7-Day Divorce Healing Facebook Jumpstart

How can I make it even quicker and easier to emotionally heal from divorce?

As a divorce recovery coach, I ask myself this question every day.

To the left, you can see one of my favorite memes that I created to help my dynamic divorcees get a few quick emotional wins right away, so that they'll believe that the process I take them through really works.

And, I just started thinking . . . this is a valuable little exercise for anyone who follows me and reads my stuff.

It can stand alone as a way to believe that you are never stuck, even if it feels that way.  You can always shift the view to something that gives you enough hope to wake up the next day and take the next step.

So, my question is: Do you want to try this?  With me, for free, on Facebook.

Get a little support in doing for yourself what you wish he had done for you. You know the things. Ask yourself what you need. Then, give it to yourself.

Feel that you are worthy to deserve excellent treatment from yourself. Stop hurting yourself by feeling that, if you were "good enough" or worthy enough, he would have treated you better. Your worth had nothing to do with how he behaved. You make yourself more beautiful to the outside world by how well you treat yourself.
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Receive support in developing the new habit of reminding yourself, throughout each day, of the things you love about you. Stuck on this one? What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What were your passions before you got married? What do people tend to compliment you on?

Learn how to cheer yourself on when no one else seems to know what you need or has time to give it. Remind yourself that YOU KNOW the value of the spirit inside you. Deep down, YOU KNOW that you were meant for more than where you are right now.

7-Day Jumpstart on Facebook: 

Would you like some free, online support, over 7 days, to try the simple steps above?  Let me know!  Comment below this post, or, if you're seeing this on Facebook, comment on the post!

UPDATE 8.7.18: I've heard from a bunch of women who are saying yes to the 7-Day Self-Love Facebook Jumpstart.  So . . . the seven days will begin the week after Labor Day, starting Sunday, Sept. 9 and finishing on Saturday, Sept. 15.  The best way to make sure you get all of the details is to contact me here and let me know you want in on the Jumpstart : )

 

Divorcee Life: Becoming Succulent

Yes, you, succulent.  Juicy, moist, luscious, ripe, soft, and tender.

No, this isn't going to be about sex.  And, isn't it funny that, when we read a word like succulent, we don't think about it as relating to how we experience ourselves, but rather think of ourselves as objects of pleasure for others?  But that's another story . . .

This one's about taking care of ourselves, no matter what the outside "weather" conditions may be.

Self-care can be a difficult concept to get excited about, because it sounds like even more work than we're already doing.  Every.  Single.  Day.

But, I'm already too burned out to do more!

Wait, wait!  I'm not trying to convince you to get yourself to a nail salon, or have time-consuming massages, or spend hours at the gym -- or to crowd your already scarce after-work schedule with more self-care chores at home.

I'm talking about self-nourishment that's low maintenance, and using succulent plants as a beautiful example.  Because, if you're a succulent, self-care is easy and fun, rather than having to be a plant that needs all sorts of special attention:  fertilizer, pruning, a precise amount of sun, regular watering schedules . . . .

Nourish yourself from the inside out by embracing what you need.

I love succulents because they remind me that I can be easily and happily self-sustaining.  

Succulents don't do anything extra.  They just retain water in their leaves and stems so that they don't need as much care from the outside.  They nourish themselves from the inside out.

Have you taken a look at any succulent plants lately?  They're shiny, colorful, and bursting with life.  They're not dry, crunchy, or shriveled.  They invite you to admire them.  They look friendly, happy, and juicy.

And, guess what?  Because they have plenty of water inside, they do great in arid, harsh climates and can flourish in dry soil.  They're drought resistant because they've been saving up and taking care of themselves all along.  They hoard that nourishment!  They store that water!

Guess what else?  They're easy to propagate.  These plants have so much surplus love to give that when a leaf falls off, you can just stick it in the ground and a new plant takes life.  No waiting for roots to grow, no babying, no special techniques.

It's almost impossible to kill these plants.  Because they take care of themselves, and they make very good use of the water and care they do receive.

There's a lot to learn from these glossy, happy plants that can deal with the driest, most pitiless conditions.

If you feel that life and circumstances are out to kill you, there's a lot to learn from these glossy, happy, friendly plants that can deal with the hottest, driest, pitiless conditions.

I want to be like them!  (That's why I love to have succulents around my house, and love to give baby plant cuttings -- that I bless with good vibes -- as gifts.)

What does it mean to be like a succulent plant?  A succulent woman doesn't let everything she has slip through her fingers.  She holds something in reserve in case she needs it.  She doesn't have to worry about running on empty or burning out.

It's cash in the cookie jar.  It's groceries in the fridge.  It's moisturizer.  It's a room of one's own.

Why is succulence such a hard sell, when it's what we need most?  Why does it always have to be couched in the language of serving others: "Put on your oxygen mask first.  You can't give from an empty well."

Socially approved self-care versus real self-nourishment.

Why isn't it okay to need what we need in order to feel good?  Men feel great about taking what they need, and forget to think about others unless someone reminds them (and still feel great about ignoring any requests made of them) .   But it's not the same for us.

Why can't we give ourselves what we need, especially if it costs nothing but time?  What if the only cost is listening to our inner voice, and saying "yes" to our preference first, and accustoming others to getting their way after our own deep longing is met?

Society repeatedly tells us, in ways both spoken and unspoken, that a woman's worth is only based on how much and how well she can serve others.  This internalized belief (so deeply rooted that we don't even realize it's a belief -- it's just the "way things are") makes even much of what we think of as self-love or self-care part of our own servitude.  

Part of why we spend so much more money than men do on clothing, cosmetics, fitness classes, and salon and spa services is wrapped up in being desirable to men and being rated acceptable as women.   This way of being-sold-to by fashion magazines and cosmetic companies isn't really about fulfilling our deep needs as women; it's about measuring up.  It's about appearing attractive rather than feeling beautiful.

How all of this relates to feeling better after divorce:

If you came into divorce already depleted and dry, and perhaps didn't feel that you deserved to honor your own needs, no wonder you may feel that you're weak and withering.

Do you have a feeling of deep longing inside?  It's your need for nourishment speaking to you, crying out to you.  It's the signal that you're running on empty.  That you deeply need moisture to nourish the heart and soul of your body so that you can sustain yourself during the dry seasons.

Instead of begging for respect or validation from those around me (and, you know, the more you beg, the less you receive), I want to collect as much good juju as I can from what's already available.  

If the loving, positive friends you desire aren't in your life right now, what inspiring books can you read, by loving authors who seem as if their words are meant only for you?  Hug a bunch of people you meet in the course of your day, and find out who is a great hugger.  Dare to step outside the box of how you normally interact with the world around you.

Instead of feeling like I'm searching hard for what I crave, I want to see what I may have overlooked right next to me.  Who's already offering love, who's already in your corner, what kindnesses can you give to yourself.  What riches are you holding back from yourself that are easily in your own power to give?

Succulent baby steps:

1.  Meditation, succulent-style.  I've been trying to meditate since I was in my 20s, but, to tell you the truth, I had trouble seeing the point.  I didn't care about enlightenment; I cared about happiness in this world.

I found my own, non-traditional way. I like a more body-centered form of meditation, in which you sit still (or you can even do this while walking) and check in with how your body is feeling.  See if your breathing feels relaxed.  See if you feel at home in your body.  Are your clothes comfortable?  Are you thirsty?  Do you need to give yourself a hug?  What can you do to feel more comfortable in this moment?

2.  Say yes to yourself at least once a day.  This is especially important if the answer was always "no" growing up, and dreams have tended to be deferred in your adult life.  You even may have gone on to marry someone who was never onboard with anything you wanted to do.  

Now, you have a second chance to practice saying yes to yourself, especially in little ways that can make you happy.  When you need to get up from your desk and stretch for a few moments, let yourself do it.  Give yourself permission to try something different at lunch.  Say yes to those little desires that may seem foolish to indulge in.  Start finding out the small, easy things that would bring you a sense of comfort and happiness that's much greater than the effort you expend.

3.  Check in to see whether the ways you're currently nourishing yourself are truly nourishing, or are they simply a way to numb the pain rather than something that makes you feel good to be you?

This can be a little hard to figure out, if you're not sure what it means to feel good to be you.  

So let's take a look at those succulent plants again.  See how they look really happy to be who they are?  They're not reaching out, trying to climb somewhere or to go somewhere else.  They're grounded, settled, earthy, and strong.  They don't blow in the wind.  They don't reach out, begging you to admire them, touch them, smell them, or pick them to arrange in a bouquet.

Maybe the first step to feeling like that yourself is to pour yourself a nice glass of water, feed yourself with its loving, succulent, sustaining moisture, breathe, and see what it feels like just to be contented to be you for a moment or two.

A succulent doesn't have to fear the future.

So much of the pain of divorce is in the anticipation of even more difficulties ahead as you enter the single life.  But none of that has happened yet.  As you become succulent, and find ways to be at peace as a self-nourishing being, you can let go of panic over a stressful future that hasn't even happened yet (and that, most likely, will never happen to the degree you fear).

At this moment, you are breathing and you are safe.  You're making yourself as comfortable as possible so that you're making decisions from the best part of yourself, with your own well-being (and that of your children, if you're a mom) foremost in your mind.

You're taking in self-nourishment of every kind so that you don't need to depend on care from external sources.  Because you have all of those inner resources you've stored up, you are at peace for the duration, and you have time to consider what you want to do, where you want to be, and who you want to be with.

As always, I'm sending love to you, and, encouraging you to pick up an adorable little succulent plant as a companion on the journey -- and as a reminder that you can have fun slowly building up your loving inner succulence.

As a footnote, here's a TedX talk from author SARK, in which she talks about succulence, "how to dialogue with your inner critics, give them the love and support they're looking for, and assign them to new jobs, " and much more:

summer of (self) love: 5 things we can learn from the hippies

I'm doing a little giveaway today on my Facebook page.  I like to give away fun little things to my Dynamic Divorcees -- sometimes it's pixie dust, sometimes it's You Are Beautiful stickers . . . today it's a love bead necklace (plus, a You Are Beautiful gift bag).

Why love beads?

Because I've been wearing multiple strands of love beads all summer long, and, while I never had the pleasure of being a hippie, I've watched enough documentaries to know that this must have been a really fun time to be alive.

Kind of like the fun rebellion phase that every woman can allow herself to enjoy (at least a little bit) following a marriage that seemed mostly work and not much fun.

So, I present 5 things we can learn from the hippies:

1.  Express yourself.  Dance out your emotions; you'll feel better (even if you do it behind closed doors).  That thing you love but people have told you you're no good at?  Yes, it is for you -- no matter how many people have told you that it's not.  Paint with your fingers.  Dust off that guitar.  In the words of Cat Stevens:  If you want to be me, be me.  If you want to be you, be you.  There's a million things to do.  You know that there are.

2.  You do not have to be the poster child for perfection.  At this moment, your job really isn't to worry about what your parents think of you, what your kids think of you, and how you absolutely must hold it all together all by yourself.  Ask for help.  It will come from places you least expect.  Usually from the kindness of mere acquaintances and virtual strangers.  Opportunities will arise to try new things that you've always dreamed of doing.  Find ways to say yes.

3.  Be colorful and have fun with flowers.  Ditch the black yoga pants.  Grab the paisley.  I dare you to buy the $6.99 grocery store bouquet, and hand out single stems to grumpy-looking people on the way to your car.  Why?  It will be fun.

4.  All you need is love.  Self-love.  Make a deal with yourself that you'll be taking a brief break from the sheer weight of everything you're going through.  Step outside and feel the sun (or the clouds) on your face.  Make a list of things that can make you smile (such as daring to act a little bit like a goofy, blissed-out hippie).  All I really need to know I learned from The Beatles:  There's nothing you can do that can't be done.  Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.  Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.  It's easy. 

5.  Give peace a chance.  You may be feeling anything but peaceful, but the old cliche is true.  You're hurting yourself more than you're hurting your ex, who's most likely having a grand old time somewhere.  You don't have to make peace with anyone but yourself.  Light a candle, have a good cry whenever you need it, lean back against some comfy pillows, and slow down your breathing.   You are okay.  It is not all your fault.  You've already blamed yourself far too much.  And thinking about him will not make it better.  Close your eyes and smile to yourself, even if it's just for two minutes.  Sound crazy?  Try it.  You'll feel better.

And, get some love beads.  Just because.

when getting where you want to go seems too hard (how about those 50 pounds?)

It's really interesting to me how my various clients' needs seem to dovetail a lot of the time. Reminds me of that thing about women in college dorms all getting on the same menstrual cycle.

These days, just about all of my clients have expressed the desire to lose 50 pounds.  They're all saying the same number.  In some cases, weight has always been an issue.  In others, it's the stress of the separation and divorce process, with food becoming the only real source of comfort.

Along with the desire to shed a large number of pounds comes the feeling that it's just too hard to even contemplate getting started.  They're feeling exhausted, and not in the mood to get off the couch after a long work week and family responsibilities.  The ex isn't really helping with the kids, or the help comes at the high price of his acting like he's doing the family a big favor rather than wanting to fulfill his role as a dad.

Is it that my clients are lazy?  Definitely not.  I carefully assess potential clients before I agree to work with them, and in our initial conversations I have tried-and-true ways of finding out whether a woman will experience great success with me.  If there's a question in my mind about whether she'll follow through and get the big results that I promise, I'll never suggest working together.

When it comes to weight loss, though, I think many women just can't stand the thought of getting started, the possibility of failing or of it being too hard, and then being disappointed all over again.  My clients have been disappointed waaaaay too much, in too many ways, and they're very smart about picking their battles.

I love helping them on this because, if you can identify a really strong desire and find a way to make progress toward that goal, you can use those skills toward

any

goal.  It opens up a whole new world of being able to reach out and grab what you want.  This is the kind of future I want for my ladies, and I know it's possible.

First thing is to be sure that weight loss is a goal that is really important.  More important than enjoying food in the way that you've been enjoying it so far.  That's a subject unto itself, as is finding other ways to comfort yourself that will be as easy and as enjoyable as eating comfort foods.  So, sometimes, we look for new ways that clients can feel the sense of calm and relaxation that food can provide, and then it's easier to tackle the diet and fitness piece a little bit later.

A fun thing to do, though, is to create a

Pinterest

board where you can park all kinds of exercise and diet ideas that you might like to try.

Very important:  You're not committing to doing any of these ideas now.  

You're just collecting things that appeal to you.  Especially food ideas that are quick and easy (and

include lots of vegetables that you already like

).  Don't like vegetables?  It's time for a fun exploration of expanding your food choices, and finding vegetables that you can enjoy.  Sometimes, a big part of that can be how they're prepared.  On Pinterest, you'll find all kinds of interesting ideas (with beautiful, colorful pictures that make you happy just looking at them).

And, look for quick and easy video workouts that you think you might actually do.  Make a list of physical activities that you like (or that you used to enjoy).  Think about how you might be able to fit them into your life (maybe, at first, just once a week, and then twice a week . . . and watch it become something you look forward to and maybe even do some of these activities with friends).

Remember, this is just information-gathering.  After you do this for a while, you'll reach a tipping point where you feel motivated to pick something from your list and try it.

If you don't feel motivated after a few weeks of collecting things to try, then losing weight has not come to the top of your desire list yet.  Meditate on what you really want most right now.  Maybe it's related to making more friends.  Maybe there's a hobby, class, or activity that you really want to do. 

Making yourself happier is a through-the-back-door way to change your relationship to food.

This really is magic.

Whatever goal you may be dreaming about (even though it may seem too hard and too far away), think of some deceptively simple and tiny ways to start on it.  Things you can do that are so small and harmless that you won't be tempted to avoid doing them.  Then, be consistent about fitting that tiny, baby step into your life and watch the magic happen.

When you observe some small, but perceptible results from that one little thing you're doing, you'll get excited about adding one more tiny little step.

This really is magic.  Try it, see what happens, and please comment with your successes!

Of course, if you'd like some help from me, just get in touch to ask a question or two, or to schedule a get-acquainted call with me.

Divorcees: Give your life a vibration makeover.

Have you ever walked into someone's home and, visually, you couldn't spot anything unusual, but somehow, you couldn't wait to get out of there?

Or, maybe there was something you could see:  Drab, dingy colors.  Everything old and worn.  Dusty and musty.  Uncared for.

Maybe the people inside seemed a little bit anxious and edgy -- nothing you could really put your finger on, but there was something.  You just didn't feel comfortable.

How about the opposite?  Have you ever met someone for the first time, and there was something in her eyes, or in her handshake, or in her hug that made you feel so warm and understood and happy.  Even though you didn't know the person at all.

This is the power of vibration.  Everything and everyone has a vibration.

Last month, I asked women in my Facebook communities to tell me what made them feel beautiful.  The answers tended to fall into a few different categories:

  • Self-care (like going to the spa, exercising, buying a new pair of shoes . . .)
  • Receiving validation (like a hug or a compliment)
  • Making a difference (being of help to friends or family, teaching a class or a workshop, using talents)
  • Being one with nature (feeling the sunlight, spending time outdoors . . .)

All of these work on enlivening your vibration -- increasing your life energy or prana (as yogis would say).  But, today I want to focus on just one of them -- ways you can feel better all on your own and without having to spend a cent.

Household magic that works as divorce healing magic.

When we want to make a room feel better, the first thing we do is to straighten things up, and maybe do some cleaning.  If we want to go even further, we might paint the walls, throw away knick knacks that are too tiresome to dust, or dispose of a few worn pieces of furniture.

Immediately, things feel better.  You don't have to wonder whether what you did was helpful -- you can feel that it worked, right away.

You can do some personal housecleaning simply by taking a bath or shower, washing your hair -- and, while doing so, why not say a prayer or repeat some positive affirmations that remind you of the changes ou want to see in your life, and how you want to feel better.

Put on clean clothes.  Moisturize your skin, saying nice things to yourself (or thinking soothing words) while you massage the cream into your skin.  Be sweet to yourself.

You may be thinking, "What's the big deal?  I take a shower every day."  But, in the vibration game, it's not what you do, it's how you do it.  It's all about the love you shower on yourself while you're showering : ) .

You could also put on some music, take a walk outside, make yourself a delicious snack or cup of tea -- anything that doesn't involve looking at an electronic device or doing a chore you dislike.  

Practice hanging out with yourself -- no interference -- for at least the few minutes it takes to bring your spirit to a little bit better place.   Don't worry:  Everything and everyone will still be there five or ten or 20 minutes later when you come back to the surface.

We play with vibration a lot in all of my coaching programs, and it's surprisingly easy to go from feeling like the equivalent of a dusty, abandoned room to feeling airy, sunlit, and welcoming.

A gift to yourself that ends up being for everyone else, too.

These "vibration makeover" activities not only make you feel happy in your own skin, but have a profound effect on everyone you meet.  You become one of those magnetic women who light up the room just by walking into it.  

But that's just a side benefit.  What's really important is learning the magic skills of soothing your worries and calming your overworked mind.  It's figuring out how to make your personal home (your body, mind, and emotions) a happy place for you to be -- a place that feels good to you. 

If you'd like to find out more about how you can start radiating happiness and well-being (even as you continue to recover emotionally from your divorce), you can take a look at my "questions women ask" page, and schedule a free get-acquainted call with me to talk about where you're at and where you'd like to be.

For something you can do between now and when we talk:  Begin to notice the various vibrations of the people in your life.  Spend more time with the ones who radiate good feelings, and try to reduce the time you spend with ones who drain you.  After a few days of this practice, see how much better you feel.

Here's what you said about feeling beautiful:

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

Back in January, I wrote this blog post about how women can undermine each other when it comes to supporting each other's beauty.

Lately, I keep going back to the concept of beauty and how important it is to so many of us.  I know this, because my clients talk about it all the time.  And, it's important to me, too.

It's a big part of my work to help each woman recognize and nurture the special, unique beauty that is inside herself.  Once she makes friends with her beauty, the outside world gets a chance to see it, too.

I thought it would be fun to ask women of a certain age (some of them friends, some of them fans of The Dynamic Divorcée on Facebook, and some of them clients) what makes them feel beautiful.  Here's some of what they said:
  • An unexpected compliment.
  • Putting a smile on someone else's face.
  • Feeling confident, strong for those around me when they need it, helping animals in need and basking in the joy that is my family.
  • Finding out that I helped someone, taught a class well, and women learned a lot of new things. (I love watching the light bulbs go on over their heads!)
  • A day at the spa.
  • Getting a sincere hug from a family member (chosen or blood).
  • Wearing something new & funky & colorful and receiving positive comments.
  • When I don't care what others think of me.
  • When I let my guard down and just be me.
  • I feel beautiful when I laugh.
  • When I am able to help a friend, I feel beautiful.
  • When I paint my nails a flashy color. 
  • Getting in a good workout to strengthen my body and reset my mind.
  • When I wear nice lingerie.
  • When I feel strong, on the inside or physically.
  • I feel beautiful when I wear heels.
  • When people compliment me cause I am 43yrs old and they think I am in my early 30s.
  • I feel beautiful when I dance salsa, bachata, and flamenco.
  • Pedicure with hot rocks.
  • Night on the town with my girlfriends.
  • Dressing up on the outside makes me feel better on even the worst days.
  • Being able to be myself and having time to explore my interests.
  • A sweet compliment from a friend.
  • Keeping my grey hairs colored.
  • When I wear something (especially crafty jewelry) that has a story to it that connects me to someone, even if that someone is the person who made it.
  • Feeling the sunshine on my face.
  • Pursuing my passions and living with heart, optimism, and compassion.  What's on the inside can't help but be reflected on the outside.

I can't help but draw your attention to the fact that not one person said that a man had to be involved in order for her to feel beautiful.  It really is an inside job!

Looking for a little beauty inspiration?  Try some of the top "I feel beautiful" suggestions on this list.  All the women who contributed to this list send you their love.  Mwah!