Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Friday, July 31, 2015

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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What if it isn't even true?

Today's guest blog post is from my friend and colleague Andrea Friedmann, on the subject of the stories we tell ourselves.  If you love Andrea's perspective and want more, she is offering a beautiful complimentary teleseminar that will help you explore how you may be talking yourself into stories about your life that aren't even true.  

Andrea Friedmann
Recently, I was talking with a friend who had been working really hard to reach a new level professionally. She was almost there, in the last stretch before the finish line, with all kinds of wonderful opportunities opening up for her on all sides. But she wasn't telling me about all that awesomeness coming her way. She was telling me how little balance there was in her life, how much she was working, with no time for play, for her family, herself, or socializing.

She looked drained and dejected. And yet, within a few sentences, still in that slow, tired tone, trying to make a different point, she happened to mention that she had been to the beach with her kids, had managed to do a long meditation she had been wanting to try for ages, and had hosted a big dinner party at her house over the weekend.

I stopped her then, and pointed out that, to me, that all sounded like play, and even socializing. She looked dazed for a moment, then she began to chuckle. And we had a good laugh together. Because it is funny that she could be feeling as bad as she was, when she could let herself feel great instead.

We do this to ourselves all the time: hold a thought that makes us feel down, that affects how we show up in our life and the choices we make -- and it's simply not true!

Even though nothing tangible had changed in her situation, the interruption in her negative pattern of thought created an important shift. Without it, she would have gone on with her day, noticing more instances that fortified the thought that her life is hard, creating a snowball effect with her attention (and her energy, through the law of attraction) confirming her original false thought and generally keeping her down and depressed.

But because of the interruption in her false train of thought, she was able to laugh, experiencing enjoyment as well as appreciation for what IS working in her life, and increasing the likelihood that she will notice more instances that confirm the affirming thought that things are good, feeling lighter and more optimistic.

How we feel moment-to-moment is the thread that makes up the fabric of our life, so the fact that my friend could feel good was important for that reason alone. But if she had had important decisions to make later that day, her frame of mind -- whether depressed or optimistic -- would dramatically affect what those decisions might be. And that, in turn, would affect her level of contentment about her actions.

The untruth my friend was telling herself is pretty obvious here. But sometimes it's harder to notice.

For example, one of my clients who is also struggling with time management was telling me that she is an artist, and that means that she has to run with her ideas; she can't interrupt them or plan her creative time into her schedule. Naturally, being at the mercy of her creative impulses makes seeing customers and having a family life quite stressful.

But what if she is wrong? Is it possible that she could shape her artistic habits? Could she work with her creative impulses, find ways to store her ideas when they come, and then work on them when the time is right for her?

Maybe not. But the real question might be: What is it costing her to refuse to examine this possibility?

 Here is the crux of the matter: What we think affects what we do. And if our thoughts are limiting, then we are limiting ourselves: limiting the possibilities, limiting what we can experience, and limiting the results we see in our life.

So I turn the question over to you. What possibilities are you not examining? What thoughts are you holding that may be based on some untruth? How are you limiting yourself? I invite you to find the courage to take a closer look.  

Andrea Friedmann has been an intuitive life coach at VibrationsCoaching.com since 2007, uniquely combining her skills in energy work with spirituality and coaching techniques to help her clients get out of their own way, reconnecting to who they really are, changing the limiting beliefs that keep them stuck, and building a life and work they thrive in.

Friday, June 5, 2015

For those I-can't-take-it-another-minute days: instant gratification

The Dynamic Divorcée YouTube Channel
Many of you may not know that The Dynamic Divorcée has a YouTube channel.

It started as a resource for my clients, but now I want to share it with all of you. 

What's on the channel right now? 

A webinar with me, based on a recent Inspired Conferences teleseminar.  And, learn more about my story and how what I've been through can help you when you listen to an interview with me on Women Warriors radio (complete with visuals that enhance the story).

Don't miss our always expanding Divorce Recovery Top Hits playlist, where women who are members of our Facebook community contribute the songs that most helped them get through their divorces.  (Have a song you think should be shared with other divorcées?  Comment below and help other women rock out and get their mojo working.) 

What else?  Check out our Feel Better, Divorcées playlist that includes soothing morning and evening meditations with Louise Hay, an incredible Ted Talk on self-esteem by Niko Everett, an energetic clearing on the topic of Self-Brutality by Mellissa Seaman, an introduction to Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping) with Nick Ortner and Louise Hay, an array of calming yoga techniques, and even a stress-busting green juice recipe.  

Plus a few of my favorite Abraham-Hicks audios on the subject of relationships, with topics that include: 
  • We broke up and he married someone else, but I still love him.
  • Why don't my relationships last?
  • I want to find the perfect mate.
  • Relationships:  Don't try to convince anybody of anything.

This channel was designed to be your own personal, private seminar on emotional recovery from divorce.

Check it out, and let me know what you think -- and suggest any YouTube content that you think I should add to the channel : ) .

Friday, May 29, 2015

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 schedule a free virtual coffee date here, and we'll talk about it (plus you'll get some great, unique-to-you strategies to start out with, right on the call).

Friday, May 22, 2015

breakdown part 2: how your life breakdown becomes a life upgrade


So, maybe you've read my bio, where I thank my ex for being a pathological liar, gaslighter, and man of mystery (carrying on a 4-year affair behind my back and fooling both the other woman and me).

(Click "About Me" above in the navigation bar, if you'd like to know more.)

And, when I say I'm so grateful, you probably think that I'm just saying that.  You don't believe me -- the same way you find it hard to believe people who say that cancer was the most blessed experience of their life.  Or that losing their home in foreclosure was the catalyst that brought them to the great life they have today.

I wish I could say something that would allow you to believe me, and to know that what you're living through now has the power to set you up for a new life that is beyond your wildest dreams to imagine it.

This is not a story of sadder, but wiser.  I'm not thankful because I simply survived, or because I now know enough never to trust men again (because that's not true).

Yes, I did have plenty of time to contemplate what caused me to choose my then husband as a life partner, and why I trusted him so much that I had no suspicions about what he was up to.  But spinning your wheels for months or years in ruminations about what you did, what he did, what were the motivations on both sides, and so forth just keeps you stuck, and keeps you from the big prize that's behind it all.

Maybe you read this post I wrote at the beginning of this year about the breakdown before the breakthrough.  Today, I'm taking you to part 2:  the life upgrade that's waiting for you beyond the breakthrough.

Everything you've been through has been signalling that you're ready for something better.

What once worked in your life just doesn't work anymore.  And the reason that so many dominoes start to fall all at one time -- maybe you've not only divorced, but you've lost your job, your kids are acting out or having problems at school, and you're also dealing with health issues that seem to have come out of nowhere -- is not that your life is falling apart.  It's that you're ready for a bigger, shinier, better life, but you'd never have the courage to reach out for it if life didn't make it mandatory.

Of course, it's not mandatory to move on and create a life that you'll love much more than the life you used to have.  You could ignore the challenge, decide your life is permanently broken, and become victim to the situation.   So many women do that.  Years later, they're still telling the same old story about how they chose the wrong men, or how their men did them wrong.

But don't you want an extravagantly joyful life?  That's the chance that's being offered to you now.

The only thing that can prevent you from getting it is the belief that you'll never be able to emerge from the pit of sadness, financial constraint, and trouble you feel you're now stuck in.  Right now, the sides of the pit seem so steep, and it's so dark that you can't see where to get a foothold.  Besides, even if you do crawl out, you're not sure what will be at the top.  Will there be friendly people to meet you?

But, if you weren't stuck down there, here's what you could see:  Although it's dark, it's actually a rich, warm night.  You can't feel the warm breeze because you're too scared.  And you can't see that there are handy footholds just right for you, leading step-by-step right out of the pit.  And, when you take it just one step at a time, it doesn't feel so hard.  You still feel shaky, and you still feel (for a little while) as if you'd like to go back to life you had (because you're only remembering the good parts right now).

Suddenly, you see some loving faces at the top, peering down at you, and they're calling out words of encouragement.  Some of them have even been where you are right now, and are talking you through getting to the top, where you can get big hugs and, by now, it's a sunny day, and you'll keep on getting all the help you need until you're pretty satisfied and excited about where you are.

How do I know this?  I had just about everything thrown at me that a person could endure while trying to recover from divorce:  Financial ruin, death in the family, my own cancer diagnosis, new men in my life who weren't keepers, and much more.  That's how I developed the healing strategies -- different from any others -- that worked for me, quickly, even in my extreme situation.

What you are struggling with now is nothing more than a breakdown before the breakthrough.  Your former life had to be demolished so that the Universe could give you something better.  Something you would never have dared to reach out for while you were in the relative comfort of a so-so, not-too-bad relationship.

Do you feel like the sadness and defeat is going on forever?  Do you love the support group you're in but feel that it's not really the answer for you?   Is your therapist great, but she's doing a lot of expensive listening and not providing any real advice on how to feel better -- and maybe she's never even been divorced herself?

I'd love to talk with you to get you started on some simple things you can do to start moving toward your upgraded life.  And, only if you wish, we can also talk about how I can be by your side while you turn what would have been years and years of grief into just months of getting to the life you want.  You can schedule a free mentoring call with me here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

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).

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.

These changes 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.

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 read a little about my divorce recovery system, and even schedule a free virtual coffee date 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.