Life has a way of surprising us, sometimes it’s a good surprise and sometimes it’s not. For those times when life serves something that wasn’t on your menu, I’m sharing with you what I learned on my journey. This is the article I wish I had when my life fell apart four and a half years ago. Here’s what to do when your life falls apart, but first I’ll give you the cliffsnotes, then the good stuff.

The Backstory Before My Life Fell Apart

The first twentyfive years of my life closely resemble scenes from Lemony Snickets, A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’ll spare you the details here but I assure you it’s Lifetime Channel worthy. What happened was absolutely unbelievable and does not feel like my life. But I’m grateful for some of it, yep keyword is “some”. It shaped me and gave me insights that can’t be learned from reading books. 

The next twenty

As you might have guessed I was knee deep in diapers and motherhood. Without a role model or support system I flailed about like a baby bird trying to learn how to fly. Thankfully my three children survived my lack of culinary skills and just about every other skill necessary for parenting and are functioning like normal human beings. 

Fast forward a few years

Pansy Cottage and Garden, my wholesale product line is alive and doing well with two showrooms, nearly 30 sales reps and a dozen magazine features. Launch Your Creativity is born and a new journey unfolds before me. Hundreds of women attend the live events and I feel a stirring in my heart, a new passion for something that is bigger than anything I dreamed of. Life is good, at least from the outside looking in. 

This is where my life fell apart

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I disagree. I walked away from a twenty year marriage that was too painful to stay in. Being invisible and voiceless was no longer an option for me. Now at 51 I can tell you this was the single most difficult decision of my life. For me this journey of learning continues, as it should. It’s personal and it runs deep.  Here’s what I know for absolute sure. I hope what I share will serve you well should you find your life turning sideways.  

 What do you need to bloom?

During the last four and a half years I’ve had to dig really deep and uncover my truths. My first encounter to that search began when I went through the certification process to become a life coach. During a values training my coach asked me how my values were aligning with my reality. I was face to face with a question I wasn’t prepared to answer. She used a beautiful analogy of being a rose bush and asked what does the rose need in order to bloom? I have no idea what I said to her that day, that’s all I remember mixed with trying not to burst into tears. 

If you don’t know what you need in order to bloom you’re going to have to invest time and space to figure that out. That means coming face to face with “all your stuff” and being truly present for yourself. That my friend was new for me. It required treating myself the way I would treat a heartbroken friend. I wouldn’t turn her away or shame her. It took a very long time to get through this part. If you need to eat ice cream and cry then do it. If you need to run on the beach or dance till you drop, do it. There are no rules except that you listen to your soul and that requires getting really quiet. {You might like The Freedom Strategy}

Accepting, releasing, and preparing:

  1. When it comes to relationships, Not everything can be fixed. People who don’t want to grow, won’t and there’s nothing you can do about it. That is a painful truth. For those that do it takes time. An oak tree doesn’t sprout overnight. Weigh your decisions carefully how long you can wait. 
  2. You really are not responsible for “everybody and their issues”. I have a lot to say about this. This one has taken some time to move past. Based on the theory of keeping your side of the street clean, do just that. Don’t try to manage your ex’s, your neighbors’, or whoever’s side of the street. Just take care of yours. Period. They may not like it, but it’s not your burden. 
  3. Accept the fact that some people refuse to see that they are wrong or need to change. It’s not your job to convince them, you can love them from far away.
  4. The number one thing you can do is “know and define yourself before the storm hits”. Whether it’s a personal storm or a business storm be prepared. You have to know that you know who you are. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t really teach us to know ourselves and to be true to ourselves; and you don’t know what you don’t know, so the idea of doing that work on yourself may not come before the storm hits.  

Valuable gems to put in your pocket

Whatever has caused your world to turn sideways whether it’s a relationship issue such as a divorce, a falling out with a friend, family member, or colleague, the grief of loss, abandonment, or some other unthinkable heartbreak; these basic truths will help you through: 
  1. Take care of yourself. Yeah it sounds cliche but it’s the gospel truth. Get rest, eat good, meditate, pray and breathe. Give yourself the chance to just “be” with no pressure or expectations.
  2. Surround yourself with people you can trust: In a puddle of tears I asked a friend of mine what do I do? She said to me “maybe nothing”. It was absolutely profound and game changing for me. I can tell you that every cell in my being fought against that statement. For over 40 years I had been responsible for “fixing” everything. I was finally free to entertain the idea that “maybe nothing” was an option for me. I had to learn to do nothing and it was another challenge.
  3. Believe in yourself: Regardless of what anyone says, you are worthy of so much. Do things that foster believing in yourself like taking my free course “Create Killer Confidence”.
  4. Don’t lose sight of who you really are. The people that don’t look into your soul and see the beauty inside are blind. I know it hurts but it hurts to say invisible too. You really matter and you have a purpose to fulfill.
  5. Keep your content clean. Whatever has caused your world to fall apart does not belong on social media. It belongs in your circle of “safe friends” where you get the love and support you need. You do not need judgement and lurking eyes that comes from online trolls that think they are experts on your life.  When you’re emotionally hurting you’re in no state of mind to deal with that type of judgement. Trust me on this one. I’ve never posted any of my dirt, but I’ve sure seen plenty of others do it. There’s a reason why it’s called dirt.

Some real truth

For those of you that wonder if you’ll make it through, you will. If you’re wondering what your purpose is, I promise you, you’re going to discover it. When your world is falling apart and you think you’re a lost cause, I promise you’re not. You’re in the middle of your story and this hard painful place is just one chapter. As I write this, my story is still unfolding and I have no idea what the ending will look like, but I do know this one thing….I have a Iot of chapters to finish before it’s over and so do you. I’ve made it through many “dark night of the soul” moments and know without a doubt what I need in order to bloom. I would never be the person I am with the passion for helping women find their voice and pursue their passion if I had not survived Count Olaf, he made me who I am today.   What do you need to bloom? 
If you need help finding what makes you bloom, I invite you to work with me. The journey is easier when you walk with someone.
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