Going through a divorce is a very challenging time in a person's life. It is hard to adjust to being single again, as well as living "out of the habit" of being married, especially if you have been married for many, many years.
Eventually, you begin to think about dating, but it is suggested that you take your time. Use this precious opportunity to rediscover yourself. Think of this time in your life as an adventure to explore the real you. If you have worked outside the home combined with being a mom and wife for the last ten, fifteen or twenty years, you may have lost yourself along the way. Certainly not on purpose, but as most women try to do it all as "super" moms, many times we put our own wants and needs on hold to keep our families and jobs running smoothly!
Take a deep breath and let's start to rediscover our true passions and say... Will the Real Me Please Stand Up!
1) Treasure Your Gifts Within
Realizing we are all born as "gold nuggets" is a hard concept for many women to believe about themselves. Think about how magnificent you really are! Over time, you might have forgotten your unique gifts and are only thinking of what you don't like about yourself or your life. Set a new intention, starting today, to list all of your great qualities and read that list everyday. Keep reading it until you believe it. Examples: beautiful smile, kindness, generosity, loving, caring, intelligent. keep going. Your list is endless, when you start focusing on your great qualities. Allow yourself to see the shining gold within. It's already there!
2) Give Yourself A Break
During and after a divorce it is common to have the feeling of grieving, similar to that of the loss of someone. Many women feel the need to stay busy to keep their minds off of this stressful time, such as working overtime or cleaning the house from top to bottom, but let this time also include pampering yourself. For example, barter with a friend or neighbor to watch your children or leave work early to give yourself this needed time. Yes, you do deserve to do something special for yourself. It can be as simple as taking a bath or a walk, going to the mall or reading a book with your favorite cup of tea. Give yourself permission - it's O.K. Remember, the happier you are, the happier your family will be!
3) No regrets! No bitterness!
Holding onto regrets and bitterness will only keep your life from moving forward. Is your inner voice working overtime with all the "what if's" and "if only's"? This is normal for a period of time, but ask yourself... are these thoughts serving me or helping me feel better? Will thinking about them over and over again change anything? To move your life forward, it is important to acknowledge your feelings and to learn from your past experiences to prepare yourself for the next exciting chapter of your life. Yes, there is life after divorce. Learn to let it go! Just, let it go! A quote from Buddy Hackett, "I never hold a grudge because while I am being angry, the other person is out dancing."
4) Enjoy the Little Things
Life after divorce usually means added responsibilities. If you are a single parent or are now the one responsible for the once shared to-do list, how do you handle it all without being totally stressed out? To start, learn to laugh more, especially at yourself. Learn to let things go and not take life so seriously. Lighten-up! Learn to live in the present moment. Living in the present is where all the "good stuff" in life happens. Yesterday is gone forever and tomorrow's worries are tomorrow. Think of it this way, when one is missing this moment in time, one is missing out on one's life.
So how do we live in the present? If you are feeling stressed, immediately leave your thoughts in your head and take off your blinders. (Blinders similar to what a horse would wear, not allowing it to see from side to side). Start to look around you. I mean really look around you. Look closely at everything. Really focus. Use all your senses! For example, if you are with your children observe them. Cherish their smiles. Give them a hug. See the true beauty of who they are and appreciate them for being a part of your life. You will start to feel your stress subside and a feeling of peace sweep over you. To be present, no matter where you are, use all your senses to pull you back into the moment. Take time to appreciate all the beauty that already exists around you. You only have to be present to see it!
5) What Makes Your Heart Sing?
What really matters to you? What do you feel is your true purpose in life? If someone asked you that question, how would you answer them?
Why is it so important to be clear on what your life's purpose is? Knowing your purpose, will give you a true sense of who you are and why you were put on this earth. It gives your life direction and helps you make clear and easy decisions concerning that direction. It's your compass! Without a purpose, can your life be compared to a piece of driftwood? Floating endlessly in whichever direction the tide decides to take it and ending up on any beach with no will of its' own. When you live your life based on your purpose you are living in integrity with yourself and are in alignment of who you really are in all aspects of your life - body, mind and spirit. Take this time to focus on what really matters to you. Feel the true passions that exist in your heart and write them down.
6) What Are Your Vibes Saying About You?
Are you familiar with the Law of Attraction? Maybe you have heard the expressions, "What you think about, you bring about" or "The more attention you give to something, the more attention it will give to you." When going through a divorce, your emotions can be compared to a roller coaster ride. Use this time to become reconnected to your inner awareness of who you are. Recognize if your feelings are low energy or high energy.
A few examples of low energy are stress, negativity, fear, resentment, or a sense of lack (lack of time or money) and high energy is joy, abundance, happy, positive, love or compassion. If you are having feelings of low energy, how do you make a shift to feel more of the high energy?
First, acknowledge and accept the feelings you are having. Be gentle with yourself! Your goal is to make a shift, but realize you might not be able to go from low to high instantly. Start with baby steps! Repeat step number three and become present! Be thankful for what is working in your life right now. Do something simple like pat your pet, smell a flower or, if you are in the office, take a minute to think of a previous fun time or experience you have had that could bring a smile to your face. Feel the shift you are starting to make in your energy.
Now, to amp up this high-energy feeling, think of another time of joy or something you were passionate about in your life. Keep adding these thoughts to your high-energy feeling and begin to feel great! Does it seem the people or situations around you have changed or is it you who has really changed? So, who has the power to feel their own joy? When you are feeling your high energy, this is the time to take your next inspired action. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something with ease and less effort!
7) Be True To Yourself
During and even after a divorce, we are often filled with doubts. We question ourselves about what is right, what to do or how we feel. Should I or shouldn't I? It seems difficult to make a decision. Listen to your heart. What feels right? What doesn't feel quite right? If a situation does not feel right, honor your resistance by pausing or waiting. Sometimes waiting is the best thing to do. By waiting you may have allowed the situation to unfold more easily without having to worry! If a decision feels good or right, usually that means you are heading in the right direction. When we listen to our hearts, we are in integrity with ourselves. When we are in integrity with ourselves, we learn to say NO more easily.
Has this ever happened to you? You are asked to be on a committee or to volunteer for something and you say yes, even though you know it will make your schedule even tighter or you really don't want to or have to?
How do you stop this from happening? Next time you are in this situation and you are ready to say yes, yet, find yourself having doubts, try this . STOP! Take a breath or even take a step back (this action will prevent you from saying yes). Pause! Thank the person for thinking of you, but let them know you will have to check your calendar and get back to them. When you do have time to think about it, focus on how you are feeling. Are you excited to volunteer or do you feel some resistance? If in a day or two you are still feeling doubtful, realize the timing might not be right for you. If you are still excited, join the committee and have fun!
Divorce is not easy or fun, but you can make it through this time of your life by realizing you WILL make it! Also, honor yourself and listen to your heart! Your true purpose and passions are waiting to be rediscovered within you! When you have discovered the "gold nugget" you already are, you will start to live your life with more ease and enjoy the feeling of peace. "You are truly free!"
Copyright 2004 by Joanie Winberg. All Rights Reserved.
Joanie Winberg, Certified Business/Life Coach, Certified Laughter Coach and Professional speaker, founder of Success and Life Coaching. Joanie specializes in working with groups of women after divorce and after 50+ years. For additional information contact Joanie Winberg at 508-947-2750 or http://www.successandlifecoaching.com.