Dancing through Divorce & Other Breakups
One morning last April, I rose with a very clear awareness ~ “I’m getting a divorce.” Despite the abrupt and clear message, it was a decision three years in the making. Three years of contemplation, communication, confusion, contentment and confusion again on the subject of marriage and the dissolution of a marriage. Years that included challenging but loving dialogues with my partner, our therapist, my closest friends and my inner guidance.
The overarching message during that time was “You’ll know when you know.”
I remember that morning so clearly when the next best step revealed itself and two hours later followed, “I’m getting a divorce AND moving to California.”
What next? After doing the grown-up, responsible research and taking the steps required to dissolve a marriage and move cross country (I won’t bore you with those details), what would the day to day look like as I traversed through logistical steps A to Z? How would I move through and navigate these changes with awareness and empathy, and in some ways, create an emotional and expressive snapshot of this momentous time in my life?
Looking back, the pathway and support system are clear. First and foremost, my friends and family showed up, helped out and gave me so much love. My girlfriends came out STRONG and for this I am so appreciative and grateful. My Mom & Aunt, Step-Mother and the enduring yet non-physical relationship I have with my Grandmother, provided and continue to shower me with unconditional love. My Dad as always, listened with a nonjudgmental ear. These Beings helped me dearly with their presence, well wishes, “what if?” questions and sound advice.
Regarding the intention to express and chronicle this journey, the desire was real, the process was organic. In reflection, the following D.A.N.C.Es ~ Daily Actions Ensuring Conscious Evolution™ ~ saved the day. I offer them to you as a support system to move you through intense challenges in your life and to assist you in the discovery of your inner resolve.
Yes, sitting, breathing, and allowing the Self to be. So simple and so challenging at times.
Meditation has a long list of benefits. Here are some benefits I’ve experienced:
- a release of stress through focus on the breath and present moment
- a sense of well-being and an expansion of trust
- spontaneous creativity and problem solving resolutions which seem to arise out of “nowhere”
There are many meditation tradition and approaches. I practice sitting with an aligned spine, focusing on the flow of breath in and out of the body, watching thoughts arise and dissolve, and returning to the breath whenever I get attached to those thoughts.
If meditation is new to you or if you feel you don’t have time to engage in this practice, start with three minutes a day and then eventually build up to 20 or more minutes. The i-Qi Clock app is a great tool to time your practice and transition out of your meditation with the pleasing sounds of chimes and singing bowls.
I’ve found that a morning practice is a great way to align with positive energies and to intend for a conscious outlook on life. Also, with an a.m. practice, your seated endeavor is completed before getting into the full swing of day-to-day activities.
For a guided meditation experience, sign up for my Awaken Celebrate & Inspire newsletter. As a bonus for joining my mailing list, you’ll receive for free, my Awaken Seated Meditation audio when it’s released at the top of February. The practice is designed for beginner meditators and connects you to your breath and to the earth, enriches the discovery of your inner wisdom, and assists you in creating intentional aims for how you would like your day and life to flow. These are all great tools for navigating change and strengthening the ability to let go.
2. Gratitude Journaling
We’ve all heard Oprah and those into the Law of Attraction discuss the power of gratitude and gratitude journaling. It’s actually quite practical and a great way to remember what’s important, to chronicle the continuous blessings flowing in life and to shift you into an improved mood when you’re feeling down: gratitude begets a positive attitude.
Before and during the divorce transition, I wrote down the moments, people, messages and lessons that I appreciate in my life. A dedicated gratitude journal was kept near my bed (and still is!) to write down these appreciations before sleep and upon rising.
Purchase a journal for yourself that’s dedicated for your daily appreciations. Colored pens can also be a nice addition. Reflect on what’s written in your journal when you’re feeling down or when you want to elevate your mood.
4. Expressive Arts Therapy
I suppose this offering should be titled “Embrace the Child Within”. During the divorce transition, I was also compelled to draw…with chalk…outside…on the entryway. I took frequent work breaks to hoop (as in the return of hula hooping) outside and what can I say, my daughter’s colored chalk collection was very compelling.
I found myself inspired to hoop, then draw, hoop again and repeat (frequently). The experience was liberating and ignited the unfolding of me falling in love with myself again. My expressions expanded into self-portraits and poetry.
Enter the innocent space of discovery and let yourself create with curiosity and without limits. Take photos of yourself with your iPhone and computer camera. Doodle and write poetry. Include the date on your precious revelations as you chronicle this chapter in your life.
This list of D.A.N.C.E ~ Daily Actions Ensuring Conscious Evolution™ ~ would be incomplete without shouting out the benefits of Dancing! Dance is my first love and it’s my direct portal to my authentic self and connection with Spirit. It’s liberating, expressive, healthy on so many levels and just feels good (even when dancing discomfort or through discomfort).
To be clear, by “dance” I mean moving your body, consciously and with intention, to discover, release or share the Truth of the Moment and the Essence of Self. No choreography or additional set of preconceived notions are required. If you can walk, you can dance! Better yet, if you can breathe, you can dance.
The kitchen and my bedroom seem to be my favorite dance domes. Find the space that feels good and organic for you. Maybe it’s a private space, or maybe you want an audience (being witnessed is a powerful healing tool). I would frequently dance in the kitchen with my daughter looking at me like I’m crazy until she eventually joined in.
I’m fond of three song playlists as inspiration for daily dance explorations. Below is a playlist that may assist you in dancing sadness, letting go and moving into a space of positive expectation. Pandora is also a great resource for getting your dance on! Pick a channel and move for at least three songs.
1. Chan Chan ~ Buena Vista Social Club
2. I Hate This Part ~ The Pussycat Dolls
3. Breathe (Extended Mix) ~ Telepopmusik
“…to heal you must be able to dance, to hear the music from deep within.”
extracted from The Dancing Healers by Carl A. Hammerschlag, M.D.
Dancing unifies even when dancing feelings of separation, confusion and fear. By acknowledging what’s real, space is created for healing, resolution and peace. Dance daily and frequently. Your energy will soar and your outlook on life will improve. In addition, you’ll get a great workout that will tone the body, strengthen the heart and clear the pores. Dancing is Holistic Fitness!
Separation, divorce and breakups are all opportunities for growth and self-discovery. In truth, life is an experience of constant deaths as the only constant is change. It’s best to learn how to dance with this Truth. Fortunately, we have many tools for navigating through and expressing all that Life has to offer. We are always supported.
Please comment below and share this post. Dancing Forward…
Dance your Truth and join me in Bali, Indonesia, March 10 – 16, 2012 for the Bhakti Boogie® ~ Dance Meditation Immersion at Michael Franti’s Soulshine Retreat Center. Adam Dreisler aka Dj Fyah Luv and Keven James Carroll, Bhakti Yogi & World Musician will assist us in liberating ourselves and others from TraumaDrama (those stories we tell ourselves about why we continue to suffer). The Early Boogiesattva Rate is extended until Friday, January 27. Great airfare to Bali is still available. Register now to secure your space and dance Heaven on Earth!
There are several practices that boost my courage, soothe my heart and help me integrate change. I’ll continue to share them with you. Sign up for my newsletter to ensure that you’ll receive each post.
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