06/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Ask Maddisen: How to Rise from the Ashes of Divorce

Dear Maddisen:
I am at a cross-road in my life. I am divorced after a 21 year marriage and have no children or pets and very few responsibilities. I honestly feel paralyzed by my bounty and rather than focusing my energies on what I really want to do -- writing -- I find myself coming up with any excuse not to, and waste an inordinate amount of time on the phone and social networking sites. I end up feeling terribly guilty and judging myself for not following my dream. How can I learn to focus my energies into what I really want to do? Thank you, SW

Dear SW,

Thank you for sharing so honestly, and for very clearly describing where you are, where you'd like to be, and what's getting in the way.

My intention is to guide you in seeing how you can use all of this, including your perceived obstacles, to continue on your path with more ease, inner peace, positive focus, and success in living any of your dreams.

First, it's important to acknowledge where you're at and how you feel now. You've just left a 21 year partnership, you've gone through a divorce, and now you are suddenly "single." A major change. Without children or pets to care for, and in a state of bounty, the world is your oyster. Now what?! Part of what you're experiencing is mild shock, which would explain the paralyzed feeling.

Perhaps you need to waste some time on the phone and social networking sites. Perhaps you even need a small vacation, or a spa retreat where you can pamper and lovingly care for your body, mind, and soul for a few days or a week. Perhaps you want to do a vision quest, or create your own ceremony to mark the end of your married time and the beginning of your new life.

I'm suggesting, SW, that you let yourself have some time to feel, think, stare into space, and simply be with all of this "stuff" that's coming up and moving inside of you -- in a self respecting and self loving way, and without self judgment and self criticism. By giving yourself the time you need to process this major event -- to mourn and release what has just died -- it may very well free up your attention to move forward more easily into the activities that are calling to be born, such as writing.

Here's a fitting quote from Joseph Campbell: "Destruction before creation." This means take the time to experience the destruction of your marriage and that former life first, before charging desperately forward into creating your new life. Don't bypass where you're at right now. Acknowledge the destruction, then move into creation.

To help you through this phase, and specifically address and heal the feelings of guilt and self judgment you've described, begin practicing Self Forgiveness today, and continue this daily for at least 30 days.

Self Forgiveness
Self Forgiveness moves us into more and more inner peace. Use it to become your own greatest ally and supporter.

Step 1
Identify your self judgments, criticisms, irrational beliefs, or any feelings of guilt.

Step 2
Move into Self Forgiveness, as follows:

Start with the expression: "I forgive myself for judging myself for..." or "I forgive myself for judging myself as...", and then add whatever the judgments are. Make this an audible process, meaning say these phrases aloud.

For example, "I forgive myself for judging myself as non-productive and stuck." Or, "I forgive myself for judging myself for wasting my life." Or, "I forgive myself for judging myself for feeling paralyzed and unable to write."

Take your time, there is no hurry. Sit quietly and forgive yourself for judging yourself for any judgments, irrational beliefs, or guilt that comes to mind. The more you can forgive yourself, the more relieved you will feel, the more at peace you will feel, and you may notice feeling a little freer and more encouraged to do what you really want to do.

First and foremost, forgive yourself, and if then you feel called to forgive any others related to the situation, you can extend the forgiveness to them too. It's up to you. For example, "I forgive myself for judging my husband for..." or "I forgive myself for judging my mother-in-law as..."

When you feel a sense of quiet or of being complete, go to Step 3.

Step 3
Once you feel complete with the Self Forgiveness, follow with this phrasing: "Because the truth is...", and then add the positive traits you know or sense to be true about yourself.

For example, "Because the truth is I've always been and still am very productive, but I've needed this time to mourn and gather myself." Or, "Because the truth is I need some time to get to know who I am without my husband." Or "Because the truth is I'm starting all over again, and I need to get away to gain a fresh perspective about what I want and how to move forward with my goals."

Repeat these steps every day, at least for the next 30 days, and whenever you feel the need.

Tip: If you find it challenging to move into the loving or caring place of Self Forgiveness, think of someone or someplace you love, or your best friend for example, and then from that place of caring, move into Self Forgiveness.

In addition to Self Forgiveness, SW, use the following process for a structured and fun way to clarify your goals related to writing, or any goal. Setting clear intentions will pave your way.

Map Out Your Heartfelt Goals
Step 1 - Clarify what you want
To get clear on what you want, write down the heartfelt desires and goals that inspire and excite you. What do you want? What do you want to experience? Since you have expressed a great interest in writing, SW, focus on that goal for this exercise. What does your dream of writing look like? What are your goals for writing? How do you want to feel when you write? Jot down your ideas.

A good rule of thumb is to make these goals/desires at least 50% believable to you.

Step 2 - Write Your "I AM" Intentions
Next, enhance your desires and goals by turning them into inspired "I AM" intentions, using vivid and empowering language.

For example:
"I AM very excited and inspired by my writing ideas."
"I AM successfully completing a draft outline of my novel."
"I AM so inspired as I write the first chapter of my novel."
"I AM loving my writing schedule and how great it makes me feel."

When we set clear intentions, the methods for creating them will appear. "I AM's" ignite your desires and start the wheels of manifestation in your mental and physical world.

Step 3 - Read Your "I AM's" Daily
Read your "I AM's" daily. Continue this practice for at least 30 days, preferably longer. And as you start manifesting your "I AM's", update your list and add new desires and goals. Make this a living, changing document. Practice reading them aloud or quietly. For fun, try reading your "I AM's" aloud while walking in your house or in the yard.

As you read and visualize your "I AM's", be aware if there any small steps you could take to start creating them. Write down the steps and perhaps dates for completion. Be open to the support and collaboration of others. Be willing to receive what you want or something better for your highest good and the highest good of all concerned.

You can create "I AM" intentions for any area of your life. I work with my "I AM's" daily, and update them regularly as I manifest them or as they change.

Grant Yourself the Dignity of Your Life
In summary, SW, and in answer to your question for clarity on how to focus your energies into what you really want to do, I hope you experience palpable success with this program of self acceptance, self forgiveness, and of clarifying and focusing on your desired intentions with the "I AMs". I welcome any questions you may have about this.

I close with this enlightening quote from Abraham-Hicks: "The main event has never been the manifestation; the main event has always been the way you feel moment by moment, because that's what life is." The main event is how you decide to feel each day of your life, on your way toward as well as in the experience of your goals. Like a phoenix, may you rise from the ashes of your recent divorce, and use all of what you're experiencing for your healing, awakening, and rebirth into the fulfilling daily life you desire.

Your Coach, Maddisen

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Copyright 2010 Maddisen K. Krown

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