I really hope you’ve enjoyed or found it interesting reading this blog series. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing it and starting a conversation about something that I think is not talked about enough. I also think it can bring comfort to those going through a separation to know that the intense grief that comes with a separation is not forever, and it doesn’t have to define the rest of your life – or even the whole of the next chapter. Just by way of a recap, in the first blog I introduced the topic of personal growth in a separation. In the second blog I gave you some questions to ask yourself to start on this journey, and set out meditation and journaling techniques to help you answer the questions on the deepest level you can. In the third blog I talked more about what personal growth really means and set out the three stages that I see as part of that process. In the last blog I talked about navigating the bumps in the road and how it can be useful to know these are coming and to prepare yourself.
I hope that you know that my passion is taking important concepts and talking about them in an easy to understand way. But it’s also about giving you tangible steps that you can take forward. It’s no good having ideas and thinking “I’d like to bring some of that into my life” if practically you have no idea how to move forward. So here are 5 tips for you if you would like to use your separation as a springboard to personal growth. If you don’t feel now is the right time then you can come back to them at a later date. You can also decide to do one now and the rest later, or work things in whatever way feels right for you – because ultimately this whole series is really about you and your life, and supporting you to make the best of that – for you and your children.
- Tip one is to follow people that inspire you and lift you up on social media. If you see things on social media that are bringing you down then don’t bring them into your feed. Put them on mute if you think unfollowing will cause issues (they won’t know). If you think you might want to work with a professional in the future then follow people now to get tips and ideas, but also to get an idea of who the different professionals are so you can decide whether you think working with them might be right for you. This might be coaches, therapists, healers or anybody who works in a field that you feel drawn to.
- If you have an idea of something you feel drawn to (it might be something new you want to learn about, or a particular person or something you want to incorporate into your life) why not learn a bit more. You might subscribe to a blog or a YouTube channel, or you might get a book to read. Be aware that you might have days where you feel excited and joyful about what’s happening next and may be tempted to subscribe to MANY things or order MANY books, and then on days where it feels more challenging this might overwhelm you. You know you, and so you do you. If you think it would be better to start with one thing then do that. If you think you can handle a few things at once then go for it.
- If you’re feeling super inspired then GO BOLD! Set yourself some goals for where you’d like to be in 12 months, 2 years or 10 years – whatever works for you. Or go really bold and set goals for all of those time frames 😉
- If you do have a goal (and it might be big/small/close in time/far away) then ask yourself to think of 1 or 2 things that would make you more likely to achieve that goal. What would best support you in achieving that aim? If you’re not sure then turn it around and ask yourself what is most likely to stop you reaching that goal and then tackle that. If you can have support with things you’re finding tricky then you’re more likely to succeed in reaching your goal.
- If all that feels a bit challenging today then try one of these: start a daily gratitude practise and write down 1 or 2 things that you feel grateful for every day (they might be very small to start with), write yourself some affirmations and stick them somewhere prominent or put a quote that lifts you up somewhere you will see it every day, or just start every day by closing your eyes in quiet thought or meditation for 10 minutes and write down thoughts that are coming up. Commit to doing it for 14 days and see how you feel after that. Sometimes it’s easier to commit to something if you initially make it time limited.
Since I started working with separating couples in 2001 I have seen so much of the grief that characterises this difficult part of life but I’ve also seen people rise up from this and really focus on what it is THEY want from their lives and start to make changes going forwards: better boundaries, more learning, healthier habits. These can all be an important part of, and the foundation stones of, what unfolds for you in this next chapter. Remember the mightiest oaks came from the smallest seeds.
If you’d like to be part of a supportive community during your separation then don’t forget our safe online space Soulful Separation Support where you can get support from others going through a separation, and professionals. You can also sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter which tips on navigating the difficult road to separation, and how to keep things as peaceful as possible.
LKW Family Mediation