Expanding Your Life After Divorce

by: Deborah Hawkins

Every challenge, trauma and upset holds the seeds for something great to be birthed in our lives. The experience of divorce can be a great life transformer.At some point, when it feels as if the tears are coming to a halt, a sense of a new normal is beginning to emerge. There may actually be a lifetime of spring again; we have choices to make.

In the beginning of this process we may not know how rich and fertile the ground we stand on really is. The heart has been broken open, beliefs we held about who we are, and life itself has been changed forever. This is the time to plant new seeds in our psyches to create anew.

If you have received the time and deep support you need, you may feel the desire to be moving again into the new world of you. Yes, there may be fear, but what if some of what you are feeling is excitement? We are so entrained to feel the fear after divorce. The “oh no, what’s next,” the feeling of “how will my life go on,” the “who am I now,” that the newness makes us feel scared like a child. This can actually be excitement about the new possibilities, like new doors waiting to be opened.

All of a sudden we get to choose just for us.....That in and of itself can shake us up. Fear and excitement show up exactly the same in our bodies. In my research I have found that many times we label it fear when it can be the newness and readiness of our emotional and spiritual selves ready to move forward. Ready for what is next, ready to begin again, ready to live and love life again.

What can take this deeper into excitement, rather than fear is the ability to see these times as amazing opportunities rather than the bottomless potholes that we are stuck in. What if you could look at the new world that awaits you with more enthusiasm, awareness and hope?

After my split, and taking my time to heal I discovered a new type of therapy that I was totally fascinated with. I decided to explore it for myself and my clients. I went after bringing the therapist to my home town for a workshop. It was a big success, people traveled from all over to participate in this class. In the process, I made friends and contacts, received even more awareness and healing. Now I use much of this information with my clients. I don’t think I would have been so hungry to create this had I not just come out of my own divorce. I was ready for deeper healing for myself and others.

You have no idea how your story and experience will help another. This is the way transformation works....we learn, we share, healing occurs. My entire life has been filled with changes which created a ground of being to teach others. I choose to use it in that way. I look at every challenge as life trying to teach me something more profound about myself.

I invite you to try out some of these insights below as you are healing, preparing to expand your life again. I use journaling with these questions for myself and my clients. You may want to use these questions to ponder or write. You may be surprised at what arises in this exercise.

1.Spend time asking yourself some deep questions - What might happen if you looked at the divorce as taking you somewhere greater, moving you into a place in life for you to share your gifts in a deeper way? Who might you be if you saw the situation you are in now as the opportunity to grow and expand into someone you never dreamed of? That is what all challenges can be used for...to see from a different perspective, to show us a deeper meaning in life and how we might find the love even in this situation.

2.Take a Risk - It was definitely a risk for me to go after one of the top therapists in the country to come to my small town to do a workshop! I could feel the excitement in doing this....helping myself and others. The therapist could feel my excitement around this project and eventually agreed. Be willing to take the risk that may change your life in so many good ways, touching others.

3.What might come with having a new life you are afraid to receive? I love this question. It can help you look at your fears, and move forward. It is not one you can answer quickly. Take your time with this one and see what bubbles up.

The challenges life throws our way are always the gift of expansion. Every situation in my life that has broken my heart in some way has broken open something greater in me. A new part that was ready to emerge, to heal, and expand. Go ahead, take a risk, ask the questions and see what goodness might be awaiting you! Open the doors that await you.....I would love to hear all about it!!

Integrative Coach and Change Catalyst Deborah Hawkins, facilitates workshops and teleclasses across the country promoting women’s empowerment on all levels. Having lost her own mother at an early age and having met with many of life’s challenges herself, she brings wisdom and insight from her own loss and grief, assisting others to discover their own strength inside. Deborah trained under best selling author Debbie Ford and is a former Board Member of Imago Therapy. Deborah is a spokesperson for national equality. She writes for HopeAfterdivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, and LAFamily.com. Deborah's website, www.Deborahhawkins.com, assists parents and children in conflict communication.