Divorce: Embracing Changes

 The image that inspired this blog post. It's from the Abraham-Hicks Perpetual Flip Calendar,  available here . With a beautiful image and quote for every day of the year. However, not all of the quotes will make sense, if you're not familiar with Esther Hicks' concepts.

The image that inspired this blog post. It's from the Abraham-Hicks Perpetual Flip Calendar, available here. With a beautiful image and quote for every day of the year. However, not all of the quotes will make sense, if you're not familiar with Esther Hicks' concepts.

“It is not possible to stand still, or be stuck, because Energy, and therefore life, is always in motion.

“Things are always changing. But the reason it may feel to you as if you are stuck is because while you are continuing to think the same thoughts, things are changing — but they are changing to the same thing, over and over.

“If you want things to change to different things, you must think different thoughts. And that simply requires finding unfamiliar ways of approaching familiar subjects.” — Esther Hicks

Wow. This is one of the most clear and concise descriptions of law of attraction as it impacts healing from divorce (or anything else).

Change how you look at things, and the things you look at change. Click here for a recent post of mine with a beautiful visual representation of how this works.

But is it that easy? It’s like when someone is tired of you whining about your divorce and says, “Just snap out of it!”

Law of Attraction Divorce Edition

Author (and Abraham-channeller) Esther Hicks says, “find unfamiliar ways of approaching familiar subjects.” She also likes to talk about constantly “beating the drum” of what you don’t want, and being surprised when you keep getting that thing you don’t want, or when everything keeps getting worse no matter what you do.

It’s actually not that things are getting worse no matter what you do. They’re getting worse because of what you’re doing . . . and not doing.

Allowing your mind to stay in dangerous places (despair, jealousy, revenge, blaming yourself) creates a fertile breeding ground for these self-destructive emotions and helps them to gain strength. And, all of this pain and negativity clouds your vision and makes it virtually impossible for you to take the actions that will help you grasp the hand of hope, see the beauty even in the midst of sadness, and feel a little bit better each day.

So, yes, I said that you’re allowing your mind to stay in dangerous places. But you certainly don’t feel like your “allowing” anything. Your emotions right now may be so strong that you feel you have no control over them.

<< Check out this blog and video for some solutions when your emotions won’t give you any peace. You’ll see one of the many techniques I offer that interrupt these excruciating thoughts and emotions — just for a moment — so you can disconnect the agony, interrupt its hold on you, and then have the choice to say no to it. >>

Once you can interrupt this relentless inner machine of trying to figure out what went wrong, how you can get him back, what he’s doing now, what will happen to the kids, how you’ll survive . . . the law of attraction part is: What thoughts and emotions will you put in place of what you have been thinking and feeling?

Your Thoughts = What You Get

Your thoughts train your mind, body, and emotions. They program you for what you believe and what to expect from life.

This is so important because you get to choose these thoughts. They should be intentional and not coming from the deepest place of your internal agony.

These should be affirmations about what you want and what you decide you will have, not about what you don’t want and the victimization that you’re feeling.

What you are thinking hundreds of times a day is what you will keep seeing in your life and what you will continue to attract more of. It’s so simple.

And, if you don’t believe it, just try it.

Try This:

Say “Cancel!” every time you find yourself on the hamster wheel of destructive thoughts — the ones that make you feel terrible, scared, weak, and small every time you think them. Just notice how many times a day you have to say “Cancel!”

Now, imagine that you started replacing those thoughts with something else. Something that makes you feel good. Something easy to remember to say.

“I am a good and worthy person.”

“I deserve happiness, and happiness is coming to me.”

Make it something that purposefully counteracts the worst of the constantly cycling thoughts in your head.

The Secret Sauce:

I know that this is not a complex technique. You don’t have to read a big book in order to use it and benefit from it. But it’s very powerful, if you use it consistently.

Being consistent is the only key. As humans, we like novelty. We get bored with staying consistent with simple techniques like this, which are so powerful if used and used and used. They become more powerful the more you use them.

But try it for seven days, and tell me what happens. Be consistent. By sticking with this one, small, magical practice, you are teaching yourself that you can count on you to be on your own side (and not think thoughts that make your life darker and weaker).

Know that you are a loving and lovable woman who does not deserve to torment herself when outside forces are already hurting you. You are the one person you can count on 100% to love and give emotional support to yourself, if you will only love the precious woman you are.

And, of course, I am here for you too. All you have to do is reach out. 🌸

 

Purging after divorce: How your stuff is your own personal psychic

Do you look around your post-divorce digs every night and feel like you just hate it all?

Are you still in your old house and wondering about letting go of all this stuff — about purging after divorce?  

Are you in your first apartment after divorce and wondering how you got all this stuff, and whether any of it still belongs?  Or maybe you’ve gotten rid of everything and embraced total minimalism after divorce -- but it feels cold and disconnected

Whatever stage you’re in, take a look around your living space as it is right now because your home is your own personal psychic.

Why your first apartment after divorce is the best psychic you’ve ever met.

If you want a quick snapshot of where you are in your divorce healing journey, look around you at your home or apartment.  Your home is a living organism, and it will tell you what you need to do to heal.

It’s better than an oracle deck when it comes to figuring out where you are and what you need to do next, even if nothing else you’ve tried has worked so far.

When you look around your personal space, what does it tell you?

What does your home currently say about the life that you’re living?

If this weren’t your home, what would be your guess about the kind of person who lives here?  When you get that “snapshot” of who this person is, does it match the person you are deep inside, the you that you want to be?

If you’d like your space to provide you with comfort, love, and support, there are just two steps to take. First, let your home tell you what’s going on inside it (and inside you), and second, letting it be your guide to what you’d like to change (and let the darkness begin to lift).

Step 1: Answers from the crystal ball.

What’s in your home? Why is it there? What’s the history, and how does it make you feel now? It’s time to take a quick overview of everything.  

Are there lots of items scattered around the house that remind you of your ex?  How do you feel when you encounter these objects every day?

Every time you open the closet or look at that bookcase, do you see the wedding album, or that DVD you both loved? They’re having a subtle emotional impact on you even if you’re not consciously noticing them.

What about the kitchen?  Are you still cooking dishes that were his favorites (because you or the kids like them, too, but every time you make those recipes, there’s an undercurrent of sadness)?  Are there pictures of him on the fridge because you don’t want to upset your kids?

The living room: Out of necessity, you still have most of your marriage-era furniture?  Do you just not have the strength to clean or straighten, so it’s looking like a war zone?

The bedroom:  Are you sleeping on sheets that you used during your marriage?  Did you always hate the color scheme, but needed to have something neutral or masculine, for his comfort level?  And, now that color -- beige or grey or blue -- is the color of your battered heart?

And, last, the most private inner sanctum: Your closet.  What’s in there, and what is it saying to you? Is it a total mess, crowded with dreary stuff that’s old and vaguely worn out?  Is it full of items that feel bad whenever you wear them because they remind you of that fight, or of how he criticized how you look?  Are you not even sure what’s in your closet that actually makes you feel good?

Now, let’s go from the dark to the bright: Which items throughout your home bring you the most joy? Maybe, right now, these precious touchstones of your beauty and value are hidden underneath layers of everything else.

When those dusty layers of “not you” are brushed away, it’s always so exciting for my clients to see what emerges.  A special vision of themselves comes into view, as if really seeing themselves for the first time.

That’s how your house gives you the best psychic reading ever.  It tells you where you are right now, and gives you hints of where you can be, with just a few simple changes.  The feeling of your living space transforms, as well as what you believe can be possible for you.

But before we get there, let’s uncover what you love by dealing with what you don’t.

Step 2: Sweeping away the broken glass.

What I notice happens so often with divorcees who seek me out:  They feel they have to put the broken pieces back together, when it can be so much easier. Broken glass is dangerous. It’s so much better to sweep it up and get another cup.

When you did your Step 1, what things did you find that depressed you the most?  What are you itching to throw away (or at least hide away in your garage)? If you have lots of things in your space that are so not you, grab some post-it notes to inspire you.

You don’t have to do it all now. Go easy on yourself.

Box-up or Goodwill the things that are easy to grab, and slap post-it notes on the rest.  The post-it notes will remind you of how something makes you feel, or what you plan to do with it, or how you plan to dispose of it.  

Reassure your spirit that you are going to let her shine, even though you can’t get to everything right now.

Hate the color of that wall?  Throw a post-it note on it that says you’re going to get some paint chips to look at. Next time some cute bedspreads come across your newsfeed, take a screenshot.

Need to move marriage and family memorabilia out of your path?  Find a new home for that family photo in your kids’ room.

Do something “creative” with the wedding gifts that are still in your kitchen and you never liked anyway -- maybe using a hammer when no one else is around.

“You don’t get it:  I can hardly make it to work every day.”

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Yes, I totally do get it!  If you can’t even bear to think about doing the two-step process above, I have a special gift for you.  My top 5 suggestions for creating a first apartment after divorce that nurtures you, supports you, and makes you feel beautiful.  You can pick and choose among the five “get started” steps, and none of them takes more than a few minutes to do. Check it out here:


Should it stay or should it go?

I thought you might like to hear how this divorce decluttering and nest-creation worked out for some of my Dynamic Divorcee clients and Facebook friends.  Here’s some of what they did to heal while staking out their own space and their own style:

“My first home post divorce was bigger than the home I had with my ex. At first I was terrified to do anything. So afraid after years years of his crap!! But I painted it and furnished it and made it my own. It slowly reflected me. I was able to hang pictures on the walls but out nice things. He broke everything that was mine or in some way ruined or sabotaged what I tried to create. As I healed the house became more of a reflection of the home I wanted it to be. It showed  me what I could and more importantly let my kids see me get back up.” -- Teryl

“I got divorced almost 2 years ago and when I moved out I wanted a clean slate. Similar to the story posted on your post, I also finally bought the couch I wanted and chose the furniture and colors I wanted. I am for the first time very happy with my place. During my marriage I was very unhappy with my house and the furniture in the house. Our living room had the furniture from his old house (which I hated) and he never agreed to update anything. I love my place now and I am very happy with it and my new life.” -- Marciel

“My first post-divorce home was a small apartment about half the size or smaller than our marital home. When I left he wouldn’t let me have anything so I had a blank slate. I created my calming “beach house” retreat. I bought the fun blue plates I had always wanted, a white couch, bright colored comforters for the beds. And after leaving the atheist, I was able to put out my spiritual statues and hang positive quotes around. Rather than a toned down me, I was able to be fully and happily myself. My children and I even had a house blessing circle with all of my yogi friends and best friends when we moved in. I’m still here 7 years later with my new husband.” -- Hillary

“I'm remarried now. But it was the bed. It had to go. I bought a new one when I left. I told him to take our king-size when the divorce was final and I moved back into my house. He moved into my apartment. It might have been more practical for me to keep our old bed - it was already in the house, and the queen-size bed was already in the apartment. Plus the master bedroom in the house was big, whereas the larger bedroom in the apartment was much smaller. I didn't care. No way was I sleeping on the bed we had shared, not even for one night. Our court date was in the morning. He moved out with his bed, and I moved back in with mine in the afternoon.” -- Linda

“All the furniture. I replaced it all. It was no longer our space it was mine. So i bought the black couches I had always wanted and the decorations I always wanted. Put up pictures of all my friends and voila!! He was forgotten.” -- Claudia

“Left everything behind including those ‘friends’ that at the end ware not! I got rid of everything that reminds me of my ex and the last of him is gone just about few weeks ago when I found pictures of him. I moved to a small apartment but I always kept telling myself is only a transition to a better life!...and it was! I got new furniture, new clothes, new house, new friends and the best of all I have God and peace of mind. I left him with everything I bought in that apartment glad I did a least he has something to offer to his new wife.” -- Julia


And, in case a divorce decluttering guidebook would help . . .

Here are some of the books divorcees said were most helpful:

Post-Divorce Depression: Do less, not more

Are you so devastated by all of the divorce-related changes in your life that you honestly can't imagine having to do even one more thing?  When people talk about self-care, does it literally make you angry?

Divorce depression often doesn't respond well to, "Come on, get back on your feet!  Keep busy!  It's, your job to get over him!"

Sometimes, our inner voices can be much harder on ourselves than the advice everyone else is offering.

PLEASE NOTE:  This blog post is written for women who are experiencing feelings of depression as a result of events surrounding divorce.  If you have a history of chronic depression, this information is not meant to replace medical care.

Make doing less your first priority

Your mental state is trying to tell you something:  It's exhausted.  So why not try honoring that inner exhaustion by stopping the mental struggle to do more.  Instead, do fewer of the things that are keeping you stuck.

Ask yourself:  What things are hurting you that you can stop doing right now?  Give yourself a few moments to think about it, because this may be the most powerful question you can answer.

I'm talking about thoughts, relationships, or activities that always make you feel worse in the end.  I call them "feeding the monster."  The monster isn't truly real, but we can make it real by continuing to nourish it with our attention.

Instead of adding things to your to-do list (which makes your day seem even more overwhelming), consider the relief you'll get by subtracting rather than adding.

To get you started, here are a few things you might want to stop feeding:

  • Habitual thoughts you have that always make you feel bad (and you're not even sure they're true).

  • Scary thoughts about your new life that tend to paralyze you into inaction (and, again, you're just focusing on the worst things that could possibly happen -- and that probably won't happen).

  • Focusing on everything wrong that everyone else is doing, and what they should be doing instead (your ex, his family, his new girlfriend, your family and how they're not helping . . .).

  • Listening to everyone else's divorce horror stories and imagining that they apply to you.

  • Engaging in self-destructive, self-medicating activities such as drinking way too much, or eating a mostly high-fat and high-sugar diet.

  • Spending most of your free time with whiners, complainers, and downers.

  • Worrying about things that you know you can't change right now.

  • And anything else that you want to have less of in your life. If you want less of it, stop giving it your attention.

Does it make sense that when you stop feeding the monster, it will quiet down, eventually give up, and go away?  You don't have to do anything special for this to happen -- just consciously undo at least one thing. 

How to start undoing the pain

From the bad-feeling list you came up with, choose no more than three items you want to stop doing.  Just one item to focus on is excellent.  I'd pick the one that hurts you the most.

I ask my clients to write their "undo" item on a postcard -- colored ink and doodles a plus : ) -- and there's also a strange magic to laminating the card (somehow it makes it more real). Here's my favorite source for self-adhesive DIY "lamination" without the machine.  

Have your card with you, in view, as much as possible.  For the first week, you'll probably have to keep reminding yourself that you are choosing not to do ______________________.  

Check in to see if it's working

If you don't check in with yourself at least twice a day, you might not realize how well this undoing exercise is working.  You might even want to make a second postcard that says, "Don't forget to see if it's working."  

A couple of times a day -- at lunch and before bed -- check in with your feelings and see whether you're feeling a little better than you did when you started the undoing.  If you're not feeling an improvement, check in to see if you are keeping your postcard in mind and truly not doing the thing that's hurting you.

This really works.  But.  It takes a little bit of time to change a habit that you've been relying on.

Remember, we've been trying to comfort ourselves with these hurtful thoughts, low-vibe people, and too much of other activities that don't give the reward and solace we think they will.  

Don't make this a struggle, just gently keep bringing yourself out of the thought or behavior.  Leave the negative conversation a little earlier than you would have before.  Have one cocktail fewer.  Eat just half the container of ice cream.  Put aside the tormenting thought just some of the time.

By undoing these things, space will be created in your life for new, different influences to come in and cheer you up.  If you need some help with deciding what to undo, and feeling safe to try it, please get in touch with me.

What to do while you're undoing

So far, we've been talking about the kinds of thoughts that hurt rather than help.

Curious about what sort of thoughts will help you heal and feel more powerful and beautiful? 

I've made a little 6-minute audio for you, called Divorce Healing Morning Affirmations.  I talk you through a quick morning meditation that sets you up to create and experience your day the way you decide it should unfold.  You can get the free download here.

Positive Affirmations for Divorce: A Morning Meditation {{free download}}

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Do you feel that your day is out of control before it even begins?  And these days, it's crazier than ever because of all of the emotions you're going through surrounding divorce, not to mention that your life is completely turned upside down?

If mornings are especially tough, check out my Happy Morning Routine: Divorcée Edition for some wonderful ideas you can try, and, of course, try this audio.

Read this first before listening:

Before listening to the audio, please take a few deep breaths.  Mentally scan your body to see where you are holding tension, and wherever you find that tension, breathe into it and let go.

This meditation will speak to you in the “I” form, as if you are leading yourself through the process.  

You'll be asked to do a few things that might be new to you:

At one point, you’ll be prompted to look within and to ask for inner guidance for today.  There will then be a few moments of silence for you to sit quietly and see what thoughts and images might come to you as inner wisdom -- advice or encouragement for the day ahead.

Then, you’ll receive the prompt to set an intention for what today will hold for you.  

See if an intention for the day comes to you.  If you didn’t feel that you received any inner guidance in the previous step, take this time to consciously envision how you want your day to unfold, in the best possible way.  

Your intention could be something general, like “happiness” or “peace” or “coping well,” or it could be very specific -- your intention on how you would like to deal with an event that’s coming up today.  Again, there will be a few moments of silence to see what comes to you.

Next, you’ll be asked to create an affirmation based on your intention for today.  The affirmation is a phrase you’ll use to recenter yourself throughout the day.  It's a phrase that helps you remember and "affirm" how you consciously intend to experience your day.

It’s a few words that feel powerful to you, and that support your intention about how you want to live and how you want to be.

Finally, there will be a few moments of silence in which you are asked to repeat your affirmation to yourself several times.  Your affirmation should feel encouraging and wonderful to you.  If you don’t like the way it feels, go ahead and change it until it feels just right.

It’s likely that your inner guidance will be a little bit different every day, and that your intention and your affirmation will change, too.  If you do this meditation every day, you’ll find that inner guidance will come easier for you each time, and that encouraging words of self-affirmation will automatically come to you without thinking.

The last few moments on the audio guide you through the process of handling negative experiences and people who may be part of your day today, and remind you that you have the power to magnetize to yourself the kind of day that you want to have.

I hope you enjoy this time to focus your morning and your day.  Please leave your feedback and comments!  I love to hear the positive, and I also love to improve my offerings by learning what didn't work for you.

Here's the meditation:

I also made a DIY Morning Affirmations Audio creation guide for you, in case you're interested in personalizing your morning affirmation audio by making one for yourself. 

It walks you through 7 quick steps that will give you your own, personal, morning affirmations audio in less than 30 minutes.

Download it here.

5 Ways to Stop Hating Your Ex

One of the most emotionally draining and exhausting issues divorced women bring to me is:

  • "How can I stop hating my ex-husband?"

  • "Why am I still angry at my ex years later?"

Sometimes it helps to look at the reasons why it's difficult to let go of hate and anger before figuring out how to get free of those emotions.

Let's look at a few of the most common reasons that it feels so difficult to stop wasting your precious energy and emotions on hating your ex:

It's Easier to Focus on Him.  Hating your ex keeps you from focusing on yourself, and focusing on yourself can be scary.  But continuing to feed the flames of hate, just keeps you in limbo (and in pain).  It doesn't hurt him.  In fact it gives him an excuse to completely discount your feelings and belittle you, if you are still in contact.  You invite the "crazy woman" rep.

It's Not Fair.  You just feel so hurt.  And the things he did were (and are) so unfair.  Letting him off the hook by forgetting him is an affront to your sense of justice and all that is holy and right.  But, are you hurting him, really?  Are you getting through to him, really?  If he didn't care enough during your marriage, he certainly doesn't care now.  And, by staying in this place, you cast yourself as the victim, putting on the back burner the day when you'll be the victor over this.  If you've been waiting years for the sincere apology that never comes, this one's for you.

Self-Protection.  By continuing to be angry at him, you're hoping to protect yourself from being hurt or made a fool of ever again.  Deep down, you're reinforcing, within yourself, that you will not be fooled again -- by your ex or by anyone else.  You're drawing a line in the sand and telling yourself, and the world, that you're done with being disrespected.  But, can hating him really protect you from anything?  And, do you need hate and anger in order to protect yourself?  There must be a better way.

Keeping the Connection Alive.  You're staying connected to him (through pain, hurt, and anger) until another man comes to take his place.  If you choose to let go of these strong and powerful negative feelings, you're admitting to yourself that your marriage is over and that you're now on your own.  In many cases, it's not that you still want to be attached to him (in fact, most women would vehemently deny this).  It's that being all on your own is simply so terrifying -- even years later -- so you keep dancing the tango with these deeply hurtful emotions that, nevertheless, keep you connected to him.  But here's the rub:  The hate and anger toward your ex make it impossible to get closer to a loving partnership with someone new.

So, let's figure out a few ways to stop the madness.

Please note that none of the following strategies are about forgiving him.  We're just talking about getting to neutral on the anger and hate continuum.  We're talking about getting to a place where whatever he did or is doing just doesn't matter to you that much -- because you're busy with your own life and more in love with what you're doing than you are with hating him.

What to do when you're angry because . . .

1.  You can't stop rethinking the story:  Decide what it is that you think happened in your marriage, stick with that story, and keep reminding yourself that you are now letting it go. 

If, deep down, you know that your marriage was dead in the water for years, hold onto that knowledge and let it give you the strength to move forward, not backward. 

Do you feel that if you just keep rehashing it, over and over, an important new revelation will come to light?  These types of things reveal themselves, naturally, in their own time over the years.  The best way to have these epiphanies happen is to forget about it, let it go, and allow the answers to come to you on their own.  The longer you live, the smarter you get.

2.  You realize it was all a horrible mistake:  Sometimes, a marriage is just an awful mistake.  Sometimes, there is no deep, dark reason that he did what he did.  Sometimes, it has nothing to do with you.  Sometimes, it's really impossible to have anticipated that he was a pathological liar, a cheat, or whatever. 

Sometimes, a guy is able to hide any red flags so well that you just can't see them.  Now you feel like a naive, silly fool.   You were manipulated by a professional player, master manipulater, or narcissist.  How could you have let this happen?

Decide to let yourself off the hook and stick to it.  Don't go back there.  Commit to releasing the emotions of "I should have known better," every time they come up.  It's a decision you make.  It's a line you draw in the sand.  And it's a decision you may have to remind yourself of dozens of times a day:  "This is not worth my time, and I'm cutting my losses."

Figure out what you learned and how you can make a better choice going forward, and silently thank the jerk for being the vehicle that made you a stronger, wiser, more powerful woman.  Get out your girl-power playlist and listen to Fighter.

3.  You knew, even when you married him, that he wasn't the best choice:  Let's say you married him out of desperation.  Let's say that there were so many red flags that you could have used them to decorate a big box store for a going-out-of-business sale. 

You knew it.  And you shouldn't have done it.  

No amount of anger toward him will erase what happened.  Now is the time to focus on you, filling in the empty places in your heart and soul that allowed you to marry him, even though you knew he was trouble.

Now you know that when a man begs you to help him change, or tells you he can't live without you, these are code words for "Run!"

4.  You were the jerk and you're overcome by remorse:  You begged him to forgive you, but he decided he'd had enough.  Are you alternating between being disgusted with yourself, and being full of rage at him?  After all, he promised "until death us do part." 

It's time to step back and see yourself from the outside looking in.  Do you now have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to become a more loyal, more strong, more loving, and better human?  Well, that's already a big-enough job, and you need to feel strong enough to do that. 

You don't have the energy to make those important changes while obsessing over the missed opportunity with your ex, or being unhinged because he wouldn't give you another chance.  Change for yourself (not to manipulate him to come back), and change for your friends, family, and all of the relationships in your future.

5.  You're afraid you'll never be loved again, and your ex wasted a big chunk of your life:  You feel you're all out of chances to find real love because you wasted 10, 20, or 30 years on him.  You were comfortable enough, and now, what are you supposed to do?  Get on Tinder?  Are there men out there who are really capable of caring and being partners rather than hound dogs? 

First, please believe me that you have more time and chances ahead of you than you think you do.  You've just learned, the hard way, that people keep changing throughout their lives, and can want different things than they wanted yesterday.  We can't stop this from happening.  It's part of the human experience. 

Because of his choices, you now have an opportunity (even though it's unwanted) to have a different, bigger, more vibrant life -- just as he's doing. 

When you start obsessing about how wrong this situation is, gently shift your thoughts to yourself.  What kinds of things can you imagine or do that would make your life a little more comfortable now? 

What do you need most?  Friends?  Activities to keep your mind off him?  New dreams for the future to replace the dream you lost?  Don't just muse about these things; have a notebook handy (or note app open) and write them down.  Use these thoughts to deliberately shift away from anger toward your ex and transform the anger into the desire to explore what's next for you. (Putting it in written form makes it more real and less scary.)

Remember, we're not talking about forgiving him, we're talking about getting freedom from hating your ex.

Once you've cooled down your emotions, and feel that you have some control over the situation -- and some peace in your life -- there's plenty of time to think about the epic job of forgiving him.  Or not. That job entails not just a one-time event, but committing to mentally and emotionally forgiving him over and over and over, at a much deeper level than simply re-channeling hate into energy you can use elsewhere in your life.

For some tips from author Valorie Burton about forgiveness (should you choose to explore that), check out this blog post where I include her on video.

But, my suggestion?  First work on dialing back the negative emotion before even considering trying to forgive.

Want to share about challenges you're facing around strong negative emotions toward your ex?  Please comment below.

Happy Divorcée Morning Routine (yes, a better morning is possible)

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Are mornings one of the worst times of all for you as a divorced woman?   Do you pull the covers over your head and can't bear the thought of facing another day?

Do you feel that you just need quiet undisturbed time to process what's going on in your life and have time to comfort yourself, and instead you're trapped on a hamster wheel of obligations, career, and thoughts about your ex?  

Not to mention the inner obligation that you feel inside in terms of how you're allowed to act and feel.

One of my beliefs -- proven over and over by so many clients -- is that you can greatly accelerate your emotional healing by taking small steps of self comfort that will allow you to begin to see the value you truly have. 

The importance of how you see and value yourself is ultimately much more important the opinions of others in your life.  Even though it doesn't feel like it right now.  I remember I felt I'd been down so long I couldn't even remember the last time I'd felt great or even good.  Marriage had been cutting me down to size for years at that point.

From the outside, friends said that it was incredible how well I was handling my ex's betrayal, all the secrets that kept being revealed by the other woman as if my ex's hidden life was being pumped into my veins by intravenous drip . . . but, on the outside I was cool and sarcastic, making fun of it all.

But it didn't feel that way when no one else was around.

Wallowing in grief and anger didn't give me any relief, so I started to come up with little mind-shifts for myself -- to make my life more about me and less about him.  So here's another one of those strategies:

Let's take back control of those early-morning moments when you have to wake up (like it or not), and let's make them something that adds to your happiness, and gives you the most empowering and encouraging start to the day.  

Morning truly does set the pattern for your day, and a stressful or rushed morning takes time to overcome -- so let’s not have any ugh! oh noooooo! morning scenarios that make you want to pack the day in before you even start.

In case you prefer to watch instead of read the rest of this post:

Want the printable that walks you through the steps and makes it easy?  Get it here:

Unlike other Miracle Morning schemes you may have seen, I'm not going to suggest you wake up earlier.  My clients are already exhausted, and often aren't sleeping through the night, so this is more about using the time you have in a self-nurturing way, not about putting yourself through some kind of high-powered productivity bootcamp.

This is all about using those first few minutes (when you're awake but can't bear to start your day yet), in a way that makes you feel hopeful about today.  Let's find a way to make that quiet time really delicious for you, so that you will look forward to it, instead of waking up to, "Yeah.  I'm still here.  My life is still in the garbage."

1. Get everyone on board.  If you don't live alone, let the others in your life know that you need a little quiet time first thing in the morning, and set some boundaries, if you need to.

 Mom Cave sign, ready for laminating and posting to your bedroom door as part of our rock-your-morning freebie package (see the sign-up box above).

Mom Cave sign, ready for laminating and posting to your bedroom door as part of our rock-your-morning freebie package (see the sign-up box above).

For example, If others in your life are disrupting your quiet time while your bedroom door is closed, you may want to put a sign on your bedroom door indicating whether or not you're ready for interruptions yet.

For more on this, if you have kids at home, don't miss step 3.

2.  Turn your bedroom into a luxury spa experience. What can make your bedroom atmosphere feel more like you're on a luxurious vacation? How about moving your coffee maker into your bedroom, and putting a little mini fridge in there too, so that your morning coffee and cream are no more than a few steps away? Or maybe tea is your beverage of choice. Whatever it is, you can have it set up the night before, and enjoy it before you ever leave your bedroom door and greet the others in your space.

Have a few items on your bedside table that help you reconnect to the person of infinite possibilities who lives inside you, and wants to have the chance to breathe and be herself during this day.  You might have a favorite invigorating scent, read a few pages of a favorite inspiring book, pick a card from a favorite oracle deck to inspire your day.  Or maybe something you feel is a little silly, like a stuffed animal . . . or anything comforting that you sit quietly with for those first few minutes of the day.  Just a way to center yourself: a beautiful and inspiring focus to your thoughts.  A way to remind yourself that "THIS is the way I want to feel today."

It's a mini spa for you.  A way to experience those small luxuries as if you are at a 4-star hotel.  A way to open your eyes in the morning and feel excited about those first 15 minutes.

A few ideas to get you started:

  • Have a sheet mask on your nightstand and refresh your face while you have your coffee or do a little inspirational reading.
  • Have your favorite song as your alarm wake-up and get out of bed dancing. (I know. You're telling me you're not feeling it. But you will, after the first five seconds.)
  • Prefer a quieter start to your day?  I love listening to positive affirmations first thing in the morning, and you can find something that appeals to you if you search "morning affirmations" on youtube.
  • Have someone who pesters you on the phone first thing in the morning? Try leaving your phone far away from your bed on silent the night before, so that your phone can’t disturb you for these essential first 15 minutes of your day.
  • Get my freebie, above, for a printable to help you figure out what you want your wake-up to be like (plus you get the Mom Cave sign).

3.  Kids at home?  Night-before prep sets you up for a luxurious morning.  Anything that makes mornings more stress-free for your kids, makes mornings more stress-free for you.

Here are a few ideas that have worked wonders for my clients:

  • All lunches and backpacks packed the night before.
  • Breakfast laid out the night before so the kids can grab breakfast while you're calmly getting your mind and emotions as close to where you want them to be as you can.
  • Morning quiet time:  Earbuds on (no loud devices) and no TV before a certain time of morning, if that's something that would make a huge positive impact on your day.

4.  Wake up, give yourself a hug, and set your intention for the day.  You've set everything in place the night before, and now it's time to test-drive your Happy Divorcée Morning Routine.

As you enjoy your in-room morning beverage, relax for a few more moments in bed, take some relaxing deep breaths, and in these quiet moments, visualize how you want your day to proceed. 

If you anticipate some rough spots, see yourself handling them with ease and any difficulties evaporating away. 

If you like positive self-talk, let your inner wisdom suggest a phrase to repeat today that will keep you centered in the mood you want to experience.  (My next blog post will be all about how to create your own morning affirmation audio, and you'll have the chance to download the one I created for myself.)

You can be thinking these centering thoughts and blessing yourself with positive visualizations at the same time that you're showering yourself with love using some of the "spa" suggestions you set up in step 2 the night before.

5.  At around 10 this morning, take a moment to check in with how you're feeling.  Did your new morning routine help (even just a little bit)?  Small gains are incredibly important when healing from divorce, and these gains can be built upon a little more every day.

If you've been following this series of posts, these practices are always there for you to fall back on when something unexpectedly negative happens, when your ex has a fit, or when you have a setback of any kind.

You can use any of the practices I've been sharing (tiny infusions of joy, bedtime ritual, or happy morning routine) to help you re-center yourself and find peace in the midst of the whirlwind.

Life may be pushing you around, but why do the same thing to yourself?

Challenging and emotionally devastating times of life such as the divorce process and the months and years following divorce call for special measures to take back your life.  To recreate your life in a way that has strong positive meaning for you.

And because this is a time that can carry with it so much sadness, and such a big hit to self-esteem and your sense of who you are, this self-creation process has to be soft and comforting rather than bootcampy in its nature.

If you missed the previous posts (and videos) in this series, find them here:

Want the step-by-step printable for the happy morning routine?  Here you go:

As always, I would love to hear your experiences with mornings and these divorce life hacks.