Sedona Arizona

                                                               Lori Rubenstein


Author/Life Coach

 Shares Advice

Hear Lori every WEDNESDAY morning on

Journeys from the Heart

7 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Mountain, 10 a.m. Eastern



Sedona Talk Radio

"Journeys from the Heart...Embracing the Path Back to Love!" traverses the murky ground of finding yourself and getting ready for a new spiritual partnership after a major heartbreaking experience.

Relationship and Life-After-Divorce Coach Lori Rubenstein brings her own special gifts of compassion, humor, intuition and intellect, combined with grounded, sound advice. Lori has been described as the " female side of Dr. Phil" with her "let's-get-real" approach. 

In addition to fabulous topics that move you from heartbreak and confusion to understanding the spiritual side of relationships, you will feel more inspired to step out there and find love again. 

Lori interviews visionary guest speakers who will empower listeners. On the last Wednesday of every month, you will be moved and motivated by speakers on the program "Inspiring Stories...Ordinary People with Extraordinary Healings!"

Lori says “people who have been through divorce, death or heartbreak and who are ready to jump back in the saddle and find love again are the most courageous people in the world! These are my people! These are the people I LOVE to work with!” 

Defining Commitment

in the 21st Century


By Lori Rubenstein, JD, CPC

Life-After-Divorce Mediator and Life Coach


Is "let's shack up" really the new "’til death do us part?" This article will discuss and attempt to answer this and two other related questions: How do we define commitment today in the 21st century? Are you clear about what role commitment plays in your relationship?


Divorce rates have reached all-time highs, spelling misery and unhappiness for thousands of men and women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 20 million divorced adults across the nation.

Furthermore, recent statistics suggest that more than 50 percent of all current marriages will end in divorce and another 43 percent will end in separation long before they ever reach their Silver Anniversary.

So why commit?

Three women, three views
My good friend, Tina, just sent me an e-mail saying that she hasn't dated anyone since her divorce about six months ago. And, since she's been married and divorced three times, she insists she will never marry again. Furthermore, any man who gets involved with her will have to understand that the word “marriage” simply is not in her vocabulary.

At the same time, I found myself ending a relationship with a man, who I love and adore, because he could not make the leap to marriage, which I see as vital to commitment.

I have another client who has been married and divorced five times. She says that she will not become intimately involved with someone without the commitment of marriage. She says she wants to be honored and cherished and she believes in the old saying, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

How is it that three people who want and value commitment all view it from such different places?  Where do you stand on the issue?

Audition or commitment?
Consider the couple who decide to move in together and see how it goes. If they find they are compatible, then they'll get married – similar to an audition.


This may not bode well for many people who are seeking commitment. In fact, according to the Relationship Coaching Institute, your chances of staying married are no better if you live together first.

Is living together a commitment? Is promising not to date anyone else a commitment? Is agreeing to have a child together a commitment? Is marriage these days, in light of the high divorce statistics, still a commitment? Is sharing finances a commitment?

Just what is a commitment?


Promise versus commitment
According to David Steele, president and CEO of the Relationship Coaching Institute, there's a difference between a promise and a commitment that includes marriage.


"In short, a promise is something you say, and a commitment is something you do,” he says. “A promise is a small commitment. If a potential partner doesn't keep promises, I would question his or her ability to keep commitments, as they are definitely related.”


Steele goes on further: “A commitment is explicit and unambiguous. A commitment is a formal event of some kind between two people. A commitment is something you DO over time.


“A real commitment is usually legally enforceable and there are consequences for breaking it. And, for a relationship to be truly committed, there are no exits – mentally, emotionally, or physically. When the going gets rough, you make it work," he concludes.



To marry or not to marry?
I recently worked with a client who was living with a man for eight years. They have a 6-year-old child. He kicked her out of the house, and she is now homeless, going from friend to friend. The house was his before the relationship, and he was the one with a job. She can't even get custody of her son because she has nowhere to live. If she were married, she would have rights to the house, the child and child support.


Some would argue: Are the legal aspects the sole grounds for marriage? What about love?

I have another client whose live-in boyfriend left her, after 17 years, with the house and the child but no way to make the payments. Of course, she can go after him for child support but, since he is a self-employed handyman, she'll be lucky if she receives $300 per month. If they had been married, he'd have to help with expenses and/or spousal support.

Of course, I'm giving legal examples of what can happen to people living together without marriage or a co-habitation agreement.

A commitment is a freeing and growing experience ... an

act of trust, both of yourself and of your partner.

Heterosexual couples who live together are similar to homosexual couples in that they have no legal standing. Without a will, there are no inheritance rights. Without marriage or a binding power of attorney, there are no rights to make medical decisions about your loved one, rights to medical insurance, etc.


What of the marriage in which one person is keeping secrets, having affairs or hiding money? Does the "marital contract" make one committed? Certainly we all know many marriages that have ended in divorce.

Different strokes for different folks

On the other hand, some people disapprove of marriage because of those very contractual aspects.  


One woman I know, who is emotionally stable and a professional success, is well into her 50s and never been married because she prefers it that way. Marriage simply remains out of the question for her, not because of any prior bad experiences like Tina’s, but because she finds the legal ramifications offensive. “I don’t want my love reduced to a callous business contract,” she says.


Anne claims that she has experienced “two very committed, happy, long-term marriages” that simply weren’t “legal” because she does “not want the government to interfere in my personal or romantic affairs.”  She says: “We exchanged our own vows and didn’t need a piece of paper to seal our commitment.” According to her, when she and her partners “grew in different directions,” they were able to part their own ways “without thousands of dollars in legal fees.”


In addition, Anne feels marital laws could undermine her business assets in the event of a divorce. “He could get half of everything I’ve worked so hard for,” she says.


Anne emphasizes that she is not against commitment; she is against government invasion of her privacy. In fact, Anne shudders at the thought of lawyers and court costs in the event a potential marriage ever went sour. She says, “My love life is none of the IRS’ business and should not affect my tax status.”


Defining the criteria

Steele proposes these three criteria for looking at whether a relationship is really a commitment versus a promise:

CRITERIA 1: Promises made to each other about the permanent nature of the relationship that are kept.

CRITERIA 2: Explicit, formal, public declaration.

CRITERIA 3: The commitment is unambiguous to partners and others. This definition of commitment sounds like the marital commitment, doesn't it?

One problem we have with the term commitment is that it often gets confused with the mental or penal definition. Our culture views men mostly as apprehensive to make a commitment. Perhaps the main fear some men face is loss of freedom, much like my friend Anne. Whether or not it is true, it typically is the number one reason they cite for not getting married.

Steele says: "Some couples have trouble with commitment because they confuse the two definitions. They are afraid that commitment in a relationship means getting into an institution with too much structure, control and barriers to their freedom to be themselves. They are wrong.

“A commitment is a freeing and growing experience. When two people make a commitment to each other to grow, learn about life and love together, they are creating a positive place to be. A commitment is an act of trust, both of yourself and of your partner."




Choice and perception

The person afraid of the commitment has to look within to see what they don't trust about themselves in a relationship. Will they lose themselves? Is their sense
of self not strong enough to withstand the "partnering" aspect of a relationship?


When we think about fear, the only way to get over it is to jump in and do it and trust yourself that, whatever happens, you can handle it. Only after making the leap, do many people discover the richness and fullness of life that commitment has to offer.

Choice, it seems, is a key component to commitment. You have many couples who are together and are happy and content while it is their choice. Once the
choice is removed, let's say, in the case of marriage, now it's a promise and a "contract" and is no longer representative of "free choice" in their lives.


Reassess your relationship to see if you are on target with your goals and dreams as a couple. 

Stepping into the circle
Picture the whole idea of commitment like a big round circle. From one side, it's a gift of love, adoration and caring; from the other side, it represents obligation, change and uncertainty. Yet, from another side, it's fun, excitement and spontaneity. And from still another side, it's monotonous and routine. The view of commitment changes with your own perceptions and choices.

For those who want a sure thing, I have to say that there is no sure thing. Even with the act of marriage, the ultimate commitment between two people in our society, the divorce rate still remains at 50 percent. Is there a way to beat the odds?


To me, to be truly committed, there must be a combination of continuing choice to be in the relationship, heart and soul, with a legal stand in front of people and promise type of commitment. I love the idea of every wedding anniversary, choosing each other all over again.


We are all different; that's what makes the world go round. Feel free to e-mail your comments to Lorir@SedonaObserver.com; I am very interested to hear what you have to say!

About Lori

Life Coach

As a personal life coach, I dare to transcend with my clients. I powerfully speak the truth while passionately and responsibly connecting with clients. Together, we joyfully and intuitively allow the spirit within us to soar.

I have transcended many times in my own life. I am currently a Personal Life Coach, mediator and successful divorce attorney.


I teach classes for Divorce and Custody as well as Life Makeover Classes. As a divorce attorney, I have worked with more than 1,000 clients to help them deal with fearful transitions in their lives.


As a mediator, I help people find creative solutions and gain dignity by resolving their own conflict. I am told that I am an amazing "idea person." As a coach, I love helping people to transcend their current situation and find joy and passion in their lives once again.


My experience is both professional and personal. As a mother of two children, I practice walking my talk. As a child of divorce, and through daily interaction with my divorce clients, I know and see the effects of continuing the parental fight around children. It has serious ramifications on the children's self-esteem. As a divorced and remarried parent, I continue to be reminded of how my own choices affect my children.


I have learned to transform bottled-up negative energy into courage, strength and the ability to change and enrich my life. Once I recognized the need to change and grow, I discovered the resolve within myself to accomplish my desires.


After attending the University of Nevada in Reno, I graduated in 1985 with a Juris Doctor from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. I served as an attorney for Legal Services in Harrisburg, Penn., for five years and then as the Regional Director of Oregon Legal Services' Roseburg branch for another five years. In 1994 I became a certified mediator through Confluence Northwest in Portland, Oreg., and in 1995 went into private practice.

In 2002 I was certified by the Academy for Coach Training (Bellevue, Wash.) as a Certified Professional Coach.

Professional/community service

I have served on numerous legal and community boards. Some of these positions include: the past Young Career Woman for the Oregon Business and Professional Women's Club, past president of the Douglas County Bar Association, past board member of the Oregon Bar Association's Local Professional Responsibility Committee and Family Law Section, as well as numerous statewide family law task forces in both Oregon and Pennsylvania.

"Dare to Transcend!" 

If you are open to reach beyond your current life's boundaries, take the plunge, and accept the opportunity to achieve your dreams, whatever they may be, wherever they may take you.

Lori Rubenstein, Author

Lori Rubenstein's books light a surefire path

to greater personal joy and fulfillment  

         Check out Lori's latest book!   


Divorce rates have reached all-time highs, spelling misery and unhappiness for thousands of men and women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 20 million divorced adults across the nation. Furthermore, recent statistics suggest that more than 50 percent of all current marriages will end in divorce and another 43 percent will end in separation long before they ever reach their Silver Anniversary.

But there is life after divorce, according to Verde Valley life coach, mediator and divorce attorney Lori Rubenstein. Author of the new book Transcending Divorce: A Guide for Personal Growth and Transformation plus an earlier work called Conscious Relationships, Lori offers sound advice for resuming healthy relationships based on the wisdom of her own personal and professional life experiences.

Lori was a divorce attorney in Oregon and Pennsylvania for 18 years who now works as a life-after-divorce coach and mediator in northern Arizona. She also ranks among the renowned motivational contributors, along with Wayne Dyer, in the No. 1 best-selling, self-help anthology Wake Up - Live the Life You Love, in which she writes about transcending divorce.

Lori shares simple but profound excerpts from her books along with her top 10 guidelines for maintaining a greater sense of self so you too can enjoy fulfilling relationships once again. Visit her Web site  at www.transcendingdivorce.com for even more tips, book purchasing information and to sign up for her free newsletter.

To order her books, visit http://www.lulu.com/lori11.

For more information about Lori's services, send e-mail to:






How to Make a Living as an


by Marie King


Prosper by finding the balance between creative and linear worlds


Do you yearn for more creative freedom at work? Does the 8-to-5 life leave you uninspired? Or perhaps you simply want to earn a living doing what you love.


Despite all the pragmatists who advise you to “stick with your day job,” you really can have it all. But, how can you get started?


Belief and support

In The Millionaire Mind, author Thomas J. Stanley highlights the fact that the nation’s 733 millionaires repeatedly cite “belief in oneself and tenacity” as the critical factors that enabled them to accrue great wealth.

These self-made individuals also possessed a passion or vocation they loved and the willingness to take the necessary risks to follow their dream. They did not allow themselves to be swayed by critics and detractors.

Many times, when we try to make art more of a focus in our lives, we look to family and friends for support. We hope the people closest to us will provide the belief in ourselves that we may lack. But, often, these people can turn out to be naysayers rather than our champions because their life vision differs from ours.

What need to find the people who will give us confidence in ourselves and our art. We need to be in the company of other artists to get their support and input. We also must “walk the walk” and actively pursue our dreams for a profitable career as an artist.

Perseverance and marketing

Tenacity, the other success factor, can be hard to sustain. It is easy for an artist to get discouraged and give up, especially in a world that values the material over the cultural.


I once worked with a man named Ed. Tacked on the wall of his cubicle was a sign that read: “Due to a power shortage, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel.”


There is always is a light at the end of the tunnel. What happens to the artist and many other people is that they don’t persevere long enough to see that light.  The millionaires in Stanley’s book had seen countless examples of individuals who bailed out just when they were on the brink of success.


Many talented artists have also mastered the art of multitasking. However, this ability to shift gears can undermine your tenacity. In order to maintain it, you must be clear on where you’re going and what you want. One way to do that is to maintain a clear focus, a key ingredient for success.


Focus generates the kind of positive synchronicity that open doors for you.  This form of serendipity transforms despair into hope and generates motivation that has staying power.

These events give you the confidence to put your work and yourself out there – also known as marketing. Marcia Yudkin, the author of 11 books and more than 1,000 articles, suggests that artists must spend at least 50 percent of their time promoting and distributing their work.


Creating cash flow

It’s easy to talk about the philosophy of being an artist and the mental barriers that go with it.  However, for most people, money still remains the greatest obstacle to becoming a successful, thriving artist.

We have to choose between sustaining a viable lifestyle and following our passion.  The “starving artist” is still a reality, but we can blame part of that on the fact that we don’t deal with the business end of our craft.  For some artists, money is a dirty word – something they don’t want to taint the creative process with.


Recently, I watched a PBS special “Finding the Rich Woman in You” that was hosted by financial guru Kim Kiyosaki and focused on how to create cash-flow income through investment. The show advocated finding ways to generate this type of income so people could free themselves from the eight-to-five rat race.


Kiyosaki demonstrated three ways to generate cash-flow income through real estate, stocks and royalties. Obviously, royalties provide a natural route for the artist. What can you create that will generate royalties? Even the smallest amount will accumulate over time.


Dig your wellspring

Another way to create cash flow is by brainstorming ways that your artistic endeavors can generate multiple streams or perennial pots of money.


In “The Writer’s Writer,” an article on freelance writing, Gary Provost states that he never wrote an article unless he had multiple markets for it. That’s how he amplified the financial impact of his work.


The late painter Cheri Blum was a master at cash-flow income. Her paintings appeared on home goods including place mats, bedspreads and wall hangings, and they became all the rage. Earning a percentage from every piece sold linen made her a wealthy woman.


Kiyosaki offers four suggestions for creating financial freedom through cash-flow income:

  1. Devise a plan that details what you want to do and your financial goals.
  2. Avoid letting the economy influence your strategy.
  3. Turn a deaf ear to the naysayers.
  4. Just begin.

Kiyosaki started investing in real estate during a bad housing market in 1987. Today, she is a millionaire.


Just do it!

For people who work at their art part-time, starting out may mean moving to the next level or expanding your target markets. If unsure about advancing to the next phase, ask someone already successfully doing it. Don’t ask anyone who would view you as direct competition.


As far as expanding your market, the sky’s the limit. A friend of mine who has been entering her artwork in competitions in her home region is now looking at competing nationally.


There is no time like the present to aim toward making a living as an artist. Believe in yourself, persevere in your efforts, view your artistic endeavors as an investment in your future and develop and execute a plan that will get you there.


Finally, follow the advice of Goethe who said: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness had genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!”


Marie King is the owner and operator of Sedona Transitions, which provides writing services for businesses and individuals. She focuses on helping organizations and individuals “put their visions into words.” 

E-mail: MKing@SedonaObserver.com or visit her Web site at http://www.SedonaTransitions.com.


Take your passion

and make it happen!


Replace any idea of the starving artist with an image of yourself as a financially successful one.  Here are some books and Web sites to help you get there.

www.howtobeanartist.com: This site offers the book How to Make a Living as an Artist: a guide to survival and success by Colin Ruffell.

www.thepauper.com: Visit this personal finance Web site providing articles, tools and advice strictly for artists. Check out "The Pauper's Grave," with lessons from famous artists who died in dire financial, and sometimes legal, circumstances.

www.artbizcoach.com: Here you can find a must-read article, “6 Habits of Highly Successful Artists,” with practical hints on how to market your artistic talent.

www.artbizconnections.com: This site has free information on how to create a marketing plan and an artist support group that will help you to prosper financially.

www.artisthelpnetwork.com: Offers a wealth of free resources to help artists take control of their careers, with a focus on the applied arts.

www.yudkin.com: Marcia Yudkin has a myriad of ideas on how to be a successful writer.

How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul - Author Carroll Michels (Owl Books) not only looks at the artist as an entrepreneur and small-business owner, but she also loves and appreciates the art. This is the best guide I've found that looks at creating fine art as a career.

























Lori Rubenstein offers several programs this fall: “Transcending Divorce” teleclasses, relationship classes and a women’s retreat “Standing Firm on Feminine Ground."  For a list of classes, visit www.transcendingdivorce.com or www.daretotranscend.com.

Order all of Lori's books at www.lulu.com/lori11.  

Lori is passionate about partnering with people to live the life they love! Send your e-mail inquiries to lori@attorney-coach.com