My whole life I’ve been fascinated by transitions: the stages of newness, disorientation, and re-integration they bring us; the deep inner work of re-evaluating our identity; and all the inner, outer, and cultural supports we can lean on through them.
Right now, I’m smack-dab in the middle of this transition... a very messy and complicated separation. This is the sacred chrysalis time, the transformational moment, the period of Huge Unknown: getting a divorce and trying to move away from the only home I've ever known, but I’m already forever changed. I am asking questions such as: What does being a single mother mean to me at this stage in my life? How will my life change? Who will I be at the end of this transition? And how can I bring the very best of myself to this precious time? Separation and divorce are traumatic. The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.
Today I would love to share the practices and perspectives I’m relying on as I navigate this transition. Whether you’re going through a relationship change or facing a completely different transition (like a pregnancy, a career shift, or even a personal growth spurt), — I hope these suggestions help you feel more supported, resourced, and clear.
Tend To Your Heart
Right now, in the middle of this transition, I’m being as open and gentle with myself as possible. I’m listening to what I need and giving myself permission to do/eat/be and feel those things. I’m surrendering to the entire process. I truly don’t know who I’m going to be on the other side of this journey. So right now I’m exploring the aspects of my spirit I know I want to bring forward … while opening myself and allowing this transition into the unknown to change me.
I’ve also been struck with (and surprised by) a strong sense of introversion during this separation. I’ve become a little more private, quiet, and even a bit socially withdrawn. I have plenty of energy — yet I’m craving quiet and lots of alone time. I am trusting this, honoring it as much as I can and paying close attention to exactly what I need in any given moment.
Finally, I’m staying keenly aware of when I start comparing myself to other women or am trying to base my decisions and reality on the things that make other women happy. It’s such a practice, to return over and over again to my own heart, and listen to her wisdom.
Cultivate Your Mind
Transitions are a mental activity, too: they ask us to shift our ideas about who we are, and what we’re doing in the world.
As I think about this divorce, I have a certain level of fear and anxiety bubbling up. But rather than getting swept away by it or making it wrong, I’m trying to normalize and honor my fear. This is easier said than done….But I’ve learned over time: the most fulfilling things in my life have also been the scariest and most vulnerable. I am constantly reminding myself that these feelings aren’t a bad thing: they’re actually a sign that something wonderful, important, and precious is underway. Reminding myself that I am worthy.
Honor Your Body
Divorce does play a role on your physical body, obviously not just mental and emotional aspects (stress makes me stop eating, and self-care for some goes to the wayside) — but I think caring for our bodies provides massive support, no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Right now, I’m doing my best to take exquisite care of my body. I’m listening to her cues, watching her change and getting to know who she is becoming. Consistent exercise has been essential, for me. Hot yoga has been my go to. I’m also drinking plenty of infused water to keep my mind clear and my mood up.
Being in a state of limbo can be powerful when we stand fully in, and open to, everything that is unknown.
Pay Attention To Your Relationships
Just as I am shifting and changing so are many of my relationships. Some are maturing and deepening to new levels, others have needed updating and re-evaluating and a few have completely fallen away. Just as I have been grieving parts of my life that are going to dramatically change after this divorce, I am also grieving how my relationships are going to shift as well. My time and energy already isn’t what it once was, and my priorities around what is most important to me are changing too. I feel my circle getting smaller. More potent, but also more spacious.
Having conversations with those I love most has been extremely important, especially my children. Being very mindful of how I show up for them during this transition too. Some friends and family have been concerned, annoyed and questioning of me. Others have been trusting, supportive and loving. I have found that sharing openly and honestly about where I am and what I need has worked the best. Spaciousness to change and the freedom to do so without judgement or expectation has been my greatest request.
I have been able to really reflect on past relationships and where I was showing up and how I was allowing others to show up for me. From the countless intimate relationships that never offered any type of intimacy or safe haven that honored my heart, my friendships where they always took more than they gave, all the situations when someone told me “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned me, leaving me to pick up the pieces when shit got real, leaving me to handle my part and their part, too. All the lies and all the betrayals from my current marriage and all the hurtful things he continues to do. I've learned along the way that I just couldn’t really trust people, sometimes I couldn't trust myself, and that is not the person I want to be. I also realized something very important about intimate relationships and that is no matter how spiritually “woke” we may think we are, we still have deeper issues which can only be worked out within the context of relationship.
Left alone, we settle into comfortable patterns that limit the range of our emotional awareness and personal expression.
However, once we step out of our comfort zone and open up to others, previously unnoticed/denied aspects of ourselves begin to emerge.
At first, they make waves in the calm waters of our hearts, evoking passion and excitement. But when we let them in deeply enough, it’s like stirring up a pool of still water - all the heavy and messy things which settled at the bottom of our awareness are forced to emerge to the surface.
When our otherwise hard-to-reach issues get stirred up for us to look at, we have an opportunity to embrace these fragmented parts of ourselves, to become more integrated and whole. This is a blessing in disguise, albeit a challenging one.
Intimate relationships demand a depth of intensity and vulnerability which is the fuel for both transcendent passion and crippling conflict. This is why many esoteric teachings point to the “polar couple/ twin flame” archetype as the most powerful of alchemical unions. Intimate relationships have the potential for astoundingly accelerated transformation.
Whether that transformation leads to conscious evolution or unconscious sabotage depends entirely on each person’s individual state of Being.
If you and your partner aren’t engaged in sincere, deep, holistic self-work, there can only be 2 outcomes for this kind of relationship.
Either you and your partner will settle into a relatively comfortable but very limited relationship of matrix-based pleasures and pursuits where your dysfunctions harmonize, but leave little room for expansion of the soul…
OR… the relationship will dissolve to make way for something greater in your life.
This is the case with the vast majority of relationships in the world, which is why people are often so dissatisfied in relationships.
However, if you and your partner are committed to nurture the healing alchemical fire within each other, the richness of this kind of relationship is extraordinary. This is what I was committed to, but unfortunately my husband felt differently. So please understand that even though I feel familiar with the process of transition, it’s still a huge deal and I’m certainly not immune to the disorientation and anxiety that comes with it. These tools and insight truly are helping me navigate this moment, and dance with all the Big Unknowns with more presence and ease.
And something I want you to remember, however “common” the transition, everyone navigates it differently. Listen to the voice of your own heart: what will make YOU happy?
Whatever transition you are going currently through or have gone through in the past, please remember….
You are worthy of having support.
You are worthy of having true partnership.
You are worthy of love.
You are worthy of having your heart held.
You are worthy to be adored.
You are worthy to be cherished.
You are worthy to have someone say, “You rest. I got this.” And actually deliver on that promise.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy.
You don’t have to earn it.
You don’t have to prove it.
You don’t have to bargain for it.
You don’t have to beg for it.
You are worthy.
Simply because you exist.
Thos was great; thanks for sharing. Love you.
Thanks jack, I love you too! xoxo
Candance, Your honesty and open-mindedness will surely see you through the difficult times. Best of luck with all you do going forward on your journey. Thanks for sharing.
I am working on my mother wound and in a 30 year relationship w a human that grows in all ways and many times he has been supportive of the process I go through over the years. So much truth in this. Healing emotional, physical and spiritual trauma here we gooooo!
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Author, Candance Toscano
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