helping others is my goal and my passion, so I’m all ears! Keep safe-keep your eyes and mind wide open-and look forward to a wonderful marriage!

 

Has freeze replaced fight or flight as a response to fear?

Has freeze replaced fight or flight as a response to fear?

Right now with the recent events in the world, many people are feeling like they are simply in a state of limbo. What do you do when you don’t feel you can fight an unseen or unknown enemy or threat, as we have seen over the past 18 months, and flight is not an option? The result ultimately is that many of us, locked in our protective bubbles, have simply become frozen in time and space. 

Fear is the enemy

Added to these feelings of helplessness and being in limbo is the fear of the consequences of the recent unrest in our country. Now many of us suddenly don’t even feel safe in our bubbles and again begin to question these fight or flight options. 

Should we remain and fight our fears, or (like no doubt many will choose, as soon as they can travel freely again) should we head for what we believe to be safer pastures? Whatever your choices may be (albeit unconscious) and especially if you feel like remaining frozen is the only option available when facing any kind of fear, you need to learn a new response consciously based on the awareness of what triggers your fears. 

Simply ignoring how you are feeling emotionally and putting it on the back burner, will see you emotionally crippled before you know it – and then totally unable to make any important decisions that serve you or the greater humanity. 

Where are you right now?

The first and most important thing to do is to ask yourself (and honestly answer) a couple of important questions. “How are you feeling right now?” – and “how are you experiencing life at this moment?”

If you are feeling fear and, frozen in your response to it, living your life in limbo, then ask yourself this…”If there were skills you could acquire to release yourself from these fears and successfully fight the emotional upheaval and sense of limbo you have been feeling – would you do so?” – Or “as the leader of a workforce – if you could snap your employees out of this state of apathy that has resulted in poor productivity and little creative input – would you try to?”

An effective solution is at hand

To assist people struggling with emotional dis-regulation causing disharmony that ultimately will lead to impacting their physical bodies and cognitive functions, I am facilitating a 6-week workshop that will enable the utilisation of effective techniques and processes to release the fears and pain and move forward again.

It will equip you with the skills to move through your emotional responses to triggers with more insight, thereby negating their power over your responses. This is the art of self-regulation.

For many of us, flight is not an option, so it’s time for us to be more resourceful and open to alternate possibilities in the midst of what may seem like chaos. As a Master Coach, through my Coaching platform Self and More, I facilitate the combination of body, mind and soul practices to enable people in all walks of life to enjoy positive, productive lives with meaning and purpose, regardless of whatever trauma or circumstances they may have or be facing.

Sign up for the course – or just talk to me, and let me assist you to deal with whatever might be causing you to freeze when facing your fears.

Stay safe – and stay invested in your wellbeing!

 

 

Are your values adding value to your life?

Are your values adding value to your life?

Once again we are being driven back into our COVID cocoons, sheltering ourselves from wave after wave of this cursed and relentless pandemic.

Like facing a tsunami that just won’t quit, many of us are drowning in financial issues, relationship issues and our issues of feeling helpless and scared of an onslaught that is bigger than all of us.

Even our work is no longer about the workplace but for many some remote work space that leaves us feeling detached and re-examining our life paths. Suddenly. change has swiftly left us all feeling unable to control our lives or our destiny – and that doesn’t sit easily with anyone. 

This is a time when AA’s serenity prayer “’God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” seems very relevant to all of us.

So what can I, as a life and business coach, say to support you at this time? Well, firstly have the courage to examine the main thing in your life that can assist you to be at least more in control of your own feelings, emotions and reactions to this uncontrollable situation: your core values.

The lockdown situation has been a challenging one from all angles, not the least of which is our relationships, so this article sets out to try to give you a list of the values that will help to support you, drive you and make you someone not only happy within themselves but, at least, for the most part, a pleasure to be with!

WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES?

You need to think about the values you hold and whether these are your values or if they derived from the influences of others in your family or community, the media (particularly social media – sometimes very misleading!), the Government, or simply archetypal influences – i.e. women are expected to be nurturers and men are expected to be providers!

Don’t get me wrong – it is important and helpful to have some good core values. They can make life decisions and goals easier to create and define, and relationships easier to decide on. One with clear core values is less likely to have negative thought patterns, especially in difficult life situations, be more easily able to tolerate physical pain, have greater self-discipline and stronger social connections.

This is all good and well and if we were all the same and happy to adhere to a set of archetypal core values, we would not need to examine our values, but the reality is that we are not and if we are to live fulfilled and meaningful lives we must establish that the core values we hold are driving us forward and not just anchoring us to keep our heads underwater when we face the storms of life. As the pandemic has too clearly shown us: there is a finite time for which you can hold your breath! 

ARE YOUR VALUES HELPING YOU OR HOLDING YOU BACK?

To ultimately live the best life we can, one with meaning and purpose, we need to analyse and examine our values and ensure that we are living by what makes us tick and not just led by the influences of the masses. 

We also need to be cognisant of whether the values that we hold to be right are not making value judgements and being projected onto others. These would be values like culture, age, colour, religion etc…

HOW DO YOU DEFINE VALUES?

A very good article I read from Soul Salt speaks specifically about how we can define our values so that they become valuable to us and assist us to be comfortable, driven and inspired by those we admire to be better people ourselves.

Three very important questions you can ask yourself (and do take the time to ponder and write down your responses) to ensure your values are positive and adding value to your life are:

Who inspires you? As you think about these people, write down what it is about them that inspires you? The admirable qualities they possess and the behaviours and actions you would like to emulate.

What drives you? What are the things that make you want to take action and achieve something positive? Then think about the feelings that motivated you to take such action, what you were willing to risk in that situation and the results of taking action – what you gained or lost.

When are you comfortable with your values – and yourself? Think about when you are feeling very uncomfortable in a situation, as if your values are being undermined or insignificant to the other. Think about who you’re with at these times, what feelings are triggered and what these experiences cost you emotionally or physically.

Also, think on the opposite – the times that you felt very comfortable in a situation and your values were being re-enforced. When, as some would say, you become the ‘authentic’ you. At these times think about who you were: did they in any way inspire you? Also, think about the things you are usually doing when you feel authentic and how these feelings impact your life and your general well-being.

Now write down all the values that relate to the positive experiences and aspects of each of these three things. Be precise and ruthless, so you are left with just a small set of the most important values for you.

It is so important to keep these positive experiences firmly within your valued collection of positive values! You can also ask yourself: having done this soul searching – are your values perhaps defining you? At the end of the day, the trick is to ascertain how you can re-define your values to be a better you! 

VALUES AND THE OTHER

We need to recognise that we are all very different from others. Many of us in the lockdown situation have been forced to recognise this as we suddenly realise that we don’t share quite the same values as our significant others – our spouses or partners and children.

Remember, you can only be your authentic self, so the best way you can become someone who accommodates and lives comfortably with others is to be comfortable with the values that drive you and make you happy. Being comfortable with yourself, and accepting that we possess different values, automatically makes you someone easier for others to be with because you are less likely to be judging them.

Remember these values will change throughout your life, and in certain circumstances (like those we are currently experiencing), so this is not a once-off exercise, but one that needs to be revisited from time to time when necessary. 

VALUE-DRIVEN COACHING

My business, Self and More is dedicated to assisting others through holistically combining body, mind and soul techniques that lead to a more meaningful and purposeful life. I can assist you personally, or your business team, virtually or in-person when permitted, to ensure your life choices and clearly defined values are adding value to your life!

Talk to me about having a value-driven conversation about ensuring that your values can lead you through this storm and face wave after wave of adversity – accepting the things you cannot change and changing the things you can!

Be safe – be mindful and be positive.  

Love and light, as always,

Marléne

What is a Business coach – and do I need one?

What is a Business coach – and do I need one?

What is a Business coach – and do I need one?                              

Many people confuse Business Coaches with Life Coaches, understandably so because there are some common goals and many Business Coaches are also Life Coaches. As confusing as that may sound, all be revealed as we explore these two questions “What is a Business Coach – and do I need one?’’ 

It may be helpful if you read my previous article on ‘What is a Life Coach (and do I need one)? As you will already have a clearer idea of exactly what Life Coaches do. There is however a significant difference between these two types of Coaches so let’s begin with…

What is a Business Coach?

In essence, the Business Coach works on Coaching the Business Owner to achieve their goals for the business. That is the focus of the Business Coach, but this often involves working on the skills and aspirations of the individuals in the business, which is where some Life Coaching skills come in. So, obviously there is some integration of the two disciplines.

To simplify it a little – as one observer put it ”A Business Coach will assist and guide the Business Owner in running a business by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. Business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.”

The Business Coach assists the owner – or his team, depending on the circumstances to set crystal clear goals and definitions of their values and work priorities. Together with the Business Owner, the Coach then maps out ways and timelines to achieving these goals. 

A clear action plan is created on how to move ahead and progress, but along the way, the Business Coach guides and assists you to stay on track. There are of course many elements to a Business Coaching program – from the business plan to the people, to the financial aspects of maintaining the bottom line – and every Business Coach will have a different strategy.

What’s the difference between a Life Coach and a Business Coach?

The essential difference between Life and Business Coaching is that Life Coaching is usually conducted with the individual and Business Coaching is usually conducted with, or on behalf of, the Business Owner. Having said that, when conducting Business Coaching it is still the individual Business Owner or the individuals in the business who are being Coached.

One of the easier ways to make the distinction between the Life Coach and the Business Coach, because it is important to hire the right one, is to look at the things that they aspire to achieve….

The Life Coach

The Life Coach will work on things like making positive personal changes to find more purpose in life. Improve personal relationships through assisting with stress release, spiritual growth, making better decisions etc. Deal with life changes like divorce, death, moving, job losses etc. Generally try to create a more meaningful and holistic life by combining personal, spiritual, family, work and physical growth. At Self and More this is very much a Focus – but then I am also a Business Coach.

The Business Coach

The Business Coach is more likely to examine and work on leadership styles and listening skills, leadership influence, the business’s vision and purpose and these include strategies, business planning, goal setting etc. The Business Coach will also try to improve communication, decision making, work ethic and team building amongst employees etc.

How do I know if I need a Business Coach?

Coming to the second part of the title ‘’Do I need a Business Coach,” there are a couple of pretty obvious signs that you and your business could benefit from hiring one…

You need independent, objective input – Some business owners simply cannot see the wood for the trees and are missing the opportunities that lie right in front of them. It takes a Coach with an objective point of view sometimes to come in to examine and evaluate your business – where it is succeeding and where it’s going wrong. Wherever there are problems the issue may be with the people, the management style, the strategy or more importantly the culture of the business – and it takes that independent viewpoint to recognise and rectify it.

You feel frustrated and stuck in a rut – Like many Business Owners you started your business with grand ideals but somehow they have not come to fruition and you don’t know why. You can’t seem to get things off the ground or make any significant change. Well, a Business Coach’s assessment can be exactly what you need to reignite the fire in your business and get you back on track. 

You don’t feel that your staff are working as a team – Many businesses fail to progress simply because there is poor leadership, poor communication, poor work ethic amongst the staff – or all of these. A particular strength of any good Business Coach is the ability to ascertain where the problem lies in this situation and get your team and management working happily together – as a cohesive unit, inspired and with the same vision and goals that you have! 

Can some people be life and business coaches?

The answer to this is a resounding yes as I am exactly this. I am a Master Coach trained as a Master NLP Practitioner, a QEC, Enneagram, Life Alignment Practitioner and Advanced TRE Provider and a Mind & Body Practitioner. The combination of these achievements qualifies me to be both a Life Coach and Business Coach – and quite a lot more. 

Further to this, I have 33 years of corporate working experience, including the personal experience of retrenchment, personal trauma and loss, and these have all assisted me to integrate this knowledge into a wide range of highly effective business and personalised life coaching skills over the past 10 years.

Working on myself I realised that I had a special gift to help others. My work, therefore, is at a deeper level and very authentic, but still with a determination to attain impressive results with every individual or Business Owner who is willing to grow through self-awareness and improvement.

I am Marléne Nunes and my business is Self and MoreTalk to me and let me try to assist you to be the best you, or the best business you can be. Often the two are inextricably linked. Stay safe and stay positive.

 

What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach – and do I need one?

There are 2 questions within the title of this article and obviously the former needs to be explained to ascertain the latter. These are only two of many questions that are asked though about life coaching and so I’m going to answer some important ones to see if I can be of assistance to you – assuming you need me at all? Well, let’s find out… 

What is a Life Coach?

In technical terminology, according to Wikipedia “Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. Life coaching generally deals with issues such as work-life balance and career changes, and often occurs outside the workplace setting.”’

To elaborate on the definition, what does renowned Life Coach Anthony Robbins have to say about it? “The life coach definition is someone professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your desired results. They are like a supportive friend and a trusted adviser rolled into one. They’re someone who will push you to identify your goals, hold you accountable and provide encouragement throughout your journey to become a better version of yourself.”

My definition is that life coaching is a solution focussed approach to personal development that can make meaningful change in all areas of your life and ultimately lead you to be a happier person through balance and a life of purpose. A life coach makes you aware of your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses and teaches you to leverage these to arouse the incredibly strong being that lives inside each of us.

Whatever definition you chose, they all do align, and all lead to another frequently asked question which is “Well, isn’t this what therapists do?” Actually, they are not the same.

What is the difference between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

The essential difference is that Life Coaches are not medical professionals and have not been trained to treat many areas of mental health like mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other of the typically less serious mental health conditions.

Counselling, sometimes referred to as psychotherapy, is generally a long-term process involving a healthcare professional who attempts to diagnose and resolve problematic issues like unusual behaviour, relationship concerns, traumatic feelings and sometimes even physical responses. Phycologists focus on traumas that can lead to self-destructive habits and try to treat these by working through painful feelings.

So as one can see from the definition of the Life Coach, the issues and methods are quite different, in that one is about healing trauma and the other about simply creating a more meaningful life. Wellness as opposed to completeness.

As a matter of interest though, there are a few body, mind and soul practitioners who combine life coaching with trauma counselling through TRE, and through combining physical and general wellbeing disciplines they can assist with releasing trauma and developing a better life as a consequence of it. I happen to be one of these, but more about me later. 

Who needs a life coach?

So we come to the third crucial question – “Do I need a life Coach?” Well, I doubt that many people don’t want to become the best that they can be, but this is not the only reason people consult with Life Coaches. 

Although most Life Coaches don’t deal with the mental health issues that therapists do there are many other emotional problems from which we can be suffering and which can indicate that the lives we are living are not what they should be. 

The list is a long one, but let’s look at just a few of the most important issues you may be facing that would indicate that you may benefit greatly from consulting a life Coach… 

You are just not sure what you want – Do you know how few people can answer the simple question “what do you want?” This is the first question that needs to be answered to set you on a course to a more meaningful, purposeful life – and your Life Coach can help you to answer it.  

Stress and anxiety – This is the single biggest issue facing most people who live in the fast-paced society that we do today. Work or family stress can be largely attributed to simply not understanding that the solution lies in the creation of balance in one’s life. Life Coaches are specialists at advising people on how to minimise stress.

Time management issues – How many times have you said, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day?” Actually, there are if you understand effective time management – one of the most important and helpful things you will learn from a Life Coach.

Lack of fulfilment and creativity – You don’t need to be mentally ill to have these feelings. These are generally prevalent when you are in the wrong job or living a lie in your personal life. A Life Coach can pull you out of this funk.

Feeling bad about yourself – Being unable to break bad habits, making bad decisions, constantly messing up in the same areas of your life and general dissatisfaction with yourself are all signs that you haven’t found the better you that lives inside you. A good, empathetic life Coach can help!

Physical exhaustion – Are you constantly stressed, tired, listless and feeling out of shape, but not a ‘gym’ kind of person? The good news is that Life Coaches do deal with the dietary and physical aspects of a lifestyle that is less than ideal as well.

How can I help?

I am Marléne Nunes, the Founder/Owner of ‘Self and more,’ serving businesses and individuals in the Western Cape and beyond in the virtual realm. Having suffered and overcome significant setbacks and challenges of my own I believe that knowing who we are, our capabilities and our true life’s purpose are the keys to a life of success, optimum health, happiness and real meaning.

I can assist you through combining Life coaching with passive, mentally aligned body, mind and soul disciplines to not only overcome all the many challenges we face in life but assist with trauma and increased physical wellbeing too.

Talk to me – that’s my life’s purpose – so let me help you to fulfil yours!