Thanksgivings: What Matters & What Doesn’t

Written by Barb Greenberg, Rediscovering U

Sometimes you are upset, because divorce has upset your traditions and how you will celebrate the holidays! I get it!!!

May this help:

Celebrating on the exact day doesn’t matter.
This year on Thanksgiving Day, I stayed home, caught up with work in the morning, sat in the afternoon while one of my cats curled up to sleep on my lap, and for dinner I had leftover gluten-free pasta! It didn’t bother me at all, because next weekend I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with all my children, grandchildren, brother, sister-in-law, and cousins…what a gift!!!!

Celebrating with a specific menu doesn’t matter
When my older daughter was in college, she and I visited my brother who lived in a small third floor walkup apartment in Boston. She insisted on cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the three of us, and when my brother and I sat down at his card table, we were treated to a large bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a second bowl of heated up canned green beans, and a lovely tray of canned peaches, each artistically topped with a scoop cottage cheese. It was a meal filled with love and laughter.

How you define family doesn’t matter
Family may be large or small. It may be relatives or friends. You may be in search of family. If this is the case, please know you are not alone and will find the warm, welcoming community you are searching for.

Gratitude DOES matter
During my divorce the only thing I could be grateful for was being able talk in a complete sentence when absolutely necessary and possibly not going through as many boxes of kleenex as I had the day before.

Gratitude is not simply a solitary exercise.

In a world where we are confronted by so much pain, despair, and fear, gratitude brings Light. It offers hope. It informs and changes us.

Gratitude can be a force through which we offer our humanity to others with a smile, with a gesture of compassion and understanding. It can motivate us to act, to reach out, and make a difference.

Divorce Support at the State Fair: Healing-on-a-Stick?!

Written by Barb Greenberg, Founder – Rediscovering U

The 2016 Minnesota State Fair has ended, and if we are craving any more treats-on- a-stick, we’ll have to wait for another year and be content imagining that extraordinary culinary creation in our hands, taking that first bite, sighing contently, and knowing nothing can be all that bad when you’re eating anything on-a-stick.

I found a mouthwatering list of of seventy-five foods you can get on-a-stick including frozen coffee, chocolate covered cheesecake, deep friend candy bars, spaghetti and meatballs, and even a Texas Steak Dinner. I had no idea!

A few tips for successfully eating (or trying to eat!) anything on-a-stick.

Concentrate on what you have in your hand, so it doesn’t fall off the stick and slide down the front of your shirt, or drip in a sticky mess through your fingers.

Sit for a while on nearby bench and focus on the treat in front of you.

When you feel you have nibbled this treat down to a manageable amount, you may decide to get off the bench and rejoin the colorful, vibrant flow of life. That is a wonderful decision, but you still need pay attention to what is in your hand, and in doing so, you may find yourself somewhere unexpected, wondering how in the world you ended up behind the horse barn or in the middle of Machinery Hill.

What would it be like, I wondered, if you could walk up to vendor and order Healing-on-a-stick?

It would seem like such a big serving, more than you could manage, but it has colored sprinkles of peace and joy that make you smile.

So you decide to sit and concentration on your Healing, taking one bite at a time. Sometimes it is messy and sticky and you lose parts of it down the front of your shirt. But you keep nibbling and eventually you are ready to re-enter the flow of life. Because you are not finished with your Healing, you may find yourself in unexpected places. Some may be upsetting. Some may be thrilling. Most will be comforting.

When you have finished your serving of Healing-on-a-stick you realize you have gained peace, not pounds, and the Healing was so sweet, you decide to ask for another serving!

The Gift of Finding Trust on Your Divorce Journey

Written by Barb Greenberg, Rediscovering U

I had heard of equine assisted therapy but never experienced it, so when friend told me about a program in Somerset, Wisconsin, I had to check it out.

After driving through lush green farmland, I turned into the driveway of The Yellow Rose Farm and home of Heartwood Holistic Counseling. Laurie and Lindsay, the women who run all the programming, met me as I stepped out of my car, and invited me into their office. They explained that their services included dealing with mental health issues, with self-discovery, and with preparing individuals for transitions, including divorce. They even work with divorcing couples who are struggling with co-parenting.

I was so impressed with these two women that when they asked if I wanted to experience this therapy for myself, I did not hesitate.

As we walked into the pasture where eight horses grazed contentedly, the women reminded me this would NOT involve getting on a horse. Everything was done from the ground. Then they asked if I had an issue I wanted to work on. Oh, how to choose!!!

“I want abundance in every area of my life,” I shared a little timidly, “but I have trouble trusting it will happen.”

They suggested I walk to a spot in the pasture that represented Abundance and stand in that place. Then I was to look for a horse that represented Trust and get the horse to move to the spot of Abundance. Now please know the horses did not have on halters or anything I could use to pull them along with me, which meant whichever horse I chose would have to follow me voluntarily.

After I found my Abundance spot, I shifted into my “go-to” first response. “I can’t do this. What if I mess up? I’ll be so embarrassed. I don’ think it will work. I can’t do this.”

My next thought was to stand in my spot, send out good vibes and then one of the horses would just feel the vibe and join me. “How about coming over here? Come on over. You can do it.”

It didn’t take to long realize that wasn’t going to work! So I looked carefully and chose a big, lovely gray horse, grazing with the rest of the herd at a distance from where I was standing.

I walked down a gentle slope to him, petted him on the neck, and whispered. “I’d like you to walk with me.” He lifted his head from the grass, calmly looked at me, and we walked together, only stopping once on our way to my Abundance spot. I felt he stopped because I was unsure this would really work. But even when he stopped, and waited for me to “regroup,” he did not leave my side. We started again and with his last few steps he veered off to the left just a bit. It seemed Trust had found a spot that was even more Abundant! Ah, Trust!!

As Lindsay and Laurie talked to me about what had happened, Lindsay said, “Look, there has been a shift in the herd,” and I turned to see all the horses had moved from their original place in the pasture to join us. Though the gray horse shifted slightly to rejoin his friends, he was never far away, and I could always see him.

I shifted my focus back to Laurie and Lindsay for more conversation, and in a few minutes Lindsay had another observation. “Oh look where the gray horse is now.” Trust had moved to graze in place that was passed where I thought the end of the pasture was,passed where I thought the fence was, passed the boundary for how far I thought he could go.

So many insights in less than fifteen minutes. I had almost cried three times!

*We all can find our own place of Abundance, whatever that word means for us.

*Trust is always there, waiting to be asked to join us, and may lead us to a place of greater Abundance than we could have imagined.

*Trust will bring with it more more support than we ever thought possible.

*Trust will show us we can go further than we ever believed we could.

*Once we find Trust, we will never lose sight of it. It will always be there, a strong, gentle presence in our lives.

Learn more about Equine Assisted Therapy & The Yellow Rose Farm.

Women Deciding to Divorce: One Woman’s Story

Written by Barb Greenberg, Founder – Rediscovering 

Once upon a time there was a much anticipated road trip. The sky was a perfect blue, the temperature was mild and the road was so inviting, leading to a mountain lush with tall evergreens and punctured with jagged boulders that didn’t seem threatening from a distance.

With the husband behind the wheel of a big solid car and the wife in the passenger seat, the loving couple kissed, sighed, smiled, and were on their way.

The paved road turned to dirt as it approach the mountain and was soon only a narrow ribbon curling along it’s side. If the husband had opened his window, he could have reached out and touched the unyielding mountain wall as it rose up to the sky. There was nothing for the wife to touch if she opened her window, only air and open space to fall into.

The mountain did not want to give up space for this road and the dirt became punctured with the tips of boulders poking through the dirt from below.

“Slow down,” the wife said, as her husband was a habitual speeder.

The husband did not respond and maneuvered another curve around the mountain edge.

“Slow down,” she repeated in a panic.

Again the husband did not respond.

She pleaded. She screamed. She held onto the door handle, hand aching, as if holding tightly would save her if they plunge over the edge.

Eventually the mountain flattened and the road widen in front of them. The terrifying ride was over. The husband explained he was rushing to keep up with car that was in front of them. The wife didn’t believe him.

Years later when sharing this story with a friend, she was asked, “Why didn’t you just get out?”

She was embarrassed to admit she had never thought she could. And then she wondered what dangers there would be if she found herself alone on the edge of a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

Three years later she did get out. She got out of a marriage where her feelings and her voice were not heard or acknowledged. She got out of a situation where she thought she would fall off the edge of her life, never to be found.

She stepped tentatively onto a road she never imagined. Eventually she stood firmly on the mountain that was a part of her journey. The mountain held her, and she felt its strength. Feeling safe at last, could see the beauty of the vista stretching out before her. She knew there may be dangers. There may be times she stumbles, but she is not longer afraid of these things…well sometimes she was, she is..and that’s ok.

The Gift of Support for Women in Divorce

Written by Barbara Greenberg, Founder Rediscovering U

What does tubing down a river in Colorado have to do with women, divorce and support, you may ask? Let me explain!

I was recently on vacation in Colorado with my children and grandchildren, and one morning we decided to go tubing down a section the San Juan River, which I though would be the same as tubing down our local Apple River. Well, I was mistaken!!!

Even though the water level was low, I over-turned on the second small set of rapids, and when I popped up from the water, my tube was swiftly floating way from me. The water was shallow enough for me to walk towards my tube, but the footing was comprised of slippery rocks, and I kept falling back into the icy cold river. I was very grateful when my younger daughter grabbed the tube and held it for me until I could catchup and climb back in.

I decided to float closer to the shore line where the water was calm, assuming I would be safer, but the only thing that happened was I got stuck in the shallows. I had simply exchanged one set of problems for another.

Finally my older daughter grabbed hold of my ankle as my legs hung over the edge of the tube, pulled me away from the shore, and held onto me until we reached our down-river destination, which felt like hours but probably took only thirty minutes!

Looking back up the river from where we had come, the rapids seems so small, and I wondered why I they had frightened me so terribly. And it was interesting that of all the wonderful, heartwarming memories of this family vacation, my mind kept returning to experience of the river. I had to make a conscious choice to focus on the joy of the holiday and not on the cold river and the frightening ride down it.

The experience was embarrassing. It was even funny. And it was chockfull of metaphors!

Divorce certainly tosses us out of the safety of our lives, and we can feel stranded in an icy new reality.

During divorce we see our security float away from us, and we can’t keep our footing to catch it. We may want to stay close to what feels safe, but we have to be careful not to get stuck away for the flow of the river, the flow of life.

During divorce we all need someone to reach out and hold us, support us, so we can navigate the frightening turbulence of this difficult time.

Then when we look back at the experience, we can choose not to focus on the pain or the fear, but on the blessings of our life…and of the new life we are creating.