How To Divorce With Mindfulness & Intention For A Peaceful, Joyful Future

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woman practicing mindfulness through divorce
Heartbreak

When it comes to divorce, mindfulness and setting intentions is so vital and important. It makes the difference between being a victim and being the architect and creator of your newly envisioned life.

Divorcing with intention is an opportunity to change, live a more realized life, and in accordance with your values, dreams, and goals. You can achieve a sense of peace, connection, joy, meaning, purpose, and love.

An intention is a goal with a soul, connected to who you are as your best self, bringing you happiness and peace.

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Divorcing with mindfulness means defining your intentions.

The definition of an intention is, "an aim or plan," or, "the healing process of a wound." How perfect is that definition when it comes to divorce?

Divorce is filled with so much planning and many decisions to make. And of course, there are a myriad of possible wounds: heartbreak, abandonment, abuse, trauma, infidelity, betrayal, loss, profound change, and more

By setting divorce intentions, you can heal those wounds, mitigate future hurts, and as create a plan for your new and improved life.

Setting intentions is a process of discovering yourself.

Your intentions act as a mental model — like an architect’s blueprints — to help you make decisions and take ownership of your life. It's a way to take back control in a very chaotic and confusing process.

You are the creator, star, expert, and hero of your life. You need your intentions to help guide you through. You need a big "why."

Why are you doing this? What is your goal with your soul?

What do your intentions look like?

  • Giving myself time to heal.
  • Being kind, nurturing, and taking care of myself.
  • Having faith in the process.
  • Keeping my kids out of it.
  • Divorcing with dignity, compassion, and clarity.
  • Using divorce as a catalyst for transformation.
  • Loving myself and my family, and finding romantic love again.
  • Staying connected to my values.

Intentions start with mindfulness and conscious awareness.

Intentions start from a place of "mindfulness" and "conscious awareness" — that means getting quiet enough so that you hear and pay attention to what’s truly important to you.

Mindfulness brings attention and awareness to each and every moment of your life, giving meaning to your actions. It’s being conscious of what you’re doing and thinking.

Conscious awareness means being awake and aware of your mind itself by using your perception purposefully to propel yourself forward in a direction that leads to what you desire.

It's difficult to quiet the incessant chatter that you're used to living with.

Luckily, there are some common ways to tame that chatter that will absorb your focus and put you into a state of flow.

Here are 5 essential tools for divorcing with mindfulness.

1. Meditation.

For thousands of years, meditation has been the go-to method for quieting the mind and getting to a place of true connection and awareness.

Founded in religious tradition, meditation was a spiritual practice to elevate oneself from the mundane human reality to the transcendental universal reality. Today, the benefits of meditation are robust and easily accessible.

There are many everyday options for adding a bit of meditation practice into your life. You'll be practicing it, rather than perfecting it.

And like any new habit, you’ll need to start small and build up your stamina. Dip your toe into the water and try something called the "One-Minute Meditation," where you take one minute to relax and do some deep breathing.

2. Meditation apps.

All sorts of guided meditations are readily available with a simple search on the App Store on your phone, including:

There are so many choices. You can Google them, read reviews, and find one that sounds interesting to you.

3. Guided meditation.

You can meditate in person with a teacher or guide. With mental health and fitness gaining in popularity, meditation studios are popping up all over the country.

Similar to a yoga studio, a meditation studio offers guided-meditation classes and workshops. Try a Google search for a mediation studio or class in your area and see if there’s one near you.

If in-person is not an option, you can also try a virtual meditation class — most studios offer virtual classes, or you can check out Gaia.com for classes of all kinds.

If you’re not quite ready for meditation, you can set aside some quiet time each day to sit and relax.

In this busy, fast-paced world we live in, we often race through our days with no time for quiet or reflection. Even if you have to put it into your calendar, allow yourself five, 10, 15, or 20 minutes to just be.

Light a candle, put on soothing music, drink a hot beverage. Keep it calm and restful. Do what works best for you.

4. Yoga.

Born out of meditation, yoga is the practice of using awareness of breath and meditation for spiritual evolution. The stretching and exercises that we think of as yoga are an offshoot to try and distract our busy minds.

Slower types of yoga classes, such as gentle, yin, regenerative, or deep breathing yoga, may provide you with an opportunity to quiet your mind.

Choose a class that works for you. Try different types, different teachers, even different studios, to find one that resonates.

Like meditation, you can also find a wide variety of virtual yoga classes online.

5. Flow.

Another way to quiet the mind is through exercise or doing any sort of activity that produces a flow state for you.

Hungarian-American psychologist, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi coined the term "flow" in 1975. Today, positive psychology calls it being fully immersed in an activity, full of focus and enjoyment of that activity — being in "the zone."

What sorts of activities produce a state of flow for you that combines mindfulness and movement?

For me, it’s Zumba, tennis, and hiking. I love being in nature with my dogs, surrounded by beauty, where I can get lost in thought.

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Mindfulness actively creates change.

As you learn to quiet your mind and bring awareness to your thoughts and feelings, you can actively create change.

Dr. Dan Siegel at UCLA is researching how identifying and naming your emotions helps to calm your limbic system, the emotion-processing part of the brain.

The limbic system is responsible for the fight-or-flight response when we feel we're in mortal danger. If you say "anger" when you’re feeling angry, you can actually help release the powerful charge that emotions hold over your body.

By noticing and naming, you can let go of the negative emotions and any harsh personal criticisms.

You can get out of your emotional mind, and back into your thinking, rational, logical mind. Keep a journal or notebook handy to jot down what you’re feeling and thinking.

Your thoughts create your reality, so choose them wisely.

Trust yourself, develop your intuition, and make them known.

No one else knows more about your life than you do. You are your own best expert and the best judge of whether your choices and actions make you happy and fulfilled.

Your goal is to get in touch with your heart and soul. Listen to your gut. Your mind adds filters, questions, and doubts. Look past the mind. Go deeper into your inner recesses.

Get quiet enough so that you can hear that soft inner-voice that’s whispering something to you.

There are many ways to express your intentions:

  • Write them down in your journal or put them on a sticky note and place it in a conspicuous place, like your bathroom mirror.
  • Say them over and over to yourself like a mantra or an affirmation.
  • Email or share them with a close friend or family member.
  • Bravely launch them out into the world through social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Intentblog.
  • Try the ingenious "flying wish paper" where you can write your intention, light it on fire, and watch it float off into the heavens, literally sharing your dreams with the universe.

Repetition of your intentions solidifies them in your mind and gives them more power and energy. Knowing your intentions grounds you and keeps you centered, even in times of chaos and overwhelm.

Being clear on your intentions helps guide you as you're faced with the many decisions in divorce, so you can make choices and act in ways that are in line with and reflect your intentions.

Sharing your intentions also holds you accountable.

If you have friends, family, or a supportive professional who are all aware of your intentions, they can serve as reminders for you or create a framework that will keep you moving in the right direction.

Also, if you put it out into the world that you want to do something, the universe will start organizing itself to make your intention a reality.

Many of your intentions will likely take time and effort to come to fruition. And you'll need to sustain yourself on this tumultuous journey.

Nurturing yourself and your intentions will require you to practice self-kindness and self-care.

How do you define self-care? What makes you laugh or feel joyful? Create a list of what you need to take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

What kind of support do you need as you move through this journey? What kind of help do you need to foster your intention?

Can you rely on family, friends, neighbors, tribe, professionals, and experts? Who’s in your support network?

Setting intentions requires attention, commitment, action, and energy.

In coaching, we discover and commit to action steps that will move you from where you are now to where you want to be. It takes some concerted effort.

What can you do today to move towards your goal? Do what you can now. Don’t put it off until some unknown time in the future.

Ask yourself, "Is there one action I could take today that would bring my ideal life closer?" It may be something as simple as making a phone call, getting a book, or just creating some space.

Intentions come from your own inner wisdom.

All the answers are within you. As you allow yourself to dream and figure out your values and set your intentions, you're creating your new reality. You're the authority on what's good for you.

Divorce can be a process for discovering yourself. Go within and see what resonates with you. It can be tempting to think that others — experts, friends, and family — have the answers.

There's a time to listen to others when you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, and you need to acquire knowledge. But at a certain point, you need to listen to your own inner wisdom and chart your own course.

Setting intentions for your divorce and your newly transformed life is the path.

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Kira Gould is a certified divorce coach and works with women who want to get unmarried with clarity, compassion, and positive intention. Would you like to get on the path to transforming your life with powerful intentions? Check out her online course Divorcing with Intention.

This article was originally published at Getting Unmarried. Reprinted with permission from the author.