Guest blog by Alexis A. Rosenbaum
Alexis has been working in the personal development, health and wellness industry for two decades. After her marriage ended in 2018, she was determined to turn her tragedy into triumph, so she created a transformational divorce program for herself. It was such a success that she decided to turn it into a business. Her mission is to help women utilize their divorce as a catalyst for healing, transformation and cultivating personal sovereignty.
Alexis is a 2020 graduate from the JRNI Coaching Intensive. To follow her work, visit www.alexisrosenbaum.com or her Instagram @transformatioal_divorce
We know the conventional divorce narrative all too well because we see it in the movies, in our families and circle of friends. There’s pain, blame and suffering. The divorce process is traumatic and lengthy, full of power-struggles and verbal abuse. After months (or sometimes years) of fighting over who gets what, both parties are left feeling like depleted, disoriented, desperate victims.
That’s the conventional divorce story that society models for us, so that’s what most people do.
Well, I’m calling B U L L S H * T.
I’m calling bullsh*t on that archaic, dysfunctional and toxic narrative because there is another way. A healthier way. A healing way. An empowering way to navigate a divorce. In the divorce recovery industry it's been referred to as ‘conscious uncoupling.’ In my coaching practice, I call it a Transformational Divorce.
A Transformational Divorce is when you choose to utilize the process as an opportunity for personal growth, healing, and empowerment.
It involves taking responsibility for your story and contributions to the marriage ending, releasing your ex, and focusing on cultivating your personal sovereignty.
What the conventional divorce narrative doesn’t teach us is that divorce is an incredible opportunity to pause and do our work. As one chapter closes and we transition into another, we are given a moment in time to reflect, reset and realign with our authentic selves. We’re being invited to courageously transform our pain, heartbreak and loss into courage, wisdom and strength.
I know this because not only have I witnessed it, I’ve experienced it.
When my marriage ended, I was a 39-year-old housewife with a toddler in tow and completely dependent on my husband. I had: no money, vehicle, job or autonomy of my own. I felt scared, stuck and shattered.
A few days later, I had a life-changing breakthrough as I walked out of the social services office. I had just completed paperwork while nursing my son, as tears ran down my face. When I stepped onto the sidewalk I felt dizzy, my heart was racing, my vision was blurry, when it hit me:
I DID THIS.
In that moment I realized that I was not a victim. My entire story had been driven by codependency, which is what had led me here.
This was no longer about ‘we’ or ‘us’ or what ‘he did’. It was about ME taking complete responsibility for myself and my story. So, with tears in my eyes, I released my ex from being responsible for my pain and truly let him go...
Moments later I felt a surge of energy and intense clarity because I was reconnecting with my personal sovereignty after years of seeking external validation (and suffering because of it). THIS was the breakthrough moment that shifted my paradigm and catapulted me into my transformational divorce journey.
As a coach with 2 decades of experience in the personal development industry, I knew that reclaiming sovereignty during a divorce would be challenging. To address it, I developed the 5 C's of Sovereignty ™ formula and the 4 Seasons of Divorce ™ program. After applying these tools to my own journey and having extremely successful results, I began offering this coaching model to help others.
5 Tips for Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty
The first step is taking ownership for your story. This does not mean that you are responsible for what your ex did and their contributions to the marriage ending. You are, however, responsible for the impact their choices had on you, along with your wounding, shortcomings, choices and contributions. You'll also need to explore how you'll overcome adversity and avoid becoming a victim of circumstances.
The second step is creating boundaries, because you cannot create personal sovereignty if you’re still entangled with your ex. It’s time to separate the emotional, physical and logistical aspects of life into 3 categories: "mine, yours and ours". This is a process that takes clarity, courage and time, and can be expedited by hiring a coach, therapist and/or mediator.
The third step is to strengthen your self-sufficiency and capacity to rely on your resources. Those daily, life management tasks that your ex handled? You'll now need to learn how to do those things for yourself. This might look like hiring an accountant, taking cooking classes, finding a support group, and possibly making new friends. Ultimately, you want to avoid reaching for your ex when in you're need, and instead rely on your own resiliency.
The fourth step is making your self-care a top priority. In the beginning of the divorce process it’s perfectly normal to be in survival mode, which often includes self-medicating to some degree. However, after a few months it’s essential for your well-being to commit to a health and wellness routine. Being emotionally, physically and mentally stable during a divorce will support your ability to process grief, make clear choices, manage your triggers, behave rationally, and keep the drama to a minimum.
The fifth step is cultivating personal sovereignty. This is a life-long process of consistently evaluating your core values and aligning your life to match them. This requires a daily practice of listening to your truth and trusting it, then setting boundaries with what resonates and what does not. Being anchored by personal sovereignty is only possible when we are living life as our authentic self.
The rub is that humans can be complicated, messy, imperfect, and selfish creatures.
We often do shitty things to those we love the most. Some of these things feel unforgivable and they require time to process. If you have been betrayed or abused during your marriage, you might feel triggered by this conversation - that’s ok.
The intention of conscious uncoupling & transformational divorce is to navigate the process with as much grace, gratitude, ownership and compassion as possible. It's about the process of personal growth, not perfection. Ideally, you want to avoid causing harm to yourself and your ex, especially if children are involved.
Sometimes this is easier said than done.
That's why the divorce recovery community exists: to guide you through the process. There are numerous resources, coaches, therapists, and healers available to support you. Experiencing a transformational divorce and becoming anchored by personal sovereignty can be achieved by committing to doing your work. All you have to do is take the first step and ask for help. You will know when you've cultivated your sovereignty because a majority of the time you will feel anchored by a calm, confident, peacefulness within.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” - J.K. Rowling
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