Volume Two,  Lessons from the Road

My Journey Back to Joy after Divorce: Three Essential Lessons

It’s been 5 years since the ground beneath my family’s feet began to shake. We’re Californians by birth, so we were used to a little shake & rumble here and there.

But then, in July of 2019 the foundation of our family cracked, just like the streets of San Francisco in the Great Quake of 1906. Over time, the iconic streets were repaired, but the crack in our family grew and grew until finally, in March of 2020, it split our family in two.

(Read on or choose to listen to the audible version of the story here!)

The wise mystic Rumi said “The wound is the place where the Light enters you” and let me just say…there has been a place for a LOT OF LIGHT to enter me these past five years. My journey back to joy has taught me how to rise up from the rubble, even stronger than before. Just like a wound on the skin, my heart has mended in the same way: stronger than before, with a scar to signify my resilience.

On this Independence Day weekend, I want to share with you three essential lessons I learned on my journey back to joy after divorce with the hope that they can serve you on yours!

The lessons:

  • My #1 Secret to Reclaiming Your Resilience
  • How to Amplify Your Self Love when Your Self Worth is Depleted
  • Remove the Biggest Obstacle that Prevents You from Living the Life you Deserve & Desire

Lesson 1: My #1 Secret to Reclaiming Your Resilience

Gratitude. It seems so simple, and yet gratitude is one of the greatest masteries of the mind. When we can view our life circumstances, whatever they are, and find appreciation for what is good, we focus our thoughts on that good feeling. You see, our thoughts become our reality. We are constantly creating the life in which we live. What is happening to you today, is the direct result of previous thoughts and beliefs.

That can be a tough pill to swollow when you’re knee deep in the rubble of your life. When my lifelong friend & husband of 20 years and I were uncoupling in the Summer of 2020, I would take long walks around the neighborhood and look for the good. In fact, I wrote a post about that time in my life when I was conscientiously turing my divorce fury into gratitude:

From “Look For the Good”:

It was springtime and the flowers were blooming and the birds were singing. They didn’t have a care in the world about Coronavirus or divorce. They were just happy in the moment, singing their ode to the beauty of the world.

Sometimes it was the sun on my face. Sometimes it was sidewalk chalk messages. Sometimes it was seeing a family play ball together in their front yard. Sometimes it was seeing friends socially distanced on a porch, sharing a glass of wine. Sometimes it was going to the water. Sometimes it was rainbows from the front porch of my apartment. There is always beauty out there if you’re willing to look for it

Starting a gratitude practice is really quite simple and profoundly beneficial. If you haven’t done it before, find a little notebook where you can write down 3 things each day that you are grateful for. Simple joys. Do this daily for 21 days to set it as a habit. The bonus gift that comes with a gratitude practice is that when you’re experiencing a tough day, you can open it up and lift your spirits by reading about your pleasures of the past.

The gratitude will start to fill in your wound with light. And the best part is, the Universe will respond to all that you’re grateful for by giving you MORE things to be grateful for. It’s how the Universe works. I’m grateful that I don’t have to understand it all in order to receive the benefits. How about you?

Affirmation for resilience: I attract all that is good.

Lesson 2: How to Amplify Your Self Love when Your Self Worth is Depleted

I could also title this lesson “How to remember who the fuck you are when you gave every ounce of your power away” but I thought that might offend people (you know, the ones who didn’t give away all their power ;).

So how DO you remember who you are and amplify your self love when you feel so small? Turn within. Reach for the next slightly better feeling. We are taught to search for gold stars & affirmation outside of ourselves, when the true power of love comes from within.

You might be wondering, that’s cute, but how the heck do you do that? Our human bodies have been created with an incredible guidance system built right in, like an inner GPS. It’s called our emotions. The way to activate your inner GPS is by reaching for the better feeling at every fork in the road.

Let’s say it’s the 4th of July and you’re spending your first Independence Day as a divorced woman and your kids are with your ex. You’re totally alone and none of your former friends have invited you to their family barbecue because…well…maybe they’re afraid that they’ll catch your divorce virus. (This is a purely hypothetical situation)

So, now you’re at a fork in the road, with a decision to make. What is the better reaching feeling?

  1. A) Staying home with your pet and watching fireworks on TV from your couch with pajamas, popcorn and a favorite beverage in hand?
  2. B) Pushing yourself out of your cocoon of solitude and packing a picnic to bring to a local viewing spot where you can take in the view of fireworks solo?
  3. C) Putting on some tunes and cooking up a masterpiece of all your favorite foods while your dog wonders why you’re dancing, laughing & crying in your kitchen all at once? And then maybe lighting a sparkler or two to remind yourself of your inner light.

The only person who holds the answer to the hypothetical situation above is YOU because only you know how those three scenarios feel inside your body. Which option feels the best in the moment of your decision making? Choose that option. That’s how you tune into your emotions and do what is best for YOU.

When you start making decisions about the direction of your life that feel good, you’re learning to love the decision maker inside of you, your authentic voice starts to emerge, and you’ll desire more and more of that feel-good feeling. And before you know it, you’re not only totally in love with yourself, but your belief in your decision making sky rockets along side your self worth.

And who knows? Maybe next year when a similar situation presents itself you’ll choose to cha cha from the mountain tops of Peru! Only YOU know what feels good inside your body. Allow you’re incredible emotional body to guide your choices and before you know it, your self love will amplify along with your self worth because YOU are in the driver’s seat of your life. And turns out you’re a damn good driver!

Affirmation for amplifying self love: I look within to find my treasures.

(This is the perfect time for a musical interlude from Jason Mraz who will sing to you about doing the things that feel good to you, like roller skate-dancing in coveralls)

Lesson 3: Remove the Biggest Obstacle that Prevents You from Living the Life that You Deserve and Desire.

And now you surrender: That’s right. After the gratitude and tuning in to your inner GPS, you must detach from hanging your happiness hat on a particular outcome. Instead, allow the Universe to show you something or someone even better than you could imagine!

If you’re anything like me, the word surrender feels like a weakness. It conjures up images of white flags and the fetal position (you know, like how you’ll find me in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse).

But the surrender that I’m talking about here is that sweet surrender of knowing that you’ve done your part, and now it’s the time for the Universe to fill in the gaps. Not too long ago, I was planning a retreat that wasn’t filling and my emotional body signaled to me that I was out of alignment: I was frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, upset and my self doubt exploded like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

I developped planter fasciitis and was bed-ridden, literally unable to move forward. I was forced into a surrender, and in that stillness I heard the voice from within telling me it was time to let go of the way I thought that the retreat would go. I needed to surrender to a bigger vision, one that I hadn’t even imagined.

It was time to reach for a better feeling. And so I did, and that process is described in great detail in my story “Mermaid Wisdom: How to Get in the Flow

The cliff notes version of Mermaid Wisdom is this: we were created to live a life of JOY. Happiness is our natural state of being, but I wasn’t creating the retreat out of a state of joy. I had thrown stress and expectations into the mix. As soon as I let go of how I thought the retreat should be, and released my own pressure valve of perfectionism, a whole new opportunity presented itself.

One that was even better than I imagined.

Affirmation for Surrender: I am boldy creating a life that I love!

What now?

And now here we are at the onset of the Summer of 2024. I have no idea what adventures, encounters and opportunities lay before me, but I do know that I will venture into the unknown with the lessons of the past summers in my spiritual toolbelt:

  • First I will turn my thoughts to the sweetness of my life exactly as it is (gratitude)
  • Then I will choose the options that feel good from deep within (amplify self love)
  • Finally, I’ll detach from expectations of how I think things should go (remove the obstacle)

Our greatest challenges become our greatest teachers, and I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned on my journey back to joy. One of the bonus lessons I’m learning is that it’s possible to ask for gentler lessons, and nowadays I do so every day.

If you’re ready to make your own journey back to joy, I have great news! This summer I am offering Let Love Rise membership options that help move people from fear, overwhelm and worry to courage, inner peace and freedom. Check out the Mystical Moon Membership options and choose the one that best “suits” you! (Hint: refer to lesson #2 and choose the option that feels good from deep within).

You’ve got this. Give thanks. Turn Within. Release Expectations. And watch miracles unfold!

Namaste

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