Steps to Allow the Pain of Divorce and other Midlife Messes to Empower You (Rather than Destroy You)

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The Buddha said “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”.  When we are going through the painful emotions of divorce and other midlife messes, it seems almost impossible to believe that this is true.  It can feel like our only option is to suffer the fear, anger, guilt, depression, sadness, and even rage that come along with the loss of our old life.

Release the energy through movement. I’ve found that walking, running and even stomping are great ways to get out of feeling trapped in pain.  Dancing, singing at the top of our lungs to loud music helps too.  Painful emotions are indicators of energy that needs to move through us, so that we can get the message to move on.  The first step is releasing the buildup of pain in the body.  Sometimes I would, and still do, go to a Yoga class to breathe deeply and let the sensations move through my body in the postures.  Crying at the end of a Yoga class, being solitary out in the woods, or even watching sad movies to get the tears flowing is a great way to release the pain.  

Tell a new story.  After a while, our story of what has happened to us gets a little old.  Have you noticed friends and family politely, or maybe abruptly, beginning to check out of the listening process?  It’s inevitable that over time, even we get a little sick and tired of our our negative take on things.  This is when we know it’s time to rewrite the story.  

The first commitment you might make is to getting through a morning without talking about your pain.  That may turn into 8 hours, then a day at a time.  Just like a muscle, we have to retrain the brain to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want.

Taking deep, mindful breaths to become present throughout the day will also help break the pain and suffering and old story cycle.  It’s impossible to breathe deeply and be in the stress/suffering response at the same time (download my free ebook “No Mud, No Lotus~Tools for Transitions” for more on this process at ebook.kathrynmitchem.com).

Once we stop the habit of suffering, we can begin to tell a new story.  When people ask us how we are doing, we can say things like “It’s been tough, but I’m getting stronger every day” or “I am learning so much about myself these days” and “I’m good. I’m grateful for _____(fill in the blank with something that IS working in your life, something however small that brings you a sense of joy and fulfillment)”.

Use the pain to get creative.  When released, anger and other forms of emotional pain can be a great source of creative energy.  You may feel inspired to write or paint or create a new business from the energy that once caused you to suffer.  This is a wonderful opportunity to envision a new beginning (new career, healthy body,  a fulfilling career or relationship) then use that creative energy to follow through on taking the steps to move forward.  If you are dwelling in the past, the painful emotions will continue.  The more we put our focus on what we DO want, rather than what we DON’T want, the sooner the pain will subside. Let the pain motivate you to take steps forward, and into a richer, more fulfilling and love-filled future in all areas. Because you deserve it!

Have faith in the process that this experience IS making you stronger.  You can choose to be a victim to circumstance and stay stuck in the suffering, or use this experience of pain to grow and to launch you into your new life. Kahlil Gibran, the author of a classic spiritual book called “The Prophet” wrote “The deeper the sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?” When we can accept that the deeper our pain, not only the capacity for our own future joy is greater, but our sense of compassion for the suffering of others is greater. Our children, our friends, our planet all become gifted by our own inner journey from suffering to freedom.

Over time, the pain from divorce and other midlife messes will, and does, lessen.  Time does heal, and the sooner we commit to take steps to stop choosing to suffer, the faster it will happen. If we can use this time for growing into the next phase rather than staying stuck in the pain of the past, we become the superheroes of our own lives, launching at rocket speed into a brighter, new reality. 

How to get Past the Guilt and Fear of Moving Forward

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I just got off of a call with a client who is in the midst of filing for divorce and trying to move out  of her family home that she shares with her husband and young daughter.  She has been stuck in the same situation for almost two years, living in the upstairs attic space, knowing that she needed to take steps forward, but afraid to file and relocate to begin her new life in fear of upsetting her daughter and her soon-to-be-ex.

 

 

This is a common theme I see with clients in transitions like divorce and I have found that a very effective tool for moving out of the stuck and in-between places is the “Emotional Energy Practice” from Satori Coaching..

 

Emotion is Energy + Motion...it’s energy that simply needs to move.  Fear feels painful and constricting, (think anxiety, guilt, depression), while Love feels expansive (think gratitude, bliss, joy and connection).

 

This stuck place and the feelings that are being elicited are an indication that you are being given an opportunity to heal and grow.  

 

Our emotions are simply indicators as to when we are on the track of love or on the track of fear.  So many times, we take these indicators to create self-doubt and stay stuck, when really, the negative emotions are simply letting us know that there are old core beliefs running the show.

 

When we are operating from a core belief, one that is usually unconscious and formed in childhood, like “my needs don’t matter” or “I am responsible for other’s happiness” or “I am bad/evil”, then these beliefs will keep us stuck, many times in an unhealthy situation.

 

Operating from our core beliefs is like giving the wheel of the car to a 4-year old and letting them drive. Would you let your 4-year old drive your car? If the answer is no, then read on...

 

Since emotions are simply energy that needs to move, we can bring these core beliefs to light so that we can feel them, acknowledge them, and then change them to a belief in alignment with Love.  Some examples would be “I am worthy of happiness”, “I deserve to be deeply loved” and “The Universe is unfolding to support me”, then we can take the steps we need to move forward through our transitions.

 

The EEP is a more in depth personal dive into this process and is part of the coaching programs that I offer 1-on-1 and soon, in online group coaching sessions, but the basic steps as easy to follow though and can help right away if you feel stuck:

 

  1. What are my core negative beliefs about myself that are coming up right now in this situation?

  2. Am I willing to surrender these beliefs (Y/N)?

  3. What are my positive beliefs about myself that I am willing to now accept?

  4. What is one step I can take to strengthen these beliefs?

 

When you take lovingly back the wheel from your hurt inner child, your loving, wise, intuitive and authentic self will be in the driver’s seat, and you will have a much smoother ride into the next phase of your life.


 

How to Create the Post Crisis Life You can be Proud of :)

Are you stuck in the fear of moving out of a situation that no longer serves you?  Here’s a simple tool that can help you shift out of the stuckness of self-doubt and worry about other’s reactions to your choices...

 

 

We’ve all heard that the only person we ever have control over is OURSELVES.  We also know that the only moment we have any control over is NOW. So why is it so hard to let go of controlling others and worrying about the future?

 

Because it takes practice. Just like our muscles need training to do an advanced yoga pose or trail run up and down hills for five miles, our minds need practices to keep from straying into fearful thoughts that can keep us stuck or frozen in a reality that our heart knows is not good for us.

 

The ONLY way to create a new reality we can be proud of is to make the thoughts about what we WANT more important, energy and time-consuming than thoughts about what we DON’T want.

 

Sometimes we get so stuck in the worry about what will happen if we take action, that we don’t take any action at all.  

 

But don’t you deserve to be happy?  To be loved?  To be abundant?

 

If your answer is no, then keep focusing on what could go wrong.  IF your answer is yes, then I invite you to commit to focusing on what you DO what for at least 10 minutes each day, and even more when anxiety and fear have you trapped in their spells.

 

My favorite tool for this is called “Brainstorming” (can be found on page 38 of the book “Satori Living” by Satori Founder Carol Gutzeit).  It’s from the Satori Lifestyle Coaching program I went through as a client during my divorce (which completely saved, then changed, my life), then went on to become certified in as a Coach.  I did this practice during the MOST difficult times with amazing results...instead of focusing and worrying about what could go wrong (fear) in suddenly being a single mom of three at 40, I began to re-create my life from an authentic and heart based place (love).

 

  1. Choose one goal to begin the process (ie relationship, career, lifestyle, health).

  2. Write what you want in the center of a sheet of paper (ie “I am in a healthy and loving relationship) and surround it with words that come to mind. This may include people, places, things to do, feelings, etc. Do this exercise freely, like you are a kid in a candy store without your parents watching and you can have anything you want!

  3. Now use the words from your brainstorming session to wrote a description of what this looks like in your life. Organize your thoughts into a mental picture of what you want with as many details as possible.

 

Read this description every day and take time in a quiet place to sit with the feelings that you get when you imagine your new life.  As you breathe in, fill up your lungs, your body, your heart with the feelings of abundance, peace, success, joy etc.  As you breathe out, send that feeling out into every cell of your body.

 

This is a life changing practice as it will direct you to take action towards what you want, rather than stay stuck in the muck of what you don’t want.

 

For more tools like these, please join our closed Facebook Group “No Mud, No Lotus~Tools for Tough Transitions”. And as always, please share these blogs with anyone you know struggling through divorce and other midlife messes <3.