Holistic Divorce Counseling

Holistic Divorce Counseling Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM, LMHC. Free support, resources, and comfort for all life's issues and transitions.

From Loss To Liberation October 29, 2009

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I am given unimaginable gifts;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me.
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed….

Jennifer Welwood


The positive aspects of loss may not be immediately apparent, but they do exist. I am not talking so much about the old saw: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but the liberation that comes with losing a relationship, a job, even a coveted aspect of one’s health. At first, this may sound absurd. What liberation? But, in time, life strips you of your illusions, and you come face to face with your demons. The thing you feared the most happens. It might be the death of a loved one, illness, financial hardship, or divorce. You think you’ll implode, explode, or become catatonic; but, no matter how you react initially, you usually end up coping. The very act of dealing with catastrophe liberates you from the old fear that you wouldn’t be able to stand X, Y, or Z.

At some point after the initial shock has passed, you may find yourself feeling a freedom that is so deeply pervasive it’s overwhelming. The unbearable lightness of being, Milan Kundera called it. Simply too heady to contemplate, let alone assimilate. Yet, like so many things in life you didn’t think you could bear, you slowly adjust to this internal vastness and possibility. Sometimes, you react with the old fear; but, more typically, you feel some heady delight in your ability to cope. With each passing month you find you can make decisions more easily because you understand yourself better.

The thing you feared the most is a gateway to your liberation.  The “shoulds” commandeering your life no longer have any sway, as they are overridden by self-knowledge. Even when you may not know what exactly you want you are open to discovering it through experimentation.

By cultivating patience for yourself and the process of envisioning, creating, and navigating your new life,  you can actually see how loss opens you up. Not only for new experiences, but for a better relationship with your own sweet self.

Major change is akin to dying and being reborn; neither is easy, but both are necessary if you are to move forward. By going through the dark, whether it’s anger, grief, anxiety, or despair, you clarify what you want. Each time you encounter something you don’t want it helps refine your desires.

Fighting against loss, and the grief it engenders, slows your progress.  However, it may be a necessary part of your healing, so allow whatever comes.  It won’t last. Eventually, you will get more comfortable with the ebb and flow of life, moving towards acceptance.

Once you relinquish the notion that any transformation should be quick and easy, you can fully allow what is happening in this moment.  The minute you lessen your resistance to reality you open yourself up to myriad possibilities.  That’s when things change for the better. Your optimism and open-heartedness bring new avenues of joy, meaning, and fulfillment.

Life is flux, whether it is obvious or not.  What appears to be hibernation and inaction may be a period of necessary downtime to energize you for the next leg of the journey. Things are exactly as they should be; and, as Louise Hay says: “Everything is happening for your highest good.”

Today, while being stalked by fear, loneliness, or grief, you may not be aware of the mechanism through which your highest good will manifest. By adopting Louise’s assumption you acquire the necessary faith to carry on.

Liberation from your old ways is challenging and frightening because it is new.  Whatever or whomever you were dealing with before was familiar.  Allow yourself to adjust to these changes. Whether they are from divorce, death, illness, or an empty nest, take all the time you need to get comfortable.  Be patient and compassionate as you adapt in your own unique way.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang


Frazzled & Overwhelmed: Post Divorce, or Any Other Time October 23, 2009

Filed under: FRAZZLED & OVERWHELMED — chocophile @ 6:38 pm

During major life changes it is easy to feel raw, brittle, and overwhelmed by all the details that need your attention.  Some people become numb when faced with a tsunami of decisions and tasks, and some amp up their activity. It’s not so much how you manifest your inner frenzy, but what you can do to tame it.

In a divorce, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of details that require attention.  The same is true if you are dealing with liquidating an estate, or navigating the initial chaos of a newly diagnosed medical problem.

Everyone handles things differently. There are those predisposed to procrastinate, and others who obsessively conquer each issue as it comes up.  If you are in the latter category, all is well until things accrue faster than you can handle them. No matter what your personal style, at some point you will feel over-cooked.  If you are a procrastinator you can develop a nagging 24/7 semi-conscious vigilance where you’re not consciously aware of all the details you’re neglecting, but they are still eating away at you. Paradoxically, that takes up cranium space just the way it does for someone who attends to everything as it comes up. Either way is stressful when there are more things to do than time in which to do them. So, there is no way of avoiding some measure of stress when taking care of a slew of details, many of which need immediate attention.

The following suggestions to lessen the negative impact of all this stress are even more important if you are a highly sensitive soul, for you will feel everything more acutely.

On the battlefield, they use a system called triage: wounded soldiers are sorted and allocated treatment according to a system of priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors. It’s usually based on dividing them up into three categories.  You can use a similar strategy by separating your tasks into those that need immediate attention, those that can wait a day or two, and those that can be on hold for a while.

Get plenty of sleep. Take naps, if you can, as even five minutes of closing your eyes can be restorative. If you need a little help sleeping, try some of the remedies in the Herbal and Homeopathic Helpers section. Lemon Balm, aka Melissa, can quell those repetitive thoughts than can be so intrusive.

Don’t skip meals. Low blood sugar just adds to an already crankocidal state of mind.

Try Rescue Remedy and other Bach remedies. Walnut, is especially suited to major life changes. Other essences may work well with your personality. There is a questionnaire online at: http://www.1-800homeopathy.com/enews/bachquestionnaire.html

Remind yourself: this too shall pass. You won’t always be dealing with lawyers, papers, or household decisions; certainly not to this degree.

Take breaks for fun:

Get outside in the fresh air every day.

Watch something silly on TV.

See or call a friend.

Listen to some upbeat music, unless that’s too much stimulation.

Avoid excess use of alcohol. Hangovers won’t help you feel energetic.


Use an eye pillow, especially one with lavender, as it will shut out the light, stimulate the oculo-cardiac reflex and help you relax. Even a few minutes of lying down with an eye pillow can reset your nervous system to rest and digest.

Talk to yourself in ways that shore up your resolve: I can do whatever I have to, it’s only temporary, the best is yet to come, etc. (See Affirmations & Litany of Love)

Resist the urge to try to figure everything out. Some things may never make sense, some things will make sense now, and some things will make sense later on when you have a bit of perspective. People’s behavior and motivation may always be a mystery. Let go of your desire to understand it all.

Stay in the moment. Mindfully do whatever you are doing right this moment. Trust yourself and the universe. You will get to everything else in due time. Paradoxically, slowing down actually helps you accomplish more with less stress. Staying present and focused calms your mind.

Get some exercise. Walking and yoga reset the brain to homeostasis, creating more inner balance. Exercise will also release endorphins, those helpful little feel-good chemicals.

Breathe consciously, slowly and deeply. (See Breath work for more suggestions)

Limit what you can. Resist taking on anything extra. You will have plenty of time for that later.

If you are a perfectionist this is a great opportunity to “dare to be average.” You don’t need the added stress of telling yourself you have to get through this challenge elegantly. Just getting through it is enough.

Listen to yourself. Others may say you need to get out, party hearty, or take a vacation. Maybe what you need is solitude, a quiet evening, extra sleep, or chocolate.

Activity does not mean frenzied activity. You can live and consciously dial things back by: reminding yourself it will all get done, and making a list so things aren’t swimming around in your brain 24/7.

Following these suggestions will not only make you feel better, and more in control, it will also shore up your immune system.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang


Nature Sounds

Filed under: NATURE SOUNDS — chocophile @ 3:48 pm
Tags: ,

I recently came across one of the bargains of the century on my favorite site: amazon.com

Searching for discs with nature sounds I found dozens of very long-playing CDs, 50-70 minutes each, for between $.89-.99

Just go to MP3 downloads and type in nature sounds. You can preview each one before buying it.

These can be a wonderful adjunct to your meditation practice, as well as a sleep aid.


Affirmations To Help You through Divorce, Break-Up, or Life Transitions October 22, 2009




Make your sweet self a cup of tea or hot chocolate.

Sit somewhere private and comfortable.

Read the following sentences aloud in your most loving, gentle voice.


I will be OK.


I feel devastated, but I will be fine.


I may not be able to see it right now, but everything will work out for my highest good.


There’s so much to learn.


I am becoming wiser and more compassionate with myself every day.


No matter how difficult things feel, the universe is supporting me.


I can let myself fully grieve. Grief is a shape-shifter: one minute I may feel furious and the next I could be bargaining for my old life back.  Five seconds later, I’m blue. I  can embrace it all.  It’s my path to transformation.


Divorce is a cosmic hazing and it’s only natural to feel emotionally depleted. It’s temporary.  In time, I will feel better than ever.


I am constantly evolving into my true self.


Up and down, up and down.  The roller coaster of emotion seems never ending, but it will stabilize.


I allow my tears to flow, as they are nature’s detoxifiers.


I will be joyful again.  Even now, amidst the turmoil, there are moments of grace.


I am doing remarkably well.


I will get to the other side when I’m ready.


I can love myself right now, exactly as I am.


I may not like what is true for me now, but I can handle it.


I can allow myself to be rocked to my core, it’s appropriate.


Nature can always be a refuge: a leaf, a tree, the sky, I let them remind me of life’s glories.


I ask God/Spirit to walk with me.


In the midst of chaos, I am healing.


I am using this crisis as a catalyst for growth.


I am gentler and kinder to myself than ever before.


I  will be happier than I can imagine.


Suffering is just as vital a part of life as joy; I’m here to experience everything.


I make it safe to feel all my feelings.


There is so much love for me in the world.


My soul shines amidst the chaos: luminous and beautiful.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang


%d bloggers like this: