One of the biggest things my team and I hope to help widows understand is that balancing their money can greatly impact their emotional healing.
When you understand your financial situation, you are ultimately creating more choice for yourself and your next steps. This allows you to feel more in control and confident during a time that is so turbulent with grief, sadness, and overwhelm. And this choice can create curiosity. And curiosity creates courage.
That’s why we don’t just focus on your finances. We also integrate conversations into your financial planning that can help you cultivate the courage to keep moving forward. As we know to be true in many areas of life – think weight loss, fitness, or starting a business – enlisting quality support can make all the difference in your progress.
Our conversations are regularly scheduled “Check-Ins” to help enhance your financial planning as a widow and keep you moving forward. Wealthcare4Widows® taps into the human need for collaborative conversations, which can be very different from the usual financial advisory relationship. Here’s how we do it…
Co-Active® Coaching: Our Integrative Approach
Loss is universal. Grief is personal. That’s why it’s important to enlist support from someone who specializes in working with widows. We integrate Co-Active® coaching communication throughout the financial process. We provide the ‘connection’ experience – a way of communicating that honors your grief after the devastating loss of your husband. This personalized approach encourages and supports recovery and renewal in your life.
We start with the assertion that people are – by their very nature – creative, resourceful, and whole. You are capable of: finding answers, choosing, taking action, recovering when things don’t go as planned – and especially, capable of learning. We encourage curiosity and hold your vision of renewal – powering that vision with sound financial management as you undertake the process of managing and sustaining your wealth. Every situation has possibilities and people really do have choice in their lives. We remind you of your own inner light.
Understanding Co-Active® Coaching
Co-Active® Coaching is a proven coaching model founded by the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in 1992. “Co-Active” means it involves the active and collaborative participation of both the coach and the client. The underlying belief of Co-Active coaching is that we all possess the capacity for knowing what is best for ourselves. CTI’s guidebook Co-Active Coaching has been credited by Seven Habits of Highly Effective People author, Stephen Covey, as “the bible of coaching”.
Widows often see themselves as blocked off from re-entering life. Many feel resigned, defeated, frustrated and confused, especially around finances. Our approach is to have a series of conversations that tackle the financial aspects of your loss more easily and with less stress. Co-Active® conversations are all about becoming financially confident through deeper awareness of your values and realigning your life to match.
As a widow, it takes tremendous courage and commitment on your part to really choose and keep choosing a course of action. Therefore, there are 3 coaching conversations we use within the Wealthcare4Widows® Financial Planning Process to help restore flow, while building courage, confidence, and resilience.
Process Conversations: Meeting You Where You Are
Unfortunately, widows often keep their responses under tight control and block feelings. Managing, controlling, and suppressing emotion takes tremendous effort; it expends internal resources and can leave us feeling exhausted. We can even get sick – physically and emotionally – by keeping things in. However, emotions are a normal function of being human.
When we don’t permit our bodies to discover and discharge whatever we’re holding inside, we don’t grow.
A Process Conversation can allow a shift in the internal experience about your grief journey. These conversations are the openers for a deeper examination of your finances and future. Releasing the energy in the emotion allows new movement forward.
Fulfillment Conversations: Determining The “Rightness” of Choices
Fulfillment Conversations can help you discover or reaffirm what is essential to you through the exploration of your values. You are invited to pursue your fulfillment, despite the circumstances. Fulfillment is about being “alive” again after loss. This helps you gain the clarity to have confidence for making financial decisions that align with who you are now.
We do this by enlisting exercises that make it easy to uncover your values – beyond food, shelter, and community. We get crystal clear on what you need in your life in order to be fulfilled.
Discovering your fulfillment is an intensely personal journey; it is also constantly changing, which can be confusing after loss. Change is okay and you always have your values to help determine the rightness of choices. Creating a life that is full of meaning, purpose, and satisfaction is our goal for you. It sounds simple, but as a widow, it takes tremendous courage and commitment to choose (and keep choosing) a course of action.
Balance Conversations: Forwarding Your Actions
Balance is not about making everything even. Rather, it is pulling through the grief and feeling that you are choosing your life moving forward, not just reacting to it. In your life these days, what are you saying yes to? What are you saying no to?
Balance Conversations are designed to restore flow. We do this by incorporating a visual exercise that helps establish what your life looks like now. It is not a picture of how it has been in the past or what you want it to be in the future. It is snapshot taken in the moment
These conversations can help to sustain change by moving beyond the aimless wandering in the cul-de-sac of grief. The intention is to redefine what is possible. It is an expansive phase that emphasizes creativity. You see the boxes holding you in and pull from your inner resources to create more flow in your life again. Knowing you have choices opens up the space to align your finances with what really matters.
Finding Clarity, Comfort, and Confidence
Co-Active® conversations create a curiosity for all that is possible – which often includes gaining or recovering inner strength and resourcefulness to evolve, grow, and expand from the loss of your husband. Most widows find themselves looking at where they are about 6 months to a year following their loss.
There are no exact time frames when this is likely to take place, and there is nothing out of order if you find it takes more or less time.
We want to help you build awareness around where you may be “staying stuck” in regard to your finances and grief experience. Our follow-up appointments can help you reaffirm what is essential to support your renewal, help you become comfortable with the “rightness” of your financial choices, align with your finances, and restore flow in your life. The ability to take a new look at life usually results from the passage of time, a better acceptance of your widowed state, and the courage to face a future without your spouse.
It also keeps you in the state of “doing”. When you organize your finances, papers, and decisions, it can begin to help strengthen your connection to yourself and the people around you.
Clarity helps facilitate confidence. No matter what happens to us in our lives, we always get to choose how we’ll think about it. You are more resilient than you think! You have the power to believe that something else is possible, and have the faith that things can and will change.
Learn more here about how these conversations can help you be brave and courageous so you can push through what feels scary. Bring connection and meaning into your financial decision-making process – while having a solid support system every step of the way.
Wishing you ease, grace, and financial success,
Any opinions are those of Laura L. Amendola and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not the opinions or services of Stephen Covey, the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Co-Active® Coaching, and the Coaches Training Institute.