The ritual of letting my children go…
Without a doubt the hardest thing about getting a divorce is letting go of your kids.
For me, It wasn’t ending the relationship that brought them into the world, or the life that our family had together at one time, no, it’s letting go of them. Because even if you have full custody and they see their dad for a dinner here or there, on holidays or go on vacation with him in the summer you must let them go.
I am admittedly not a good sharer, so my kids living 50% with him and 50% with me option, well, wasn’t. The hardest thing for me was in the first years having to let go of the notion that I was going to get my kids for every holiday. The first Christmas was unbearable. I felt like my heart had been ripped out and was sitting in my ex in laws house next to my three little ones as they celebrated the holiday.
It is 5 years later and all three of my now teenagers pile in a car with their dad and head off to Tahoe for 10 days of summer vacation. A vacation that they take every year with all of their cousins, it’s a tradition. It’s not even the least bit difficult for me to let them go, it’s part of what will make up their childhood memories and those are more important than they will ever know right now, as they plug in their headphones and set off for a 3 hour drive.
However up until about two years ago, it was a struggle and as soon as they left, I would busy myself with plans to make their return really special.
In that time when I wasn’t working I would clean out their rooms, go through the things left behind in school backpacks, do left over laundry, fluff pillows and stock the house up with their favorite foods. It was how I stayed connected to them.
Two years ago, that changed. One of my companies was called Soul Food Workshops and I was immersed in helping women find their true selves again, after having kids. So I would have workshops and gatherings at my home immersing myself in “MY” work. It was wonderful and quickly moved me out of the codependent habits that I had once let become the norm during their “trip”.
The problem was that I still wasn’t immersing myself in me or my life, The life that I knew one day I would be living and truthfully, the life that I am over the top excited about one day soon coming to fruition.
You see, for most of us with children there will come a time when our children have gone off to live their own abundant lives. Where does that leave us?
Well, hopefully moving forward creating the dream life that we have envisioned during all of those sleepless nights up with teething, stomach flu, high school parties and missed curfews. C’mon, you know the visual, the life of living for you and what YOU want. If you really are at a loss as to what I am talking about, then you need to call me a.s.a.p. because you need to get very very clear on what you want that life to look like.
I have had the same visual since they were all born and as it gets closer to them all flying the coop, I find myself crazy excited to get a move on too!
Last year, as the kids trip approached, I committed to taking the week off as well, as a vacation for myself. I cleared everything off my schedule and started to create a plan for practicing my “perfect life” week. Yes, I said practice week. I am practicing what my perfect life will look like one summer vacation at a time! I create the environment of exactly what I want that time in my life to look like, down to the meals, chores, music, and flowers.
I start my ritual by setting the intention of living life with children grown up and thriving out in the world on their own. I set another very clear intention on what I want for my best life down to the most minuscule detail and the energy I need to hold to create it.
I clean the house before the kids ever leave so it’s perfect.
Look, kids come with a lot of stuff and who am I kidding, I do too. I have reduced my “stuff footprint” immensely in the last five years and during this sacred time, I reduce it even more. This year, a client recommended Marie Kondo’s the life changing art of tidying up and it changed every single way I declutter. You must get it, read it and live it! Good bye Anxiety!
On evening one, with beautiful sparkly beverage in hand, I wander into one of my gardens with tiny pieces of paper and a pen.
On each piece, I write down something that I want to manifest into my life immediately. I then bury each piece in the soil, at the base of one of my plants, 1 piece per plant, just like a seed. I say a quick blessing over each plant and toast to the magnificence of the life I lead (gratitude is the secret sauce).As I water and care for the earth my intentions manifest, THIS NEVER FAILS.
Then I release the rest of the week to the magic of living a prosperous life solo and the magic unfolds.
The rest of the week is filled with updating vision boards (I have a bazillion), meditation, dinner with friends on the ranch, journaling, antiquing, walks with the dog and…. MY MUSIC!
Music is the easiest way to pull in your energy into a situation you are trying to manifest. Yes, the rap and top 40 that are normally played at noisome, are replaced with Van Morrison, Ed Sheeran, and Gypsie Kings, they feed my soul.
This time is no longer about feeling connected to my kids in their absence, because I am, this is about connecting to me, my real self, my future self.
It’s practice for how life will look when it’s only me. It looks radiantly beautiful and abundant. I know I will thrive and they will too. I know that I will have joy, laughter friendships and serenity. Life is good, I am seeing to it now.
We must look at that time like a garden. A garden that we are planting seeds now for. If we can take those times that used to give us pause and create magnificence in them, then nothing will catch us off guard, we won’t have to figure it out in a time where we should just exhale and be ready to inhale our own cleanest, freshest breath in.
Now as they filter in the door and Van Morrison has to share air waves with Taylor Swift. I am rested and rejuvenated and centered in all things good for all of us. We are connected to our children through love, not minutes shared in a day.
All of us have dreams and plans, those dreams and plans do not die when we give birth, they are only made stronger by the relationships we tend and of the letting go when it’s time.