Celebrate Divorce: Gift registries, crowdfunding, and more

Your divorce is final, and friends are asking what they can do for you, and how they can help.

Or, you’re throwing a divorce party, but you’re still feeling a little stunned about how your life is changing. You know that friends will want to bring gifts, but you’re in a fog about what to ask for.

Or . . . (the scenario for so many women), you feel totally ignored, left out, and not sure who is truly your friend anymore.

While polling my divorcée community about which post-divorce gifts were or would have been most meaningful to them, I searched for divorce gift registries, and found only a couple of scammy sites that were fronting lawyer referral services. But I also found . . .

Crowdfunding divorce expenses is a thing

So, before I get on with what my dynamic divorcées suggested as amazing divorce gifts, check out Plumfund. It’s the only crowdfunding site I’ve found that specifically has a divorce funding category. If I were looking for assistance in funding the expenses of my divorce, or post-divorce expenses (such as necessary household items, or one big purchase), I’d definitely go with Plumfund because the category is already there, which makes crowdfunding divorce expenses seem like a normal thing to do.

There’s also GoFundMe and other similar sites, but without the specific divorce category, posting a fundraising page seems a little more desperate in tone, more like begging, and probably better done on your behalf by a friend.

But, I love that crowdfunding for divorce is becoming more of a thing — making it possible for women in abusive relationships to get out when the expense would ordinarily keep them stuck in the marriage for years. And, even if you’re not in dire need, creating a space for family and friends to be supportive and help in tangible ways.

Divorce gifts: What to ask for

Not to my surprise most of my dynamic divorcées said that one-on-one time with a dear friend would be the most precious gift, no matter what the activity.

But, most often mentioned by far was a spa date or massage. That surprised me a little bit because while massage is a nice luxury, it’s expensive and the effects don’t tend to last (at least for me) more than an hour or so after the treatment. It’s so great to learn what other women are into.

So many women said massage that I didn’t individually list them all below, but massage definitely won as #1 most coveted gift.

Here’s what they said, and you can check out the original facebook post and comments here:

  • Self care gifts: a manicure, bath stuff, meditation app.

  • Thoughtful card, fridge magnets with inspiring or funny words.

  • Spa gift card! Or a mani-pedi gift card!

  • Spa day with the giver.

  • Gift of a house cleaning service or something of the like — maybe even a dinner on a weeknight.

  • Fun, divorce-inspired t-shirt.

  • Little painting of a happy place or time — or one that will suggest a journey to a happy new life.

  • Picture of the friend in happier times to remind her that she’s going to be ok. And so she can shoot to become that person again.

  • Girls’ weekend.

  • Tea-time out. Just take her out for tea and listen without judgment.

  • Dance lessons.

  • Something pretty that she likes and her spouse would never have gotten her.

  • A lovely meal out — and flowers! Flowers are something she might not buy for herself, but bring so much happiness.

Make an Amazon divorce wishlist

Do you feel shy to ask for time or a gift if no one has offered? Why not create a public (shareable) wishlist on Amazon and post it on your Facebook page, saying, “For those of you who have asked,” even if no one has actually asked.

It’s a great little exercise in teaching people how you’d like to be treated, and in learning to reach out.

Does that seem a little too pushy to you, at this moment?

How about posting that you’d love to have coffee and a little one-on-one time and tagging some of your favorite friends?

But what if no one says yes? There’s lots of help right here on the Divorce Blog.

Don’t have the right friends in your life? Make some new ones:

Check out this post about making new women friends online (sort of like dating websites, but for friends instead).

How about meeting some of your favorite Facebook friends in person? Check out how one woman did this.

And, basic steps on how to reconnect with old friends by making the first move — several times — (geared for summertime, but will work in any season). The secret is not to give up after the first try.

Enlarging your social circle and bringing some new life into your tribe is something that almost every one of my coaching clients has had to navigate. It’s a good thing — it’s a sign of growing and bringing fun new people into your world.

Did you try any of these suggestions?

Comment below,and please let me know how it went. I want to hear from you!

P.S. When I saw one of my dynamic divorcée’s new divorce-themed t-shirt, I couldn’t resist sharing these . . .

Want to know your #1 response to our holiday blues survey?

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed responses to our Post-Divorce Holiday Blues-Busting Survey.

I thought you might like to know what women are most interested in when it comes to support over the holiday season.

I really love the way it's turning out -- because, based on your responses, you are very willing to learn to take time out for yourselves and are enthusiastic about using time this season to plan for a happier year to come!

So far, every single respondent to our survey wants:

1) a step-by-step process to help them use the holiday season to come up with a plan to totally transform their new year.  Or, as I like to say, to "turn the blues into a blueprint."

Then, two desires tied for second place:

2)  strategies to deal with loneliness during the season and to learn ways to nurture themselves this time of year instead of being overcome by stress and others' expectations.

So, how do you turn the blues into a blueprint, anyway?

The blueprint comes as the last step in our 5 *Very* Surprising Cures for the Post-Divorce Holiday Blues, and here's why.  The whole 5-step process takes you through a journey of honoring yourself, and experiencing what it's like to put yourself first so that you can give out of your own abundance and not out of your own exhaustion and sadness.

You might have noticed that giving what you don't have to give never quite works as well as you'd like it to.  Well, let's be honest.  It never really works at all.

Maybe you've already been living your entire life that way, but now the warning lights are flashing and sirens are going off because -- after having gone through the entire divorce process, and having lost so much of everything that meant most to you -- it feels impossible to keep putting a good face on it, and sacrificing even more heavily than you've done before.

So, the blueprint is the fourth of the five steps in my program.  You do it after you've taken specific (and fun) steps to remember who you are (or who you always meant to be), see exactly how you can scale back and remake the holiday season in a way that's fun for you, and even give yourself gifts (don't worry, you get to stay within your budget!).

I want you to have so much fun before you sit down to create your blueprint -- using nothing more than a journal, a pen, and maybe some fun art supplies.  The blueprint is fun, not work.  It's not about scheduling, outlines, flow charts . . . .    In other words, it bears no resemblance to the drudgery you usually do every day.

It's all about dreaming your life, the way you want it to be.  Not just where you want to be in your work, family, and financial lives, but how you want to feel every day.  Realizing that how you feel is the key to what makes life beautiful.  And, it's the key to what will allow your life to change in the ways you want it to.

Update: Special Pricing So Everyone Can Afford to Try It

We always want to ensure that every woman can have access to our Holiday Blues Cure Toolkit.

So, we're offering special pricing, (when you order by Saturday, December 15), discounting our $75 program to just $15.

And, we want you to feel secure that you’re not risking anything at all by trying it. So, we offer a full refund of your purchase price (within 15 days of purchase), when you show proof of completing all the worksheets, yet feel you did not receive value from it.

After you complete your purchase, Paypal will send you directly to the download page with the audios and ebook. You will not receive a confirmation email, so please save the page that Paypal sends you to, if you do not plan to download the program immediately.

The Tower Tarot Card: When Things Are Falling Apart

Rider-Waite-Smith tarot

Rider-Waite-Smith tarot

How do you find a way to create a good happily-ever-after story for yourself when everything you thought you knew about life is crashing all around you during, and even years after, your divorce?

One of the unique things I’m known for in my coaching practice is reading tarot cards for clients when they reach a plateau in the amazing transformations we’ve created together, and they get a little tired. I’ve gotten them through the worst of it, and they’re thinking, “Maybe it’s enough. I’m doing okay — much better than I thought I’d be. Maybe it’s good enough.”

But life has so much more to offer. Sometimes it’s time for me to bring excitement about taking the next step of the way.

I love to move from talking to exploring the senses as a way to bring in something fresh and “wow”, so tarot is just one of those comforting ways of resting while planning what’s next (although you might not think so by looking at the card to the left).

The cards can be a mirror to see that the drama in what you think is happening isn’t always the reality. It doesn’t have to be that dark. And, surprisingly often, you get to choose how events actually play out.

As Wayne Dyer used to say, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

It’s pretty magical. Let’s look at a particularly scary tarot card, and see how various artists have chosen to interpret it — with different results in what you’d feel and experience if this card came up in a reading for you.

Just as every day, you create your life, tarot artists each create their own unique vision of the 78 cards of the tarot, opening up the meaning of the cards in the process.

Tarot Tower Card

At the top of this post is, arguably, the most famous representation of the Tower card. Two people are leaping out of a burning tower, trying to save themselves. The crown, the place of importance that you gave to your marriage is blown off and it’s beyond saving — right now, you question whether you yourself will even survive.

FAVOLE Tarot

FAVOLE Tarot

But, what if you thought about it the way the artist depicted the same card, to the left.

Still not a cheery image, as you walk away from a bleak castle, in the remnants of your wedding dress. But, you have your dignity, your chin is held high, and you’re walking away from the wind and the rain.

It changes things, doesn’t it?

Or . . . what about taking the human element out of the equation entirely?

The next image, below, shows the tower struck by lightning and destroyed, but no humans were harmed in the making of this tarot card. And, there’s even a path that leads away from the disaster.

DREAMING WAY TAROT

DREAMING WAY TAROT

The path is narrow, but it’s sturdy : ) . We can’t sugar-coat what you’re going through, and I would never try to do that. This is still a devastating image.

But. In this picture, there’s a way out.

It’s possible to look at what’s going down as a truly sad natural disaster, and not something that someone did to someone else. There’s a time to be ready to try out that way of looking at things. And it’s only one of many ways of making sense of what’s happened.

In the midst of divorce, or in the grieving process afterwards, a huge part of the pain is in the sheer loss of control. Not knowing what will happen next.

The game can keep changing, and the terms can keep changing. You think the terms of the divorce are set, and then he renegs and decides you deserve nothing. You think you’re over him and then you find out he’s engaged. The plot twists can be endless.

Happiness After Divorce: Darkness Into Light

spinoolean tarot

spinoolean tarot

Look at this surprising take on the dark, gothic images that we’ve already seen.

This artist chose to turn the Tower card into a lighthouse. I love this so much.

The lightning is still flashing, but the Tower stays whole, and shines with a beautiful internal light. Is it a star? Is it a sun? Is it your beautiful spirit and soul? Is it your own rebirth? You get to choose.

The storm may morph into a hurricane. Your ex may keep bringing the temper-tantrums, and chaos may be swirling around you. Yet you remain safe and protected.

The marriage may be over, but you have the choice to be the lighthouse. Your inner light can become even brighter, never dimming despite the challenges that you’re going through. (Helping to ensure this is possible is a big part of my life’s mission in working with divorcees.)

Let’s look at a couple of other ways artists have imagined the Tower.

tarot of the saints

tarot of the saints

Look at this one. This card is from one of the most unique decks I’ve seen (and, to my knowledge, it’s no longer in print).

Yes, it’s a Catholic tarot deck (shhhh, don’t let the Pope know).

We still have the lightning strike, and a man leaping from the tower (your ex, perhaps?). But, St. Barbara carries the tower (and you) to safety.

If anyone could keep you safe during this time of life, I bet on the miracle-working St. Barbara. Or, think of her as your guardian angel.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about prayer in times like these, when you think no one up there is paying any attention. If you believe in a higher power, don’t forget about Him or Her.

everyday tarot

everyday tarot

Here’s the Tower from a new deck, Everyday Tarot, by Brigit Esselmont and Eleanor Grosch.

I love how all the traditional elements of the Tower card are in place, but the woman is peacefully falling, as if in a dream. She’s not worried at all. In fact, she’s floating through it as if supported by unseen hands.

I also love the purple and gold color scheme of this deck. Purple for victory and gold for abundance.

And, I also love the size and price of this deck. Small enough to easily carry in your purse, and under $12 on Amazon right now.

I don’t know whether you’re interested in getting a tarot deck of your own, but if you are, I link to it at the end of this post.

What if you want your own divorce healing tarot reading from me? I would be happy to!

Are you interested in having me read for you, using my 7-Card Divorce Healing Spread? Here’s a quick video with more information on that:

And here are some links to a few decks that I love, including the Everyday Tarot deck and book by Brigit Esselmont, whose podcast and books are amazing.

Gratitude journal benefits: coping with divorce

WHEN YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL BECOMES JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING ITEM ON YOUR ENDLESS TO-DO LIST.

WHEN YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL BECOMES JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING ITEM ON YOUR ENDLESS TO-DO LIST.

Every week, I read lots of articles about how to get over your divorce. And a surprising number of these stories are about the benefits of a daily gratitude journal.

Have you tried this? I have done gratitude journals over long periods during difficult times in my life, sometimes with the desired effect and sometimes not.

The purpose of the gratitude journal seems to be: Things could be so much worse. Appreciate the little things (food in the fridge, clothes on your back), because, if you don’t, even these small comforts may be taken from you.

Over the years, I’ve even advocated gratitude here on the divorce blog, and in one or two of my videos. It does have its place.

Gratitude journal benefits: exactly what are they?

When your mind and emotions are spinning out of control because of the havoc divorce has wreaked in your life, sometimes we all need a dose of “it could be so much worse,” and “there are things to be grateful for here,” and “we could be starving on the streets of ______________.” God(dess) is merciful.

But, here’s where it starts to fall apart for me as something to recommend to my divorce coaching clients.

After just a few days, clients find that they’re writing the same ten things over and over again. And that process just reinforces how dire circumstances really seem and how stuck they feel. So, I never use the gratitude journal process as anything more than an emergency measure — for those times when you can’t seem to find anything at all to hang onto as a positive in life.

Once we’ve achieved a little bit of balance and perspective, we quickly move on to activities that bring quick wins and a feeling that, “Yes, I can do this! I can get relief!”

Here’s what happens when a woman who’s valiantly trying to heal from divorce centers on gratitude journaling as a device to feel better. She starts to feel, “I know I should be grateful that things aren’t even worse, but I’m actually starting to feel angrier. When does this start to lift? When does this get better?”

“It could be so much worse, and I’m grateful for . . .” seems like a cold shower without soap.

I say: Put away that sad gratitude journal and break out the big, bold, colorful sharpies, the bubble wands, the dance music, and the rhinestone tiaras. Not your style? That’s okay. Keep reading anyway. (You don’t really need a tiara, promise.)

Appreciation and gratitude: what’s the difference?

Sometimes you don’t need gratitude. You need something that makes you laugh. You need something ridiculous. Something that breaks the spell of relentless doom that divorce has ushered into your life.

Because we become resigned to this doomsday mood and noxious atmosphere.

We keep hearing about the 5 stages of grief after divorce as if this is a thing (it isn’t).

Why? Why should we feed the monster this way?

Yes, this situation is just awful. Yes, life seems out of control. But we don’t have to keep beating ourselves over the head with how we should be grateful it’s not soooooo much worse.

Appreciation has a different vibe. Delight. Pleasant surprises. Laughter. Friendship. Lightness.

If you’re into journaling, an appreciation journal could look and feel completely different than that pen-and-paper list of gratitude items. It could be on your phone or on Pinterest or on your Instagram feed.

You could snap a picture every time something delights you. You could do a video share when someone does something nice for you. (“Look at this amazing latte my coworker just brought me!”) You could share a favorite song that you’d forgotten about, but happened to hear over the PA at Target.

It’s a game. Look for three things a day that you find delightful — no matter how small.

I know. You probably don’t feel like trying this, but trust me.

Remember what makes you laugh. Remember what brings you wonder and awe. Find the things that remind you why you like (or liked) living.

And put the evidence someplace where you can find it every time you feel dreadful. Hint: Your phone. I have an album I call “Inspiration” with lovely traces of happiness from my daily life: photos, little videos, songs . . . all in one place.

So often, childhood pastimes will get you to that place. That’s why I suggest the colored pens, bubble wands, and dance music. Try replacing that gratitude journal slog with taking a few minutes to remember that girl who still lives inside you.

Dream those touchstones that remind you who you truly are inside. The fairytale creature that still lives in you and wants to show you lots of amazing sights, sounds, scents, textures, and tastes.

Instead of journaling about what you’re grateful for (ever notice how the same five or ten things keep repeating, and it’s hard to drag up more?) look around and see what you appreciate around you. You’ll notice different things every time you go outside, go to work, or observe the people around you. It’s ever changing.

Look for the happy. Look for the fun. And give yourself the gift of a few moments to see it and feel it. (You’re still a responsible adult if you let yourself have a quick break from the serious, adult disaster. And, from this place of appreciation and wonder, new, magical solutions and opportunities are born.)

Divorce emotions: What if I just need some peace?

Feel like you need to deal with uncontrollable waves of divorce grief before you can try anything else? Here are my top suggestions on how to interrupt those exhausting divorce emotions.

7-Day Divorce Healing Facebook Jumpstart

How can I make it even quicker and easier to emotionally heal from divorce?

As a divorce recovery coach, I ask myself this question every day.

To the left, you can see one of my favorite memes that I created to help my dynamic divorcees get a few quick emotional wins right away, so that they'll believe that the process I take them through really works.

And, I just started thinking . . . this is a valuable little exercise for anyone who follows me and reads my stuff.

It can stand alone as a way to believe that you are never stuck, even if it feels that way.  You can always shift the view to something that gives you enough hope to wake up the next day and take the next step.

So, my question is: Do you want to try this?  With me, for free, on Facebook.

Get a little support in doing for yourself what you wish he had done for you. You know the things. Ask yourself what you need. Then, give it to yourself.

Feel that you are worthy to deserve excellent treatment from yourself. Stop hurting yourself by feeling that, if you were "good enough" or worthy enough, he would have treated you better. Your worth had nothing to do with how he behaved. You make yourself more beautiful to the outside world by how well you treat yourself.
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Receive support in developing the new habit of reminding yourself, throughout each day, of the things you love about you. Stuck on this one? What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What were your passions before you got married? What do people tend to compliment you on?

Learn how to cheer yourself on when no one else seems to know what you need or has time to give it. Remind yourself that YOU KNOW the value of the spirit inside you. Deep down, YOU KNOW that you were meant for more than where you are right now.

7-Day Jumpstart on Facebook: 

Would you like some free, online support, over 7 days, to try the simple steps above?  Let me know!  Comment below this post, or, if you're seeing this on Facebook, comment on the post!

UPDATE 8.7.18: I've heard from a bunch of women who are saying yes to the 7-Day Self-Love Facebook Jumpstart.  So . . . the seven days will begin the week after Labor Day, starting Sunday, Sept. 9 and finishing on Saturday, Sept. 15.  The best way to make sure you get all of the details is to contact me here and let me know you want in on the Jumpstart : )

 

Divorce: Embracing Changes

The image that inspired this blog post. It's from the Abraham-Hicks Perpetual Flip Calendar,  available here . With a beautiful image and quote for every day of the year. However, not all of the quotes will make sense, if you're not familiar with Esther Hicks' concepts.

The image that inspired this blog post. It's from the Abraham-Hicks Perpetual Flip Calendar, available here. With a beautiful image and quote for every day of the year. However, not all of the quotes will make sense, if you're not familiar with Esther Hicks' concepts.

“It is not possible to stand still, or be stuck, because Energy, and therefore life, is always in motion.

“Things are always changing. But the reason it may feel to you as if you are stuck is because while you are continuing to think the same thoughts, things are changing — but they are changing to the same thing, over and over.

“If you want things to change to different things, you must think different thoughts. And that simply requires finding unfamiliar ways of approaching familiar subjects.” — Esther Hicks

Wow. This is one of the most clear and concise descriptions of law of attraction as it impacts healing from divorce (or anything else).

Change how you look at things, and the things you look at change. Click here for a recent post of mine with a beautiful visual representation of how this works.

But is it that easy? It’s like when someone is tired of you whining about your divorce and says, “Just snap out of it!”

Law of Attraction Divorce Edition

Author (and Abraham-channeller) Esther Hicks says, “find unfamiliar ways of approaching familiar subjects.” She also likes to talk about constantly “beating the drum” of what you don’t want, and being surprised when you keep getting that thing you don’t want, or when everything keeps getting worse no matter what you do.

It’s actually not that things are getting worse no matter what you do. They’re getting worse because of what you’re doing . . . and not doing.

Allowing your mind to stay in dangerous places (despair, jealousy, revenge, blaming yourself) creates a fertile breeding ground for these self-destructive emotions and helps them to gain strength. And, all of this pain and negativity clouds your vision and makes it virtually impossible for you to take the actions that will help you grasp the hand of hope, see the beauty even in the midst of sadness, and feel a little bit better each day.

So, yes, I said that you’re allowing your mind to stay in dangerous places. But you certainly don’t feel like your “allowing” anything. Your emotions right now may be so strong that you feel you have no control over them.

<< Check out this blog and video for some solutions when your emotions won’t give you any peace. You’ll see one of the many techniques I offer that interrupt these excruciating thoughts and emotions — just for a moment — so you can disconnect the agony, interrupt its hold on you, and then have the choice to say no to it. >>

Once you can interrupt this relentless inner machine of trying to figure out what went wrong, how you can get him back, what he’s doing now, what will happen to the kids, how you’ll survive . . . the law of attraction part is: What thoughts and emotions will you put in place of what you have been thinking and feeling?

Your Thoughts = What You Get

Your thoughts train your mind, body, and emotions. They program you for what you believe and what to expect from life.

This is so important because you get to choose these thoughts. They should be intentional and not coming from the deepest place of your internal agony.

These should be affirmations about what you want and what you decide you will have, not about what you don’t want and the victimization that you’re feeling.

What you are thinking hundreds of times a day is what you will keep seeing in your life and what you will continue to attract more of. It’s so simple.

And, if you don’t believe it, just try it.

Try This:

Say “Cancel!” every time you find yourself on the hamster wheel of destructive thoughts — the ones that make you feel terrible, scared, weak, and small every time you think them. Just notice how many times a day you have to say “Cancel!”

Now, imagine that you started replacing those thoughts with something else. Something that makes you feel good. Something easy to remember to say.

“I am a good and worthy person.”

“I deserve happiness, and happiness is coming to me.”

Make it something that purposefully counteracts the worst of the constantly cycling thoughts in your head.

The Secret Sauce:

I know that this is not a complex technique. You don’t have to read a big book in order to use it and benefit from it. But it’s very powerful, if you use it consistently.

Being consistent is the only key. As humans, we like novelty. We get bored with staying consistent with simple techniques like this, which are so powerful if used and used and used. They become more powerful the more you use them.

But try it for seven days, and tell me what happens. Be consistent. By sticking with this one, small, magical practice, you are teaching yourself that you can count on you to be on your own side (and not think thoughts that make your life darker and weaker).

Know that you are a loving and lovable woman who does not deserve to torment herself when outside forces are already hurting you. You are the one person you can count on 100% to love and give emotional support to yourself, if you will only love the precious woman you are.

And, of course, I am here for you too. All you have to do is reach out. 🌸