Jennifer Harris: “Find A New Hobby / Group”

Find A New Hobby / Group — Doing this is beneficial for a couple of reasons: First, when we start going through a divorce or separation, the support system we envision being there is not always what it seems to be. So, not only will finding a new hobby or group build your skills and confidence, but […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Find A New Hobby / Group — Doing this is beneficial for a couple of reasons: First, when we start going through a divorce or separation, the support system we envision being there is not always what it seems to be. So, not only will finding a new hobby or group build your skills and confidence, but it will also help you build your social circle.

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 Jennifer Harris.

Jennifer Harris is a certified divorce coach, speaker, and author of Divorce Bucket List. After experiencing her own traumatic marriage and divorce, she became a highly trained and certified Confidence & Transformation Divorce Coach. With over ten years of coaching experience, she is dedicated to inspiring others to rebuild their lives and emerge from their separations into happier, healthier chapters of their lives.

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 am from a small town on the outskirts of Gettysburg, PA — so small we only had one stoplight growing up. As a child, I experienced a lot of heavy events. At the age of six, I was introduced to death and loss when my two-month-old brother and my grandfather passed away within three days of each other. Understandably so, my parents were strict and held me to high standards growing up. I was very involved in sports and extracurricular activities. As a result of childhood bullying and societal pressure, mixed with childhood traumas, I developed multiple eating disorders before college. I continued to battle these eating disorders throughout college. When I was a freshman in college, my parents were in a devastating motorcycle accident where they almost lost their lives. Despite that and many other challenges, I graduated undergrad from West Chester University with dual degrees in Finance and Management, receiving Summa Cum Laude honors. I went on to have my first son at the age of 23, got married at the age of 24, and earned my M.B.A when I was 26.

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

While I was married, I was primarily working in the banking industry. Our relationship became very toxic, and we endured a lot of marital challenges. Because of the profound toxicity, we ended up going down the route of a divorce, which subsequently led to a very tumultuous time in my life. Before the divorce, I had ended up leaving my job in corporate America to focus more on the kids while my now ex-husband pursued his career. I found that I couldn’t stay away from work, so I worked a side business while staying home with the kids.

As the divorce started, I found myself quickly spiraling out of control. I was in a very dark place. There was a time throughout that whole experience that I even almost took my own life. Thankfully, I failed and was able to get the help that I needed to recover from that completely. As I was getting the help I needed, I started learning about the world of self-improvement.

After many poor choices and negative experiences at the beginning of my divorce, I decided that it was time for a change. I had sat down with a friend on their porch one evening, and we had been talking about how I didn’t feel like myself ever since the divorce had started. I mentioned how I had begun to lose myself in my self-sabotaging behavior. My friend and I started talking about how there had to be a turning point and that something needed to change so that I could turn things around and start rebuilding my life.

Since I had indulged in self-development for some time, I was aware of some of the correct activities that I should be doing to create a positive, healthy mind. We brainstormed ideas using empowering activities to develop a list of things I could do to begin healing. The goal was to step away from the toxic behavior and focus on rediscovering myself and rebuilding instead. This creation was the birth of my Divorce Bucket List!

I started working through this list step by step and started healing rapidly. My life started coming back together. Things that I had only previously dreamed of while I was married began to come true and happen for me. More importantly, I started not just to survive the divorce but genuinely thrive on the other side.

Once I started to feel the impacts of my Divorce Bucket List, I started sharing my stories with people and found that this approach was helping many others as well. So, I went on to get certified in transformation and confidence coaching for divorce and launched my own divorce coaching business. I then wrote a book, Divorce Bucket List, about my experiences with the list and how it helped me heal. In my book, I include activities for others to incorporate into their divorce journeys to rebuild, get their desired outcomes, and truly thrive through their divorce.

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

Since starting my coaching career, I was able to go on my dream trip to London. While there, I received a standing ovation after giving a speech about my story to thousands to inspire them to achieve their dreams, regardless of obstacles and challenges. Not only did I get to impact thousands of lives that day (what I live for), I also got to experience a solo trip to my dream destination where I fell back in love with myself and life again. In my new book, Divorce Bucket List, I write about that experience in-depth (with some juicy details).

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?

When I started my divorce coaching career, I wasn’t sure which avenue I wanted to go down: private coaching, group coaching, courses, etc. There are so many different types of coaching that you can provide, and I had to find the best-suited method to the approach of the Divorce Bucket List.

I decided that I would launch multiple avenues at once, including the development of an app. I spent a lot of money creating the app, only to find out after paying that the developer could not meet the requirements. It was odd for this to happen to me because I usually am very cautious about whom I work with, but I was in the process of developing so many things at once that something probably slipped through the cracks.

I laugh about it now, but that experience, while frustrating, provided a valuable (and expensive) lesson. It is essential to take a step back; you don’t have to finish everything all at once. It’s wiser sometimes to tackle one project at a time and add things in as you have the time to do so. Small steps equate to progress and are crucial to getting to the end goal. I also learned that it is vital to take the time to get to know who you are going to work with, perhaps just like you would take time before you got into a relationship with someone. This way, you know what you are getting yourself into.

As it stands, after learning those lessons, I now work with an excellent and reliable team, and I’ve condensed my coaching for the Divorce Bucket List into private coaching workshops and online courses. Yes, there still will be a future app (wink wink)!

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

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

I learned very early on in life that to succeed, you often have to fail over and over again. It is a belief of mine that failure itself doesn’t really exist. When you seem to miss your goal, it is not the end. At the point of perceived failure, you have two paths to choose from, and you must choose one or the other — you either keep trying or you give up. If you continue to select the path to keep trying, you eventually succeed. If you give up, then you did not fail; you merely stopped trying.

I found early in my divorce that it was easy to feel defeated and project failure onto myself. I often found myself wallowing in self-pity. Once I started using my Divorce Bucket List to do the necessary self-work needed to thrive through the divorce, I realized that the struggle of going through a divorce actually builds us into stronger people who can try again to achieve our desired outcomes. As I went through the traumatic experience of divorce, I started to use it as an opportunity to grow and try again. As Arnold says in the quote, attempting something over again gives us strength. We can rebuild our lives after divorce with that strength.

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

I have a new book coming out in October 2021: Divorce Bucket List. It is a memoir/self-help hybrid detailing my journey through divorce and my creation of my Divorce Bucket List. My book is a mixture of stories and hands-on exercises that readers can complete to assist them with rebuilding through a divorce.

I’m super excited to share my story because I know many other people can relate to it. Being very familiar with the feelings at the beginning of the divorce process, I want to use my story to inspire others. I had so many questions when my divorce started, and there were so many unknowns. I was terrified and frozen in place, stuck in a cycle of self-sabotaging behavior. It wasn’t until I implemented my Divorce Bucket List that I started to step out of that cycle and truly rebuild and thrive. I know how much my approach can help other people, too, so I’m beyond excited for everyone to read this book, implement the practices, and start rebuilding and thriving through divorce as well.

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?

I was broken, suffering from the impact of some things that had happened growing up, when my now ex-husband and I met the year after I graduated from college. We met in May of that year through mutual friends. We were engaged in August of the same year, and by that same September, we had moved into a tiny apartment together. Two weeks after moving in together, we found out we were pregnant. For us, settling into our future family and marriage was a very passionate and quick occurrence.

Our relationship quickly became toxic as we were both still battling a lot of demons from our past. Since neither of us had addressed or recovered from our internal battles, we struggled to have a healthy relationship from the start. We were both bringing our own negative experiences to the mix. I hadn’t done my work to be in a healthy relationship, and ours continued to deteriorate until there was nothing left to salvage.

When my husband decided that he wanted a divorce, it was the best thing that happened to us. As we were able to step away from the relationship, I began my true healing journey, not only from my divorce but everything that had happened in my past. I learned through my divorce that there truly is something positive to be found in every circumstance we encounter. Even the most challenging experiences can yield something beautiful. We can utilize difficult experiences to face fears head-on and become stronger versions of ourselves. Through our tribulations, we can reach new dreams, desires, and goals. As we overcome our troubles, we start healing in ways we didn’t know we needed to.

As a newly single mom, one specific outing with my children comes to mind when I think of this lesson on finding positives during otherwise challenging events.

At first, when my former spouse moved out, I avoided many activities that we used to do as a family. I was afraid to face the emotions that would surely hit me, and I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to have a successful outing with my boys as a single mom. After a few weeks, I finally worked up the courage for a pumpkin patch outing because I knew avoiding the discomfort was only hurting my kids.

Heading to our used-to-be family outing with one less participant brought up a lot of emotions. I started to get an overwhelming feeling of dread as I followed the attendant’s directions to park my car in a field by the farm. I began to notice all of these happy families all around me and kept thinking, “How can they be so happy when my world is falling apart?” All of these couples and families were experiencing life together; yet, everything for me was crashing to the ground. As I parked the car, I closed my eyes for a second and reminded myself that I was there for the kids and could address the feelings I would have later when I got home.

In the presence of that day, I struggled. It was hard because we had spent years building this tradition as a family of four. Every happy couple and family I saw was a not-so-gentle reminder of my failure — the failure of my divorce, as a mom, at relationships, and to keep the family unit together. Witnessing other families together reminded me that I was now alone, more alone than ever, even though I had my kids. I found the strength to get through that day by focusing on the gratitude I had for my kids- relishing in their laughter and smiles.

Looking back on it, once we got there, everything worked out. We smiled and had fun, and my kids have great memories from that day because they weren’t aware of the internal battle I was facing. After that day, I knew that I could start healing and growing, and I no longer feel that way on our traditional outings. I’ve learned to be grateful that we can still go on these excursions, and there’s now no arguing, just joy. I had to start focusing on the positives of the situation to stop dwelling on the negatives.

Our outings became just the three of us. We no longer have the tension in arguing that sometimes would ruin these outings. We also now have peace at these outings, and I get to experience my children’s full attention; that’s something special, something to be cherished. I found something positive to take away from something painful. I encourage anyone going through a divorce to attempt to find their silver linings as well.

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

Listen, nobody is ever perfect. No matter how prepared you are, you will still make mistakes. However, it does help to learn from others’ mistakes to avoid making the same ones. I made many mistakes throughout the divorce process that I found others related to as well. Here are some common mistakes I (and others) have made:

  1. Freezing Up- I would not leave my bed for days. I was in denial. I did not take action. I know that when you’re going through a divorce, sometimes it’s much easier to cry into a bottle of wine (or two) and sleep until noon than it is to get up and go after what you want. Doing that may trick your brain into thinking you are coping, but those activities will not get you anywhere. Still, it is essential to take time to heal, so I permit you to have a few crying sessions. But then, pull yourself up, no matter what it takes, and begin taking action (no matter how small) to start moving forward again. It may require assembling a support system around you (friends, family, coaches, mentors, counselors, etc.), but you must do what it takes to start moving forward, no matter the speed.
  2. Getting lazy with legal counsel — Another mistake I made was regarding my approach to obtaining legal counsel. I did some research and had my heart set on a specific lawyer. I let fear create a lack of action, and so I put off making the necessary call. After a few weeks, I finally called to set up my initial meeting with that specific lawyer; I had no other option in mind. They informed me that they would call me back to set up the appointment. When her office called me back, they told me that my husband had already retained that lawyer. If I had acted more quickly, I would have had the lawyer I wanted. From there, I felt an initial defeat before the process even started.
  3. Failing to get organized with documentation — I had not known that during the divorce, you might have one, two, three, or more lawyers throughout the entire experience, so be prepared. I could have avoided a lot of additional fees if I had been organized and prepared. Prepare with documentation. Not being prepared is a huge mistake for divorce; it could cost you a lot of time and money. It can also keep you from seeing the whole picture to get to your desired outcome. Here are just some things to consider documenting:
  • Key events and turning points in your marriage
  • Critical events in your separation
  • Essential events of your divorce proceedings
  • What are your main concerns about the divorce?
  • What are your goals for custody/assets/financials?
  • Document important dates
  • Document current financial and asset information
  • Document current debt information
  • Document information about your children (SSN/Birthdates/etc.)
  • Get a list of relevant documents and save them in an accessible location (i.e., taxes, bank statements, credit card statements, any previous court paperwork for the divorce — including the filing, mortgage information, etc.

4. Not taking care of mental/emotional health — there are times you’ll find you become emotionally exhausted as you’re going through the divorce process. I became emotionally exhausted very quickly during my journey because I hadn’t started working on my Divorce Bucket List yet. I hadn’t started working on myself, my goals, dreams, desires, and helping myself move forward. I was stuck in that dark place, feeling afraid and full of emotions. Because of this, I didn’t fight as hard for things that I wanted. Start working on a list of things you can do to move yourself and your life forward. Start taking tiny steps each day towards your new goals and dreams. Start practicing daily affirmations and gratitude. Get yourself a mentor and counselor or some type of support team to keep you on track.

5. Not assessing the new family budget — this is another elementary mistake to make. If you don’t know what your new household budget looks like, then you will not know what changes you need to make to live the life you desire. My advice is to put it down on paper — fill out your current budget and figure out if you are living over or under your income. Make the changes necessary by either finding ways to increase your income or decrease your expenses — get creative; chances are you have many options. You have to know what you are working with so you know where to problem solve to create the new life you desire and deserve.

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?

You have the choice to process everything that happens to you in life in one of two ways. You can either view experiences as “this thing is happening to me” or as “this event is happening around me, and I get to control how I perceive and react to the reality of the situation.” Divorce is one of the most traumatic things that someone can experience in their life. While we should allow ourselves the grief and the time to cope and heal from the trauma, divorce can also be used as an incredible opportunity to achieve things that you may have wanted to achieve but never got to.

For me, that aspiration was a trip to London and fulfilling my dream of helping many others with my story by speaking on an international stage. When I was married, I held myself back in my business because of the criticism and mocking comments that I would get from my now ex-husband. I also couldn’t turn my dream trip into a reality because it just wasn’t possible, financially and otherwise, for our family of four at the time.

When I started going through a divorce, I realized that I was literally closing one book and opening the second book in my life series. The pages in this new book were completely blank, which meant I got to rewrite anything I wanted about my life from now on. It was like a fresh start granted to me in the disguise of a traumatic experience.

I was able to step back once I found myself again through my Divorce Bucket List. I was able to start assessing who I was and who I wanted to be. Once I did that, I created goals and plans. Then I started taking small actions towards them. I was able to start achieving things that I had only dreamed of before. I was able to get a gig speaking on stage in London and find the resources to go over there for a few extra days by myself before my speaking engagement and finally experience my dream trip.

It was during this dream trip, on that stage, that I finally put my figurative crown back on my head, found myself, fell in love with myself and with life again. Everyone has that same power and capability to figure out, after divorce, what they truly desire out of life. If you are going through a divorce, it’s time to figure out what you truly want because you have an opportunity for a fresh start.

Your new future might not be the path you previously envisioned or where you thought you were going in your prior married partnership. But, your new way of life is happening whether you want it to or not. You get to decide whether you will take control of that path or let it control you. You can use this opportunity to create the dream life you’ve always wanted.

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?

First, I want to say that there is no general rule on timing for dating after divorce. One of the questions I often get in my coaching is, “When should I start dating again?” And my answer always is, “Whenever you feel ready!”

After experiencing some dating horror stories of my own, I learned how to use visualization to have a more positive dating experience. Using a popular visualization technique, I got out a piece of paper, and at the top, I wrote: “My Perfect Partner.” To define what this person would look like, I began to think of the different things I had to have in a partner, knowing I had already been through a traumatically failed relationship that I didn’t want to go through again.

I closed my eyes and envisioned what it would look like five or ten years from now to be sitting at home on a Sunday or traveling with that perfect partner. I pictured what it would look like to go on dates with that person, even eventually getting married again. My list did not involve any type of physical characteristics. It had to do with qualities that I needed in a future partner and relationship. Once I wrote this list, I committed to myself that I was not going to settle for anything less than the things on my list. It didn’t create a “Prince Charming” or something unattainable. It was a simple but defined list that became helpful because I could clearly characterize my goals for a partnership. Clarifying my expectations of a future partner ensured that I wouldn’t let myself fall head over heels just to get rid of loneliness. If someone didn’t meet my standards of worth, I wasn’t allowing myself to settle.

Once I made that list and the commitment to stick to it, I put the list away somewhere safe. Every once in a while, I would look at it just to make sure that my brain remained aware of what I was and was not looking for.

Little did I know that writing that list and making the commitment to myself would actually work. After I created my list, I put myself back out there again and found myself in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had in my thirty-six years of life. I discovered, months after we started dating when I stumbled upon the list again, that this man I was now with met every single requirement! It was pretty neat to go back and realize that the person I ended up dating was exactly the partner I was looking for and that my visualization did work.

As I write this, I am still with the man I had visualized as my perfect partner, and things are going great. We’ve been together for a year and a half, and I could not be more thrilled to have found this man and have him in my life.

There shouldn’t be any rules around when to get back out there to date; we all have human needs, right!? I do encourage others, either before or while dating, to at least work on themselves and their healing. Once you identify your desires, start working towards them, and define what you want in a partner (or the dating experience, whatever that is for you), you will have a much better experience putting yourself back out there.

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

Mindset! 100%! When your partnership ends, especially one that is supposed to be your forever, your end-all, and you transition to becoming an independent unit, all of the dynamics in your life change. You may find yourself becoming a single parent, sharing custody, having to move, changing jobs, etc.; a lot of things about your life will change. Consequently, it would be best to transform your mindset to be open to the changes coming your way. It is essential to adjust your mind and do the work necessary so that you are not afraid of potential upcoming changes.

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 to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?

The key to not just surviving but ultimately thriving through a divorce comes down to empowering yourself. Once you start to empower yourself, you build confidence to tackle the situation to rebuild and reach your desired outcomes. Here are five things you can do to begin empowering yourself now to thrive through (and after) divorce:

  1. Find A New Hobby / Group — Doing this is beneficial for a couple of reasons: First, when we start going through a divorce or separation, the support system we envision being there is not always what it seems to be. So, not only will finding a new hobby or group build your skills and confidence, but it will also help you build your social circle.
  2. Start Reconnecting — This could be reconnecting with anything that brings you joy. Often, when we are in a serious relationship or marriage, we become consumed in that relationship and disconnect from other things in our lives. Think about things like friends, family, coworkers, or hobbies that used to bring you joy that maybe you lost touch with, which you can now reconnect with. Before I became overwhelmed with the duties of married life, I loved running. Not only did running provide me with a means of exercise for physical health, but it also became a mentally healing activity, allowing me an escape to reflect and connect with myself. Being married with two young kids, I let my running fall to the side. Once I started my divorce, I started running again, and it played a massive role in keeping my mind clear and my health on track to empower me to stay focused on my desired outcomes and future goals.
  3. Begin Rediscovering “You”- It is easy to get lost in marriage and relationships when you are no longer just yourself; you are part of a unit. Once that unit is no longer in place, you have to find yourself again to truly flourish. I love to rediscover myself through journaling. Journaling allows you to really start connecting with yourself again. It’s also easy to succumb to negative thinking and self-talk as you’re going through divorce, separation, something that’s traumatic, breaking down your confidence, or heightening your fears. Even if you journal once a week, what you’re doing is positively reconnecting to your thought process. I provide some of my favorite journaling prompts in my book, Divorce Bucket List.
  4. Set New Goals — This is going to help you rebuild your confidence. When you connect this with journaling, you’re going to start building your confidence, rebuilding your life, and thriving. As cliché as it may be, I like to picture a butterfly that goes from being this kind of ugly caterpillar thing to a beautiful wonder. The caterpillar has to get really messy in that cocoon before it emerges (literally, it breaks down into a gooey mess), but it comes out as a beautiful butterfly when it does arise. You can do that, too. Just like the cocoon, a divorce is very messy. However, a messy (and traumatic) situation doesn’t mean you can’t come out on the other side, being the most beautiful version of yourself. By starting to set new goals for yourself, you’re able to do that. Selecting your goals and working towards them is like getting your hands messy in that cocoon. I used my Divorce Bucket List approach to identify my goals and start taking baby steps towards those goals to rebuild and thrive completely.
  5. Practice Gratitude and Affirmations — I love practicing gratitude and affirmations in my day-to-day routine. Gratitude is thankfulness, and affirmations are things you can say that you want to exist in the future, except you phrase them like they are happening right now. Starting with gratitude: to implement that into my life every night before I go to bed, I either write down or think to myself what I was most grateful for that day. It could be anything from “I’m grateful for my coffee today” to “I’m grateful for my health” to “I’m grateful to be alive.” When it comes to affirmations, I do those in the morning, and they can be anything from “I am worthy of love” to “I am a good person” to “I am in a happy relationship again.” It just depends on what you desire and what you need to reinforce in your brain. You tell yourself these affirmations every day, and you’re going to start rewiring your brain into a positive place. Saying these affirmations also helps you visualize what you want so that you can more consciously work towards it.

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?

Gratitude and mindfulness were my saving graces as I went through my divorce. They helped me keep myself in a positive place during one of the most negative experiences of my life. After hitting my rock-bottom when I tried to give up on life, my mental and emotional health became a huge priority of mine. I first learned about gratitude and mindfulness when I was in counseling for the trauma and codependency from my marriage. Afterward, I spent years becoming highly trained in ways to improve mental and emotional health throughout the divorce experience.

Here is the daily routine I developed that helps others alleviate pain and anguish through their divorce experience, as it did for me.

  • The “Five Second Rule” — This is something I learned from the outstanding Mel Robbins- she has a book called The 5 Second Rule; I highly recommend you read it. This practice helps us overcome fears and objections that happen in our brains. You simply have a thought, countdown from five, and take action; you’re refocusing your brain from over-thinking the situation and talking yourself out of it to “five, four, three, two, one — go!” This routine is something that I implemented explicitly in my morning. Mel’s book taught me to start my day off with the “Five Second Rule” when my alarm goes off. I do not snooze; instead, I have trained my brain to say “five, four, three, two, one — stand up!” This method has significantly impacted setting a positive and productive tone for the rest of my day.
  • Morning Affirmations — I already went over these in detail earlier, but it is vital to incorporate them into a routine to become a habit. Just like exercises for a flat stomach, the only way they work is if you do them repeatedly!
  • Immediate Morning Hydration (Water) — I cannot get enough water into my body. I know this sounds silly, and you are probably thinking, “How’s water going to help me through my divorce?” When you fuel your body correctly, you’re going to feel so much more positive, better, and ready to tackle situations and your day.
  • Small Wins — I try to get a small win quickly in the morning. A quick win can be something as simple as a skincare routine or making the bed but have something on your to-do list every day that is an accomplishment for you that you can quickly check off. As part of this, I try to accomplish a baby step towards one of my Divorce Bucket List tasks. This fast accomplishment is all about boosting your confidence levels. Studies show that you are more likely to get even more done once you raise your confidence level and feel like you’ve accomplished something. Quick, small wins help you with your productivity as well as your confidence.
  • Evening Gratitude — I usually do this at the end of the day, as I’m lying down to fall asleep at night. I habitually write down what I’m most thankful for that day in a journal (or you can tell yourself in your head). It allows me to reflect positively on the day and train my brain to focus on the positive, no matter how good or bad that day went. The more I practiced focusing on the positive, the easier it became. Having a positive outlook and mindset is an underrated secret weapon for thriving through a divorce.

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

Of course, my book, Divorce Bucket List, is my most recommended resource for those going through a divorce. I also personally used several other books and podcasts that helped me tremendously through my experience. Here is a list of just a few:

  • Women Who Love Too Much: When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change by Robin Norwood
  • The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo
  • Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You by Darlene Lancer
  • The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
  • The Happy Never After Podcast with Mara Marek
  • Doing Relationships Right with Jennifer Hurvitz

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 have a vision that in-person support groups are widely available for people going through divorce to share stories to cope, heal, find resources, and help each other through the experience. No divorce is the same, so someone cannot use a universal handbook to get through it. Communities established in support groups can help others locate resources easier, learn more efficiently from other people that have been through it, and overcome fear through success stories.

In my vision for the Divorce Bucket List movement, there is a ripple effect because as each person recovers and starts thriving through their divorce, they can inspire and help another person do the same and so on.

My end vision in my work is to host an annual summit for people going through divorce to plug into the system of the Divorce Bucket List while also experiencing other healing activities. This summit will help others start their healing process and equip them with all kinds of tools that they can take home to continue rebuilding.

I would love for everyone to see that you do not have to be afraid of divorce or what lies on the other side of the experience; there is support available, and there are many success stories of people thriving on the other side.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S. 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 🙂

Lately, I’ve been on a huge Arnold Schwarzenegger kick! I would absolutely love to have lunch with him to learn more about his views and absorb his energy. His dedication, passion, and mentality are something out of this world. I listen to one of his speeches at the beginning of every one of my runs. I often rely on his success stories (plural, because he keeps piling on the accomplishments despite obstacles) to keep myself motivated and moving forward.

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...


Teresa JW Bailey of Waddell & Associates: “Housing comes first”

by Ben Ari

Sandra Wood: “Avoiding sorting through emotions and feelings can be very detrimental”

by Fotis Georgiadis
Jen Lawrence

Preserving Your Mental Health & Wellness During Divorce with Jen Lawrence

by Heather Heinzinger
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.