Community//

Angel N. Livas: “Forgive”

Forgive. This is definitely the most important. Until you have forgiven yourself and your partner for your failed marriage — you’ll have a hard time being open to receiving and giving love. As part of our series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup”, I had the pleasure […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Forgive. This is definitely the most important. Until you have forgiven yourself and your partner for your failed marriage — you’ll have a hard time being open to receiving and giving love.


As part of our series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angel N. Livas.

When it comes to connecting to the hearts of audiences, you must be relatable, transparent, honest…and quite frankly you have to know what you’re talking about. Angel N. Livas marries her tremendous life experiences with her spiritual compass to guide others through managing life on and off the clock. Her direct nature draws audiences, but her keen story-telling captures their attention and provokes them to take action. She’s the award-winning producer for the I AM BLACK documentary “The Enlightenment,” the recipient of the 2019 Communicator Award for her radio program “The Woman Behind The Business” Talk Show, and an international best-selling author. Angel Livas is helping individuals not only live but be #ALIVE.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I was raised on the outskirts of Motown in a small town where I can only recall one other black family occupying the elementary school I attended alongside my older brother. My parents worked very hard to provide a loving home, exposure to various cultures, and first-hand entrepreneurship experience.

I am the middle of three children and the eldest girl. My parents have been married for 40 years and launched the family real estate business, which is still operational today, shortly after tying the knot.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As far back as I can remember I loved to talk. In school, I was constantly in trouble for disrupting the class by talking to my fellow classmates. I didn’t understand that everyone learns differently and needed to actually pay attention in class. As I matured and began to understand the power of my voice — I began advocating on behalf of my classmates with our teachers. For instance, I remember on numerous occasions requesting extensions before big tests…especially when I knew a large majority of the students weren’t ready. This often worked out in the class’s favor, and upon graduation I had a number of friends write in my yearbook that they believed I would go on to become a lawyer…

While law seemed like it would be fun to defend an argument in court I quickly realized that’s only a small portion of the job. I wanted to marry my love for talking (and being opinionated) with something that could impact change…so, I decided to be a journalist.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I think the most interesting thing that I’ve learned since starting my business in 2015, is when you tell people you’re an entrepreneur they equate it with you being rich or something. It’s the weirdest thing — but, most small business owners are struggling during the first few years to get their bearings. If anything, when you hear that someone is an entrepreneur it should trigger you to support them … not ask for a discount or definitely not free products or services.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest, or not so funny mistake that I made when starting my business was thinking that family would be one of my greatest supporters or even helpers in building the business. Let’s just say that it’s the furthest thing from the truth and I’ve learned to build a family work-environment, not a family-operated business (at least not until my kids get older).

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

My Life Lesson Quote is “Do it Scared” … throughout my life, I have always been willing to take a leap of faith and do things that most people my age wouldn’t think of doing. For instance, just over 4-years ago, I launched a nonprofit for women entrepreneurs called The Woman Behind The Business. The original concept was to focus on the woman behind her various roles. I was in my second year of business ownership full-time and was beginning to understand the wrath from entrepreneurial burnout. It was then that I realized that 90% of women entrepreneurs probably felt just like me because they too were attempting to work on their business and in their business simultaneously. I also understood the guilt that can arise by taking a break when there is so much more work that needs to be done…so, I launched the Woman Behind The Business Retreat. I knew that in order for me to get away without the guilt — I’d need to gain something from the experience…so, that’s what I created for other working women like me. Now, I had no idea what I was getting myself into…planning an international retreat…and if I was going to do this…I wanted it to be worthwhile. So, with every ounce of creativity, passion, and fear I launched my first international retreat 4 years ago. The retreat was an absolute success and earlier this year, we hosted our 3rd retreat titled “Vision 20/20: Using Scriptures to Propel You To New Dimensions”.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of the #ALIVE project. This project is designed to help individuals not just live but be alive. Over the past few years, especially throughout 2020, I’ve watched people fall into mundane routines and later complain about feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with where they are in life. I never pass judgment on these people, because I understand what it feels like to be in a rut and suffocating because you feel trapped in a particular situation. This was my reality. It was my life…however, I knew it wasn’t my destiny. About 6-months after my divorce in 2019, I was introduced to the book “Your One Word” by Evan Carmichael. The premise of the book is essential that we all have one word that clearly speaks to your life’s purpose. Yup…just one. Initially, I thought it was totally absurd ..until I went through the exercises and after months of selecting and deselecting I prayed. I waited. I listened. And I discovered that my one word is ALIVE. When I consider what my personal brand represents…when I think about all of the many tasks that I juggle…it all boils down to helping others feel ALIVE. This revelation led to a complete brand overhaul that is slated to go live on Thursday, October 1st. The ALIVE momentum is built on the pillars of Courageous, Conqueror, Catalyst.

Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell us a bit about your experience going through a divorce, or helping someone who was going through a divorce? What did you learn about yourself during and after the experience? Do you feel comfortable sharing a story?

In my mind — I’d never had a “failed relationship”. I know it probably sounds weird — but, to me as long as we were in agreement that we wanted something different — it wasn’t a failure. It was just a mature decision to no longer exert energy into something that ultimately wasn’t what either partner wanted. I carried this same mentality after my divorce until one day I was posed with the question by a mentor who said “You do realize you failed at marriage” — I quickly disagreed and provided every argument of how I’d exhausted all options to save the marriage, it just wasn’t meant to be. He patiently allowed me to exert my frustration into the universe until he calmly said you failed because you gave up on an oath that you made to God. Throughout the divorce process, I found myself explaining why our relationship didn’t work to the world — yet, until that moment I hadn’t taken responsibility for how I failed at upholding my oath to God.

Divorce isn’t easy…especially when young children are involved. I can remember telling my children, who were 4 and 6 at that time, that they were going to have two houses now. That was my cop-out way of telling them we wouldn’t all be together…however, it didn’t take my 6 year old long to declare he didn’t want two houses. The fear of breaking up my family was what kept me in the relationship for as long as I stayed, and the dissolvement of our household was the hardest part of the divorce.

Because I was suffocating in my marriage, my divorce taught me every principle of what it means to be ALIVE: It takes courage to change your situation. Action is required to conquer your fears, and as Catalyst’ you can create impact.

In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that?

I thinkthe most common mistake that divorcee’s make is jumping into a serious relationship too soon after their divorce. This is something that I see time and time again — especially with men (no shade). It’s hard to decipher whether it’s just their natural desire to be in a committed relationship or if they’re just fearful of being alone to deal with the skeletons in their closets. But, taking time out to get realigned with who you are is so important. Think about it, if you were married for 10 years — a lot of your identity was tied in that relationship (whether you want to admit it or not, it’s true!) So, just jumping into something else serious — doesn’t grant you the time you need to get back to your baseline. Consider this, when you replace a tire on your car — it’s best to have a complete tire alignment on the vehicle to reset your wheels to their original specs for best performance. If you don’t — you’re certain to have a shaky ride. In my opinion, the same is true in a relationship. Give yourself time to get back to your baseline.

People generally label “divorce” as being “negative”. And yes, while there are downsides, there can also be a lot of positive that comes out of it as well. What would you say that they are? Can you share an example or share a story?

The greatest benefit to divorce is allowing yourself to be united with the person God created just for you. I’ve often been told “oh I’m so sorry” in response to learning that I’m divorced — I often assure them that there is nothing to be sorry for…as I’m happy and so is he.

Some people are scared to ‘get back out there’ and date again after being with their former spouse for many years and hearing dating horror stories. What would you say to motivate someone to get back out there and start a new beginning?

“Do it scared.” I absolutely love this quote…I’m not sure who the originator of it is, but it’s so true! Most of the time women want everything perfect and must feel like every box (that she’s created for herself) is checked before she makes a move. Men aren’t like that. Men decide that they’re good enough, as is, and they just go for it. No one is suggesting that you dive in with the intent of finding your soulmate on that first date (although it is possible) — but, merely take your time…explore — have fun all while reminding yourself that you are enough.

What is the one thing people going through a divorce should be open to changing?

I would say that it’s important to alter how much you care about what other people’s opinions are. You owe no one an explanation…but, if you decide to share your situation with someone …own your truth, unapologetically.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are 5 things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?

1. Give yourself time to play. Now, some people might say that you need time to heal (if you were hurt) or time to get to know you (I mean I feel like I know myself pretty well…so, that was always a weird statement to me). However, while I do think it’s important to take some time for yourself (if you need it)…it’s just as important to get back in the swing of things! Why do I say that? Well, I believe that in order for you to truly grasp what you like, what you’re willing to tolerate (and what you’re not), and truly gauge where your interest in another relationship is…you’ve gotta jump back in the dating game. I mean seriously… real-world experience always beats practical experience in my book.

2. Don’t expect your new relationship(s) to function at the same (or even similar) capacity as a marriage. Remember you’re starting from scratch…and unless the person you’re interested in has been married before, they have no comprehension of the expectations or dynamics formed when married.

3. Be open. If before marriage you couldn’t fathom being with someone with children — but, now you have children of your own…be willing to modify your premarital expectations.

4. Adjust to the times. If social media wasn’t even thought of when you entered your last relationship and now potential interests are requesting to hit you in your DM (direct message) … it might not be such a bad thing. You can learn a lot about a person from their social media page…and now, if you decide you’re not interested you don’t have to worry about ignoring calls — you can just block them on social media!

5. Forgive. This is definitely the most important. Until you have forgiven yourself and your partner for your failed marriage — you’ll have a hard time being open to receiving and giving love.

The stress of a divorce can take a toll on both one’s mental and emotional health. In your opinion or experience, what are a few things people going through a divorce can do to alleviate this pain and anguish?

1. Give yourself time to play. Now, some people might say that you need time to heal (if you were hurt) or time to get to know you (I mean I feel like I know myself pretty well…so, that was always a weird statement to me). However, while I do think it’s important to take some time for yourself (if you need it)…it’s just as important to get back in the swing of things! Why do I say that? Well, I believe that in order for you to truly grasp what you like, what you’re willing to tolerate (and what you’re not), and truly gauge where your interest in another relationship is…you’ve gotta jump back in the dating game. I mean seriously… real-world experience always beats practical experience in my book.

2. Don’t expect your new relationship(s) to function at the same (or even similar) capacity as a marriage. Remember you’re starting from scratch…and unless the person you’re interested in has been married before, they have no comprehension of the expectations or dynamics formed when married.

3. Be open. If before marriage you couldn’t fathom being with someone with children — but, now you have children of your own…be willing to modify your premarital expectations.

4. Adjust to the times. If social media wasn’t even thought of when you entered your last relationship and now potential interests are requesting to hit you in your DM (direct message) … it might not be such a bad thing. You can learn a lot about a person from their social media page…and now, if you decide you’re not interested you don’t have to worry about ignoring calls — you can just block them on social media!

5. Forgive. This is definitely the most important. Until you have forgiven yourself and your partner for your failed marriage — you’ll have a hard time being open to receiving and giving love.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?

My book — “Her Therapy” is a great book for parents…especially those balancing life as mom and boss.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of the #ALIVE project. This project is designed to help individuals not just live but be alive. Over the past few years, especially throughout 2020, I’ve watched people fall into mundane routines and later complain about feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with where they are in life. I never pass judgment on these people, because I understand what it feels like to be in a rut and suffocating because you feel trapped in a particular situation. This was my reality. It was my life…however, I knew it wasn’t my destiny. About 6-months after my divorce in 2019, I was introduced to the book “Your One Word” by Evan Carmichael. The premise of the book is essential that we all have one word that clearly speaks to your life’s purpose. Yup…just one. Initially, I thought it was totally absurd ..until I went through the exercises and after months of selecting and deselecting I prayed. I waited. I listened. And I discovered that my one word is ALIVE. When I consider what my personal brand represents…when I think about all of the many tasks that I juggle…it all boils down to helping others feel ALIVE. This revelation led to a complete brand overhaul that is slated to go live on Thursday, October 1st. The ALIVE momentum is built on the pillars of Courageous, Conqueror, Catalyst.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would be interested in having lunch with journalist Tamron Hall. I believe that she is the epitome of being ALIVE — she didn’t allow a negative situation to break her — she conquered a situation — had the courage to do things her way and she is a catalyst for other black aspiring television hosts like myself.

Please follow me on all social media platforms @angelnlivas and my website is angelnlivas.com

Thank you for these great insights and for the time you spent with this interview. We wish you only continued success!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Angel N. Livas: “Trust the process ”

by Karina Michel Feld
Community//

“Take time to celebrate.” With Angel N. Livas

by Charlie Katz
Community//

“Your One Word”, Angel Livas and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

by Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.