Thursday, October 27, 2011

Post-Divorce Itch

How would you describe an itch, specifically, your post-divorce itch?  It may be a combination of pain, anger and hurt, with some other emotions tossed in.  Perhaps there’s relief with a dose of guilt.  It may have happened a week ago, or maybe 5 years ago.  The itch can still be there.

Uncomfortable emotions are like an itch we feel we must scratch.  It’s hard to ignore an itch.  The irony about an itch is, the more you scratch, the more it itches.  What we really want to do is learn to live with the discomfort post-divorce, and learn from it.  Like the itch from a bite, the more you let it be, the quicker it heals.

PemaChödrön says, scratching is our habitual way of trying to get away, trying to escape our fundamental discomfort, the fundamental itch of restlessness and insecurity, or that very uneasy feeling: that feeling that something bad is about to happen.

Newness and change often bring that feeling of impending doom and the dread that goes along with it.  Again, Pema Chödrön:

By learning to stay, we become very familiar with this place, and gradually, gradually, it loses its threat… abiding with the uneasy, disquieting sensation of nowhere-to-run [we find] that—guess what?—we don’t die; we don’t collapse.  In fact, we feel profound relief and freedom.

The best part of change is in the opportunities it presents.  Once you are able to life with the discomfort, and you haven’t died or gone crazy, what now?  That’s the fun part.  How would you like to create the rest of your life?

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

TheScientist, Coldplay

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Post-Divorce Quest: Birdwatching

If you’re considering a post-divorce hobby, birdwatching may not come immediately to mind.  But we’re not talking about just watching birds, we’re talking about having a big year, i.e., a year in which you see more bird species than anybody else.  In the world.

As the author, Mark Obmascik, told the interviewer, it was a great escape.  “I walk into a woods and my regular life just fades away.”  All of which totally makes me want to read his book, The big year, and learn about his quest.  Stories of others successfully mastering an experience are so helpful, like How to sleep alone and Eat, pray, love.

When you want to do something new, whether it’s writing a book or starting a new post-divorce life, learning how others were able to do it is a great way to begin your quest.  Talking with people who’ve done it, which is basically what support groups are all about, is fantastic.  Being a bookworm myself, reading about it is just as good for me.  Not surprisingly, when I decided to start a coaching practice post-divorce as one quest, Therapist as life coach was a great book for me.  Movies work too.

It’s time to decide on your quest if you haven’t already, and then get some almost-free advice.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Post-Divorce Celebration

What’s a celebration without a cake?  Along with my ex-wife’s wedding dress and the divorce gift registry, nothing says I don’t love you any more better than a snarky cake.  I’m not recommending hate and negativity.  But I do recommend, whenever possible, that you try not taking yourself so seriously.

Celebration is an important acknowledgment of a job well done.  I’m not saying we want to celebrate divorce.  It’s usually difficult and sad.  I am saying we can celebrate our new lives regardless of how we got there.

My suggestions for celebrating:

Laughter is a great antidote to anger and depression.  Part of wellness is the ability to laugh often, and often laugh at yourself.

Have a post-divorce party.  Maybe everyone tells their favorite funny story about you.

Take a vacation with friends and spend one day doing everything your way. 

My challenge:

You find something to do in celebration of your new life.  And yuk it up.

Don’t pass me by, The Beatles

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flourishing: How to live the good life

Check out my latest newsletter about flourishing.

It may be easier than you think to live the good life post-divorce.  It's a great way to get yourself moving forward.

Start today!