Divorcees: 13 favorite things for 2017 (that I hope you'll love, too)

From time to time I post a favorite things list (you can find two of my previous lists here and here), and this time, it's my biggest list ever: favorite books, a few woowoo items, my favorite power lipstick, my favorite retro-chic (and ultra-comforting) scarf, and . . . my favorite reflective-incognito sunglasses (for those times when you never know when you might burst into tears about your ex, your life, your kids . . .), two of my favorite teas, and more.   

Linked text will take you to a place or two where you can buy my faves for yourself.  Let's go!

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The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism.

Why I love it:  I'm always looking for new brilliance to share with women in my 2-hour Invisible to Irresistible coaching, and I wasn't disappointed with this book.

The author pulls together lots of charisma and how-to-influence-people tips you've seen elsewhere, but ties them together in ways you can easily use.

You'll learn about four major styles of charisma and which to use when.  Plus, lots of easy suggestions you can try immediately.

Why you might love it:  You've always felt that you fade into the walls and never really make an impression on anyone.  You feel you have no leverage when it comes to negotiating, whether it's in your job, in your romantic life, or just in deciding where to go out to dinner with friends.  You admire those women whom everyone wants to be with, and always thought they were just born with charisma.  The author has proven that charisma can be learned, and she tells you how, step by step.

 

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The Mind-Body Code: How to Change the Beliefts That Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success.

Why I Love It:  This book talks about the outcomes of our lives as stemming from various forms of cultural conditioning throughout the world.  Family members and other authority figures cause wounds of shame, abandonment, and betrayal that shape adult lives marred by feelings of worthlessness and judging our own lives by the judgments of our culture.

Seen through this lens, the author offers various reframing techniques to let go of damaging messages from our culture and loved ones, and provides the opportunity to believe in ourselves and live lives of honor and dignity and be loyal to ourselves.

There's also a chapter on what the author calls "horizontal versus vertical love" and explains the qualities that allow to have long and happy relationships together, always finding something new and interesting in one's partner.

I feel these concepts have enriched and added depth to my own method of emotional healing after divorce, and the idea of cultural conditioning can be a great help in forgiving those who have harmed us.  Letting go is such an important part of divorce recovery.

Why You Might Love It: Outside of just one heavy-going chapter on the science behind Martinez' concepts, the book is an easy and joyous read.  If you're looking for permission to buck our society's concepts about the place of women over 40, aging in general, what's too late and what's not, I believe you'll find this book such a good friend and companion.

 

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Jo Malone: My Story.  The epic story of how a lower-class English girl with less than a high-school education virtually raises herself, picks herself up every time she is knocked down, and somehow builds two amazing companies.

Why I Love It:  Before reading this book, I had never heard of Jo Malone or her fragrances.  I was tipped off to Malone's story by an English entrepreneur acquaintance who was gushing over the new Jo Loves shop in London and this autobiography.

What a story.  Malone went from a childhood in poverty with two irresponsible parents (having to leave school at 15 to go to work) to creating a multi-million pound business which she sold to cosmetic giant Estee Lauder while she was still in her early 30s.  And that's just one part of her story.  There's a horrible bout with cancer, how she engineered act two of her career, and much more.

Why You Might Love It:  When I was in the midst of divorce and after, I was reading any encouraging stories I could possibly get my hands on.  I was big into stories that were even worse than mine, thinking, "Well, if she could keep living after all this, than I can, too."

While divorce is not part of Jo Malone's story, oh my god, she does go through so many deprivations, hurdles, and setbacks.  I found this book so inspiring -- and it's not about being perfect in order to succeed.  It's about just being an imperfect, ordinary person with a dream plus the desire to work hard for it rather than feeling sorry for herself.

 

Ok, before going on to yet more books, I have to share my favorite lipstick of 2017.  It's a drugstore brand, but it's not just my favorite drugstore buy of the year; it beats department store brands hands down (in my opinion).  It's Milani 05 Red Label.

Why I Love It:  It's semi-matte, not too shiny or glossy, but not drying, and (at least on me) it lasts a long time if you apply, blot, apply, blot, apply.  Not too orangy, not too pinky, and under $6.  Plus expensive-looking gold case.

Why You Might Love It:  Because it's the perfect red!  And because red lipstick makes you feel powerful.  It's like your magic wand.  Wave this lipstick in the air, proclaim what you want to have happen today, swipe this lipstick over your lips and become a honey-tongued influencer.

 

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Ask and It is Given.  This is an old book, and one I go back to almost every year -- anytime I start thinking that achieving my goals is just too hard . . . and it reminds me that mindset is everything.

Why I Love It:  Easy read, lots of processes in the back that you can sift through and use immediately. ("Processes" in Esther-Hicks-speak are suggested ways to actually use the principles in the book, and make fast positive changes happen.)

Why You Might Love It:  The book identifies various negative states that you may be stuck in, and suggests easy-to-understand ways to move up to a slightly better state, rather than expecting you to move from despair directly to joy.  It's such a practical, useful book and a great starting point to learn about the power of mindset and the law of attraction.  Another quick and life-changing read from the same author: Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness.  Also highly recommended by me, and this one used to come with a CD in the back -- perhaps it still does).

 

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Louise Hay: Self-Esteem Affirmations CD.  Another oldie, but lifetime favorite.  Something by Louise Hay had to make it onto my list this year because she passed away in 2017 at the age of 90, and has been such an influence in my life for the past 30 years.

Why I Love It: First of all, the soothing and loving voice of Louise Hay.  And the positive affirmations in her voice truly make you believe that what she is saying is true.  In a way I can't accurately describe, she gives you permission to believe in yourself, and when I believed her words I also believed in me. I'm linking to the CD because I'm amazed it's still available, and it's always nice to have a hard copy of audios that you'll turn to again and again.  If you're more of a download person, I would recommend any audio by Louise.  This particular CD is one that saw me through every excruciating day of my separation and divorce.

Why You Might Love It:  I don't think we can ever get enough positive reinforcement and acceptance for who we are.  And there's no one remotely like Louise Hay on the subject of self-love and affirmations.  If you want to get a feeling for Louise's style, check out this blogpost from earlier this year that includes a video where she talks about self-love.  And, another of my favorite Louise Hay audios that was a daily companion during my divorce:  How to Love Yourself.

 

And now, on to tea, planners, calming fragrance, and going incognito when tears are likely to start streaming down your face at any moment.

First, a couple of luxury teas that make me feel all better (and maybe you, too).

Both of these are made by historic Russian/French tea company Kusmi, and both of my picks are Earl Grey-based, because I just can't help myself; I love Earl Grey.  However, if you're a tea lover, you can definitely browse and find a Kusmi tea that will intrigue you.  For example, a new favorite of mine is their Chocolate Spice, and I can't wait to try their Violet black tea blend.

But, here are my top two Kusmi loves:

Anastasia.  Inspired by the story of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Czar Nicholas II, this Earl Grey blend is flavored with orange blossom, bergamot, and lemon.

Why I Love It:  It's my favorite tea -- yes, we have established that's Earl Grey -- with the bright and happy fragrance of orange and lemon.  I am not a tea afficionado, so I can only say that when I drink this delicious tea, I just feel so cared for, indulged, and uplifted.  The whole experience is so beautiful, from the gorgeous tea tin, the beautiful look and scent of the tea inside, to the scent of the tea, and then the rich, elegant taste.  And, in case you think that this tea won't wake you up in the morning, the caffeine will do its magic.

Prince Vladimir. Created in 1888 in honor of Vladimir the Great, this is also an Earl Grey blend, along with citrus, vanilla and spices. 

Why I Love It:  All the reasons above, but in this tea, the vanilla predominates, making it more of a relaxing experience than a happy/orange experience.  These are two very different teas; both magnificent.

Why You Might Love It:  Kusmi Teas are such an amazing experience.  In my opinion, other teas are just meh by comparison.  Of course, I still do enjoy other, more affordable, brands of tea, but I feel so special when I drink one of my Kusmi Teas.  If you love tea and you want to do something a little special for yourself, please search these out (links to the two varieties I love are in red in the descriptions here, but there are so many more varieties).  At around $19 for a 4.4 oz can, that's equivalent to only four stops at Starbucks and you get to enjoy for many, many, many servings.

 

Zum Mist Frankincense & Myrrh.  The fragrances of the teas above made me think about including one of my favorite day-to-day scents, which I'm as likely to spray in the air or on towels or pillowcases as on myself.  In fact, this scent is also available in laundry detergent (which I have not yet tried).

Why I Love It:  First of all, I love heavy, grounding scents (including patchouli, amber, sandlewood, vetiver . . .) like frankincense and myrrh, and I learned about Zum Mist from a friend, who then gave me a bottle of this stuff.  It's grounding, calming, centering, and it's always on my desk for use when the day gets a little crazy.  

Why You Might Love It:  In one spray, your whole day gets better (if you like this particular scent).  It's like magic.  The beautiful scent allows you to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and feel completely renewed.

 

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My Best Year Ever Happy Planner!  This is an undated package deal where you customize the dates.  Now that it's already 2018, it may be a little difficult to find the Happy Planner of your choice still available for this year, but follow the link above if you like the design to your left.

Why I Love It:  It's so cheery and colorful and the dividers for each month give you beautifully designed words of inspiration (so pretty that they're suitable for framing).  I love the ring-disc system that allows you to easily remove and replace pages, and I also have the disc-system hole punch (see next item below) that lets me insert practically anything I want into the binder. It also works with the ARC system looseleaf pages and accessories from Staples (although slightly different in size).

Why You Might Love It:  It's happy.  It's pretty.  It's mood-elevating and makes planning fun.  And, unlike other planners, it's 100% customizable.  Pull pages out, reorganize pages to suit yourself -- and, the classic size (7.75” x 9.75”) feels so good in your hands.  Not too big, not too small.  This kit comes with some stickers, magnetic page markers and other fun stuff, but you can also buy accessories to your heart's content to make this planner feel completely your own secret guidebook to 2018.

For those who love to customize your planner, here's the most affordable disc-system punch I've found.  However, if you're happy to pay $34 rather than $22, you can find punches that can handle more pages at one time like the one at this link.

If you buy the Create 365 punch (the first link above), do not punch more than 3 sheets at a time.  I pushed the boundaries with my first punch, which broke.  I'm now treating my new punch with care, and . . . no further problems.

 

For the first year or two after my divorce, I never knew when I'd burst into tears in public, so I finally decided, why not do it in style?  Here are my new faves (though I'm no longer crying at the grocery: these round, mirror-lens tortoise shell frames.

So when you're uncontrollably tearing up in public, at least no one has to know but you.  Plus, mysterious rather than tragic.  And just $12.

 

My go-to scarf for this year (and goes great with the sunglasses and red lipstick above, I might add).  Many animal-print scarves are available everywhere this season, but my favorite at any price came from Old Navy.  Looks so expensive, and as of this moment, they're still available here.  Feels retro-chic, powerful, and so soft and comforting.

That's it, Dynamic Divorcées:  My favorite things for your divorce healing toolkit, 2017 edition.

If you like any of my picks, would you comment and let me know?  It would be amazing to hear from you.

 

 

Divorcée Life: Easy trick to allow yourself a little “me time”

Welcome to a series of world-class master coach videos I’m sharing on topics that are key to emotional healing after divorce. Cheryl Richardson is the founding president of the International Coach Federation, she co-created the Body and Soul conference series sponsored by New Age magazine, and speaks professionally before numerous universities and Fortune 500 companies.

In her 1988 book, A Burst of Light, Audre Lorde wrote that "caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Whether or not you believe that we, as women, tend not to have the freedom of choice that men have, one thing most of us have experienced is the pressure to sacrifice nearly every moment of our lives in the service of someone else.

Are you finding it difficult (both before and after divorce) to stop the hamster wheel and give yourself permission to live a little?

Here’s the easy trick that I found in the video below.  (Or, think of it as coming into self-care from the back door.)  

Your kids, friends, and family need you to be good to yourself.

Scroll down past the video for top divorcée takeaways on the key sentence above, and the importance of “me time,” in case you'd like an idea of what's covered before watching.

Divorcée takeaways on making time for ourselves:

  • Sometimes, the pressure comes from ourselves to do more and more for our families, and not necessarily our families forcing us to work ourselves to death.

  • We know we need to take time for exercise and to support our well-being, so why is it so hard to give ourselves permission and let some other tasks slide?

  • There's an inner voice that tells us we're selfish or self-indulgent.

  • In order to shift this, ask yourself the question: "Wouldn’t you love to have had a mother who took such good care of herself that she felt great all the time?"

  • How many of you grew up with mothers who were worn out all the time? Worn out, tired, and didn’t have time for you because she couldn’t or wouldn’t give herself any downtime?

  • Or, her exhaustion may have manifested in her being angry and resentful, with only enough energy to try to survive every day.

  • When we set boundaries on the service we provide to others, we can intentionally choose to give more in some situations, but it comes from a better place -- from love (and having a surplus of energy to give) instead of from obligation.

  • If your own mother put herself last, it can take years for you to overcome the patterns that her example set for you.

  • When a mother puts herself last, she is often filled with rage that she can’t express, but it leaks out in little ways that the child’s psyche picks up on.  (Rosetta's Hint: Even if you're not a mom, your exhaustion and feelings of "giving up" can end up as a dark haze that effects your friends', family's, and colleagues' perceptions and feelings about you. When you realize this, and if you want more love and acceptance from those around you, spending time in pursuits and passions you enjoy can be the starting point for change in how others see you and relate to you.)

  • When you start to resent the things you feel you have to do for others, you end up doing everything resentfully. Even the things that you would have done willingly, lovingly, freely come out with anger and resentment because you haven’t filled your cup first.

  • (Rosetta’s Hint: If it’s difficult for you ever to treat yourself with love and care, start with just two minutes a day. That’s long enough to take a few deep breaths. It’s long enough to spend two extra minutes in the shower. It’s enough time to notice something pretty outside your window.  In other words, it’s enough time to pause on the pressure cooker -- and maybe you’ll take a third minute off, or even five minutes. The first step is to stop the hamster wheel -- even if it’s just two minutes -- so you can feel a pause of peace.)

  • (One more hint from Rosetta: Please don’t be afraid that, if you pause your pressure cooker that you’ll just collapse on the couch and pass out from fatigue. You want to pause in ways that will refresh you, not be the last straw that makes you collapse. Taking a break is a reminder that you are a human being, not a machine.)

  • If you try my hint above, and you want the next step, you can click Contact in the navigation bar above, type the message "self-care step 2," and I’ll email you back with the next tiny step.

Would you like more help around how to allow yourself the downtime you need?

If you feel you’re sinking or stuck in dealing with your emotions (as you navigate separation and divorce, or as you try to heal emotionally after divorce) why not schedule a 30-minute virtual coffee date with me? You'll get immediate help and techniques to feel better from the moment you get on the call. (And if, after our call, you don't feel our time together was helpful, your $25 payment will be auto-refunded. There is nothing to lose, and you will feel better fast.)

Click this link to learn more

When it's over, but you can’t let go

Welcome to a series of world-class master coach videos I’m sharing on topics that are key to emotional healing after divorce. Iyanla Vanzant is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, her eponymous talk show, and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Scroll down past the video for top divorcée takeaways on letting go, in case you'd like an idea of what's covered before watching.

Divorcée takeaways on letting go:

  • There’s a part of you that doesn’t believe that you are able to satisfy your own needs and desires, and that you need the other person.

  • That part of yourself is looking for someone else to give you what you don’t believe you can give yourself.

  • Whatever you believe you received from the other person (peace, joy, love, fun), you truly have it all within yourself.

  • Your soul is urging you to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate that you are complete.

  • What you’re reaching for out there is something that you have to find within.

  • This is not to minimize the heartbreak of losing an important relationship.

  • This does not mean to force yourself to stop loving, but instead to give yourself permission to stop yearning and to find a way to give yourself what you believe the other person took with him.

  • The reason you can’t let go is that we were taught to believe that we need someone else to focus on in order to experience love -- and this is not true.

  • Your train of thought (yearning, pining away) is what keeps you stuck. Your misery is not caused by the breakup itself.

  • These thoughts are grounded in lack of self-value and self-appreciation. Train your mind to focus on you rather than on the other person.

  • Every time you are feeling sad and missing the other person, take a breath and change the thought.

  • Take a breath and say, “I’m loving me right now.”

  • When you feel you’re really ready to let go, be careful not to entertain thoughts about why the relationship went wrong, what the other person did or said, who he is with and why he is not with you.

  • Refuse to let yourself entertain any thought that will lead you down a path of suffering. Replace that thought with a loving thought about yourself, even if it’s just, “I am okay. I can do this. I am choosing to let go.”

  • Choice is your power.

  • Don’t deny the part of you that still wants him back. Give that part of you a voice. Write out those feelings or talk about them with someone, but don’t give these thoughts permission to take control.

  • The part of you that knows it’s over must create and maintain boundaries. No booty calls, no phone calls in the middle of the night, no stalking.

  • Let the part of you who knows how to maintain your own dignity take control. Tell yourself, “I know you want that, but it’s just not good for you.”

  • You are the love you want and the love you seek.

Would you like more help around letting go of your ex?

If you feel you’re sinking or stuck in dealing with your emotions (as you navigate separation and divorce, or as you try to heal emotionally after divorce) why not schedule a 30-minute virtual coffee date with me? You'll get immediate help and techniques to feel better from the moment you get on the call. (And if, after our call, you don't feel our time together was helpful, your $25 payment will be auto-refunded. There is nothing to lose, and you will feel better fast.)

Click this link to learn more. You’ll click the date of the appointment time you’re interested in, and you’ll be walked through the process. 

you are beautiful, and why other women make this hard for us to believe

A few months ago, I attended a women's circle in which each woman was invited to talk about something on her mind -- in an atmosphere of support from all of the others present.

One woman shared how she had never felt feminine or beautiful, and related several incidents of slights and insults from fellow girls and women that dated all the way back to her teen years.

This woman was strikingly beautiful in my eyes, and absolutely radiant.  After feeling called out on her appearance so many times, I could imagine how innocent comments or even compliments could have been interpreted by her as slams.

For her, it would be a never-ending perception that something was wrong with her.  Unless she decided to change her own mind about herself.

Maybe, like me, you too have been dismayed by the way women can compete and jockey for position, especially when men are in the room.  Maybe you, too, have experienced how insecure women feel compelled to destroy someone else in order to feel like somebody special themselves.

I started this year by making a cute special offer on The Dynamic Divorcée Facebook page.  My Magic Mondays offer was a little pouch filled with You Are Beautiful items:  silver stickers, pinback buttons, magnets . . .

Wow, it was a popular little giveaway!

Women commented about why they wanted to win it, and so many of the comments were about how their self-confidence and sense of their own attractiveness had eroded away over the years.  Often, it was a critical husband who did the damage.  Sometimes it had started in women's families of origin.  Sometimes it was bullying at school.

But here's why lots of women wanted to win my little gift:  Everyone wanted to love and approve of themselves -- and to share with other women that they are beautiful, too.

Have you experienced a lack of support from the women in your life, or even verbal bullying or insults from women whose opinion mattered to you?   I found this article on the subject interesting.

I truly believe that there's another piece to this puzzle:  Making my opinion of myself and my inner and outer beauty more important than what anyone else has to say about it.

We can't control others' perceptions, or how their own pain and insecurities may influence how they perceive us or treat us.  We're not inside their heads (and we probably don't want to be).

I don't think the unconventionally beautiful woman at the women's circle would have shared those painful, shaming memories if she didn't know in her heart and soul that she was beautiful, she is beautiful, and that she deeply disagrees with those who say she is somehow less than they are.

There's a part inside each of us that wants the way we see ourselves to be reflected back in the gaze of others.  Especially important others.  And, it will be reflected back.  As soon as we feel our own beauty deeply enough inside ourselves.

If you think you're beautiful, you are beautiful. That's the way it rolls.

Watching a recent Ricki Lake Show episode dedicated to female empowerment, I was struck by how uncomfortable the audience and host were with their own bodies and desires.  And I don't even mean sexual desires.  When asked by guest Mama Gena to brag about themselves, to look into a mirror and say "You are hot!", or even to verbalize the desires they had for themselves and their lives, the discomfort was highly apparent.

Wow, I knew it was bad, but didn't realize it was this bad. 

An interesting moment came when guest Sheila Kelley (who pioneered pole dancing as exercise -- don't get me started -- women are so out of touch with their bodies that we have to emulate strippers to get in touch? strippers are some of the most wounded of all women, and they're more in touch with what gets men off than what they're feeling inside, but I digress . . .) led the audience through an exercise in which they were asked to relax and get in touch with their nerve endings by stroking their own arms and legs.  Wow, uncomfortable to watch the audience squirm! 

But what a wonderful exercise.  Just to give ourselves the benefit of touch in a feminine way.  This should be part of every yoga class -- and it's going to start being part of every dance class I teach. 

Now, can someone come up with a practice to gets women in touch with their bodies that doesn't rely on the sad and lonely world of sex workers as a touchstone?

If you're not familiar with Mama Gena and her simple message of permission to have pleasure in life, want to see the self-stroking exercise, and want to hear a great song from Storm Large (check my next post for her music video), you can watch the entire Ricki Lake episode here.