This post is reprinted in gratitude and thanks to John Lange, a recent graduate of our Divorce Recovery seminar.  Divorce is amazingly hard.  Coming out the other side is rejuvenating, enlightening, and comes with new vision.  Enjoy John’s insights on a learned approach to a new year, a new decade, and a new season in your life!

Manifesto for Living Well in 2010

1)  Let go of the bad stuff!  Bitterness, grief, anger, sadness, loneliness.  They’re all so 2009!  Now you have to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, starting in 2010.  Reach down with your right hand, and grab your left wrist.  Feel that?  It’s a pulse!  You’re alive!  You have choices to make.  What a nice problem to have!

2)  Resolve to live an expansive life.  2009 was all about contracting, curling up in a ball, assuming the fetal position.  2010 will be about opening up, taking down those defenses, letting new attitudes, new people, and new experiences in.  What an opportunity!

3)  Guess what?  Your new love interest is walking around out there somewhere.  He/she doesn’t know it yet, but the answer to his/her prayer is looking at you in the mirror.  How soon do you want to meet that new lover?  It’s up to you.  Make space for them to approach.  Clear out that black cloud of negativity that hides you from their view.  Nobody sees you when you put out the hurting/victim/weak vibe.  Puff out your chest.  Stand up straight.  Look ’em in the eye, and smile!

4)  So your life is in ruins, collapsed around you like a pile of bricks.  What an opportunity!  Pick up each of these bricks, look it over, and ask yourself, does this brick serve me?  Do I want this brick in the foundation of the new life I’m going to build?  If not, toss it away, far away.  Create a new brick from new habits and new goals.  This is your chance to get rid of crap.  Don’t blow it by clinging to the familiar, the known.

5)  Take control.  Gandhi said “We must become the change we wish to see in the world.”  Here’s your chance to take a giant step forward in becoming the person you want to be.  No one’s going to do it for you, and that’s a good thing.  YOU are the architect.  Doing nothing is just as much a decision as doing something, so you might as well do something.

6)  Inertia is your enemy.  Get active.  Go for a run, a hike, a yoga session.  Keep energy moving through your body.  Get out in the sunlight, breathe in some fresh oxygen.  Let your cells know that you’re alive.  Look at the sky, the mountains, the golden seedheads poking up through the snow. Take in the richness, the intricate detail of nature. Your mind will clear, your body will tone up.  Goodbye foggy brain!  Hey, are those love handles shrinking?

7)  Put yourself out there, offer friendship and support to others. The good feelings that come back will nourish your heart, make you open more, and create a better you.  Hey, maybe it’ll even shorten up the time it takes for you and your new love interest to find each other!

8)  Hang out with cool people.  Avoid negativity.  If someone is whining, criticizing, going off on their ex, ask yourself:  Do you want to be splattered by the goo of their bad energy?  If you can’t lead them into the light of positive thought and action, perhaps you shouldn’t hang out with them. After all, you are in healing mode, and you need to immerse your heart in good stuff.

9)  Stand up for yourself.  Do you have a manipulative ex?  An abusive one?  Remember, this person knows you better than anyone else on the planet, and they know which buttons to push to make you feel bad, or to get you to subordinate your needs to theirs.  You are your own best advocate.  Champion your cause by standing your ground.  Be the gatekeeper.  If they start doing backflips to get your attention, see if you can observe without giving them the reaction they want.  If you don’t reinforce their behavior, maybe they’ll change, maybe they won’t.  But at least it won’t matter as much to you.

10)  Live fully each day, knowing that NOW is all you have, and that tomorrow is promised to no one.  “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery.” Today is where you are, and where you act, and where to decide in each moment who you want to be.  In each moment, you are laying a foundation for your life, and sending a message to the Universe as to what you want.  Make it a powerful, positive message.

Many Blessings to all of you, my family.

Cheers,

John Leslie Lange
January 2, 2010