On the newest episode of We Chat Divorce we’re joined by Renee Bauer, Esq. to discuss The Art of Re-Invention – Divorcing Without Shame. Renee Bauer is an award-winning divorce attorney, author, podcast host, and champion of finding your Happy Even After. She boldly educates and inspires women about divorce so they can move into their next chapter with confidence. She is the creator of The D Course, an online educational course designed to help save thousands of dollars in legal fees. Renee is regularly sought out by media to comment on trending family law issues. She is the Founder of Happy Even After Family Law located in Connecticut.

  

Learn More >> https://msreneebauer.com

 

Connect with Renee Bauer, Esq. on LinkedIn >> https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbauer1/

 

The We Chat Divorce podcast (hereinafter referred to as the “WCD”) represents the opinions of Shanahan, Chellew, and their guests to the show. WCD should not be considered professional or legal advice. The content here is for informational purposes only. Views and opinions expressed on WCD are our own and do not represent that of our places of work. 

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Karen:

Welcome to We Chat Divorce with Karen Chellew, legal liaison and Catherine Shanahan CFA co-founders of my Divorce Solution, the company that delivers the quintessential financial blueprint to couples facing, or going through the divorce process. This blueprint, known as the MDS financial portrait, establishes the foundation and options and individual or couple would need to make clear financial decisions when considering divorce. Each podcast, Catherine and Karen, sit down with divorce professionals and other individuals who provide insight and Frank discussion about real people, real situations, and real divorce.

Welcome to We Chat Divorce, Catherine and I are so happy today to welcome Attorney Renee Bauer to our podcast. In this episode, we're going to discuss the Art of Re-invention - Divorcing Without Shame. But first let me take a couple minutes to introduce Renee. Renee Bauer is an award winning divorce attorney, a published author, and founder of the family law firm Bauer Law Group. Renee's insights are sought after by local, national, and international media outlets, podcasts, and conferences, where she speaks on co-parenting blended family dynamics, relationships, and the art of reinvention as an accomplished litigator. She boldly educates and inspires women to reclaim their right to happiness through her online course, The D Course, love that and her podcast Happy Even After. Welcome Renee.

Renee:

Good morning, Ladies. How are you?

Catherine:

Good. We're so happy to have you, not only because of your expertise, but for your enthusiasm that you bring to a very difficult topic basically. ou know, you've been a divorce attorney for so long, and now you found the courage to talk about your own experiences with divorce. What gave you that courage to do that?

Renee:

Yeah, so, you know, it was really, really difficult. And for most of my career, I showed off in the way I thought a lawyer was supposed to show up, you know, all buttoned up and I was putting on an act and I would go into court and represent my clients and do the job that I thought I was supposed to do. But when I got home from at night and I kind of stripped away the suit in, in the act, it was, I was like a broken version of myself because I never talked about not just one divorce, but two divorces that I've had. And because I was filled with so much shame and I really had no intention of talking about it. I thought this was just something I was going to keep to myself forever and kind of just live with it. And one day a good friend of mine had started a podcast and she said, “Hey, I want to have you on as a guest. And I'm going to bring some sushi over, we'll have a couple drinks. I'm going to ask you questions.” And at that point I didn't listen to podcasts. I was just like, okay, like, I'll answer some questions for sushi. I can do that. And then she came over, we ate a ton. She clipped the mic on me. And for the first time ever, I spoke about my divorce and she asked these questions and I actually answered them. And when that podcast episode dropped, I was inundated with messages and emails and DMS from other women who said, that was my story too. Thank you for sharing. One woman said she sat in her hotel room and just sobbed because she never, she felt so alone during her divorce. And here she was listening to someone else talk about what they were going through. And at that point I knew I needed to stop being the buttoned up version of myself and really strip away those filters and start sharing my real story and start being vulnerable, which is so hard to do as, you know, a type A perfectionist of just really showing up and saying, hey this is me. This is what I went through. And it's definitely been a process, but it has been so rewarding because I’ve  just connected with so many people that way. And I've heard so many incredible stories and was inspired to start my own podcast because of that.

 

Catherine:

You know, it's great that you say all of that because we talk about what it does for the other women, you know, the three of us developing through them or to the other side, right. So we know where they, where they are currently probably. But when you tell your own story and I've experienced this myself, you know, that vulnerability is very hard to do. But when you do it afterwards, you really you're healing yourself further. You know, you realize that there is still more healing. We all need to always improve. So when sharing your story, not only is that woman's sobbing in her room feeling a sense of relief because she realizes she's normal, but then I bet you went home too, and you probably shed your own tears saying, wow, I let that out. It's like something I was hiding from and it's okay. Right. Is that how you feel? Yeah. And, you know, especially the second divorce, like that was just such a moment of embarrassment and almost humiliation like the marriage was in, I was in and out of it so fast before like a season was up, but there was so much shame from that one and, you know, coming out the other side in inch and I, I you're right. You're completely right. I'd never really healed from that. Like I was still holding onto it and now I talk about it so much. And so frequently as just something that has just happened, there's no emotion attached to it. It's like, all right, it's just part of my story. And it allows me to do the work that I do now. It taught me to be a better partner and spouse for my current husband now, because I really learned from, from that. And, you know, if you, the more you talk about it, the, the more detached you are as if this is something that's so substantial and so impactful to who you are as a person. And it becomes so much less than that. And it's just, okay, this is just one chapter in my book is really, really thick. So I'm going to turn the next page, but you're completely right. The more we talk about our stories and share them there is just this healing process that happens for the person who's listening to that. And the person who's actually speaking it.

Karen:

Yeah. Renee, were you in the attorney during your divorces where you practicing family law attorney?

Renee:

Yeah. And you know what, there’s the embarrassment of having to go into court and go into the courtroom on the day that I was getting divorced and standing there amongst the judges that I regularly practice in front of and some colleagues you know, that was so much shame there, which is crazy because it's like, why. You know, I do this every single day. Why was I so attached to this? And you know, there's so many reasons for that - generational upbringing and you know all of the societal upbringing that what we're taught about divorce. So even though I can work in that space and help other people through it, when I was going through it myself, it was just, you know, I got brought back to those moments of being a child and, you know, learning about friends whose parents were getting divorced or hearing my own parents talk about divorce and, you know, just, just whatever relative said. And just those things that you brought up thinking and attaching to that word. So yeah, it was, it was really, really difficult. And there was such a a difference between what I was doing in my work every single day and my personal life. And it wasn't until those two blended that I really stepped into who I am, what I was meant to do. And just in complete alignment with my life. Like there was definitely a disconnect before that time.

Karen:

So did they blend, or did they collide? I'm just wondering.

Renee:

It's all semantics. You know, I think that it was a collision at first and now it blends. I think that, you know, there was some was so much resistance at the very beginning and even my current husband and I like had to sit down and have a conversation about me speaking and being so public about it in a way that I never had before, because it was so personal. Like I kept everything to myself and now I was thrusting our family kind of into the social media world and speaking about it and sharing things, never sharing things about the exes. Cause that's not what it was about, that doesn't help you heal, but just short of sharing about our life in my journey. And so there was some resistance at the beginning because that was something my, my husband was uncomfortable with. He was like, I don't know about this. And I'm like, I get it. It's hard, it's hard for me, but you know, this is going to happen and we're going to do it. And now it's going to get easier each day and now it's, you know, he's totally comfortable with it. So there's definitely the collision at the very beginning and now it's blended beautifully.

Catherine:

Oh, that's awesome. You know, and I think a lot of shame comes from a lot of guilt, you know, as our generation, we're all in the same generation or actually we might be a little older than you, but you know, we're, we're expected to play our role and play it perfectly. And we're expected to do so many different things perfectly. And not only are we expected by others, but we expect it of ourselves a lot of times. And so we feel so guilty about not being able to, you know, meet up with the expectations of staying married forever or the shame as you say, getting divorced the second time, because it just didn't work out. Why do we carry all that guilt and shame on ourselves? You know, it's not until you get into your fifties that you start releasing some of that where, you know, it just doesn't matter.

You know, the twenties and the thirties and the forties are just about sometimes almost everybody else, but yourself and that's what needs to change. You know, we don't need to be, feel shameful or guilty because our marriage didn't last as long as it was supposed to, by the guidelines that are put out there. You know, I don't say my marriage was a failure. You know, I was married 20 years. That's what the person, 23 years, I just say it lasts as long as it was supposed to, you know, and I think we need to change the mindset and the dialogue on how we treat others, you know? And when we look at somebody who's a divorcee, you know, so it's okay. You don't have to say, I'm so sorry for you. You know, you can say congratulations for moving forward with getting through that. Yeah.

Renee:

Yeah. And it's not contagious. It's like, you know, you say that you're divorced and you know, some reaction is like, oh, well, didn't, you want to try to make it work? Or, you know, oh, well, there's plenty of fish in the sea. And they kind of like, step back a little bit from you as if like they can catch it, but you're so right. And you know, what I think you said is so important is the guilt of walking away from something that just isn't good enough. Like it's okay to have to be married to someone who is a good person and not the right fit for you. And to be able to say, you know what, we're just not living in alignment. Maybe our values are different. Maybe would just adjust, it's come to completion and being able to walk away from that because there's something not something better that you're looking for, but it's just not the relationship that you want for yourself. And you walk away. Not because you're looking for there's someone waiting in the wings, but you walk away because you're choosing yourself. And I think that I, and I'm sure you guys hear it too, but there are so many women who will say, you know, my husband's a good person. He's a good father. And so what's wrong with me that I'm not fulfilled. And I think that that's, you know, there's so much work to be done there. And that's, you know, that was my first marriage. Like there was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't, it wasn't a good fit. And, you know, he went on to marry someone who was his perfect match in every sense of the word. And so did I and you know, and it's, it's kind of like breaks my heart to think of people who stay and they kind of jam themselves into our relationship because they think that if, if, unless it's abusive or unless it's like really bad, then there's no reason for them to be unhappy. And that's where that guilt comes in because they feel guilty about wanting something different than what they have.

Catherine:

Just sad because we all change. You know, we hear a lot of people say, oh, our spouse says you change. Not the same person I was married to. That's why I want a divorce. You know? Well, of course we all change. You know, hopefully I change every day. I pray that I become a better person tomorrow. Right. So it's okay to change. And as you're saying, if over those years 20, and we have a lot of 30 year marriage is coming to us 20 years or five years, whatever it is, if your outlook has changed in life, listen, let the spice goes by so fast. That's okay. You don't have to feel guilty about it. You know, it is your right to be happy. And we see that a lot on the financial side, because there's a lot of shame and a lot of confusion and sadness or fear that they're going to leave this marriage.

They don't have to take, they're not happy, but at least everything's taken care of because they don't understand it. And once they start getting the financial knowledge that they need, whether they have to go to work or not, it doesn't matter. But once they get that Renee, you should see their faces, you know, they just transform into, oh my gosh, I'm feeling a little bit more empowered. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know that information. You know, we always say, it's okay. You know, you did the best you could at the time you're doing it. But once you gain that kind of knowledge, some you get to move forward right. In the positive direction for yourself.

Renee:

Yeah. I have a client that I like to use as an example for exactly what you're talking about. And she was in a long-term marriage. Her husband did everything, paid the bills, took care of the house. And she had a really comfortable life. It was not a good marriage. It wasn't horribly bad, but it certainly was not good. And she would've stayed forever because she was afraid of what was going to happen on the other side. And so she was forced into this divorce situation. She knew she would have stayed married, had he wanted to. And she was so afraid of paying her own bills, taking care of the house and all of that. Having to go back to work full time. And it was about a year after her divorce that she reached out to me and said, I have never been so happy in my entire life.

And I didn't even know that I was so unhappy until I was forced into this situation. And she said, she bought her house. She was paying her own bills. She was financially responsible. She was saving money. And, you know, she was just so happy that she was forced into this situation. And I'm like, that's you know, that's the example. That's the success story of just because you don't know it now, does it mean you can't learn it? And there's so much power when you start to really understand what money looks like and, and the finances and you take control of it. You're no longer just sitting back, waiting for things to happen for you. You become the driver and that's, you know, that's amazing. That's incredible.

Catherine:

That is incredible. And if you're listening, you know, that that woman took on a very courageous journey, but it was not easy. So a lot of people look at us, probably the three of us and many others that we talked to is I want to get to where you are now, you know, I'm 10 years out, right? So I want to get to where you are now, but I had to do that work too. You know, I cried every day for years, you know, I went through my ex saying to me, who has a better marriage than ours, ours is fine. Who, whose other marriage do you want? And I always said, it's not about the other people's marriage. It's about what I want, you know, the happiness I want. But it it's a journey to get through that. So if you're listening, give yourself a time so that you can be the success story of that woman as well, which is so exciting to hear.

Renee:

Yeah. And, and I think that that's so important too, is just to have some grace and allow yourself to heal and not jump into something else. Don't try to quick fix your emotions by jumping into another relationship. Like really give yourself that space that you can, and it's okay to cry. It's okay to miss your kids on the weekends. You don't have them. We all have gone through that, but you just continue putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. And that's how you get out the other side.

 

Karen:

I love that. So I see a tip here is give yourself space. What's some more tips that you have to help people divorce without shame, because I'm going to guess it's a high percentage of people that do have a significant amount of shame navigating this challenging process.

Renee:

Yeah. And so, you know, there's so many bad things about social media, but I think there's so many good things too. And I think that there are so many communities of people going through something similar and so many resources out there. So I'd say find a community that you feel comfortable in enjoying that. There's so many really amazing people doing this work and in this space and surround yourself with some, with other people who know what it's like, and they get it and they can say, I see you. I felt all of that attend events. Like the one that you put together that's a great place to connect with other women and make lifelong friendships. In addition to being inspired and excited about your future. And then just give yourself time. And like I said, don't jump into anything like it's, I think it's your initial reaction is to want to get some attention, want to mask the pain that you're feeling and you start dating before you're ready. And now you're just, you're covering up without actually healing. And so really before you jumped back into the dating world to make sure you're ready to do that, and you're doing it because you, you are ready to date, not because you're trying to fill the void to fill the time when you missed your kids.

Catherine:

Yeah. Do you think that's what you did and the second time around?

Renee:

Well, I actually did that right after my first divorce, I jumped into dating and that didn't work. That was not my second husband. Then there was time in between that. So, you know, who knows, who knows how many, what mistakes I made the second time around. You know, I think that that was just not giving the relationship enough space to let everything reveal itself. I think that that was just jumping too quickly into something and ignoring the red flags you know.

Catherine:

Love that Renee, not giving yourself enough space to let everything reveal itself. That is so powerful. And I think that we need to write that down and take that away because it's so true. You know, men and women, nobody wants to be lonely and everyone, and as we get older, everyone says, I don't want to be alone. I hear it from both sides, the men and the women. Right. So I always remember saying, you know, just because to my friends, I'm sitting here alone by myself. I'm really not lonely. Like I enjoyed watching the TV by myself. I enjoyed not having to cook for my kids finally for a night. You know, I learned to like embrace that and it really is cathartic. And it is something that we need, I guess it's the self care, right? Which is the best care that we need to start embracing, especially as women, because we're all, we're big givers and we're always taking care of something. But to take that time, even when you're going through the divorce to pause and look at what you need, you know, and give yourself the time to see what it is that you need from a companion, if that's what it is that you want.

 

Renee:

And that's, that's exactly the takeaway that I have as to this day is because when I did create that time and really learned how to be by myself and do things that filled me up, it's something that I still crave. And even in a current relationship in married, it's still something that I make time for. And, you know, an example is I went to Vegas recently with my husband and he was traveling for work. And I spent the day kayaking down the Colorado river by myself. And it was, it was, you know, I don't need, I don't need someone else to be there with me. Like, this is something that just filled me up and it was that self-care. And it was being in nature and being by myself, it wasn't being lonely. It was doing something by myself. And you really, when you give yourself that space, you learn how to do that. And when you're comfortable being by yourself, you don't need to fit the type, fit someone in there. You will if you're with someone and it feels good and you're having fun and it's joyful, then that's fine. But when you start to see the red flags, you're able to walk away and say, you know what, this doesn't serve me. And I don't need you just to keep me company because I can keep myself company. Then I think that that's important is that you're really paying attention to those red flags. We all have had them in bad relationships. And when we've allowed them to linger a little too long, that's when you see the, the divorce or, you know, the relationship not work out. But it's taken some time to get there. So pay attention right at the beginning and you know, really dial into what those red flags feel like in your body and pay attention to them. And don't try to make excuses for them. It's, it's your gut instinct telling you that something just isn't right. And it's okay to walk away from that.

Catherine:

Yeah. I'd like to set up, I would like to set a challenge out there if you're listening to this podcast, because I do believe that with that self-care, you will release some of the shame and the guilt that you feel. So Renee, we heard that you just went kayaking in Vegas by yourself and really had a great time. So if you're listening, challenge yourself, what will you do this week today, this month to challenge yourself, to be by yourself and Karen, I think you and I will have to think of something too. I know Karen recently went out and I was so proud of her. I'm a little bit more of an extrovert. So I go out and do a lot of things, but Karen is more of an introvert, not in a negative way at all. I'm not saying that, but I said to her, go do pickleball by yourself. You don't need your friends all around you to go with ego due to a group that you don't know anyone. And she ended up doing that and she could talk about her experience. I'm not talking for her, but I will boast for her because she was the champion of a tournament that they had. And she would have never done that probably years ago, but found the courage to do it. And how did you feel after you did that for yourself? Like what kind of self-care was that?

Karen:

That was incredible because you are right. I am an introvert. And when I hear both of you talking about those things by yourself, I know for myself and for a lot of our clients, that's a really hard thing because, you know, for most of our lives, we're just around a lot of people. But I did take that challenge and I did sign up for a tournament. And so my first experience walking onto the courts was, oh, God, I don't know where to go. I don't know who to talk to. I don't even know if I'm in the right group here, cause you have to assign yourself a level to compete. So, you know, I just kept stepping up and asking questions and, you know, taking the next step and the worst case scenario I could walk away. But I never felt like doing that.

I met some really great people and I had a really good time. So it was a great experience. So I do encourage anyone to just take small steps if that's your first step. Because we do have to do really hard things in our lives. And that piece of it is important, especially when you're in a life-changing situation, which divorce is. And we have lots of them to really know who you are inside. And I love that you encourage your clients and the people that are around you to do that because it is important. Yeah.

So I have a question because you're challenging people to do hard things. That's can be a very hard thing from a self-care perspective, but when people are divorcing, they have to do really hard things from a tangible perspective, meaning make really good informed decisions for themselves and value themselves enough to make really clear financial and legal decisions. And sometimes it's really super hard because you're walking into a vortex of chaos. It seems sometime, and you don't know what's right and what's wrong and you're getting opinions from everybody. And sometimes you're you feel vulnerable and intimidated. So how much do you assign that as being as the art of reinvention, because going through divorce begins that art of reinvention. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Renee:

Sure. That's a great question. You know, I think that one of the mistakes that lawyers see clients make is the client comes in and says, okay, I hired the lawyer and now I don't have to do anything. And I'm going to let this lawyer do all of the work and speak for me. And I'm just going to follow the advice. And I think that that's a big mistake. There are lots of lawyers out there. Some of them do better jobs than others. Some have different value systems in terms of how they practice and whether they are pushing things to litigation or more settlement minded. And you really need to take control as a client of your own situation and become informed and ask the lawyer every step of the way, why things are being done or ask questions and not just allow or rely on the professional to tell you the way something is supposed to be done.

Because at the end of the day when you sign that divorce agreement, you have to live with it. And if there's something you don't understand, or there's something that you absolutely hate, that's in there, then you need to be sure that that's being addressed before your signature goes on that page. And you know, we say lawyers say all the time that no agreement is perfect. And usually both sides are a little bit unhappy with the agreement, which is true, but you also have to start to prioritize what's important and have your goal lists. And you know, like what's the number one thing that's so important to you that you don't want to negotiate on, or it's more important for that piece than something else. So you can give up something else in order to get that. And you have to be the one to set those goals and not yet let your lawyer or any of the professional set them for you.

So I think that the most important piece of it is educate yourself and ask, don't be intimidated or afraid to ask questions of the professionals and don't let any professional bully you into an agreement that you don't like. They're supposed to be working for you. They're supposed to be guiding you and counseling you and advising you of all of the, maybe the different variables if you pursue it in court or not, but you are allowed to ask questions and make sure you understand so that you're not just kind of being pushed into something that you don't like. So education and being a self advocate are the most important pieces.

Karen:

I love that you say that.

Catherine:

Sorry.

Karen:

Yeah, it is. I spend a lot of time with clients at the table with their attorney and other professionals and they do take that. It's almost a relief. Okay. It's in their hands. I'm good to go. And I'll say, well, now it's even more important that you're engaged because they're your advocate. They're not the boss. So they, they need to be directed by you. You come to the table and you, as an attorney, you need to know what do you want and why do you want it? And then you can do your job. And I think to your point, a lot of people don't understand that. And then they end up very confused and very frustrated.

Renee:

There's lots of lawyers that will just try to jam an agreement down their client's throat just to be done with it. And they, they won't listen to them or they won't recognize what their goals are in the hierarchy of those goals. And instead, they're just going to tell them that you need to do this because this is what's on the table and you're not going to get something better in court. And I think just having a better conversation, a more communication with your lawyer in order to head to, to get on the same page. So you both are working towards the same goal and a lot of times that doesn't happen.

Catherine:

Yeah. So even if you take pause and take on the challenge of doing something by yourself, for yourself, that might be the space that you need to get the courage to ask those really good questions or to listen to your gut. Women have a really good, strong gut reaction to things and look at the red flags and write those things down and take it to your attorney and ask those questions, you know, because you'll become more powerful by the more questions you ask.

Renee:

Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.

 

Catherine:

Yeah.

Karen:

So Renee, do you have a final tip for everyone? I'm sure it may relate to your Happy Even After podcast or The D course. What would you like to leave with everyone today?

Renee:

I would say that you have to start turning inward to find solutions to the things that are keeping you up at night. So, so often what happens is someone looks at their acts and says, they're the reason for all of my misery. They're the reason I don't have enough money, or they might look to their lawyer and say, they're the reason that I, you know, I didn't get enough. And they're looking constantly for external answers, things that are keeping them up and are causing them concern. And when you flip that switch and you say, okay, what can I do to fix this problem? Or what can I do to make sure I have enough money to pay my bills? Or what can I do when I'm missing my kids, you're starting to provide your, provide your own solutions. And I think that is the key to coming out the other side of divorce, to thrive in past divorce and to really finding your happy even after is to stop blaming and looking back, stop looking in the past and just look forward and have the courage to rely on yourself and the strength to say, I am all that I need in order to make it out the other end. And because you have all of the power and you have everything you need inside of you, you just have to tap into it, believe in it.

Karen:

I love that. Absolutely. Okay. Renee, where should people go if they want to connect with you or learn more about you? Sure. Instagram is my favorite place to hang out. So you can find me there at Ms. Renee Bauer. And then from there, you can link up to everything else I have going on. Wonderful. Okay. Well, this concludes our episode on the art of re-invention divorcing without shame. Thank you, Renee, for a great conversation.

 

Renee:

Thank you so much.

On the newest episode of We Chat Divorce we’re joined by Winter Wheeler, Esq. to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. Wheeler, a graduate of Georgetown University and Tulane Law School, has always combined her interests in culture, diplomacy, and the law. She is especially passionate about changing the face of mediation and arbitration - by bringing compassion, listening to the forefront, and placing the litigant and emotions at the center of the conversation. Wheeler is a former top civil litigator who has made her niche as an expert mediator.  

Wheeler is the creator of The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™, which she introduced to the world in her first TEDx talk in March 2021. Wheeler, a married mom of four, gave her second TEDx talk “Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All” in June 2021. She is co-author of the bestselling book, #Networked. She is also the creator and host of The Mediate Now™ podcast.   

Our hosts, Karen and Catherine, sit down with Winter Wheeler, Esq. to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. 

  

Learn More >> https://www.winterwheeler.com/ 

 

Connect with Winter Wheeler, Esq. on LinkedIn >> @Winter Wheeler 

 

The We Chat Divorce podcast (hereinafter referred to as the “WCD”) represents the opinions of Shanahan, Chellew, and their guests to the show. WCD should not be considered professional or legal advice. The content here is for informational purposes only. Views and opinions expressed on WCD are our own and do not represent that of our places of work. 

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Karen: 

Welcome to We Chat Divorce. Catherine and I are so happy today to welcome attorney mediator Winter Wheeler to our podcast today. In this episode, we're going to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. 

Karen: 

Welcome, Winter. So glad you're here with us today. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here. I've been following y'all, and it's a privilege. 

Catherine: 

So fun to have you, and I want those flowers in your background. 

Winter Wheeler: 

They're fake, so I'll send you the link. 

Catherine: 

This is one of the things I love about you. 

Karen: 

So before we get into the conversation of the four cornerstones, I'm going to take a couple of minutes to introduce Winter. 

Karen: 

So, Winter is a former top civil litigator who has made her niche as an expert mediator. She is sought out for her unique, compassionate and successful style handling complex matters that involve a diverse range of cultures, including Spanish-speaking clients. 

Karen: 

Most recently, Winter was a senior attorney at a prominent law firm. And it's this extensive body of experience she brings into her current mediation practice that makes her work stand out. A graduate of Georgetown University and Tulane Law School, Winter has always combined her passions for culture, diplomacy and the law. 

Karen: 

Winter is the creator of the The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™, which she introduced to the world in her first TEDx talk in March of 2021. And Winter, you actually launched it yesterday, am I correct on that? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes, we launched a course based on the four cornerstones. 

Karen: 

I love that. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And that is available as a group or private classes. 

Karen: 

Awesome. She gave her second TEDx talk in June 2021, entitled “Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All.” I highly recommend that you listen to it. Catherine and I just got a little preview of it. Amazing! You have to listen to it. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. 

Karen: 

“Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All” 

Karen: 

Winter's also the co-author of the best-selling book #Networked. She's also creator and host of the Mediate Now podcast. Winter spends her free time volunteering in her community, enjoying her husband and four children, and traveling back to Miami, Florida, where she was raised, as much as possible. 

Karen: 

She's especially passionate about changing the face of mediation and arbitration by bringing compassion and listening to the forefront and placing the litigant and emotions at the center of the conversation. 

Karen: 

That is powerful, Winter. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you. 

Karen: 

That's awesome. So, let's pop right into this and talk about the four cornerstones. I guess we'll start with number one. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Okay. 

Karen: 

Number one, what is it? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Number one. Number one is emotional intelligence. So, of course, emotional intelligence, we've all heard about it. It's one of the newest buzz phrases, right? It's how we relate to other people, how we understand ourselves. And it's about how we understand, how we relate to the world, and how our feelings, how our emotions interact with those around us. How do we react to those around us? How do our feelings affect how we interact with those around us? We typically don't think about that on a daily basis, on an interaction basis. And ... Go ahead, yeah. 

Karen: 

I was going to say, especially in the framework of mediation or negotiation, that I can see it play a really important part. 

Catherine: 

Well, yeah. Because everyone comes into mediation thinking it's their spouse, it's not them. Someone else's actions cause our reactions, so you're already geared up when you go into mediation thinking, "Okay, I'm ready to defend myself against anything he says," or vice versa. So you're not really thinking internally, "What am I actually bringing in here emotionally?" Other than my anger, or my hurtness, or the sadness, or what have you. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Exactly. 

Catherine: 

Is that what we're talking about here, how you walk into a mediation? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Exactly, exactly. It's about how what you do makes the other person respond. Now, you can go into it thinking "I'm going to respond to everything he says. I'm going to respond to everything that he's ever done to me. He's hurt me so badly and I have a list. I have that list of what he's done to me, and I know how I can counteract all of those things." 

Winter Wheeler: 

You can do that. That doesn't help you. It doesn't help you get what you want. Right? 

Winter Wheeler: 

So when you go into a mediation, what you need to focus on is how you can help yourself long-term. What is it that you need? What is it that you want long-term? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Short-term, it may make you feel good to say or have your mediator say something nasty to your ex, but that doesn't help you long-term. Right? 

Karen: 

Absolutely. 

Winter Wheeler: 

You know your soon-to-be-ex spouse. So what you need to do is think about how what you're about to say, the message you're about to deliver, is going to be received by them. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And one thing about this technique is, if you're the one using it, and likely you are the only one using it, you can project based on what you know about the other person, and decide what you're going to say, in such a way that you can control how they respond. 

Winter Wheeler: 

For example- 

Catherine: 

What about the individual, I'm sorry. 

Winter Wheeler: 

No, no. Go ahead. 

Catherine: 

A lot of times you hear people who jump mediators, I'm leaving this one because she's not listening to me. Or she's not defending me, or she's defending him too much, or she's agreeing with him and she's not seeing all the bad things he did to me. 

Catherine: 

I can see that plays into this as well. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It certainly does. And now, of course all mediators are not created the same. They're not all equal. We all have our quirks. We all try to be neutral. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I am now in the process of certifying mediators in this method, so you can look for mediators who are certified in this method. But if you inherently do not trust your mediator, trust your gut. Never forget to trust your gut. 

Winter Wheeler: 

But at the same time, your mediator is there to tell you the truth. And your mediator, if you're in a position where your mediator has separated the two of you because you should not be in the same room, your mediator knows what's happening in the other room. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So sometimes your mediator is telling you something about yourself that you need to hear and not necessarily saying the same thing to the other party. So when you are dealing with a mediator, I need you to be open and to be honest. And I tell people that at the start of the mediation. If I say something to you that you don't like, that makes you unhappy, that makes you upset, that makes you angry, my goal is never to make you upset. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's to be honest with you. So you need to tell me if what I have done has made you angry. If it has made you trust me less, please tell me. Because there is always a reason for every single word that has come out of my mouth. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Mediators, good mediators, are calculated. Our goal is to get you what you need and some of what you want. We want everyone to go home satisfied. Satisfied is very different from happy, okay? Keep that in mind. It is very, very different from happy. But satisfied people go home with what they need. They go home feeling heard. They go home feeling whole. 

Catherine: 

I love what you just said and I think that we need to quote this out there. You go home with what you need and some of what you want. And I think that if you're listening and you're going to mediation and Karen and I always talk about compromise. Any divorce, there is going to be a compromise, whether you like it or not. At the end of the day, there's a compromise on both sides, but what's so rewarding is if you know what you want and know what you need, you'll realize that you'll get some of both of that basically. 

Catherine: 

And it allows you to have more of an open mind to the communication and be able to say, "Hey Winter, you pissed me off yesterday. You told me my ex was not such a bad guy and I think he's a horrible guy" or whatever it is. And then you always want to say, "Well, Catherine, let me tell you the truth here. I've seen worse or I've seen better" or whatever it is or "You're being unrealistic." I love that open communication. And I think it's so hard for a lot of people doing it and it basically stems down to the way we look at it. A lot of people don't know what they need and what they want financially speaking. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Absolutely, absolutely. 

Catherine: 

It leaves you so seriously scared through the process, which is why we're doing what we do. But this is great. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And I think you probably see Winter speaking about emotions, a lot of people coming to the table needing things or thinking they need things from a very emotional perspective. And you were going to make a comment a couple of minutes ago about for example. I'm hoping you were going to take something that somebody would say and reframe it into how they could have said it better. I think that would be cool. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. I don't remember exactly. 

Karen: 

I'm very interested, but I think it would help our listeners to kind of have it for example, especially in the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, helping them understand what people typically want to say and then how you help them reframe it. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. So a lot of what I hear comes from a very emotional place. So a lot of states no longer have fault divorce. We have no-fault divorce. It doesn't matter that your spouse has cheated on you. It doesn't matter. Now here in Georgia, we do still have jury trials, so that's always fun, but most states don't have that. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So you can say to me all day long, "Well, he should owe me more money because I found out he was sleeping with Susie." And you can say, "I want you to tell him that I" ... dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Okay. That's great. The way I'm going to tell that to him is going to be very different from the way that you said it to me. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I also called myself an interpreter because you can tell me whatever you want to tell me, what I'm going to say to him or the other party, which could be a her, is going to be something that they can hear. Emotional intelligence involves understanding how, what you think and feel can actually be heard and understood by the other party. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And if you have been yelling at your partner, because you likely have been, especially in a case where they've cheated on you, if you've been telling them the same thing over and over and over again, and it's not sinking in, then clearly I'm not going into the other room to say that. Right? 

Karen: 

Right. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So I will reframe it into something positive. And can I reframe absolutely anything and everything into something positive? Yes, I can. That's my job. So we take, "You were cheating on me and you owe me, blah, blah, blah," into "She raised three children with you for X years and so as a result, she feels that she deserves X." 

Winter Wheeler: 

We don't talk about what he did with Susie, because he knows what he did with Susie. I don't always have to talk about what he did with Susie. We changed that up. We changed that up a bit. We just changed the narrative, but you have to come in thinking about what the other person thinks, how do they feel? 

Winter Wheeler: 

And it's so hard. I understand it. It's so hard to think about how that person who has hurt you so badly feels. But if you want to come out with what you need, you have to do that. You've got to take a lot of that emotion out. 

Catherine: 

Absolutely. And I think that's just par for the course in divorce. A lot of people see emotional injustices have some kind of financial compensation and understanding to your point what you need or what you want, at the end of the day, maybe determining, we see this a lot, how much did husband spend on girlfriend with part of our money? That could be discussed, right? But in the framework of how do we come to a conclusion they're not, "I'm hurt." 

Catherine: 

And so I really appreciate that first cornerstone of yours with just the emotional intelligence piece of it, because that is a critical piece of being very successful in negotiations, I believe. Being able to parse out what parameters of discussion will be. That's awesome. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes, definitely. 

Karen: 

All right. So let's move on to cornerstone number two is ... 

Winter Wheeler: 

Cornerstone number two is cultural knowledge. A lot of the time when I talked to people involved in divorce and divorce mediators, they will say, "Well, this doesn't matter. They've been married for so long. How could this possibly be a concern for them? They knew that going in." It's such a naive position to take. 

Winter Wheeler: 

When you talk about people engaging culturally, when you're in love and you get married, you think the cultural differences don't matter. And then you get married and you have children and they do matter. Now I'm in a multicultural, multiracial family here myself. So yes, they do matter. The extent to which they mattered, you don't even necessarily talk about while you're married, because it's easier a lot of the time to just gloss over it, or "I'm sick. We can't go to that event." 

Winter Wheeler: 

I pulled that this summer myself. 

Catherine: 

Darn headaches. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. Darn headaches. My migraines are just crazy right now. Oh, COVID. COVID, my God. We can't fly. But once you're at the divorce table, those things mean a lot because this person is now going to have control of your children when you're not there. So what does that look like? Now suddenly Aunt Mary's graces tendencies will be visited upon your children when you're not there to shield them from them. And now it's a big problem. 

Catherine: 

Well, how do you come into your divorce now? I know we've seen this, it's just religious things. All of a sudden, they want custody during certain religious holidays, but never before did they exercise those holidays at all. But how do you change your mindset coming in when it was never established during your marriage? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. And so what I have seen and heard about is that it's more so an issue when the soon-to-be-ex spouse takes up with someone who is more culturally aligned with them. So now they've got someone who wants to celebrate those holidays. Those cultural corks are now part of the norm. They're a part of every day for them. So they're now going to be part of your child's everyday life. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So, oh, it didn't matter to me that you weren't Jewish, but now suddenly it does matter to this new person and so now we're doing it all the time. It didn't matter that you weren't Muslim. Well, now it does. And so, what you need to do as the non-religious, non-ethnic whatever it is, you need to figure out all of the things. Spend your time learning about what these new cultural issues are. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Now, should you have done it at the beginning? Of course, you should have. But when the other spouse tells you, "I don't care, honey, I don't care. I love you. We're going to do this. And we'll just do whatever you want" you probably didn't bother to go ahead and learn anyway, Love conquers all. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. Until it doesn't. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. Until it doesn't. Until it doesn't. 

Winter Wheeler: 

At that point, you need to spend your time learning a whole lot about what these cultures are doing. What are the norms? What are these holidays? What are they actually doing? What are they actually teaching and learn about it. Is it something that you can just simply live with? Can you ignore it? Can you just let it go? Find out are they simply acknowledging these holidays because these are a high holy holidays or are they deeply dug into this or are they actually relatively secular and just celebrate these holidays because they do, right? 

Catherine: 

I love that. So check your emotion- 

Winter Wheeler: 

Those are things you need to know. 

Catherine: 

So check emotional intelligence before you look into these cultural changes that you're about to have. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. Absolutely. 

Catherine: 

Because if I had little children and I don't right now, but if I did, and my ex-girlfriend now wanted to practice something, I would have to check myself because it becomes, I'm not doing it because of the girlfriend or what have you. And that's where you have to check yourself. And I love that. Learn about the religion, learn about the important holidays, and then say, "Think about the kids in the end." Would it hurt them to actually learn this? And let it go. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. Exactly. 

Karen: 

That is so difficult. That was my experience. My children were seven and five. And I tell people when I was going through my divorce, I wasn't just divorcing my husband. I was divorcing my lifestyle, everything I had been taught, which my children had been brought up and I can't do this anymore. So I had to go through the steps of not only allowing, but understanding that I can't change their lives to the extent I would like to because we had brought them up in that environment. So that was very difficult for me and I can understand the emotional, I don't want to say tragedy, but the upset that I had to experience, because I didn't understand that no one was going to follow my thoughts that this wasn't good for me then. I should've thought about that a long time ago. That was very difficult. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. And that is, I would call Grief. I talked about grief in one of my podcast episodes, Mediate Now, and grief is so many things, it manifests in so many different ways, but it's really the loss of anything that you believed was true or constant. It's the loss. It's the feeling that basically the ground has been taken from under you, something that you believed was going to be there for you is suddenly gone and you didn't want it gone. And there are ways to deal with that. 

Catherine: 

Also realizing that you thought you had something that you didn't, so you thought you had this lifestyle or this relationship because you created it and you tried so hard, but at the end of the day, you really didn't have what you were thinking you had. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. It is so hard for human beings to understand that everything we have is fleeting. It's not real. Nothing that we have is real. The things that we have are tangible for the most part. My home is tangible, but if it burned down, it's gone. It is gone. 

Winter Wheeler: 

The people that we love can die at any point. And it is hard for us to think of that. The people that we love and that we have committed to can leave us, they can hurt us because they have free will. But we don't like to think of it that way, because it is just too much to think of every day, but those things can happen. And when they do, we have to grieve. 

Winter Wheeler: 

When it happens, we go through grief and then we need to go through this process in order to bring our lives back to center and we need to get back to the place where we remember that we, I, I am what I have. I am enough. I will be okay. How do I take care of myself? And I take care of myself by remembering that I can deal with other people in such a way that I get what I need, by taking out a lot of the emotion, by addressing other people's emotions in a non emotional way. And that is what the four cornerstones do for people. 

Karen: 

Yeah. I love that you said that. You said, "I still deserve what I need." A lot of people are immersed in guilt and their response to that is, "I don't deserve it. Just take it all. I'll figure this out." I personally went through some of that myself because I felt so bad. We see a lot of clients coming through, "I feel bad. I feel guilty." He said, "If I take his pension, that's the last straw." You're not taking anything. So it's having that emotional, how would we say it, intelligent conversation and understanding. I love that you say that because I think so many people struggle through that when they're trying to reconcile all of the emotions. 

Winter Wheeler: 

This is why I'm an advocate for divorce coaches. Somebody to help you and remind you that the response you're having isn't emotional response, it is not a long-term intelligent response. Don't give up everything you have. Don't accept peanuts when you deserve more. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And know what you have and what the division is, because it helps you navigate through those very emotional conversations, because it's already in your knowledge bank and you don't have to wonder, you know every topic that comes up, you don't have to wonder how that works. 

Catherine: 

This is why I love our portrait because we'll lay out there what you have and what the considerations are for it. And I always say, "Listen, if your mediator gets you too much and you want to give it back, I'll help you write the check." And not one person has asked me to write a check to give it back to their spouse. So you need to know what your assets are, what your debts are, what are the considerations? And then it's your divorce. If you feel that badly after knowing everything and being in the know about everything, then go ahead, negotiate away, whatever you want. 

Catherine: 

But if you don't have that financial clarity do not feel bad because you deserve it. And listen, I didn't feel bad. And again, I never had somebody telling me they want to give their money back. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. I've never heard anyone say either. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. I have on the other hand, had people coming up and you all probably do as well saying, "Oh my gosh, Catherine, I wish I knew you five years ago. I just decided to walk away from it all and now I regret it" and their lifestyle drastically changed and "I don't know how I'm going to ever catch up." So that's what we don't like to hear. 

Karen: 

Yeah. They were lost in those emotions. So Winter, let's talk about cornerstone three. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. Cornerstone three. This will be a quicker one. Cultural immersion. So in this context, when we're talking about divorce and we know that we need to suddenly learn about another culture and we're making decisions for our family or for our children, we need to figure out what actually is happening. What may happen, what does this really look like for my kids going forward? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Try to get involved with the community. And if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where there's a large pocket of that community, go, see that community, go out there, try to make friends. It could be as simple as going to a restaurant and chatting up the waiter, signing up for language classes, if that applies, and really just putting yourself in a position in which you are no longer just a stranger, you're not kind of just on the periphery. 

Winter Wheeler: 

You don't want your soon-to-be ex-spouse being the only one who actually understands the nuances of this culture. You need to understand yourself so that there are no longer any surprises. Get out there and understand and immerse yourself. I know immerse immersion. It's not a trick. Immerse yourself in that culture and get involved. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I heard, I think yesterday or the day before when the new census data came out, the number of people who consider themselves to be multicultural, went up like 125%. So this is happening to a lot of people all over this country. We all need to be concerned about the cultures that we are engaging in and not concerned in a negative way, but interested. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Listen. And let's just back this up. Before you marry someone, learn about them. Stop marrying people because you, "Oh, I love him. He gives me butterflies." Honey, they all do. They all do. Okay? That's just how it works. Those are called hormones. That wears off. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Spend some time and learn. Is this really what you can live with if you had to be part of this culture without the spouse? Because that could definitely happen. At this point, what is it? Are we still at 50% divorce rate? I don't even know- 

Karen: 

Higher now. 

Catherine: 

Higher now. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Is it higher now? The odds are you could be part of this culture by yourself, right? This new culture, all by yourself. You have to understand it. Your children could be very interested in this new culture. They're half of that culture, 

Catherine: 

I know that people are listening right down there saying, "Shit, I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that because he never wanted to do that." But I think that if you can change the way that you're looking at this, the situation will really change. You're not doing it for your ex, you're doing it so that you can experience what your children are going through and you can have intelligent, supportive conversations with them when they come back, because you're coming from a place of knowing rather than just shutting off, which we should never just shut anything off in life. 

Catherine: 

But you're doing it for you and your children because a lot of times, and I can attest to that, when you divorce, your spouse may be in a better financial situation so they take them on trips and that you've never been there and they come back and your kids tell you all about it, and you're sitting there feeling so sad that you didn't get to go on that trip with them, not necessarily your ex, but with your kids. And they've now experienced something that you have nothing to do with anymore. 

Catherine: 

This process, number three of the cultural immersion, is really for the benefit of yourself and your children, and always feeling connected to them. If they ended up not liking it, the culture, what they're now exposed to, you can have a conversation with them about it. It is part of their life. I love that. I love that thought process. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Not to be completely stereotypical, but when you're talking about a man who is moving on to a woman with a new culture, they are often very likely to just immerse themselves in that woman's new culture. They are. That becomes his new normal. 

Winter Wheeler: 

My personal experience as a second wife, my husband, he was very much immersed in his first wife's culture. I don't think he could tell you anything about it today. All he knows is mine, that's it. He's made attempts to learn my secondary language and learn about the country my family came from and that's it. So these things happen and we need to be aware, we need to be ready. And it's for the benefit of the children. It really, really is. It's also for your sanity, but it's also for the benefit of your children. We have to keep that in mind. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And when you broaden that out a little bit, when you're co-parenting, it helps to be able to support decisions one parent makes or the other based on their culture. Sometimes it's not an intentional response, or it definitely comes from a place of, "This is what I believe is right, because this is what I was taught" and so forth and so on. And so it kind of minimizes the emotional disparity there when you can come at it from a place of, "This is what they believe, and this is how it works" and things like that. I love that you said that. Yeah, that's excellent. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And that's actually the perfect segue into the last cornerstone, which is genuine empathy. If you can truly empathize with how the other person is having to move on, because we all have to move on and we don't always move on in the same way, but if you can understand that this is how they have to do it, then you're going to be more likely to be supportive and kind, and you'll understand it in a much easier, more sympathetic manner. 

Winter Wheeler: 

If what they need is to be with some new person or even get more in touch with their own background absent any other third party, then you need to let them do that because we all grieve a divorce in a different way, but you do need to be able to understand what they're going through and how it's happening. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And the more supportive we can be of the other person, the better it is for our children, because we don't want our ex-spouse to be a shell of a human being. Now, as much as we may personally want to see that that is not good for our children. Not at all, not at all. We have to have compassion for them and that compassion for someone that you did love at some point means you need to continue to love them. Is it a different type of love? Of course it is. But you need to keep in mind, you did love them enough to marry them and have children with them. You have to remember that. 

Catherine: 

That sounds great. And that sounds so much more difficult. I don't know if you're listening. So how do you recommend someone shows empathy to a spouse who you feel like has no empathy towards you? 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's not even showing them empathy. They don't need to know that you have the empathy. It's really for you. 

Catherine: 

That's a better way to look at it. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. In this scenario with the four cornerstones ... and it's different. This particular cornerstone, this fourth cornerstone is different when we apply it to different situations. It's about having that mindset for yourself. It's about reminding yourself that having some compassion and allowing that person the space they need is going to be what's best for you. 

Catherine: 

Which is much better to swallow, right? And so that again comes from being informed of where we go back to your other quotes is that you'll get what you need and a little bit of what you want. And so if you can keep that mindset, the empathy can set in for yourself rather than being an outpouring of stuff you're trying to take. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And truly, at the root of this, especially in a divorce context, the four cornerstones are self-centered. They are absolutely self-centered. They are designed to get you what you want. They have nothing to do with the other person. They are about setting yourself up to get what you need because the other person likely has no ability to communicate on such a high mature level. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Sometimes you have to be the adult in the room and the way you can be the adult in the room is to follow these four cornerstones. If you can follow all four and they all work together, got to do all four simultaneously, they will work you will be the adult, and the other person will likely not know that they are being somewhat manipulated. 

Karen: 

I'm just clarifying what I'm hearing from you. This has nothing to do with restoring relationship or repairing relationships and everything to do with negotiating to an end result to the benefit of you, yourself financially, and from a parenting perspective to the benefit of the children. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Sometimes that's the case. It depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to restore a relationship, you can use these four cornerstones and you can repair a relationship. However, if you have no intention of repairing a relationship, you can use these to give the appearance of wanting to restore a relationship. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's all about civility. Truly. Being civil long enough to make sure you have what you need. You have to not focus on revenge. Revenge is not yours. It's not yours to seek. You have to not focus on getting your point across. The other person knows what your point is. You're mad. They don't care. They've told you they don't care. They've made that clear. So stop worrying about making sure they know you're mad. They know. What you need to focus on is getting what you want. What can you do to get what you want in a way that makes sense, in a way that makes the other person feel whole and complete, in a way that they don't feel that they're being taken advantage of, in a way that makes them feel that their needs, their rights are being respected? 

Winter Wheeler: 

And if you can follow these cornerstones, you can do that. Now, ideally, in my mediator-loving I love everybody little heart, you would actually mean these things, but you don't have to, and they still work. 

Catherine: 

And they allow you to move forward in a positive direction, which is what we truly believe in. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. You can move forward. 

Karen: 

And hopefully ... Go ahead, Winter. 

Winter Wheeler: 

No. You can move forward positively for yourself, for the other person. And I think that's the beauty here is that you can move forward positively for everyone, whether you actually mean it or not. Everyone gets to move forward in a positive direction. You, your ex, your children. Your children will feel that everyone is getting along, everyone is trying to make this work, everyone wants the group dynamic to succeed. Everyone. 

Karen: 

I love it. And then, what if everyone could incorporate these four cornerstones into every relationship, how different our world would be? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. I firmly believe that this can be applied to every single relationship that we have. Every single one. 

Karen: 

It's amazing. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I use it everywhere. 

Karen: 

I love it. 

Catherine: 

Who is this available to and how do you get it? 

Winter Wheeler: 

This is available to absolutely everyone. It is not only available to attorneys or to mediators. I encourage everyone to get involved here. You can watch my TEDx talk. You can just go onto YouTube and search my name. Winter Wheeler TEDx. Be careful. There are two, This one is called Mastering the Art of the Uncomfortable Conversation. But you can also go to my website, WinterWheeler.com. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I am offering a course in this. It is a 14-hour intensive course in which you can be certified in this method. You can have group classes, private classes, everything is there available to you. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I encourage people to reach out because this method can revolutionize the way you communicate with people. 

Karen: 

Oh, I love it. That's extraordinary, Winter. Thank you so much. This concludes this episode on getting clear on the four cornerstones of mediation. Thank you so much, Winter, for a great conversation. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you for having me. 

 

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