Wise Counsel Sabrina Shaheen Cronin
Sabrina Shaheen Cronin is not your typical lawyer. She is also a musician and actress who takes the job title of counselor very seriously and literally.
“I always say if you don’t have difficulties, will then you won’t grow, you won’t know what true growth is and hard lessons can teach you to propel yourself forward and move you further. It really, really elevates you to that next level.”
What prompted her to change careers from the arts into law was what she was seeing and experiencing around her. “When I was pursuing a music career I decided to go to law school shortly after my undergraduate degree, because I wanted some of my passion for the arts to translate, to really help people. I was in front of the camera a lot and as a musician, as well as an actress, I felt the need to be a voice for people in my community of music theater.” She did not like how she was being treated or how others were being treated. “And I thought it would be a good way to be a voice for them.” While working in entertainment law she has also worked in general business areas and has found that people needed help getting through tough times when family legal matters arise. “I have found that over time, at the end of the day, people just really need someone to help them through one of the toughest phases in their lives.”
Children need those tools to they need to learn how to resolve conflict in a very mature way
She often has to give communication advice to clients, especially in family law situations, where emotions can run high. She’s a family law specialist and an expert in managing shared parenting. One of her goals is to get acrimonious parents out of the courtroom and into her workshops. Successful co parenting, she says is about good, honest, open communication. “I think that a healthy dialogue about issues that concern you should be had maturely and reasonably and respectfully. When I coach my co parenting clients, and when I’m in the middle of a very high conflict, divorce with children, I will tell my clients look, you have to learn how to communicate effectively, not fly off the handle with such heated emotion, not react in the moment, and not project all of your anger and frustration at the other person, especially when your children are watching. Children need those tools too, they need to learn how to resolve conflict in a very mature way. And I think that’s where a lot of issues arise with couples, because they don’t know how to resolve those conflicts in a healthy mature way.”
Grace is Amazing
Very often she believes it is about showing grace and understanding for the other person. “I firmly 100% agree that we wouldn’t have such polarizing views in the realm of politics these days. I believe people are so quick to judge without that compassion, they don’t put themselves in the other person’s shoes, they don’t care to know.”
So many people are so worried about what their next line is, or what they want to say next, that they don’t take the time to listen
Her acting skills especially the art of listening have been very useful to her in her work and she uses these skills daily. “I learned to hone in on what people are saying, really saying. Being a good actress or actor, is someone who can react, who can hear what the other person is really saying, who can feel the emotion of the other person, be sensitive to it, be leaning in and turn tuned in to that, and then reacting accordingly. So many people are so worried about what their next line is, or what they want to say next, that they don’t take the time to listen to what that other person is saying. And therein lies once again, the disconnect between people, between communities, between civilizations, it’s that skill, that we are so devoid of right now that really needs to be honed in on and for many people.” There is no room for violence in relationships she stresses. Instead maturity and the ability to listen and show empathy can go a long way to help finding resolutions to conflicting emotions.
Get A Handle on Your Finances
One of the best pieces of financial advice she would give to anyone entering a marriage or relationship, is to be open and honest about finances and she says this is the mature thing to do.
“Make sure you protect yourself with an understanding and have the knowledge of the money going in, and the money going out. If you’re in a marriage, for instance, I see this often with women, they tend to let the man handle it, they trust that the man will do everything. They feel good that their quote unquote man is taking care of them, which is all well and good. I’m not judging that. But what I caution women to do, is to truly get a hold of it. Because we can’t predict every contingency in life. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We look at things with the best of intentions. You go into a marriage hoping it’ll be forever, but with a 50% plus divorce rate across the globe, we know that that’s not always the case. So you must arm yourself with the knowledge. Nowadays for someone to claim ignorance or a mistake or naivete is, in my opinion, a little too immature and they’re not really thinking of the well being for themselves or their or their children and they’re doing themselves a disservice.”
Sabrina helps people with prenups and post nups. Post nuptial agreements were a concept new to the podcast so she explains the various situations where couples draw up an agreement when circumstances especially financial situations change.
“A post nuptial agreement is one entered into after you’re married. And sometimes they’re done with the contemplation of a divorce, it helps to solve and resolve certain issues and potential areas of conflict, if there were to be a divorce. And oftentimes, proponents are done, for instance, if the two people that are married did not really have any assets to begin with, they didn’t have any family inheritances, they didn’t have any business, so to speak, prior to getting married. A postnup is done if one of the parties perhaps is getting some sort of a windfall, some sort of inheritance, if there is a blended family situation, and certain things arise in that if there is any kind of an estate planning issue. So there’s a lot of different reasons.
Pearls Of Wisdom
Sabrina has some terrific Pearls Of Wisdom and encourages women to not let fear hold them back from pursuing what is in their hearts. She also encourages women to persevere and not to let fear get in the way of good communication and growth. Everybody deserves happiness she says but you must be willing to work at it. “If you’re in a situation that is uncomfortable or is not bringing about the results you want, or at least for instance at work, or the feelings you want with your spouse, or your friend, or whatever it is, then do the hard work necessary, figure out how to reach that other person to communicate effectively, to reach them in a way that they can hear you.” Always level up, she advises and try to be your best version of yourself at all times. It’s important in our lifetime, to realize that if you’re not growing, you are dying. “I firmly believe with every aspect of your life, whether it’s mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, professionally, if you are not learning how to grow and achieve something more, then you’re settling and then you are, you’re not becoming the best version of yourself at all times.” This takes work and it takes discipline she says.
Sabrina is a great believer in taking stock of your success and appreciating what you already have in life. “When you’re grateful for what you have, even if you want more, you are appreciating the beauty in your life at the moment, everything that you’ve worked so hard for, to get to right now, you’re not undermining your value. You’re grateful for everything that you have that’s in your surrounding, that your family, your health and your well being. Your mind can’t go to the negative.”
For more information about Sabrina Shaheen Cronin listen to the podcast and check out her work on her website.