I went through a divorce with young children and was a single mom for about a decade. In the beginning, I noticed I was struggling with my identity as a single mom. There has been a stigma about raising children in a single parent household AND about children having to make extraordinary adjustments to accommodate more than one home.
I had a lot of guilt, feeling like I did this to my kids. Like I was being selfish for leaving their farther, putting my own needs first.
After all the bad feelings washed through me, I began to remember myself. I knew I had been good at resourcing myself and finding my joy easily as a young 20 year old starting college, so I set out to rediscover myself, now in my 30’s.
I decided to redefine myself from a place that resonated with my soul. “Who do I want to be?” I asked myself. What REALLY lights me up and makes me excited to step out into the day and create something, make something happen, give myself to something AMAZING?!
I counted it on one hand: I want to be a motorcycle rider, bellydancer, mom, rock climber, and massage therapist. I already had the first 3 under my belt so to speak. And somehow, when I aligned them all together as “who I was”, it felt POWERFUL! Fun, exciting and with something to my heart. It all aligned with my values of caregiving, risk taking, stretching outside my comfort zone, and the pride of being a mom. I had ridden on the back of a motorcycle with my dad as a child. Now I wanted to ride it myself! (What a metaphor, right?!)
I took a motorcycle class and got my class M1 license. I took belly dance classes and learned about my physical capacities after having children; it made my body really strong!
I discovered for myself that when I fed my soul, my children felt it. They directly benefited from my upliftment. There were plenty of times I went down. When things became extremely challenging and I was left completely disheartened and wanted to give up. I’d lose my temper and let things fall apart and feel sorry for myself.
There are SO many ways I found to come back to myself. It usually involved some kind of self care, integrity inventory, or leaning on friends I trusted to shine the light on me so I could recover my better parts.
It was so fun meeting someone and when they asked what I did or about who I was, I would hold out my hand and count it on each of my fingers. “I’m a rock climber, bellydancer, motorcyclist, mom, massage therapist.” You can imagine the pause before they responded with something like, “wow, that’s really amazing!”
It felt more energizing and enlivening than, “I’m a single mom recovering from a divorce, struggling to make ends meet, suffering from exhaustion, hoping things get better.”
Don’t get me wrong, all of those stories have a place. And at some point, I decided it was extremely disempowering to go around with that label. Dragging around the heaviness of my circumstances. Instead, I brought curiosity to my journey. If I could create this for myself, what else could I invent or imagine? How could I help others going through something similar?
I created a program for women going through a divorce with with young children. I watched them go from deep struggle and frustration to light-hearted fulfillment by CHOOSING INTENTIONALLY what they wanted to give their life force to. This program grew and morphed into The Wise Women’s Council.
I invite you to experience a Clarity & Confidence coaching session with me anytime. You can schedule HERE.
I also suggest if any of this story resonates for you, to consider joining the Wise Women’s Council with the first 3 months open to try it out, then to continue to go deeper in the second 3 months leading up to a retreat in Big Sur, July 2023.
You don’t need to be going through a divorce- any challenging life transition will do for the conversations we have to apply. I look forward to sharing more with you and hearing your story.