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How to Move On After Your Relationship Ends

When a relationship ends, so does the dream and vision of what was supposed to be.

Often when a relationship ends the feelings that emerge follow the same path as experiencing someone close to you dying.

So naturally grieving is very important to healing and moving on to the next chapter of your life.

The people who allow themselves to feel and grieve are much better off in the long run, but like everything I teach it is in the 'how' we doing things,that means everything.

"Will I ever find love again"?

"How can this be happening"?

"Why did I waste so much time"?

"How could they do this to me"?

"Am I making a mistake"?

"Why do I keep choosing the wrong partner"?

There are many more questions that come, but almost always the big one is "Will I ever find someone that loves me again."

Often the empty space that follows a relationship ending is incredibly painful or feelings of being lost.

In that pain there is a trap door that can lead some people down a rabbit hole of unhealthy thoughts and thinking patterns of negative self-talk against their own self-worth.

Pay attention to what you are thinking or feeling and ask yourself. What am I communicating to myself right now and more importantly does this serve me?

My invitation to people transitioning is "How can we make this chapter about you finding greater meaning, more purpose and alignment in your life."

Of course the obvious number one need is healing from the relationship that just ended, but just as important is creating a new vision for yourself.

Most people find themselves swimming in a sea of uncertainty that is layered in sadness and confusion or a whole host of other feelings.

I want you to know you will get through this.

There are certain things that you can do for yourself right now that will help.

Four Strategies To Help You Move On


1. Allow Yourself to Feel

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." ~C. S. Lewis

Although I have some tried and true moves that will help you move through your feelings, it is really about starting with allowing yourself to feel whatever feelings are present in you.

So if you are in your pain, sadness, betrayal, confusion.Know that is ok and probably exactly what you need to feel right now.

One tool I like to use is to help this is active journaling.Having a journal near you that you can write your thoughts and feelings into.The purpose is simple, expressing our feelings helps with healing.

The second tool is practicing mindfulness.That might look like meditating, yoga, mindful hiking or doing something that helps you to stop the process of distracting yourself.

In those moments of actively being in the present with yourself, see if you can allow yourself to attend to any feelings that are present.This is done by simply staying with your feelings as they come up and being present through the process.

The biggest thing I want to communicate is don't resist your feelings.The paradox is this, that which we resist, we invite.

So whatever comes to you allow yourself to feel those feelings and do your best to do so without judgement.


2. Surround Yourself with Everything Positive

Let's start with people.I big fan of always surrounding ourselves with people who up-lift, motivate and challenge you to be the best you can in this world.

The kind of people who unconditionally support you and who want the best for you.

Invite people into your life who are going to fill these roles. Reach out to the supportive people, the fun people, the meaningful conversation people and the people who are going to help you see the best in yourself right now.You get the idea The Good People in your life.

Last thing I want to mention is the space around you.

Create a sacred container around you and at home that invokes meaning to you.So flood your home with good music, go be in nature, do the things that you love and own the space around.


3. Make This a Chapter About You

I use the language of invitation because I want you to ask yourself what do you want to have in my life right now, what do you want to rid yourself of, what do you want to experience.

This is so important because you have just lost your dream and vision of what was going to be and so it is easy to get stuck in hopelessness and lose your ability to see the future.

Tell yourself you are the priority right now and make time for yourself to dream again.I will often ask my clients to write about what they want to change and invite in their life right now.

Take this time to create a new vision for yourself.Take time to connect with your heart and trust that your internal map will connect to what is most important to focus on.

Give to yourself more.Treat yourself to things you wouldn't normally.Explore and get curious about who you are and what you need/want.

Create a chapter that includes the best of you and trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.


4. Take Action and Shift

Everybody gets stuck from time to time.How long we stay there is often connected to our ability to shift.

The opposite of action is being stuck and metaphorically that is the record player caught on the same song over and over again.The ability to shift is important to combat the length of time we stay in one feeling.

I will often suggest taking days off of work, having a days where you do not socialize with anyone day or having an all about you or date with yourself evening.

So why am I saying be by yourself?Because many people need to be alone to process everything they are going through.

So the rule is this.Go be by yourself. Feel those feelings and you can't stay there.

A day in bed is fine.The next day go socialize.A day feeling sorry for yourself is perfectly okay. The next day go journal about the positive things about yourself.Shift and take a new action.

Take out your calendar and commit to activities that will pull you out of the house and give you joy.

Write down a list of things that will remind you when you get stuck to shift and take a new action.

Put an inspiring quote on the fridge and the bathroom mirror.We all need reminders for what is best for us.

In my practice I will often say "Awareness is only half of the equation.Awareness gives us the opportunity to choose something new.But we still have to take action for that something new to emerge."

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Are You Programmed to Worry???

The world is demanding more from us and as the competition for our attention continues to increase there is pressure to be more successful, to be fulfilled, to always be happy and keep our selves together…..Creating the perfect recipe for the 'worrying mind'.

How we respond to this mental pressure is vital to our health, relationships and overall well-being. But before I suggest any strategies to help focus the worrying mind I want to paint a picture of the inner dynamics.

When I describe a gestalt perspective for anxiety and worrying I explain it like this…..You can think of a worrying as a creative way that our mind is trying to make any 'unfinished business' or 'uncertainty' into something that we can perceive as acceptable.

But what if acceptable is replaced with imagining the worst case scenario?

Common examples of this negative forecasting come from situations that we wish we could change or control; like having an aggressive boss that makes a comment that didn't sit well or finishing a project and convincing yourself that you have failed.

So the question then becomes “Why do people project the worst case scenario"?

This mental forecasting sounds like the person is being negative and they are, but for the worrying mind it's more about controlling unknown. They behave as if they must shoot themselves before anyone else can and this behavior becomes more and more repetitive over time.

The worrying mind does not naturally withdraw into focusing on solutions , but rather like a broken record stays fixed in the feeling of anxiety playing the statements of “what if" and “oh no" over and over again.

The path to undoing these automatic and unconscious responses is about becoming intentionally focused.

Strategies for overcoming the worrying mind:

  1. Thoughts are just thoughts….Until we feed them- When we are prone to worrying the most difficult challenge is to not to get 'hooked' into the story.

There is a great teaching (Cherokee Nation) from a Native American man describing to his grandson of an internal battle of two wolves fighting. One is evil filled with greed, envy; false pride. While the other wolf is good, filled with love, joy and peace. The grandson asks the grandfather as he describes the story which wolf will win the battle. “The one that I feed" answers the grandfather.

2. If you are going to think…..Be productive- Ask yourself what can you actually do and focus your time on problem solving with proactive tasks instead of worrying

3. Shift the “What if" into “What is"….. “Worrying is not you thinking….It's your fears doing the thinking for you." Focus only on what is!!

4. Make a List- The worrying mind is always making a list of things that could go wrong. Externalize that internal list and write it down. Once you are done go through each thought on the list and really decide what is within your control here and now.

  • What if I don't get the job
  • What if I can't afford this house
  • My partner might leave me
  • I might not get a job that I like ever again

This process will help you with understanding your thought process and help you identify what is actually within your control.

5. Uncertainty is a reality….Learn to accept this and you will be ahead of the game

Our lives are made up of many different chapters with twist and turns around every corner. Allowing ourselves to be adaptable and available to respond to life's changes gives you greater flexibility to be free from anxiety and worrying.

6. Anxiety is Ungrounded Excitement- Intentionally refocus how you perceive your own worrying and anxiety…..

A wise teacher once shared with me how his six year old reacted in his first baseball tournament. His son had to get up to the plate when the game counted the most and was shaking with fear He ran to his dad and said “I am really scared dad". His father knowing how close the feelings of anxiety and excitement really are shared, “No son you are just really excited."

Children are much more susceptible to this clever suggestion and for that particular game it worked for his son and in the process learned a very valuable lesson about how to proactively deal with pressure.

7. Learn to Meditate- This will help with your ability to focus, reduce stress levels and help you with going into natural sleep patterns.

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Meet Ken

Ken is a certified psychotherapist that specializes in a powerful approach called Gestalt Therapy that focuses on building a person's awareness, self-esteem and mind-body connection.

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My offices are located in Calgary and Alberta.