5 Things You Must Do Before Starting a New Relationship

Starting over in a new relationship is no walk on the beach.

After coming out of a long-term relationship, dating can be difficult.

A new relationship may terrify you.

You’re likely to trust people less and have large impenetrable walls around your heart.

So, what do you have to do before starting a new relationship? Watch this video to learn what you must do before starting a new relationship.

For my latest book, Does True Life Exist, to learn how to start over and find love, visit the Amazon store here.

7 Ways to Take Back Your Power as a Divorced Indian Woman

I am divorced.

No, it is not my only identity.

In fact, it is not even my identity.

It is something I have to say when people ask, “Are you married?”

If I say, “No, I am not”, pat comes the next question, “Why?”

The responses to “I am divorced” are as follows:

  1. Oh you poor thing!
  2. You are good-looking, so why?
  3. Some other woman?
  4. A squint of the eye, fierceness of the face, stiffening of muscles
  5. In-the-air statement, “These days everyone divorces. Young people don’t have patience.”
  6. Doesn’t matter. You will find someone.

The worse is when I remove the “am” and say, “I divorced.”

The act and the identity chases you wherever you go, whatever you do.

From sitting in a restaurant alone to moving furniture to a social gathering or a professional networking event.

You are first a woman, then divorced, then the rest of ‘who you are’ follows, shadowed and contaminated by the impressions of the first two descriptors.

In ceremonies, you sense it more intensely. Haldi-kumkum, Varalakshmi nombh, Sindoor-khela are rituals which privilege the married woman.

You are either skipped from such ceremonies or women move around unsure and uncomfortably around you. In key wedding and pre-wedding ceremonies, I am kept at a distance. I am present as a distant guest.

In short, there is direct and indirect shaming and exclusion. You are also pitied, patronised and matronised, and judged without having said a word.

What do you do? In Hindu marriage rituals, there are seven steps a couple takes.

Here are seven steps, you as a divorced woman, can take to navigate Indian social norms:

1. Take Back Power

We spend a lot of mind energy either trying to convince others to see our whole selves or resisting their judgment. The reason we do so is because we give their words and actions power. We give their worldviews legitimacy. Don’t.

Understand what others say emerge from their specific lifeworlds.

Those are the meanings they have made of relationships.

If you find someone open to a dialogue, then speak about your point of view. Else ignore.

Don’t waste your energies debating to a closed mind. And don’t waste energies giving them power.

The fact is you are divorced. You know why. You know how. You know who you are.

Anchored in your understanding of yourself and your lifeworld, ignore others and move on.

2. Disengage and Heal

Sometimes we are hurt by words and actions. We are hurt because we allow ourselves to be hurt.

Believe you can choose to be happy at any moment. Disengage from the words, examine within yourself what limiting beliefs were triggered and work on healing it.

If there is a person who deliberately and is consistently nasty to you, choose to avoid or cut off that person from your life.

Is any of this easy work?

Yes and no.

It is very easy once you decide to direct your attention to something else. It is tough until then because at some level, feeling hurt is also an addiction.

You have to be firm with yourself.

3. Reframe

Reframe what life, love, relationships mean to you.

Marriage is a powerful and oppressive social concept.

Our upbringing and socialization has conditioned us to believe that marriage is a defining feature of a successful life.

If you buy into this belief, you will feel the shame and agony of being outside it.

However, if you challenge it, then you live joyously and proudly.

You can reframe easily if you can stop craving to be acknowledged and affirmed by others. If mentally you are anchored to your own self, the meanings we give to existing social structures naturally peel off.

4. Engage Differently

Choose who and where you want to be.

You don’t need to hang out with friends or relatives who treat you poorly.

Untie yourself from those social chains and create new communities of being. It may feel uncomfortable momentarily but later you will sense relief.

The world will open out.

Create your own version of what is family and if it should mean anything profound.

If it doesn’t work for you, then it doesn’t. Walk away.

Don’t attend weddings if you don’t like to. Or attend them for other reasons.

I attend to sample food and I hardly ever give any gifts.

Attend to wear your pretty clothes, if you like to.

You are not obligated to do anything for anyone.

5. Resist Differently

Instead of reacting to social customs or social conversations, choose your time, place and process to resist.

Resist in a way the Universe of these customs change, resist to make a broad impact, resist to reach and include others in similar situations.

Create your own rituals which include women irrespective of marital status. Celebrate them openly. Write about them. Share information about them. Write about specific issues facing divorced women — analyse, challenge, reframe, provide alternatives.

I created a Divorce Ceremony, performed and then wrote about it. It helped many other women.

Define your milestones and celebrate them. I celebrate Whole Woman anniversary every year which marks the date I decided to prioritize myself and sought to be Whole.

Become the hub for other women to find community and solidarity. Become a champion

6. Redefine Identity

You decide who you are.  If you don’t want to be defined by your marital status, then don’t be.

I insist people address me as Dr. Bhavana and not Ms/Mrs Bhavana.

Or address me as Bhavana without any prefixes.

If you want to challenge social categories, then define yourself in strategically new ways.

I call myself the Earthwoman and the Lightweaver.

I emphasize it in different ways so that I am identified as I want to be.

Who are you and who do you want to be?

Assert this in public space. Embrace this in private space.

7. Engage in Positive Self-talk

Become your own cheerleader.

Affirm yourself as you successfully navigate one more “are you married?” conversation.

Pat yourself in the back if you survive a wedding or religious ceremony.

Cheer yourself as you succeed in resisting and challenging effectively.

Be your best friend, your deepest love, your own partner. Stand by yourself.

Avoid pitying yourself. I know the journey has been hard and I can assure no easy future either.

However, it doesn’t help your case to be in pain.

At some point, you have to stir and emerge.

Make that point Now.

You are the only one who can pull yourself out of it, let go of hurts and forge ahead.

The easiest way to do it is change focus on what is going well in your life.

The word “gratitude” can sometimes feel like an obligation, a commitment to someone or something else.

Be easy on yourself.

Keep it simple.

Focus on what you enjoy, what is working, what your strengths are and watch how the brain resets. The reset may take few minutes to a day. You will turn around.

I started the post with the words “I am divorced.”

I will close it thus: I AM.

Bhavana Nissima is known as the lightweaver for her abilities to weave ideas, places, people and objects. You can find her writings at the Earthwoman blog. Sign up here for her rich and deep posts about women’s rights and empowerment.

The Only Thing Between You and the Relationship You Want

does true love exist

Indian dating advice: find a man from a good family who owns property in the homeland and has a MD, Ph.D or engineering degree.

American dating advice: Find an emotionally vulnerable man who can be your best friend, therapist, and spiritual guide. Make sure he’s intelligent, dashingly handsome, well-groomed, well-dressed, acceptable to take out socially, and gets you completely without you having to say a word.

Hmm…so how do you land one of these men?

Turn to the copious amounts of books, magazines, relationship gurus and astrological readings that are available out there?

So much of the dating advice out there is focused on the thing you can’t control or do much about. So much advice out there is on the the person you’re trying to attract!

What really keeps us from finding the person we want is… get ready for this…


I know…so anti-climatic.

It’s your self-sabotage, belief system and self-esteem that’s ultimately keeps you from what you want.

It’s your own internal thinking, patterns, emotional state, mental state that is keeping you from getting hitched.

Nope, I’m not saying you’re nuts, you’re a lost cause and to surrender from the dating scene immediately.

What I am saying is that all the work that you need to do to materialize love, I’ve come to conclude, has nothing to do with anyone else.

The only person you can change, the only mindset you can alter, the only person who can become more emotionally vulnerable and the only person who can open their heart to love is YOU.

This may come as a shock to you.

It’s so much more convenient to think the world is ending, no one loves you and you’re going to die alone.

It’s so much more dramatic and noble to be a hoarder, ascetic, sheep herder, or fisherman in the backwaters of Kerala.

This is all fine and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to live a lonely, peaceful existence filled with inner awakening, your own sleeping bag, your own schedule and your own closet space. Actually, I’ve pondered and romanticized about this life often…minus the closet space, of course.

This post isn’t to put you down or shame you or make you feel inadequate for wanting to do life alone.

This post is for those of you who do want to date, who want love in your life and especially for those of you, who are planning to do this AGAIN.

Now, listen. I’m no love guru or Dear Abby, Carrie Bradshaw, Harry Met Sally, Prince Harry, Dirty Harry, Dr. Drew or anything like that.

I’m a normal regular person, like you who jumped into the dating pool, not by choice but because life dropped me off in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of scary looking sharks swimming around me.

Wait, what?

I was pushed into the scary waters of dating and love again. Of course, the point of this post is to tell you that it’s not that scary, there are no sharks swimming around you and you have a life jacket and pool animal floating devices. Oh, and that you’re not in the deathly shark-infested waters but likely sipping on Margaritas with blue umbrellas, while lounging around a pool at a beach house in Colorado.

So, let me repeat this again.

The only thing standing between you and the person of your dreams is you.

Work on yourself. Choose yourself. Improve yourself. Be your best self.

And as I say in my upcoming book, “Treat yourself as your number-one lover and you will find a person who pops up from nowhere to treat you the same way.”

Now that I’ve given away all the details of my book and summarized it for you in two sentences – why in the world would you even pick up this book?

Well, between the life wisdom and secrets for finding your life partner, you’ll learn these 4 exciting things in the book, Does True Love Exist.

  • The most powerful word you can use for finding love.
  • How Donald Trump and Bill Clinton can help you up your dating life. I know, totally gross but there is a deep truth these two characters can teach you about how to show up in love.
  • The one quality that will make any man fall in love with you. Any woman too. Actually, if you have this quality, call me immediately. We are soulmates.
  • What areas of love you should look for compatibility in. What you both enjoy doing on the weekends is not as important as those things that really matter.

Now, for your own relationship health, do us both a favor and pick up this book on Amazon.

Read it and start applying these tips to your life immediately.

Write an Amazon review soon after about how this weird Indian guy changed your life by breaking down relationship advice in easy-to-understand and rational way.

Call me and invite me to your wedding to give a toast. Take me along on your Honeymoon.

Get the book already. Only $.99 all this week.

Click here for Does True Love Exist and pick up the book today.

Visualize Your Way to Love

Can visualizations actually work?

Can you meditate your way to love?

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and try out this 5 minute true love meditation for a week. Keep me posted on how it changes your life.

This true love visualization is a free gift for people who purchase my new book, Does True Love Exist? coming out on July 9th.

To my blog readers and subscribers, please find the video above. I hope it helps you on you path to finding your life partner.

Lookout for Does True Love Exist? in the Amazon store next week.

A Little Book on Lasting Love

Is it time to date again?

Is it time to flip the page?

Close the old book and start a new one?

Before you start on the next chapter of your life, I have a small gift for you; a book on finding love that lasts.

My life experiences, observations, and dating stories make up this little book called, Does True Love Exist?

It’s 15 simple concepts that can help you find that person who was meant for you.

I can’t want to share this book with you on July 9th. It has practical nuggets of wisdom about finding, cultivating and keeping love in yourlife.

Look out for the book, Does True Love Exist? 15 Simple Ideas for Finding Your Life Partner on my Amazon page here.

15 Simple Ideas For Welcoming In Love

Are you ready for new love in your life?

Is it time to start over, let go of the past and welcome in a new relationship?

As I’ve worked on moving on myself, I’ve gone from studying heartbreak to studying love.

My observations, experiences and insights on love and dating have become a tiny book with a mighty message: love starts with you.

The book is being released on July 9th, 2017 and I can’t wait to share it with you. Click on the video above to learn more about the book.

How Do You Heal From the Grief of Heartbreak?

Michelle D’Avella talks about how to face the pain of heartbreak and heal your heart from grief.

Click the video above for a helpful tip on healing your heart and moving on from the grief of heartbreak.

Michelle D’Avella supports women and men through their journey inward to release pain, open their hearts, and create a life they love. She is a Breathwork teacher, Desire Map facilitator, writer, and mentor. Learn more about Michelle and her work at pushingbeauty.com and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.

How Long Does It Take To Get Over An Ex?

How long does it take to get over an ex?

How long before you move on and can live your life again?

Some people never move on. Some people believe there is no more hope after their last breakup and vow their previous relationship will be their last relationship.

How long it takes to get over an ex depends on you.

Here’s what I know: it took me years to get over my ex because I didn’t quite accept the relationship had ended.

Yes, you actually have to accept the relationship is over before you can get over an ex. 

At the end of the day, I’d say it took me about five years to fully move on from my marriage.

“What the #&*(@)!_,” you remark, “5 years?!?! that’s a long time.”

Listen, it’s not about the time. It’s about the process of healing and letting go.

There’s work to be done.

What work?

Click the video above to watch. You get to decide how long it will take for you to get over your ex.

For books on heartbreak and moving on, visit my Amazon store here.

3 Ways to Transform Before You Love Again

When my husband walked out the door and never came back, I thought I would never love again. I was 22 years old and believed that marriage was forever.

How could I even think of loving anyone else when I was sure I would never stop loving him?

About three months later, I met a man. He was nice and sweet, and we seemed to have a lot in common but something was off.

I never would have admitted it at the time but really, I used this man to help me forget my pain. I had nothing to give him but my brokenness. It was a rebound relationship. We dated on and off for three years but I could never commit like he wanted me to.

As much as I tried to make things work with this new individual, there was no way I could. I just wasn’t ready. I needed to heal.

There is something about divorce or a serious breakup that makes a person feel helpless, hopeless, defenceless. The person that you gave everything to: your secrets, your body and years of your life, has rejected you. There is no greater rejection.

You need to heal and you need to grieve before you can genuinely be there for another person. For me, it took ten years before I was truly ready to marry again and give myself fully to another person.

It won’t take everyone this long but we do need to heal before we are ready to enter something new, and give it our best. During the ten years between marriages, I was in two major relationships, both of which did not work out.

For one of those relationships, I couldn’t commit. For the other relationship, I chose someone who was very deceptive and unfaithful.

One reason it is so important to heal is because if you are not emotionally healthy, you can either hurt others (like I did in the first relationship) or be hurt badly by choosing someone inappropriate (like my second relationship.)

If you have recently gone through heartbreak, there are three things you need to rebuild as a newly single person to help you heal and become whole again.

1. Cultivate your strength.

When you were in a long-term relationship, you think yourself as part of a couple. The two of you made plans together, visited together, went out for dinner together.

Other people start to think of you as part of a couple, too. Instead of just being “Sally,” you are always known as “Sally and Joe.”

You are interdependent on another. This is not a bad thing – it is a healthy part of being a couple. When it all ends, however, that unity is torn apart and you are left feeling jagged and torn, like a part of you is missing.”

But through this process, if you allow yourself, you will discover something wonderful: you are stronger than you ever thought. If you quietly listen, you will feel a hidden strength that is emerging from having to endure this terrible crisis.

There is a voice from deep within that whispers: “You will survive. You will endure.”

That feeling that you are going to fall apart and die is powerful but it is only a feeling. The truth is that you are getting stronger. In fact, even when you are still heartbroken, still devastated, you will find that you can do far more than you thought possible.

2. Use your difficult emotions as motivation

When you go through a very painful breakup, you have a lot of mixed emotions. Part of you wants to curl up in a ball and never leave the comfort of your bedroom. Another part of you feels a sense of burning indignation at the betrayal and treachery you experienced.

This anger is part of the grieving process but it also has a good side because it can mobilize you to start something new, to forge forward. It can give you the energy to be able to move on.

After my second post-divorce relationship breakup, I was so depressed that it was hard to function. For many months, I felt no anger – just sadness. I was so sad that it was difficult to get through a work day or to have a conversation with anyone.

One evening, I was visiting with a lady who was also going through a separation and moving to a new province. She told me, “You have to get in touch with your anger. It’s there but you are just hiding it with this depression. Think about what this man did to you. It should get you angry and you need that anger to move on, to get yourself motivated.”

It took a long time for her words to sink in but she was right. I stayed depressed for a few more months but then I was finally able to get in touch with my anger.

When I did, I was really angry, and it scared me. I did not like to think of myself as an angry person but it was a necessary part of the grieving process. During that angry phase, I started to think about the future.

I was working an entry-level job at the time because I thought that was all I could handle with my depression. I started to reassess my skills and knew that I needed to get back into teaching, my previous career.

I started sending out resumes and within a month, had a new job teaching High School English. I had to travel 1000 miles away to get there but what kept me motivated and strong was knowing that I had survived this breakup and therefore, I could handle this new situation.

If you have just recently survived a breakup and are feeling angry, think about how you can use your anger for something good and productive.

Maybe you can pursue a goal you left behind during the relationship, like school or a new career. Maybe you want to renew old friendships that you neglected while being with your former partner.

You are in transition right now. You have survived this experience. If you are angry, take advantage of the energy your anger gives you to pursue your dreams again.

3. Rebuild your self-worth

After a divorce or serious breakup, you must rediscover, or even discover for the first time, your worth as a human being. You are worthy, no matter who does or doesn’t decide to be with you.

Growing up, I was not affirmed by my father. In fact, his anger often led to him yelling at his family and controlling our every action. Around my father, I always felt on edge and unsure of my worth. Without the affirmation of the male figure in my life, I looked for it from other men.

If you look to a romantic partner to affirm who you are, you are in trouble because you are putting the power in their hands for whether we feel good about yourself. If your man loves you, you are happy. When that same man doesn’t love you anymore, you are devastated.

Although relationships can be wonderful, they do not determine your worth. A single person is not worth less than a married person.

You are of extreme worth right now, just as you are.

Don’t look for another man to prove it to you.

One way to rediscover your worth is to rediscover your gifts. You have gifts and talents that no one else has that are needed in this world. Think back to who you were, before you entered this relationship.

Did you give up a dream, a passion? Use this time of newly-found singlehood to renew a dream or passion that was left on the back burner.

When I went to that teaching job far up North, being in the classroom energized me. I was teaching English literature, my passion. I absolutely loved leading the students in discussions and building into their lives.

The thoughts of this man were still there, sometimes at night, but they started to fade because I was so consumed with doing my best at the tasks that were in front of me.

If you are struggling with being unable to focus on anything but your ex-partner, right now, remember who you were before – that person is still there. Do something to move towards becoming more of the person you were meant to be.

To conclude, there are three things you need to find again after a breakup. You need to find your strength again. You need to get back your motivation, and you need to rediscover (or discover for the first time) your self-worth.

Sharilee Swaity and her husband live in the woods of Central Canada. She has just written her first book, Second Marriage: An Insider’s Guide to Hope, Healing and Love. Pick up her book on Amazon here (free for 48 hours). You can also keep up with her writing on her blog, Second Marriage, here.