The Final Step To Letting Go and Moving On

let go and move on

The final step in letting go and moving on is the most difficult.

I was stuck in the step for much too long, reading Vishnu’s blog and trying to do the letting go and moving on work.

Everything I read made sense from day one. I knew what I should be doing but I too was stuck in the last stage of letting go. Time made little difference either for moving on.

If you asked me what got me to finally move, I just got so sick of being stuck and things not changing in my life. I realized he hurt me then, but I was the one keeping myself stuck in it. He had moved on and I hadn’t. I came to understand that I was the only person who could change things.

I realized that I was so busy being stuck in the past and missing it, I hadn’t acknowledged that I actually didn’t want to be with him in the present, or the future. That was a big light bulb moment. I was ruminating and reminiscing in the past that I enjoyed but I fully came to accept that I didn’t want him now or in the future! That was what helped me finally in the letting go and moving on.

These are the final steps that helped me end this letting go and moving on journey.

The final step to letting go and moving on

1. Self Love.

Honestly, it had a lot to do with self-love.

I started with self-love because it felt hugely uncomfortable and that meant it needed addressing.

Because I’d read every self-help book going and nothing had shifted and I realized that while it was all great advice the real truth for me, and all of us, lies within, because we are all unique and we all know our own truth, we just have to listen to it.

Once I started loving and investing in myself, I knew that I deserved better. Better than someone who left me and also better than the life I was leading, where I was stuck and miserable and going nowhere. I got sick of living in that place.

I realized he hurt me at the time, but I was hurting myself now and I had a choice and only I had the power to make that stop.

So, I invested the love I had for him and our relationship, in myself.

I started to stop being horrible to myself and to treat myself as my own best friend and constantly asked myself if my thoughts and wallowing were helpful to me and the answer was always no.

2. Looking forward.

I realized that I hated the present as I was stuck in the past. I realized to change my present I had to start looking forwards instead of back at the past. I was stuck in old habits so I simply forced myself to stop whenever my head went back to the past.

I made my head visualize a ‘best’ future, instead of always going back to the past.

I got an app for positive affirmation reminders.

I wrote a closure letter with everything I wanted to say to him and burnt it and I also wrote about our relationship from a different perspective and without the rose-tinted glasses on.

3. Gratitude

I had been so stuck feeling I was lacking without him, that I didn’t see any of the reasons I had to be grateful. There was a lot and I made a conscious effort to notice and acknowledge them repeatedly.

I spent so long thinking that a life without him was a loss, my loss, but gratitude showed me a new way of thinking.

What if it was actually his loss and not mine? He’d lost someone loyal, committed and he’d lost me, the person I was beginning to recognize as worthy, from all that self-loving I’d begun.

The reality was I’d lost a man who walked away, who (wrongly) accused me of cheating, who disappeared and walked out on our long term relationship with barely a backward glance. That’s not a loss, that’s again, a lucky escape and the universe guiding me towards something better.

Another light-bulb moment, this wasn’t something to be sad about, it was something else to be grateful for and a huge factor in me finally letting go and moving on.

In tandem with the beginnings of feeling better about myself, I genuinely had no time for being stuck and miserable anymore. I had no desire to be with a man who left me and hurt me and feeling this meant it, finally, didn’t hurt so badly anymore.

I now want more for myself.

4. Finding your own happiness

I realized I hurt so very badly over our break up because I’d put all my happiness in his pocket.

Ultimately, our happiness has to be in our own pocket (a partner is lovely, but it’s an added bonus) and the only way we can achieve that is through self-love like I mentioned above.

When you cultivate self-love, it then breeds self-respect and boundaries and then you realize that you no longer want a person who caused you pain and turned their back on you and walked away.

Acknowledge that if you had to write a list of attributes you’d like, and you truly deserve, in a partner, your ex wouldn’t even make it to a date, let alone putting your life on hold for and being constantly miserable over.

All these things make you finally realize that you just have a small scar and not an open wound anymore 🙂

After cultivating self-love, gratitude, seeing the future, and finding my own happiness, I was able to let go. I’m here to tell you that letting go and moving on is possible and I say that as someone who was stuck for a long time and never believed it was actually possible for her.

My message to everyone reading is simply: take all the advice you can get from others (definitely read Vishnu’s blog) and take comfort in that you’re not alone, or weak, for how you feel, but also look within and trust that you already have all the answers you need.

Most importantly, even though it’s the last thing you feel like doing when your heart is broken, love and invest in yourself, and one day it will stop feeling ridiculous and become the reason you finally let go.

Katie is a long-time UK reader who has let go and moved on with her life. She is still single, but finally open to the possibility (but not necessity) of finding love again. She is currently thriving in a new career, which never would have been possible without either the heartbreak or taking that final step in letting go and moving on.

Guilt Is Stealing These 7 Things From Your Life After Divorce

life after divorce

Guilt was my prison in my life after divorce.

I was stuck for so long in the past because of guilt at what I had done in my marriage.

I thought about every single thing that I had done and felt guilty about it. How I had taken the relationship for granted. How I criticized and nagged my ex. How I didn’t let her be completely free and her own person.

I thought about all the things that she pointed out about me in my life after divorce. I reflected on all the things she had found problematic in our relationship. All the things she said to me about what I had done to screw it up.

I’m a terrible person and I deserve to be in my own prison for some time, maybe for the rest of my life. I thought that since the person who had known me most decided to break up with me that I was a bad person, had done terrible and deserved to be punished. I deserved to suffer.

You may have come out of breakup or divorce and feeling the same way too. You may feel the heaviness of the guilt in your life after divorce. You may feel like a failure and like you were solely at fault for the relationship.

You may feel like you’re the bad or evil person.

As you’re thinking all this, your ex may have moved on with their life after divorce. They may have switched careers, found new love and started a family.

They seemed to have improved their life in every way and you’re still sticking around in the past, holding onto the heavy baggage of guilt and self-blame.

If you’re feeling the heavy pangs of guilt after divorce, think about what you’re giving up when you’re stuck with guilt.

Your guilt is stealing these 7 things from your life after divorce

A new life.

You have the ability to move on and start a new life after divorce. You can live a new life, travel, pursue a new career and live your dreams. You can let go of everything that once was and wasn’t working and start brand new. Your guilt is taking away the life that’s possible for you today. Instead of allowing your new life to unfold, guilt is keeping you paralyzed and stuck in your life after divorce.

A new you.

Like me, you want to brew in the past. You want to be stuck as the old you thinking about all the ways you were hurtful and self-sabotaged the marriage. You don’t believe that you can change or become a different version of yourself. You are going to reminisce on the past and hold onto your old self. You are going to allow guilt to steal a new and improved version of yourself. You are going to hold off on learning and growing from your past mistakes.

Your self-worth.

Your guilt is making you feel worthless. You feel that you are unworthy of your ex. When the person you love most rejects you, your self-worth and confidence is going to take a hit. The fact that you couldn’t make this relationship work and you couldn’t hold onto your spouse is going to make you think that you’re a terrible person that no one loves. As you’re holding drowning in guilt, you don’t feel whole, complete, or enough.

Peace of mind.

You’re going to be constantly feeling pangs of resentment, anger and regret. You’re going to feel like a criminal for having done the things that you did. It was your terrible deeds and bad actions that led to this divorce. Instead of calmness and peace, you are going to be living in discomfort and regret. You’ll be constantly feeling like you were the one who did something wrong and you deserve to be punished.

Hope.

Hope is a belief that life will get better and things will improve. Hope is a welcoming of a new day. Stewing in guilt will steal your hope away. You will be thinking that all the best in your life has already happened so there’s nothing to look forward to anymore. All you can do now is celebrate what you had and regret what you did to end the relationship. You can ruminate on what no longer is, thinking that there is no hope for the future.

The present moment

Guilt will steal your life after divorce. Instead of being present and living in the moment, guilt will make you go back to the past and replay all the things that you did in the past. It will make you question yourself, doubt yourself and generally torture yourself for the things that you did and didn’t do in this past relationship. Guilt will ensure that you are reliving a time that no longer exists and will continually take you back in time.

New love

I know you believe that love is impossible. It is only because you are cooped up in guilt after divorce. Feeling guilty, you’re thinking and feeling like you’re a terrible person. You think you ruined your ex’s life. You think you were the reason that the relationship ended. When stuck in the regret and guilt of the past, you are going to close your heart and life to new love. When you don’t feel worthy or deserving, you’re going to close your heart to new relationships.

Guilt is a thief that will continue to steal from your life, even your life after divorce.

What else has guilt stolen from your life after divorce? Send me a message or reply to my email. If you need some guidance or support, please get in touch. 

How to Save Your Marriage When You’re Not Ready to Give Up

You want to save your marriage.

But your spouse doesn’t.

What do you do?

I vowed to do I would do whatever I could to save my marriage.

When my ex told me that she wanted out of the marriage, I felt breathless and my heart started racing. I felt light-headed, afraid, and like I wasn’t able to stand.

Was this real?

The news she shared about what happened at the new year party she had attended the night before was even more life-crushing.

I was in complete and utter shock.

While I’ve never spoken about what happened at that new year party that she attended and don’t plan to do so here, it was devastating.

The marriage was unraveling in front of my eyes. So many thoughts fluttered through my mind.

I distinctly remember standing in front of her tying a golden necklace around her neck and performing the Vedic rituals nearly 8 years before that in India.

Under the universal Gods of the Hindu faith and 1000 people, we promised each other to uphold this sacred wedding vow.

The dating took a couple of years, the marriage took many months and the event took several places over several days in India.

This proclamation of divorce was in our living room, just between the two of us, and was over in minutes.

“Was this it?” I thought to myself, on January 2nd of that year, “was the marriage over simply she wanted out?”

“Oh no, not by a long shot. I don’t want a divorce.”

“You are going to save this marriage, Vishnu.”

“You are going to do whatever it takes to save this marriage.”

I spent the next several months doing everything I could to repair this marriage, save it, and get it back on track.

We went to Paris, had regular nights out, and attended counseling sessions regularly. We spent more time together, learned to communicate better, and made a monumental attempt to make this marriage work.

While we couldn’t pull it off at the end, I know I gave it my best.

I went all in at the end because I wasn’t ready to give up on this marriage.

I wasn’t ready to give up a life-time commitment, sacred wedding vows, and our dreams so easily.

If you’re not ready to give up on your marriage and want to save it, then keep these 12 marriage-saving steps in mind.

Here are 12 steps you can use today to save your marriage. 

1.Drop the ego fast.

Nothing I’m going say is going to make sense if you don’t drop your ego in a quick minute.

I know you feel your spouse is at fault and he’s the one who should try to make it work since he is the one who screwed everything up and told you he fell in love with some 25-year old bartender in the Czech republic.

It’s total bs that you have to be the one that has to win him back.

If you think this, you can put a nail in the coffins of your marriage. You have to be willing to set your ego aside and be willing to go all in to save this marriage.

This is one of those situations where you can be right or you can save your marriage.

You have to be willing to save it even if you didn’t cause it to unravel

2. Respect is the name of the game.

In my marriage, we had both given up respecting each other long ago. We didn’t value each other and were at each other’s necks.

During the 6 month campaign to save our marriage, I realized that I had to start respecting this woman quickly! No disparaging remarks, sarcasm, insults, or any other crap that I had been doing for the last few years. Respect is paramount. If you don’t respect your spouse, there is no incentive for them to stick around.

You have to be able to respect them even if you don’t feel like it. Try to speak to them and treat them like a professional colleague or friendly neighbor. Try to look at them in the most respectful way possible even if you have 0 ounces of respect for them.

You have to let go of contempt and despising them to respecting them. Hard work.

Once again, you have a choice. You can disparage them and break this marriage up because it feels good to put them in their place or you can respect them and save this marriage.

3. Hold off on the guilt-trip and blame game. 

Even if it’s not 100% percent your fault, you’re going to feel like it is. You’re going to think about every single thing you did and feel guilty about it. This is not the most helpful right now.

Feeling like you’re the guilty person and a bad person during a time you’re trying to improve this relationship is not the way to go. Hold off on the guilt trips. You can’t be 100% responsible when there were two people in this marriage.

Also, stop blaming your partner. It’s not 100% their fault either. Even if they hurt you, betrayed you, or were the reason this relationship came crashing down, they are not solely responsible.

If you have a healthier perspective on each person’s role and refrained from blaming each other completely for the breakdown of the marriage, you’re going to be able to be in a better frame of mind to save this marriage.

4. Take responsibility. 

Don’t blame yourself 100% but you’re allowed to take responsibility for your role in this marriage. If you think you did nothing wrong and didn’t have a role in this relationship ending, please refer back to #1 above.

As I mentioned previously, it takes two people to make a marriage work and for a marriage to fall apart. You did have a role here. Try to figure out what that role was? What were your shortcomings and what was your part?

Work with therapists and counselors, coaches, and healers to help you understand your role in this marriage. How was your communication? How was your prioritizing this marriage? How much did you show up for it? How did you interact with your spouse? How much did you let your past get in the way?

Determine what you could do to improve your relationship right now. Take responsibility for the things you weren’t doing and start doing that today. No, it’s not too late. No, they won’t care if you’re doing this just to save your marriage.

You can make changes, improve, and do what you weren’t doing just last week.

In addition to outside help, what has your ex been saying to you all this time?

Reflect on everything your ex has been saying to you and write it all down. What are they saying to you? What do they want? Is there validity to whatever they have been saying to you?

5. Seek peace within

There are two reasons to do this.

One is for your own mindset and well-being. You want to have peace of mind so that you’re not driving yourself crazy. Your entire past, present, and future is zipping by in front of your eyes. You want to slow things down. You want to experience more peace. You want a calmer inner world so you can work on the news that just rocked your world.

Start practices that will help you get you to that calm. This is different for every person so figure out what will help you get to this state of inner peace. Will it be prayer, nature, meditation, journaling, bhajans, or spiritual talks? Will it be daily affirmations or a gratitude practice? Will it be reading spiritual text or Vishnu’s Virtues?

The second reason to get grounded and seek inner peace is to calm down the things in your outer life. If life feels chaotic and out of control, it might be because your inner life is this way. The more peaceful and calmer you become within, the calmer your outer life will become. Seek peace within and you’ll start seeing more stability and calmness around you.

I’m not sure if this is spiritual or what but it’s just what I’ve found to be try. The calmer I become on the inside, the less crazy my outside environment becomes.

6. Get more affectionate

It might have been a long time since you spoke affectionately to your partner.

Your words might have come out with anger and hostility.

They’ve done enough to warrant your bitterness and anger yet remember, you are trying to save your marriage here. It’s time to bite your tongue and lower the tone of your dialogue. You can’t criticize, condemn and cuss them out as much as you want to.

You have to speak pleasantly and kindly. You have even try buttering them up, using words of affection, praise and empowerment.

The bottom line here is you have to be positive. You have to become like your kid’s soccer coach. No matter how badly your kids are doing on the field, as a supportive parent, you’re going to cheer on your kids and tell them what a great job they did. Become a partner coach. Speak words of encouragement and inspiration. Speak words of acknowledgment and gratitude.

Keep the Victoria for another day, unleash your inner Joel Osteen.

Keep the bitterness and anger for your visit to the therapist or for your journal. You can feel the feelings you are feeling and be able to process but you can’t do this with your ex at the moment.

Be more affectionate, speak sweet nothings.

Praise them for the small things. Acknowledge them for anything good they are doing. Thank them for any help.

7. Start speaking their love language fast

While you’ve been married, there has been an important book that has come out called 5 Love Languages.

This is a book by Dr. Gary Chapman and it talks about how people feel loved.

There’s a quiz on his website to help you determine how you both feel love.

Some people feel love through physical touch and others through verbal affirmations. Some people feel loved by acts of service or quality time. Look up what your love language is just for your information. Try to determine what your partner’s love language is or have them do the quiz.

Depending on the answer, put together a plan that makes your spouse feel loved.

Yes, you should have done this years ago but no better time than right now to communicate love in whatever language will get through to them.

8. Create time for each other 

Everyone’s busy. You’re busy. Your spouse is busy. Isn’t it interesting that we make time for what matters? Your marriage hasn’t been what mattered to both of you in years so you ignored it. What happens to a garden that’s ignored? Exactly. It’s time to cultivate this marriage garden again.

Of course, your spouse is going to have no interest in spending time with you now unless you can find creative ways to get them to do things. Tell them you will accompany them to their family’s event. Attend a kid’s sporting event together. Try to take them out for their birthday. It’s time to water this relationship and see if there’s still a connection there. You have to try a little harder to do things than your divorce-seeking spouse.

9. Communicate like you’re a Zen monk.

Here’s what happens in marriages. People think there are communication breakdowns because other people don’t listen to them. As you well know, communication is not about them listening to you.

I’m going to give you a very easy technique here to improve your communication. Practice shutting up and only listening. The only things you can respond to are repeating what your spouse said to you.

“Oh, so let me make sure I get this right…you’re saying x,y,z”.

Your opinions, your thoughts, and your wants don’t matter right now but you may feel that’s unfair and you’re compromising who you are as a person. I get it and if you feel that way, I completely understand. I’m not suggesting you make permanent changes to what you think and believe. I’m just saying you don’t voice them at this moment and you keep the speaking to the minimum.

You listen to what the other person has to say and you confirm that you got it by asking them what they said. Listen as mindfully as possible and refrain from responding in any way, especially if they are sarcastic or hurtful.

10. Forgive like you’re the Dalai Lama 

This goes along with setting aside your ego above. Your spouse has done unforgivable things and treated you so badly that you never want to speak to them again. They have broken your heart and pierced your soul with pain. They have hurt you beyond words and treated you worse than your worst enemy.

If you hold onto all the bad things they’ve done to you recently and throughout your marriage, divorce is imminent. IF you’re trying to save your marriage, you have no option to forgive like the Dalai Lama. Allow your spouse to become a forgiveness experiment. Forgive them for everything they have done over the years, how they hurt you most recently and how they are showing up on a daily basis.

No matter what they do or say, forgive them. Forgive immediately and forgive often. Learn to release the resentment and anger you have towards them so you can save this marriage.

11. Live every day like Day 1. 

One of the best things you can do to save your marriage is to revert to Day 1.

Huh?

Day 1 of meeting them.

You may have some of your fondest memories of your relationship from 20 or 30 years ago when this relationship started.

You remember all the wonderful moments you had and how your partner swept you off your feet. You remember the planning, the special surprises, and the effort both of you put in at that time.

All you have to do now is go back to that place. Reflect on the happy memories of the past and what were the things you and your ex appreciated about each other. What did you both enjoy doing with each other? Playing instruments? Going to the movies? Eating out?

Whatever it is you both did previously to fall in love with each other, try to engage your partner as much as possible. Get them to remember the many sentimental and romantic moments that they had in the previous relationship.

Go back to day 1 to cultivate the love and affection you once had for each other.

12. Kill them with kindness.

You may have no interest in kindness and have a lot of interest in killing your partner but…try kindness first.

Try a lot of kindness to save your marriage.

Treat your spouse like they are the gentlest, kindest, most understanding and most loving person you know.

Lie to yourself if you have to.

People run away from disrespect and rudeness and run towards kindness and compassion. Same with your spouse.

If you can be kind during this time, you will get major bonus points with your spouse.

You will be showing them how to be kind, respectful, and human during the most stressful time in both of your lives. You can show them how to be mature and how to be an adult even if they are not acting like one. You can show them what taking the high road looks like.

Even if you don’t save this marriage, you will leave a lasting impact on them and you will become just the kind of person someone else is looking for.

You can make this relationship work if you try all of these steps above. Show them who you genuinely are again and what they’re going to be missing.

Make them regret leaving you if they are going through with the divorce.

If they found someone else in their lives and someone much younger than them, you’re going to be competing against someone who is wooing your spouse just because of their age or looks. Age can steal your spouse’s interest but may not able to steal their heart.

You may not be able to compete on age or looks but you can pull your spouse back to their senses by offering them a loving alternative. You can offer them maturity, kindness, loyalty, and someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to keep them.

You can show them resilience and faith. YOu can show them your personality and your commitment to making this marriage work.

If you want to do these things or not is a whole other question. If you feel like you’re selling yourself out by coddling or accepting their bad behavior, it may be time to make peace with the marriage and move on to better things.

If you do try out these ideas, you may be able to save your marriage. You could just be going through a rough patch with your spouse and you may be able to rebuild this marriage piece by piece.

Your partner could just be going through a phase and maybe coming back to their senses soon. The younger woman they are seeing could fade away as the excitement wears off.

If you’re not able to save your marriage, you still win. You may be able to save your future.

There is no better way to set yourself up for the rest of your life than to have done the inner-growth work, become a gentler and kinder version of yourself, and a better person.

The journey of saving your marriage could be the personal growth journey you need to become your true self. It could be the spiritual and growth journey you never asked for but preparing you for the next chapter in your life.

Just a final thought. Do not beg, plead, blackmail, threaten, or guilt-trip your spouse to staying together. Hostility, manipulation, and guilt will not work now. The way to their heart isn’t through games or hostility. It’s to remind them how good you’ve been to them.

I wish you the very best on this journey to saving your marriage.

* If you need some support in saving your marriage or deciding what to do next, reach out to me for some support.

My World Already Ended Once (and other thoughts on uncertainty)

I feel Deja Vu.

I hate to say this, friends, but I really am doing well under the circumstances.

This feels too similar to the uncertainty I had in my love life.

I was supposed to be a nomad in 2020, traveling the world and working. All was going well until COVID struck Malaysia in force in February.

I was visiting Malaysia, where my family lives when the government decided that a lockdown and country-wide shutdown was necessary.

This then led to a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend some quality time with the parents, which I have never done in my adult life.

What a fascinating (and by that, I mean, thrilling) time it’s been.

I would love to share my Dad’s astrological predictions according to Indian astrologers about when Corona will end or my Mom’s take on what started the pandemic (she’s vacillating between the deep state and a Chinese lab experiment gone wrong).

God, send help if you’re reading.

Anyway, some of this seems unfamiliar since I’ve never lived through a pandemic and lockdown. Yet so much of this feels oddly familiar.

It’s odd to say this out loud but I feel like I can do pandemics that feel like the world is ending.

I feel like I can do self-isolation, social distancing and lockdown like a seasoned veteran.

As a matter of fact, almost a decade ago, this is basically how I spent my life.

For nearly a year after my divorce, I pretty much stayed home, cried and watched Joel Osteen and Oprah on Sunday mornings. I went to work occasionally and to yoga class weekly. Other than that, I didn’t speak to a single person I knew.

Indian families, like mine, didn’t understand or support divorces. I was the first in my family.

I was so embarrassed, ashamed and felt like a failure that I didn’t feel like talking to friends either.

I was in my own self-quarantine of grief.

Once you’ve gone through something like this before, a pandemic is something you can do in your sleep.

I can crush this pandemic like the divorce that crushed me.

What I am coming to see is that there is going to be a lot of uncertainty in the world after this event is over.

What will happen to our daily lives?

The places we live in?

The world as we know it?

I have no idea about these things but I do have some idea about how to deal with uncertain times in our love lives.

For example, in your life, you may be experiencing uncertainty of some sort.

Should you stay in the marriage?

Should you leave?

Should you move on?

Should you meet someone new?

You may be in many different places with your partner or spouse. You may be feeling uncertain and stressed during these pandemic times about your love life.

How do you cope? How do you move forward?

How do you deal with the uncertainty you‘re facing in your love life?

Here are 4 ideas to help you deal with uncertainty in your love life.

Call on your intuition. 

Yes, you know what you want and you know what’s right for you.

All you have to do is listen to yourself.

Whenever I coach people, I love to listen to them because I hear the deepest insights and nuggets of gold.

They seem to have the most insurmountable problems but when I ask them a simple question, they have an abundance of insight and wisdom.

Call on presence.

The past and future don’t exist in reality.

We want answers for the future and explanations for the past.

No matter how many times my Dad cites astrologers to explain when Corona is going to end, I don’t seem to buy it.

We don’t know about the past or future but we do know what’s happening now.

Check in with yourself at this moment and just live for right now.

Drop the past and future from your mind.

Call on surrender 

You don’t need to over-think the solutions.

The universe will move you to the answer.

And no I’m not drinking a coconut pina colada or a Jungle Bird at the moment either.

You don’t need all the answers you think you need.

Let life take its course.

When the time comes, you will know what you need to.

Thinking, planning and analyzing won’t change things.

Clinging and holding on won’t change things.

Control and demanding things of life won’t change things.

Surrender.

Call on faith.

Faith in what, you might ask?

How about yourself?

Yes, you. You got this. You always have.

You always come through and have overcame.

You’re still standing no matter what life has thrown at you.

You are the light you have been waiting for.

Also, call on the idea that everything works in your favor.

I thought that my life was done for and it was time to become a hermit in the Himalayas.

I kept going though and became a writer and coach.

Then I went to Bali because… Elizabeth Gilbert, who else.

Then I met this amazing Indonesian woman. Then I fell madly fell in love with her in the time of quarantine.

Oh wait, story for another day.

Let’s get back to you.

You got this.

Everything is working in your favor.

You specialize in uncertainty.

You have inner wisdom.

You have this moment.

Surrender.

Know the universe has your back.

Don’t talk with your conspiracy-minded Mom or astrologically-oriented, Dad.

You got this, friends.

p.s. And of course, if you still feel like your love life is more chaotic than the pandemic, I’m here. If you can use some direction, guidance or coaching, reply to this email or fill out this form.

Stop Living Like Everyone Else and Create Your Own Path

walking your own path

These are uncertain times for all of us.

I am here in Malaysia on my own path and just as worried as everyone else.

Although the virus threat here is limited, the economy has come to a standstill.

You know it’s serious in Malaysia when they’ve closed down the night markets and outdoor food stalls.

I mean - the outdoor food stalls !?!

And in the United States, where I was living until late last year, people are on edge.

My friends, like in other parts of the world, have been asked to stay home from work, not send their kids to school and stay away from others.

Every institution that we were familiar with has come to a grinding halt.

Society as we know it has stopped.

On my end, in Malaysia, I’m writing away and following my own path. There is nothing like a quarantine to dedicate large chunks of time to writing.

I’m noticing that my book sales on Amazon are increasing. Interesting, that people are buying books and consuming content at home during this pandemic.

And either because people are at home or because I’ve been promoting my coaching of late here, I’m getting more coaching inquiries this month and doing more sessions than I have in the past.

Ever since I started writing and coaching people online, my close family and friends have suggested I do something that earns more money like going back to my previous legal career.

I have totally ignored their suggestions and advice and have stuck by my desire to create content, sell books and coach online. I recently started another blog to help other coaches sell their coaching services.

Society thinks IT has it right.

It tells you how to study, where to go to work, what kind of job to do, what place to live and how to live your life. It tells you what happiness is, what love is and what a fulfilling life is.

Society instructs you to earn the most amount of money you can.

There is major groupthink going on.

Especially in this traditional Indian cultures by mine.

They tell you what to study (computers or medicine), what age to get married at (25), and even who to marry (a family with property). They tell you what to do next (buy a house and have two kids). They tell you what celebrations to celebrate: weddings, the birth of your kids and 60th birthdays.

Your culture or society may also be telling you how to live your life and not to follow your own path.

Even in the west, society indirectly tells you to get a college degree, a good-paying job and the biggest house you can find.

Education and income is seen as the good life. This is fine unless…..it’s not the life for you!

Everyone is told the same thing and you are told this because society has a strong interest in getting you to comply.

Society needs you to do it’s work.

Houses need to be bought.

Colleges need students.

Hospitals need patients and they need people on health insurance.

The path that society has set for us isn’t exactly sane, normal or fulfilling. (I write more about this in my book, 7 Sacred Promises (affiliate link)

When my marriage fell apart, I just had this realization that made me doubt all the institutions society had set up.

What if this was not the way to live?

We are only living this way because everyone else is but you know what?

You don’t have to live this way. This isn’t the only route.

You don’t have to follow one path, marry one person, live in one place and do one job.

You have options.

You can buck the trend.

You can break the societal mandates and follow your own path but you may face some obstacles in the way.

Your mind likely nags you about these questions anytime you consider a different path.

Here are 8 common obstacles to living your own path and how to overcome it: 

1. What if I don’t know what to do?

If you come to the realization that what you’re doing isn’t working or isn’t meaningful, then you’re at a starting point already.

If you feel like you are caught up in society’s game, then you are where you need to be.

Knowing what you don’t want to do is a major starting point to figure out what you do want to do and figuring out your own path.

If you are done with corporate, you can rule all those paths out of your life.

If you are done with the government, you can eliminate those careers from your path.

Figure out all the things you don’t want to do as a starting point.

2. What if I don’t want to quit my job and travel the world?

Who’s asking you to quit your job and travel the world?

If that isn’t for you, that isn’t for you.

Your job isn’t to follow anyone’s path but your own.

The idea is to live your life on your own terms so figuring out what your values are, what your desired lifestyle is, what your daily looks like and what is meaningful work for you.

The idea here is to not live like everyone else and jump into the rat race. It’s to be mindful and intentional with how you spend your work time and what it is you do. It’s about contributing in a way that uses your strengths to do work that matters to you.

Instead of quitting your job and traveling the world, you can do more meaningful work. You can earn a living from your spiritual or passion work. You can do work that actually helps people. You can have a career change to do work that is not contingent on a particular salary to afford the lifestyle society expects you to have.

You can get off the treadmill.

3. What if I fail?

I love this question because as we speak, I’m’ afraid. I honestly have no idea if my writing and coaching business will work. The positive is that I have been progressively doing better every month but will this be enough to sustain me for the long run?

I honestly have no idea but here’s the thing, I don’t care because I know that working or not, this dream and career (writing and coaching) will get me to the next place. I will continue to do more of it if I get my wish or it will take me to the next place in my life, so I’m’ continuing on my own path.

Failure will get you to where you need to go. If you try something and it doesn’t work, be grateful for the experience. Not everything is lost, similar to a failed relationship. If you do marriage badly and get a divorce, you still become a better future partner who is a little wiser in relationships.

There is no failure, only learning and redirection.

4. What if I can’t make money?

Making money through a job is the safest and surest way to make money until… things like natural disasters happen.

Jobs and income go away during lay-offs and redundancies. You are likely to lose your job any time when business goes bad.

If you want to transition out of a job into a job that pays less, know that you’re better of doing a job for meaning because you’ll feel abundantly rich.

If you want to work for yourself and start your own thing,  why not have a little bit more control about your income and how much money you make?

You’ve never had the opportunity to try to make money on your own. Why not try it and see if it can work?

The resistance to or fear about not making money is about your mindset.

Venturing out on your own and attempting to earn a living for yourself is a way for personal growth and an opportunity to change your money mindset.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with money and earning a living is not as hard as you think it may be.

You just have to learn how to earn it like you learned how to earn it at your day job.

5. What if I’m afraid?

Pursuing meaningful work is scary because it is uncertain and may come at the expense of a pay cut.

Yet, consider what is really scary - wasting your one precious life, not doing work that you want to be doing and can impact the world.

What is scary is living your whole life and then regretting not having done what you wanted to have done.

As I mentioned earlier, the worse thing that can happen is failure and even failure will get you to the next phase in your life.

Venturing off and pursuing what’s meaningful to you maybe scary but you now get to practice facing your fears, for today and for the future.

Breaking off from societal mandates and following your own path will be a practice in confronting fear.

6. What if I fall further behind than everyone I know?

Your friends are getting fancy jobs, moving up in their careers and buying houses.
Venturing out and doing your own thing means you’ll be left out and fall farther behind.

Exactly! That’s the point.

The rest of society is marching to their own drum beat and they don’t exactly know where they are marching to. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean they are right.

Let me repeat: Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean they are right.

You want to fall behind because falling behind might be falling ahead.

Falling behind can lead you to clarity, meaning, fulfillment and happiness.

7. What if I can’t afford to take a leap right now?

Do not quit your job right now and move to Hollywood to start your acting career or the Himalayas to start your spiritual retreat. There is a right way and wrong way to pursue your dreams.

The thing is that you should get clear on first is what you want. Have some picture of the life you want and a good idea about your life purpose. It doesn’t have to be the final thing. Just start somewhere. Then work on figuring out the strategies to achieve that purpose and the financial numbers you need to make that happen.

Save up for it. If you can’t save up for it, minimize your life and expenses. What I did was live in cheaper places and saved a good portion of my paycheck.

I had an exit date and savings to last for a year. I’ve done this twice in my life now. When I did this the last time and I wasn’t making the income I needed, I went back to my previous job. I earned more at my day job and built up my side income even more so I could make the leap again.

8. What’s preventing you from taking action?

Comfort.

Honestly.

We crave comfort more than anything else.

When you are following the crowd and society-designed life, it’s easy, comfortable and certain.

Until it’s not and the life you had built up suddenly disappears from you in front of you because of a recession or slowdown in business.

Comfort makes you want to sit back and go through the society-designed path even if you are not happy or fulfilled.

Between fear and uncertainty versus comfort and a society-prescribed life, many of us will chose the latter. We want certainty of our jobs, pay-checks and pay increases.

I get that’s what drives society but is that what drives you?

Have you considered that there’s another possibility and another option?

Can you create your own path of meaning and purpose instead of pay increases and new titles?

Ready to start your own path? Check out my life direction coaching offering. It’s the first step to living the life you want. 

You Don’t Need All the Answers to Follow Your Purpose

follow your life purpose

After I got out of the legal field, I went to work with labor unions and help workers.

Soon after that, I worked for a NGO helping pass policy to protect older people and the disabled.

I did community organizing meaning I brought people together from the community to help pass laws to protect the elderly and disabled.

I really loved this job!

It was the best job for me.

And the plus side was that I had the best boss in the world.

I worked from home, my schedule was flexible and my work was meaningful.

I worked with the political leaders in California, grassroots activists, and regular everyday people to make the lives better for millions of people.

As much as I loved this job, I was being pulled away from it.

My purpose is to help people at rock bottom make a comeback in their lives, especially the divorced and heart-broken.

My purpose is to help people let go of the past and start over in their lives, to remind them the tragic event was simply a roadblock and not the end of the road.

So every day I did my job but worked toward my purpose.

There is a big difference between office work or a “regular” job and your purpose or soul-job.

Doing your purpose or your soul work is scary – you know why?

The reason most of us are terrified is that there’s no certain or clear path.

You have to figure it out on your own.

If you went to work in the government for example, you would be told what to do.

There are policies and procedures on everything.

There are pay scales and promotion policies that will tell you when you will move up in the organization and how much you will get paid.

When you’re doing soul work, you will have to come up with all these things on your own.

Yet it’s not impossible, you’re just not used to it.

You may not know exactly what it is you want to do.

You may not know how to build it.

You may not have the skills you need to do marketing or sales.

You may not have the technical skills to build a website or blog.

The good news is that you don’t have to get caught up in these details.

Before you start figuring out how to make your soul’s work a reality, you have to figure out what is your soul’s work? What is your purpose?

You figure that out and then you work backwards from there.

When I coach people on finding their direction and following their purpose, they get caught up in the tactics and strategies to make a living.

Their first question is how to pay for doing their life’s purpose.

They want to know the “how” before getting super clear on the what and the why.

I work with them to get clear on the “what” and the “why” first. What is it that you want your life to look like and why do you want that life.

Knowing what it is you want to do and why it is you want to do it is the most important thing. Once you know these two things, everything else will become easier.

Don’t run away from figuring out your purpose because you’re afraid of the uncertainty of the path.

Also, don’t postpone on starting on your purpose.

Life is short.

We get to only live once.

You have two choices.

Follow the mandates of society and do what is certain today.

Or follow your purpose and do what’s soul-satisfying, starting today.

By the way, soul-satisfying doesn’t mean being broke or in financial ruin.

You can do purposeful work and make a living at it.

You know what?

All the wealthiest artists, writers, actors and performers are making a living doing their life purpose.

If you are in alignment with your purpose, the sky is the limit.

You’ll feel like I do – a millionaire just because you get to do what you want to do.

And if you do end up doing what it is you’re supposed to be doing with your life, the money will follow.

So don’t worry about the obstacles and limitations in your way.

Well, worry about the path later but for now, look at the big picture of where you want your life to go.

Admit to yourself what your life purpose is.

See the vision of what your life could like.

It’s exactly why I created the Life Direction Coaching session.

It will help you get clear on your vision and purpose.

Once you embrace that, the other pieces including finances, will fall into place.

The path towards your purpose may be uncertain but will be much more fulfilling in the long run.

If you’re ready to make your soul sing and do work that is refreshing and motivating every day, then please get in touch with me. If you want to learn more about my life direction coaching, check out this coaching option here

Your Dreams Are Most Fertile When Your Life Comes Crashing Down

It was our final trip together.

We were trying to save our marriage in Paris.

Think romantic walks along the Seine river, hand-holding in the Louvre museum or late night frolicking at the Eifel Tower.

Sad to report, that was the trip of my dreams but not the trip of what happened.

It was a wonderful trip but the separation between the two of us was thick in the air.

We didn’t speak at times.

We disagreed about what we wanted to see.

And had pent up anger towards each which was thicker than a cup of  café au lait.

It was painful and heartbreaking.

It was months before our divorce was finalized in 2011.

Fast forward to today where I’ve moved to Asia and writing to you from India.

This week, I write to you from Kerala.

Someone called this God’s country.

Everything they say about Kerala is true.

I’m here for a bit doing more writing, finishing books and coaching people who are recovering from their own breakups or divorces.

This trip is so different than the last.

Early morning writing and walking.

Meditating and socializing with people visiting from around the world.

Watching the sunset in the evening.

Delicious food.

Spiritual awakening.

Creative endeavours.

What the heck, I’m thinking to myself.

How did I end up here?

This is what I would call my dream life.

Working and living the way I want to.

It took me awhile to get here and I’m still pursuing this dream that I had but I’m telling you that this life would have never been possible if I was still unhappily married.

Here’s where I want to get real with you.

Your life felt like it ended when your marriage or long-term relationship did.

You may never have had the opportunity in life to pursue your dreams.

You may never have had a chance to ask yourself what it is you want and how it is you want to live your life.

So much of your life was by default.

The beauty of things coming crashing down is that it clears the path.

It gets rid of all the social constructs, obligations, fears and expectations.

It gives you courage, resiliency and a knowing that you can get through anything or achieve anything.

If you lived a normal life without much challenge or adversity, you couldn’t forge ahead with your dreams.

Those of us who have been through crap know that we can do whatever we want.

We are survivors.

If we can go to hell and back, we can definitely follow our dreams.

So, let’s start today with what it is you want.

Have you given yourself permission to ask yourself what it is you want out of life?

We are here in another new year.

If you feel like you’re not living the life you want, it’s time to ask yourself the easy and hard questions.

What do I want to do with my life?

How can I find meaning and purpose?

How can I create the life I want to live?

If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, let me prompt you.

I’m coaching people this month to uncover what it is they want.

The session lasts about an hour. You can get details here.

Stop dreaming about living your dream life and start making your dream life a reality.

It’s no longer time to play small.

You know what you’re capable of because you’ve survived the worst of it.

I want to ask you what your vision for your life is – read more about my coaching here.

Start the year off right with a life direction coaching session. It’s the first step to launching the life you want to live. 

One Way to Let Go of the Past

I’m writing this from a hotel room from Chennai.

India, people, India!

I’ve had a picture about how I wanted to live my life ever since my divorce.

Before my divorce, I had this vision of a dream life that I thought was absolutely nutty.

Nutty in the sense that I never thought it would be possible.

I didn’t think I could spend my time inspiring people, write, coach, and get paid for it.

I didn’t think you could actually pursue your dream career and make it work.

I didn’t think that you could create your dream lifestyle and make that work!

My dream life is essentially to do my work around my life.

Not my life around my work.

I saw most of society putting work first and doing their life outside of the 9 to 5.

I wanted to live life between 9 to 5 and work when I felt like it.

Also, I wanted work to not feel like work.

I wanted it to be pure passion and purpose.

I made big leaps and took small steps.

I transitioned out of the legal profession.

I took a job with much more work-life balance that allowed me to prioritize writing.

I took months and years off from regular employment to build my coaching practice.

It feels like I’m finally getting there.

I’m back in Asia and doing slow travel and work from this part of the world.

Every day, my life revolves around friends and family, visiting spiritual places and meditating and trying to stay healthy. Oh and working, of course, but that happens early in the morning or late at night.

I write for this blog for people who have experienced divorce and heartbreak.

I write on Medium for people who need some motivation.

I write on Amazon and get paid when people purchase one of my books. The best way to support my work by the way is to pick up a book on Amazon (aff link).

I also am going to launch a series of courses about letting go of the past and overcoming heartbreak in the coming month.

This is the dream that I’ve been working towards for years and feels like it is finally materializing.

I work for myself and have the freedom to live my life on my own terms.

If I had looked back on the past, which I have a bad habit of doing, I would have thought about how great my legal career was and how I should have stuck to the known and certain path to financial security and career stability.

But screw that!

Here’s what happened post-divorce!

I realized how fragile life is/was.

I realized that if nightmares could come true, then for sure, dreams could come true.

I realized that life’s short.

I might as well spend the time doing what I want to do instead of what society wanted me to do.

So I envisioned a life that I wanted to life.

I saw a future life in my mind that seemed way out there but got clear about it.

And have spent the last few years moving towards that future.

It’s unfolding as we speak.

Seeing your future vividly is one way to help you let go of the heaviness of the past.

When your mind is replaying past highlights and memories, train it to see what it is you want it is you want now.

What is your vision for your life?

What does that life look like? If you’re on my email list, please reply and let me know what your dream life looks like.

If you need some support and guidance in this process, check out my coaching page here. There’s no better way to start 2020 than envisioning what it is you want out of life.

Why The Broken Hearted Are Better Travelers

Liz Gilbert has been on my mind ever since Eat, Pray, Love.

The book came out around the same time of my own divorce.

It was about one divorced woman’s journey eating, praying and loving around the world.

She finds herself in the book, finds her man and pens a book that sets up her future life as a writer.

Initially, I wasn’t a fan of the book.

I don’t know.

Something about a woman who had it all and had so much going for her didn’t need a world-wide vacation to find herself.

How trite!

How clichéd.

How privileged.

Things were not so bad, Liz, I had wanted to say.

You had a degree and a professional career.

You lived in New York.

You were doing your life’s work.

Divorces happen.

Life goes on.

But does it really?

I think for some people, yes, life does go on.

Everyone responds to divorce and breakups differently.

I have met people who are dating multiple people after their divorce, having the time of their life and marrying their soulmate soon after.

I’ve also met people who are stuck for years on end after divorce.

This is  was me.

These are the people who I coach.

This might be you.

Some people feel physically alive but emotionally and spiritually dead post breakup.

Some people believe only their past contains their best life.

They believe their future is sad and hopeless.

We are people who saw the life that we knew crumble right in front of us.

We survived the wreckage but are still left wondering, “why us and what now”.

“Why me” is what led me to leave my career as a lawyer. (It also made me write this book Is God Listening)

“What now” is what led me to Bombay and Kerala, to Burma and Sri Lanka, to Guatemala and Costa Rica. (I should probably write a book on that…oh, wait…)

I now get why travel is so attractive to the broken-hearted and divorced.

I’m going to urge you to do more of it too.

You know what’s different about us?

Our entire lives fell apart.

Everything we had known to be true no longer is.

The life that we had created vanished right in front of our eyes.

Our marriage, our partner, our schedules, possibly our jobs and where we lived, where our children live, etc etc.

Our lives crumbled. Everything changed and nothing made sense anymore.

Which in many ways is like travel.

Imagine waking up in a foreign country that doesn’t speak the language you’re used to, has completely different customs and traditions and appears totally foreign too.

You and I are already used to this!

If you’re experienced in unfamiliar places, foreign surroundings and where nothing makes sense, then travel is perfect.

Except unlike our romantic breakups, travel is welcoming and pleasant.

We welcome in new foods and hospitable people.

We don’t understand languages that are filled with romanticism and adventure.

We see people and places that are unfamiliar but beautiful.

We find ourselves in situations where we might be by ourselves but seem connected to the people around us.

I’m not exactly saying that divorce is a like a trip to Paris but maybe I  am

And those of us who are divorced will excel at it.

And those of us who are divorced should do more of it.

Once you see the world you’re familiar with disappear, you adapt and try to make sense of the new world in front of you.

If you’ve done it in divorce, you can do it in travel.

In travel, novelty and unfamiliarity is pleasant and welcoming.

Newness doesn’t mean waking up by yourself in a huge bed in a huge house.

Your newness is waking up in a quaint hotel overlooking beautiful lakes you’ve never seen in your life.

Or trying to buy unpronounceable street food from people who don’t speak the same language as you.

The divorced are experienced in the novel and unfamiliar.

We are trained to start over when everything in unknown.

We didn’t go out for a weekend seminar to learn this.

Divorce taught us to navigate the unfamiliar and uncertain.

It taught us to stand strong and step up when the rug was being pulled from underneath us.

So, travel more often.

Travel to more unfamiliar locations.

Have your external circumstances change regularly until…

you realize that the external can change frequently and often but you still remain the same.

Underneath all the change and unknown is you:

Known, truthful, expanding, growing, soulful.

Hey are you subscribed to the blog? If not, sign up today so I can email you on the regular 🙂 with words of insight and inspiration. 

Keep This Dirty Divorce Secret To Yourself

I need you to keep this a secret for God’s sake!

Don’t ruin it for everyone else, please.

The more married people come to know about this, the more lives are going to be ruined.

This must only stay here between us.

Divorce is sad and hard.

One day you’re grocery shopping together, strategizing about the tofu wraps you’re going to prepare for your dinner guests at home.

The next day you lose your spouse, your friends, your home and all desire to eat tofu.

Other people are going to work and living their everyday lives but you want to curl up in bed, wrap yourself in a blanket and just permanently stay there.

Don’t we get 3 chances at life just like video games? Or 9 lives just like cats?

Anyway, I was in your shoes.

I thought it was over after divorce. I was looking forward to a peaceful life and old age.

This whole married thing and looking normal to the rest of society was fun and normal.

We had jobs and friends and family and vacation time and professional degrees.

What the heck else could we ever want?

I mean sure we could ask for real love, happiness and a life of our dreams.

Or we could have dinner, put the dishes away and go to bed so we could go to work the next day.

We could go to Ikea and Christmas parties.

We could send out annual greeting cards and post happy Facebook photos of ourselves even if we weren’t.

This continued until the divorce at which point it all came to a crashing halt.

And you know what it has been.

Divorce sucks. Sucked.

You’re alone much of the time.

Society doesn’t really see you.

Most people think there’s something wrong with you.

And everyone deeply desires you get married again so you can be happy and normal like the rest of everybody else.

Which brings me to this dirty little secret about divorce.

Since divorce, I’ve been living the best few years of my life.

  • Every damn day, I live the life I want.
  • I see who I want, I do what I want and live the way that I want.
  • I don’t give a hoot about what anyone thinks about me or the way I’m living my life.
  • All the negativity and toxicity has been out of my life.

I wake up happier knowing that my life is truly in my hands. I experience freedom, happiness and joy often.

I write and share content online for other people who were in the same situation as I was.

I write books for those people and encourage them to live their best lives.

I travel to parts of the world that I want to travel to but never had time to.

I go to events that I want to go to.

I meditate and chant mantras on the daily.

I slowed down my life and live a life of quiet existence doing whatever the heck I want.

From the outside in, my life looks like a total disaster and going all downhill.

People I intimately know are praying for my salvation and hoping I wake up soon and join the ranks of regular society: marriage, kids and real estate.

I continue to wake up every day looking forward to doing what I want: spirituality, writing and helping people.”

Who would have thought that I can live this life !?!

God dang, this is the best.

Screw marriage (the bad ones, of course).

Celebrate divorce.

Please don’t share this information with anyone else. Especially not with the married folk in your life.

Don’t ruin it for them!!

Don’t tell them that divorce might make them happier every day and give them the chance to create the life of their dreams.

Don’t tell them that divorce means peace, happiness and living life on your own terms. It might mean the best thing that has ever happened to them.

Don’t tell them that it means finding true compatibility and having a reals shot at love.

You and I must do our best to keep the gory details of divorce a secret.

Let us enjoy in secrecy while the rest of society is marching to prescribed notions of what a good life is.

Don’t share this blog post with any unhappily married people you know.

Don’t ruin it for us in this private, exclusive, happy divorcees club.

Don’t buy my books either if you’re contemplating divorce. If might push you over the edge and convince you to get one.

Or celebrate your post-divorce life like a champion.

Photo by Alina Kovalchuk