Monthly Archives: August 2015

3 Steps to Release and Surrender

By: Gloria Marie

serenity prayer, divorce, divorced, divorced women, single happy strong

I had a friend recently ask me, “How do you know when to let go and stop struggling?” That is a very interesting question. Have you ever felt that you are trying so hard and nothing seems to be moving forward? Do you feel like your feet are stuck in mud? Maybe then, it is time to release and surrender.

To release and surrender does not mean giving up. It means releasing your problems or struggles to a much higher power than yourself. When we get caught up in our everyday lives we may lose the connection to our Higher Self. The ego may get involved and all those thoughts are going on and on in your head. Instead of listening to your heart you may be listening to the well-meaning but, possibly misdirected advice from those around you.

This is what I do to release and surrender:

1. I take the necessary action steps to fix the situation. In other words, I do not just sit on my couch and hope. If there are people to call, information to gather, or research to perform; I accomplish that.
2. After I have exhausted all that I know to do and still feel challenged, then, I take a step back to meditate and pray. Prayer and meditation allows me to emotionally let go and open myself to have faith that a power much greater than myself is at work. God in his Infinite power can do a better job.
3. By opening up my heart, I am also getting in touch with my Higher Self and usually receive insights about the next steps I could take.

Releasing and surrendering reminds me of a favorite prayer of my Mothers.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,
COURAGE to change the things I can,
And the WISDOM to know the difference.

Celebrate National Dog Day

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, divorced

Today, August 26, is National Dog Day. It is a day to celebrate that all dogs live happy, safe, and abuse free lives. Have you had a special dog at some point it your life? Maybe you were fond of a friend’s or neighbor’s dog. I had a beloved lab. He provided me with unconditional love and throughout my dark divorce years, was my constant companion.

Grizzly was a passionate 80 pound lab that thought he was a lap dog. He would jump on the couch to sit on our laps. He loved to swim and would spend entire days in the pool swimming back and forth with a ball in his mouth, only putting it down to rest on the pool steps. It always amazed me how well he knew the time. When it was 6:00 pm, he would come and find me, tap his nose against my knee, and try nudging me toward the kitchen so, he could have his dinner. I miss Grizzly, but, life is impermanent and I am so grateful he was a part of my life.

If you have has a special dog or any special animal in your life, try this Gratitude Meditation.

Fill Your Heart with Gratitude

Find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Try to relax your body. Begin to focus on your heart. Feel its beating and become aware of the space it occupies in your chest. Imaging it expanding just a little more. Continue breathing. Think now of any animals you love or you loved in the past. Picture them happy and healthy. Try using all of your senses. What do you smell? What sound are they making? How do they feel? Fill your heart with these images and thank them for blessing you with their love. Feel your beating heart again and know that these memories that you cherish will always be there for you to tap into.

Licorice

Licorice

Miss Maggie

Miss Maggie

Practice The Law of Gratitude

By: Gloria Marie

gratitude, single happy strong, divorce, divorced women, divorced

If you want one practice that you do on a daily basis, gratitude is it! Gratitude connects us to God and the amazing powers of the Universe. Think of it like a thread that keeps you attached to God and your Inner Self. You can remain in a state of gratitude to ensure the thread stays unbroken. Let your thread be strong and constant. The Law of Gratitude is is a powerful practice for manifestation.

If you fix on the best, you will be surrounded by the best and receive the best. Gratitude lets abundance flow. No matter what your circumstances are, there is something you are grateful for today. Did you have water to drink? Were you able to eat a meal today? And to take it a step further, did you wake up today? That in and of itself is a major cause for a celebration of gratitude. What was your mood like when you woke up? Normally, my feet do not touch the floor without thanking God for the gift of another day.

Dissatisfaction = Disconnect

The equation is really that simple. When you are dissatisfied you have cut yourself off from God and from the flow of abundance from the Universe. Try today giving thanks continually. See if you feel differently at the end of the day.

Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude is like a flash light in a dark forest”. It will get you in touch with your higher self and help you see through the darkness.

I have done blogs on Gratitude Journals, which I believe are wonderful. Today though try this exercise. Find a quiet place to sit. Take some deep breaths. Think of five people, events or places that fill your heart with a sense of gratitude. Try to get out of your head and into your heart. Write these five things down and next time you feel fear or are dissatisfied, read them and get in touch with the warm, wonderful feeling of gratitude in your heart.

Inspirational Books for August

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong

Each month I try to highlight either a new book I recently read or it may be a book that I have had for a while, but, recently reread it. This month, I will feature three inspirational books for August.

“One Minute Wisdom” by Anthony de Mello
Anthony was a Jesuit priest known throughout the world for his spiritual writings. In “One Minute Wisdom” there are more than two hundred parables and lessons about living life fully yet simply. Each anecdote takes only a minute to read and he suggests reading no more than one or two a day. Some topics include: Miracles, Heaven, Presence, Humility and Manifestation. One of my favorite is called Transformation.
“To a disciple who was forever complaining about other the Master said, “If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers that to carpet the whole of the earth.”

“Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss
I was given this book as a gift. It is about 140 pages, so, it is a quick read, packed with knowledge. I keep it on my desk and everyday I open to a page to read a few paragraphs. This book will help you learn to adapt to life’s changes, how to deal with stress and how to remain happy in your daily life.
Quote from the book:
“You may discover in reading this book that it is your time to take on a new belief that will bless your life from this time onward. We are the authors of every next moment.”

“The Future of God” by Deepak Chopra
This book provides insights into what God means and gives steps on how to grow in spirit. It is a spiritual book, not religious. He proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore anyone can find the God within that transforms everyday life.
Quote from the book:
“The same road that leads to miracles leads to God. We haven’t traveled the road yet. We’ve only made the goal possible. That is the role of faith, to expand the range of possibilities.”

The Little Paris Bookshop Book Review

By: Gloria Marie

9780553418774

This is a must read for book lovers. The Little Paris Bookshop is a heartwarming, beautiful novel. Monsieur Perdu is a literary apothecary and has a floating bookstore on a barge. The story takes you on a scenic journey on the Seine. The people they encounter on the journey, the landscape, and the food make you feel that you are on a trip in France.

Monsieur Perdu uses his intuition to suggest books for his customers. He mends broken hearts and broken lives by suggesting specific books and sometimes refusing to sell the customers the books they request. He heals all broken hearts, except his own. This is a love story about a lost love and the search on the Seine to make peace with himself.

There are many references to great books and the healing powers of them. This is not a quick read. You will want to savor the pages. I found myself wanting to underline some passages that I would read again and again.

Visit the Little Paris Bookshop website to get a book “prescribed” for you. Very interesting.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in order to write this review.

5 Ways to Create a Joyful Life

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce women, divorce the divorce, single happy strong

My book, “Divorce the Divorce” has 52 chapters with 52 lessons to change your life. Recently I was interviewed on the Lillian McDermott radio show and Lillian asked me to name my top five ways to create a joyful life.

These are my top five:

1. Learn to Love Yourself- You need this before you can give to others. A great analogy is the oxygen mask on airplanes. We have all heard the message, “Place the oxygen mask on yourself first”. Spend a day being aware of your thoughts. Are your thoughts about yourself more positive or negative? Become aware of your thoughts and change them if necessary.
2. Forgiveness – This includes forgiveness of ourselves and of others. Clean up your past and free up any negative energy to allow a natural flow of positive energy to flow. An unforgiving mind is full of fear, the opposite of love. “A Course in Miracle” says, “Forgiveness is the key to happiness”.
3. Gratitude – Being in a state of gratitude connects you to your true self. If there is a situation in your life you want to change, it is important to be grateful for what you already have. A state of gratefulness is felt in the heart and connects you to living in the moment.
4. A Spiritual Practice – Going inward helps you grow and heal. A spiritual practice may take many forms: pray, meditate, contemplation or inspirational reading. By a “practice”, in order for growth, it needs to be done on a consistent, daily basis.
5. Find Your Passion – We are meant to enjoy and thrive in our lives. Finding your passion may be in a hobby, a job, or your calling. It is what makes your heart sing. When you discover it; create a plan and take steps every week towards it.

Roasted Cauliflower and Barley Salad

By: Gloria Marie

divorced, divorced women, divorce the divorce

Summer is a great time for barbecues. Lately, I have gotten tired of the same old side dishes: coleslaw, grilled corn, and potato salad. Since I have been on a roasted cauliflower kick and also trying to incorporate more grains into my diet I tried to combine the two. A dear friend of mine was coming over for dinner and she is so great about trying my “new” and unproved recipes. We both loved it. I tried leftovers the next day and the flavor was not as robust. I would suggest making it the same day you are serving it. This would also be a wonderful vegetarian entree.

Roasted Cauliflower and Barley Salad

Ingredients
½ cup pearled barley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground pepper
Salt
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 15 oz. can of cannelloni beans, rinsed
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
¼ cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. Place barley in a saucepan with 1 ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 50 minutes. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Stir half way through roasting. Let cool slightly before adding them to the other ingredients.
3. Wisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and 5 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer cauliflower to a large serving dish, add beans, barley, parsley and basil. Add the dressing, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.

You can leave this at room temperature until you are ready to serve it. The maximum would be less than 2 hours because of the mayonnaise.

Enjoy!

Dealing with Pent Up Feelings

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, divorced women, divorce, single happy strong

Do you ever feel that you have all this emotion inside of you and you do not know how to express it? It could manifest itself as a heaviness in your chest or heart. Maybe it is hard to explain the feeling. Perhaps there is something that you need to express to someone and you are having difficulty expressing it. It is long way from the heart to the throat. We feel with our hearts and sometimes it takes courage to express what you are feeling through your throat into the physical world.

When I have this pent up feeling in my chest, I try to spend some time quietly sitting and trying to figure out what this is about.

Some questions I may ask myself:
What or who am I avoiding?
Is there a situation I am avoiding?
Is there something I need to communicate to another person?
Do I have an insight into my own life that I need to recognize?
What is it that needs releasing?

Eckhart Tolle says, “If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won’t lose yourself in the external world and you won’t lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desire, may still be there to some extent but they won’t take you over.”

Try this now.
Try to connect with those pent up feelings. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your body. Scan the area where those pent up feelings are. Get out of your head and do not try to describe it. Feel it! Can you feel the subtle energy changes? Breathe. Spend a few minutes connecting with your body. When you are ready, open your eyes and begin writing in your journal. Do not be concerned about what you are writing, let your pen flow. After you feel you have finished writing, try to see if you want to answer any of the questions listed above.

How do you feel? Did you get any insights?

Lillian McDermott Radio Show

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong

I was a guest on the Lillian McDermott Radio Show on July 28.  The topic was, “How to Be Single, Happy and Strong.”  It is always a pleasure being on her show, “When you need a friend.”  The link to listen to the radio show is below.

Link to Listen to the Radio Show

Introduce Your Boyfriend to Your Children

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce advice, divorced women, single happy strong, divorce the divorce

This is a question that comes up often. When should I introduce my children to my new boyfriend? There is not a straight forward answer, but, the first meeting should be planned. I also feel that unless you are in a serious relationship, it is best not to involve your children. So, how do you introduce your boyfriend to your children.

Personally, I used the three month rule. My sons would not meet anyone unless I had been seeing them three months. It just complicates matters and I always felt is best to leave my children’s lives separate, especially right after the divorce. Of course, this would vary with the age of your children. Mine at the time of my divorce were teenagers.

What I was naïve about what how to introduce them. Learn from my mistakes. My boys and I were going on a vacation with other family members. My boyfriend wanted to join us because we were going to celebrate my birthday. On the big day, I chose white water rafting as our activity. I love it and my sons and I have gone many times. My older son was a white water rafting guide and I thought, what better way to all get to know each other. Well, while most of us were having fun paddling through the rapids, my boyfriend was scared to death. He was holding on for dear life and was crouched down in the middle of the raft. This was not what I expected. We stopped dating shortly after that.

My sister thought the situation was so hilarious, that she bought an 11” X 14” photo of that famous river run and it still hangs in her house.

My advice:
1. Plan the introduction in a group setting, some easy, neutral activity.
2. Have no expectations of the outcome.
3. Remind your children, that your boyfriend will not replace their father. They have only one Mother and one Father.

What has worked for you?