Divorcing? 7 Mindful Divorce Books
Divorcing? Don't Brace Yourself- Allow and Let Go: A divorce by it's ontological nature is destabilizing, deconstructing and disorganizing. Additionally it's one of those life experiences you cannot even begin to grasp until you have walked through the days and nights of it yourself. I remember a friend of mine divorcing years before I ever imagined that my own marriage would end. At the beginning of her divorce, whenever I saw my sweet friend, she cried. Sometimes her eyes would just well up, at other times I noticed silent tears streaming down her lovely face. She did not steel herself against the alchemical process- she was being deconstructed, disorganized, "divorced" and destabilized- she did not brace herself, she LET GO.
There is no resurrection without the crucifixion, and the phoenix rises from the ashes. Once she realized the divorce was going to happen, she knew she had to let go, to get through. She then consciously allowed herself to experience and observe what she was feeling as she walked through her divorce. She didn't wipe her tears away shamefully or say, "Oh, I'm sorry I keep crying". She stayed present to herself, loving and kind. She also walked through a very difficult legal battle, by suiting up and showing up for each task, one step at a time. One day at a time, she got through her divorce. It was lengthy, but on the other side of it, she came out a stronger, more self-assured, loving, graceful, compassionate human being.
Letting GO is incredibly difficult, but if we remain present- turn and face the waves, the waves in their lashings have stories to tell, and wisdom to share. If we turn and face the waves, they do eventually settle down. Without resistance, strength and wisdom can be born from within this alchemical ocean. Pain always marks an opportunity for growth. The storms will come intensely sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, and then they will pass. Grief has it's own rhythm and time. A L L O W it. This is the work of Letting GO.
A few years later when I entered my own divorce, I remembered my friend's courage, and practiced this willingness to face the storm within myself. When the waves surfaced, I faced them head on. I can tell you that it was wickedly painful and scary at times. And, I can tell you that facing those waves head on was incredibly freeing and empowering. Wherever you are in this process, stop reading right this minute, look up from this page and say "I accept this moment". Say it out loud. "I say yes to this moment". Now take a deep breath, feel the aliveness in your hands, hear the sounds around you. A L L O W the moment. Trust the moment and make a commitment to yourself to trust in this process of Letting Go.
In the end, only 3 things matter, how well you have loved, how well you have lived and how well you have learned to Let Go ~ Jack Kornfield
Be prepared for urges to engage in uncharacteristically erratic or extreme behavior choices- those often seen in the newly separated. Try to limit acting out, but if and when you do act out - conceptualize your extreme behaviors (or your partner's extreme behaviors) as attempts to gain mastery over excruciatingly painful - and seemingly intolerable internal emotional experiences. Practice compassion. Remember, that this person will likely be in your life forever, especially if you have children. Limit acting out, cruel words and dramatic story telling and gossiping about your former partner as much as possible. If you fall down on this, be compassionate towards yourself and your partner. Get up and try again.
Give yourself a lot of love, tolerance and compassion. Commit to daily "emotionally regulating" practices, intense exercise (you will have a ton of energy to burn off which needs to be directed into something positive), massage, viewing beautiful soothing scenery, olfactory soothing/aromatherapy oils, ground yourself with nature, feel support of earth below your feet, hike, meditation, mindfulness practices to garner presence, spiritual books, kundalini, spiritual practices, prayer, workshops, yoga retreat, hot Epsom salt baths, regular sleep, healthy food and intense loving self-care. Stay present. Be kind to yourself. Participate to your best ability in the divorce process each day, complete the paperwork a little bit at a time (ask a close friend to sit with you if it gets to be too much, sometimes then LET it go. BE BRAVE. You can do this. Believe it.
Here are 7 divorce books to assist you:
1. The Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford
Could the end of your marriage be the first step toward reclaiming your personal power and joyfully living the life of your dreams? If the answer is yes, this book is for you.. The spiritual divorce applies spiritual principles to process of divorce.
In Spiritual Divorce, New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford reveals how this devastation can be transformed into a profoundly enlightening experience.
2. The Good Divorce : Keeping your Family Together by Constance Ahrons, PhD
The Good Divorce includes the author's personal experience with divorce and
a loving family afterwards. - bi-nuclear style. :-)
3. Transformational Divorce : A step by step plan for women by Karen Wilson, Ed.D.
“Written by a divorce coach and therapist, this book changed my perspective on my experience so that I could focus on where to go from here. After being in a marriage where I was always trying to change to accommodate my partner’s wishes, divorce was a wake-up call to reconnect with the woman I was before marriage. The reflections, advice and activities in this book helped me clarify the new life I was rebuilding.” -Beth Cone Kramer
4. Mom's House Dad's House
by Isolina Ricci
This is an older book A classic and a must read. Great for orienting you to the process and what stages to expect with your former partner. Moving from a intimate, romantic freindhsip style or relationship to a business relationship. Boundaries, How to take with the children, expectations etc.
5. Mindful Co-Parenting, by Dr. Gales and Morris
6. Conscious Uncoupling: 5 steps to Living Happily Even After by Katherine Woodward Thomas, MA, LMFT
7. Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser - I loved this one!!
Talking to children about divorce:
1. When Dinosaurs Divorce: A guide for changing families
2. Mom's House, Dad's House for Kids! by Isolina Ricci