Divorce and Transitions: Mardi Winder-Adams
I was introduced to two books in the last decade (or so!) that really changed the way I look at life transitions.
And, the potential for creating our own future. One was Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul, and the other was Dr. William Bridges’ book Transitions.
“Rituals are a way to move from what is in the past and present to what will be in the future.”
Moving From What Is to What Will Be:
While these books have a different approach to managing transitions or life events, the idea of combining inner understanding with an external and meaningful ritual is powerful. Rituals provide an effective and personal way to recognize any change in life. Rituals are a way to move from what is in the past and present to what will be in the future.
Unfortunately, many women move from married to single to a new relationship without stopping to recognize the importance of recognizing this shift. Not having a ritual can leave you feeling trapped or in limbo. Stuck in what used to be – both emotionally and mentally.
Create Your Own Transition Ritual:
You can create a customized and deeply meaningful, personalized ritual as a part of moving from married to single. This transition ritual can be your own, but there are a few components that need to be included to allow it to create the healing space we need to create a powerfully positive vision of our future.
The purpose of the ritual is to allow yourself time to grieve the loss of the dream of your marriage. You may not miss the partner, but what the marriage represented to you must be let go. It is also time to focus on the present and ditch the “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” thinking or blaming yourself or your partner. It is over, and this is the time to celebrate this change of season symbolically.
5 Steps For Your Divorce Transition Ritual:
The following options may spark some ideas for your divorce transition ritual that appeal to your personality and style:
“Relax and experience the positive aspects of being on your own in a comforting place.”
1.) Get away.
Find a place you have always wanted to travel to or somewhere that is your “happy place.” Maybe it is a tropical beach, a cabin in the mountains, or a BnB in your favorite part of the world. Do this on your own, making it a time to get comfortable with your thoughts. Relax and experience the positive aspects of being on your own in a comforting place.
Create A Future:
2.) Write it down.
Write down your ideas about the marriage and what you thought the future would be like in a letter to yourself. Express your sense of loss and grief. No one is going to see this, so, be honest and truthful.
It is OK to be angry or hurt – just get it out on paper. Writing, not typing or talking into a recording, is preferred. Next, read the entire letter to yourself. Find a safe place to symbolically burn the paper, letting go of those dreams, and expectations. Then, sit and imagine your ideal future going forward. See it in all details, asking yourself:
- What am I doing?
- Where am I living?
- What is my passion?
- What am I enjoying?
- Who am I doing this with?
Creating this future is a positive way to focus your energy on what you want in life.
“This is the time to begin planning and taking steps to make it happen.”
Find Something New:
3.) Challenge yourself to do something new.
Finding something new that is not associated with your life at this time can be a positive symbol and ritual of change. Perhaps you have always wanted to take a photography course, learn a new language, or start your own business. This is the time to begin planning and taking steps to make it happen. Pick something that is motivating, positive, and inspiring.
4.) Develop a ritual of gratitude.
Begin the ritual of keeping track of what you appreciate and are thankful for in your life on a daily basis. Ideally, keep a journal or a gratitude book and write down as many things as you can think of to be grateful for every night before going to bed.
Let Go Of The Past:
While it may seem like the answer to everything today is to meditate, it really is an effective tool in creating a transition ritual. Use a meditation app or breathing exercise daily to reduce stress, focus on the present, and connect and align yourself with your values.
Finally, the rituals should welcome or celebrate a new chapter and set of possibilities in your life. This is the fun part, creating a vision of how you want your life to be in 1, 3, 5, 10, or more years. Just imagine the possibilities when you can focus all your mental, emotional, and physical energy on achieving this fantastic outcome. It all starts with a ritual to let go of the past.
About the Author:
Mardi Winder-Adams is an Executive and Leadership Coach, Certified Divorce Transition Coach, and a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator in Texas. She has experienced her own divorce, moved to a new country and started her own business, and worked through the challenges of being a caregiver and managing the loss of a spouse.
Handling life transitions and pivots is her specialty! In her professional role as a divorce coach, Mardi has helped hundreds of women before, during, and after divorce to reduce the emotional and financial costs of the process. She is the founder of Positive Communication Systems, LLC.