Monthly Archives: November 2015

10 Life Lessons Divorce Taught Me

By: Gloria Marie

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10 Life Lessons Divorce Taught Me
Posted: 11/30/2015 11:41 am EST Updated: 25 minutes ago

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When my divorce began, I was somewhat naïve. I thought life would go on with the exception that I would now be alone. Well, that certainly was not the case. The first years were filled with ups and downs, deceptions, abandonment and disappointment. Through it all, I learned a lot and now am equipped to weather many storms.

Life changes rapidly through a divorce. Many, many people will come in and out of your life. Some will be wonderful and others not so wonderful. Whatever the situation, I tried to find the lesson or gift it contained. This was not always easy, but it helped me move on and through the process.

Here are 10 life lessons divorce taught me:

1. Don’t make assumptions. I assumed that my married friends would not want to be around me, and I assumed if I went out on a date and did not hear from the guy again it was because of me. How wrong that was. We all have busy lives. If you do not hear from a friend or a date, pick up the phone and give them a call. You might be surprised as to why you haven’t heard from them.

2. My attitude reflects the people I attract. If I was upset and broken, that is who I was surrounded with. When I began to heal and gain confidence and love for myself, I was surrounded by more supportive, loving people. It’s the Law of Attraction at work.

3. Divorce does not happen to only “those” people. After 21 years of marriage, I never thought I would be “one of those divorcees.” Divorce happens to other couples, not to me. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now that I’m one of those people, I learned to have more compassion for to others.

4. Be flexible and open to new people. I lived a fairly insular lifestyle during my marriage. When I was alone, eventually I went to new places and met people that previously were not in my world. My world became richer and more interesting.

5. Do not judge people who leave your life. Of course, it might hurt, but you are growing and changing. The past relationship might not fit in your new life. Think of it as gaining more energy to allow someone new to enter your life that is more in tune with the new you.

6. It’s important who I surrounded myself with. Divorce puts you in survival mode. It is great to both give and receive. However, I learned to watch how much I gave. There were selfish friends that I chose to limit my time with. I chose to be with supportive friends that also gave.

7. Support comes from unexpected places. Trying to be flexible and living in the moment brought some amazing results. I would be struggling with an issue and then run into a friend who would suggest a workshop I could attend. Or a friend would buy me the book that provided the exact support I needed.

8. Being alone is OK. Much of our social media is narcissistic. On social media sites, it would appear that that everyone was having fun, traveling, and life was wonderful while I was alone watching television on my couch. I learned that everything has a season and for now, it’s ok to be alone.

9. Forgiveness was the key. My anger towards my ex did not hurt him. He could care less; he had moved on and remarried. My anger was like drinking poison. It only hurt me. I learned to forgive, but not forget. It was time to move on and begin again.

10. Ultimately, it’s my journey. Through all the friends, therapists, teachers and acquaintances, my divorce and healing is my journey. They all helped and I am grateful, but the healing is an “inside” job.

3 Steps to Deal with the Stressful Holiday Season

By: Gloria Marie

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

We are in the wonderful holiday season. But, this wonderful season can get very hectic. Besides work and keeping our daily schedule, there are parties, events and possibly visiting relatives. With a little preparation and awareness, you can remain calm and enjoy every minute. Try these 3 steps to deal with the stressful holiday season.

The key is remembering that you are the captain of the ship. How you choose to react to any situation is up to you. This season, try not to be reactive to people or situations. Stay in control.

1. Go to the silent core of your being. By going in silence, you stay in touch with your inner being and by being in touch with it you will find strength. This strength can sustain you throughout this season. There are many ways to go into silence. You can meditate. Meditating for just 5 minutes in the morning will produce great results. You can do deep breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, or walk in nature. It does not matter what method you use, the important point is to get in touch on a daily basis with your inner core
2. Stay away from the drama of others. With holiday parties and getting together with friends, it may be easy to get pulled in other people’s drama. Unless you are invited to become a part of the drama and you choose to get involved- stay away. Let others live their lives and you live yours. Remember that whatever you say about others will come back to you like a boomerang.
3. Learn to say no. You do not need to go to every event or party you are invited to. This is definitely the season not to burn the candle at both ends. That way, you will be present and rested for the events that matter most to you.

Happy Thanksgiving

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce the divorce, divorce advice, divorced women

Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving to me represents the beginning of the holiday season. A time to be grateful, times spent with family and friends, and, from my Italian heritage, time for lots of good food. Our family always gathers together on Thanksgiving. The last several years, my sister and I split the cooking duties. We each make some of the traditional family recipes. I shared one of our favorite sweet potato recipes in a previous blog. You can access it here…

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to take out your journal and spend some reflecting on what you are grateful for today. Think back over the past year and write down some obvious things to be grateful for, then dig deeper to discover what may not be as apparent.

One of our traditions is reading the prayer below. It was written by Chief Yellow Lark. He was a nineteenth century medicine man of the Lakota Sioux.

Let Me Walk in Beauty
O Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty
and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears grow sharp to hear you voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be greater than my brother or sister
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready
to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes
So when life fades as the fading sunset
my spirit may come to you without shame.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving that is filled with love and gratitude.

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

By: Gloria Marie

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

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, I thought a blog about gratitude would be appropriate. I believe that gratitude is an important component to manifesting your dreams and desires. Gratitude connects you to your true power. It gets you to expect the best and you will get the best! This week try a few of these 10  ways to practice gratitude. I also encourage you to watch the six minute film, “Gratitude.” The link is at the end of this blog.

I have kept a gratitude journal for over ten years. But, I must admit, I am not consistent writing in it. I keep it by my bedside and try to write three things that I am grateful for at the end of the day. Looking back over what I wrote is very heart warming. There are many, many memories. This month though, I wanted to go deeper in my gratitude practice and this is what I came up with.

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

1. Write down three things you are grateful for and try to do this every day. When I have a disappointing or stressful day, it is amazing when I reflect on the great things or people in my day, it is an automatic attitude changer.
2. Think of a difficult situation or event that happened in your life and spend some journaling about “What was the Blessing” from that situation.
3. Write a gratitude letter to someone that helped make a difference in your life. Here is the link for the blog I wrote about gratitude letters.
4. Make a gratitude visit. Is there someone you could visit that you really appreciate and want to let them know?
5. Before meals, spend a few moments in prayer and silence giving thanks for the food you are about to eat.
6. Think of a gift you received from someone and probably how great it
made you feel. Can you pay it forward and do something for someone that is totally unexpected?
7. Think of a family member that you would like to acknowledge and thank. Give them a call. Usually, we forget to be grateful for those closest to us.
8. Stop at some point in your day and take a few deep breaths. Focus on the word “grateful” as you breathe in and out.
9. Write an affirmation. Start the sentence, “Today I am grateful for ________________.”
10. Write a check to an organization that you appreciate. It does not matter the amount. Even a $10 check is fine.

I would like to close with the beautiful film titled “Gratitude.” It was done by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. It is narrated by Brother David Steindl-Rast. It is only six minutes long and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Link for Gratitude film on YouTube

Create a Morning Ritual

By: Gloria Marie

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

This is a chapter from my book, “Divorce the Divorce: A 52 Step Journey to Unlimted Happiness.”   It is available on Amazon.  This chapter describes my morning ritual. Maybe this is the week to create a morning ritual.  With the holidays around the corner, it is a great way to relieve stress and ground yourself before you start the day.

divorce the divorce

Chapter 19
Morning Rituals

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
-Mother Teresa

I have my morning ritual; it is a time that I cherish. I believe this time helps me stay centered and calm throughout the day. Most mornings, I get up early, while it is still dark and the world is quiet. I make myself a cup of coffee and retreat to my “meditation chair.” It is an oversized, comfortable chair with a large basket of inspirational books next to it. This hour that I spend every morning is a gift to myself. Most days there are no startling insights: just time to pray, go deep into my soul, and be in God’s presence. This week, try to give yourself a gift of silence each morning.
My morning ritual consists of meditation, journaling, inspirational reading, and sitting in silence. I begin reading while enjoying my coffee. By my chair, I have several books to choose from. Next I meditate for about 20 minutes. This is followed by journaling and praying. Some days, I do not have the luxury of an hour and that is alright. This morning ritual has helped me transform my life from fear to peace and love. Some mornings I wake up feeling ho-hum, but after my quiet time, I feel ready and excited to begin another day. Besides some books, I have some crystals on the small table next to my chair. It is my sacred space. There are many ideas and activities in this book that can be suggestions to help you transform your life. I consider my Morning Ritual as the cornerstone to my spiritual practice.
As women, we are accustomed to nurturing others, and it can be difficult to carve out the time to nurture ourselves. But through changes, it is even more important that we find this time to connect with our inner beauty, our inner peace, and our soul. This is where we will find the courage and the answers to move forward with our lives. Sitting in silence can be uneasy at first and maybe a little frightening. The hurts, the betrayals, and the fears will probably all surface. In this silence, you will begin little, by little to heal and begin, little by little to create a beautiful new life. You will gradually replace fear with love.
Try doing this for the next 21 days as an experiment, and see how you feel at the end of the 21 days.

Create Your Own Morning Ritual
1. Pick out a spot in your home that you can remain undisturbed. It is preferable to have a chair to sit on. If you do not have an hour to spend, try half an hour.
2. Inspirational Reading – Pick out several books to keep by your side. I like to have a variety depending on what my mood is. Currently, I am reading, “Thoughts in Solitude” by Thomas Merton. I also have a book of daily inspirational messages that I read right before my meditation. My old standby is “Around the Year with Emmet Fox.” I also enjoy, “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo. I usually read for about 20 minutes while sipping my coffee.
3. Meditation – If you do not have a meditation practice, a breathing meditation may be the way to start. Sit silently and concentrate on your breath going in and out of your body. When thoughts come, just let them go. Do not engage the thoughts. Just breathe. I set a timer for 20 minutes.
4. Journaling – After meditation, open your journal and begin to write. Let the pen just flow. Some mornings, I may write a letter to God.
5. Silence and Reflection – Before you leave the chair, spend a few minutes in quiet reflection and prayer.
These are just my suggestions. Be flexible and create your own morning ritual. It is a beautiful way to begin a day and in time you will see a change in your life. It could be less anxiety, less stress, more love, or more peace.

Mid-Week Delight
Watch a sunrise and a sunset in silence.

Steps to Initiate Change in Your Life

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce advice, divorced women, divorce the divorce

When we want change in our lives, it is usually in one of four areas: health, prosperity, relationships and career. Or maybe in all four areas. I believe in getting a clear vision of what you want to manifest into your life, but, you also need an action plan. Having a vision and sitting on your couch hoping something will happen usually does not work. Try these steps to initiate change in your life.

Part of that action plan is examining those areas that you want to see change. Sometimes we need to change the energy in order to receive guidance about change.

You may want to improve your health. First, examine how you take care of your body. Do you eat healthy foods? Do you avoid toxic substances? Do you exercise? If you want to improve your health, this week, take one step toward a healthier lifestyle. Maye that one step is to remove caffeine from your diet or maybe go for a walk three times this week.

You may want increased prosperity, but, examine how you take care of what you already have. Look at your wallet or purse. Is it neatly organized? Or is it a mess of credit cards, receipts and junk? Even if your charge cards are maxed out, avoidance will not solve the problems. How about your financial files? Are they organized? This week take one step toward getting organized and therefore, get ready for more prosperity.

You may be looking for love or you may want to improve an already existing relationship. First, look at how you treat yourself. Do you love yourself? Love begins with YOU! This week do something special for yourself, take that long relaxing bath. Look in the mirror and say, “I love and approve of you.”

You may be unhappy in your current job or you may have lost your job. Do you spend time finding what you’re passionate about? Do you spend time in silence listening for inner guidance about how to proceed? This week take one step that gets you closer to your ideal job, even if it is just researching a new path.

By examining the area you want to change, you are putting energy out into the Universe and shouting that you ARE ready for change.

Meaning of the Number 11

By: Gloria Marie

Have you ever looked at the clock and noticed it was 11:11? Or saw the numbers 11-11 on a license plate or other random location? With today’s date at 11/11, I thought it would be a perfect day to look into the meaning of the number 11.

When you see repeated numbers, it is considered a message from the angels or your spirit guides. It is a common occurrence. Pay attention when you see repeated numbers. Be aware of what your thoughts are at the time and know that your angels are near.

In numerology, 11 is considered a Master Number. It is aligned with faith and a higher spiritual vibration.

The 11-11 combination is of the highest spirituality, you are being asked to push your human limitations. It is a time to be aware of your thoughts and focus on what you WANT! Focus on intentions. Pay attention and become aware of your thoughts.

Doreen Virtue in her book, “Angel Numbers 101”, states the following about 111:

“This number brings you the urgent message that your thoughts are manifesting instantly, so keep your mind-set focused upon your desires. Give fearful thoughts to Heaven for transmutation.”

Since today is 11/11, I think it is a great day to focus on our intentions.

1. Spend some time taking a few deep breaths. Try to release any worries or stress.
2. Focus on your intentions. What is it that you would like to bring into your life? Would you like better health, more abundance, a different career or a partner?
3. Now write it down on a sheet of paper. Keep it in a location where you could look at it often.
4. Are there any steps you could take to get closer to your intentions?

Next time you see 11, check out your thoughts and if they are not positive and focused, remember the intention you wrote down.

3 Steps to Help You Set Personal Boundaries

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong

This may sound silly, but, have you ever felt overwhelmed? At the end of the day, do you ever think, where has this day gone? You may not be setting some boundaries and you may be letting whatever comes you way take your attention. Try these 3 steps to help you set personal boundaries and make the most of your day.

If you do not have boundaries, you can be like a sponge and take on other people’s feelings, tasks and problems. I am all for helping others compassionately, but, not if it means I take on everyone’s feelings and problems. With defined space, you will know who or what you allow in to your inner circle and life.

1. Take a large sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle of it. In the circle, write or draw all you desire to have, do, and/or manifest into your life. Include what brings you happiness. What friends or family members are in your inner circle?

2. Now on the outside of the circle, write or draw what might prevent you from achieving what you want in your inner circle. What are the people, distractions, or events that can sideline you or rob you of your time? The outside of the circle are people or things that you are only willing to experience by “invitation” only.

3. If you have trouble defining your boundaries, ask yourself the following questions:
a. Am I taking a stand for what I believe?
b. Am I defining who I am rather than being defined by others?
c. Am I honoring my time?
d. Do I always say “yes?”
e. Do I put my work and interests always last?

This exercise will help you define what you are willing to do and what you won’t do. It will help you get a sense of your SELF!

3 Steps to a More Fulfilling Life

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, divorce the divorce, divorce advice

Passion is defined as a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. When going through my divorce and other difficult transitions, I realized I was not passionate about anything. In order to survive emotionally, there was a time I did not allow myself to feel any strong emotion, whether passion or anger. How boring is that? Try these 3 steps to a more fulfilling life.

We will begin by reflecting on the following questions and then we will discuss ways to begin putting that passion into your life!

Reflect on these questions, take your time. It may take a few weeks before you can answer them. Perhaps write your answers in your journal.

1. What activity would you engage in even if you never made money doing it?
2. When you dream, what do you dream about?
3. What are you good at?
4. What sparks your creativity?
5. What are 5 past life experiences that left you with a sense of fulfillment?
6. What was the best time you ever had?
7. What activities make you feel like your heart is about to burst?

Now what? While reflecting on these answers, write down 3 things that bring you passion. They may be small things: time with your children, spending more time reading, taking you dog on a walk or they could be larger things: learning to paint, dancing lessons, going back to school. This week, try to incorporate one of your passions into your life.

1. Start with a small thing, something that can easily be added to your life.
2. Be fearless. Do not let your mind tell you “I should” or “I cannot”.
3. Simplify some part of your life to make room for more passion.

Book Review “Happy Cooking”

By: Gloria Marie

happy cooking, giada de laurentiis, divorce, divorced women

“Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count…..Without Stressing Out” by Giada De Laurentiis is my new favorite go-to cookbook. It is a very comprehensive cookbook and no matter what your diet is, you are sure to find recipes that appeal to you. There are over 200 recipes. Informative cooking and entertaining tips are interspersed throughout the book.

The recipes are well written and accompanied by beautiful photographs.  The chapters in include: First Things First: Breakfast, Snacks, Salads, Pastas, Eating Clean, Weeknight Warriors and Holidays. There are many vegetarian and vegan options in addition to chicken, fish, and meat recipes.  There are also a variety of cooking methods.  I especially enjoyed her tips for holiday entertaining. The ingredients used in the recipes are easy to find at your local grocery store.  You will not have to hunt down long lists of unusual ingredients.

I prepared the Gluten-Free Pasta with Butternut Squash and Marjoram. I prepared it for guests. It was delicious and gluten-, nut-, and dairy free.  The pasta was brown rice spaghetti and my guests could not tell the difference from traditional pasta.

I also prepared the Farro and Arugula Salad.  I have made farro many times, but, Giada’s instructions for cooking it made it much more flavorful.  The recipe for Alex’s Shrimp Stir-Fry was tasty and simple to prepare.

I highly recommend “Happy Cooking”.  You will be spending less time preparing food in your kitchen, but, you will have amazing delicious, healthy meals.

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