I remember well how I was feeling after an early turning point in my life. My second marriage ended badly, and I felt alone and isolated. It took several months for me to work through the emotions and stop pretending that I was okay.
For the first time in a long time, I was feeling more hopeful and less afraid of what was waiting for me as I emerged from my divorce hibernation. I was thinking of new possibilities. I was feeling more comfortable with the thought of making choices for myself—without having to consider what someone else thought I should do, say or be.
As the day went on, I could breathe more freely, and my neck and shoulders felt more relaxed. My energy was brighter, my heart felt lighter and I was certain something had shifted.
Although it took some time after the divorce, I now felt ready to put one foot in front of the other and take a chance on me. I felt inspired to do something to make myself feel better.
Finding Solid Ground
As I look back, it’s clear that I had to ride that emotional roller coaster until I found solid ground again. Only then could I move forward with a purpose that served me. I couldn’t force the process of loss, grief, and loneliness. I had to go with the flow. And when I was ready, I knew it. I felt it.
I’ve noticed this to be a pattern for me as I’ve moved through and beyond other upside–down moments in my life—the loss of my parents and two of my brothers, career upheavals, layoff, retirement and starting a new business from scratch.
Preparing for What’s Next
It takes putting a bit of distance between you and the life event before you get to see the golden thread that’s woven into the tapestry of your life—that thread is the understanding, the blessings and the gifts of lessons learned.
When you’re at that point, you’ll feel it—that’s when you truly can turn the page and begin a new chapter.
In my experience, this is the time to prepare yourself for what’s to come. It’s like preparing the soil before planting new seeds—then nurturing them so they grow into your next dream.
It all starts with you. You’re the soil that needs preparation. After going through the trials and tribulations of a major life event, you need some nurturing before you can nurture the seeds you plant.
Investing in yourself is one way to do this. Put aside the notion that taking care of you is selfish. There is nothing selfish about it. You are better able to be there for others, and for whatever your dream requires, when you are well, and your level of resiliency is high.
So, here’s what I recommend. Three simple things. Give yourself a gift.
3 Ideas to Help When You’re Starting a New Chapter in Life
- Invest Time on You. One of my favorite things is getting a massage or facial. It helps me relax and feel more cared for—by me. I do something for myself at least monthly. I feel even better when it’s weekly—and daily. Self-love and self-care rituals are important investments. Make time to eat well, exercise, meditate, be with friends who lift your spirits. Do those things which make you feel better and take care of your overall well-being. These investments of your time will pay huge dividends as you start a new chapter.
- Find Your Passion. In the past, I spent more time taking care of everyone else and lost touch with the things that made my heart sing. During this time of reflection, I realized how much I missed doing these things. I resolved to never let go of my passions again. Now, I tap into my creative juices every chance I get. Designing floral arrangements, crocheting and interior home accessorizing are my passions again. What did you love to do and haven’t done in a long time? Tune into what you’re passionate about. Engage in a hobby. Find a group to go hiking. Have you always wanted to turn pottery? Do that. Do you love to meet new people? Start a group of like-minded people and meet regularly. Include activities in your life which you’re passionate about, so you can fill that special space in your heart each and every time you engage in them.
- Invest Your Money on You. One of the most valuable investments I made for myself was joining a group program facilitated by a coach. Being with a community of like-minded women expanded my understanding of what was going on in my head and my heart. My coach taught techniques to breakthrough old stories and beliefs that no longer served me well. She helped me reach beyond my comfort zone, feel the fear and do it anyway—all of which helped me regain my confidence. In a short time, my perspective changed. I saw things differently. I became happy with myself. After my divorce, the prospect of a being alone and feeling fulfilled grabbed a hold of me. Everyone noticed. My career made a leap forward, too. The lessons I learned have been in my treasure chest ever since.
Who doesn’t want to get through a major life transition with more ease and grace?
When you’re ready to move on to the next chapter, invest your time, energy and money in you. They will become among the most rewarding investments you’ll ever make.
If you are at that turning point, knowing a new chapter is what comes next and you want help to prepare for it, I’d be happy to help.
I am a certified Career and Life Coach for Women, and founder of Transition & Thrive with María. When life events flip the world upside down, I guide women to turn chaos into calm, so they can clear their heads and become more resilient, so they can step into their power and live life on their terms.