After being married for almost 19 years, with two children, and nearly ten years of marriage counseling we have decided to get a divorce. I knew on my part that I had given all I had and didn’t leave any room for regrets. It was time to let go of all that no longer served me. He suggested, I agreed, and we got separated. And at first it was amicable. Although, I have heard from others that it won’t stay like this, my optimistic attitude wanted to believe otherwise. Of course, I was proven wrong. We decided on April 18th of 2014, he moved out May 3rd and filed for a divorce on June 10th. One year later, I found myself still in the middle of divorce, attorneys, custody evaluation and lots more.
Besides marriage counseling that we both attended for years, I have had started my individual therapy as well. Trying to understand what went wrong. I had also started meditating and was trying to settle my chaotic mind. After separation, as matters began to become more and more complicated, I sat more on my meditation cushion. Then came the time that sitting by myself no longer sufficed, it was time for me to deepen my practice. I signed up for a weekend meditation retreat. I wanted to have a better understanding of how the practice worked or better say how my mind worked.
September of 2014 I took my first weekend meditation retreat, which was my level one training of series of training within the Shambhala tradition. “Shambhala is the group that I have been meditating with since 2011”. I had to go to Los Angeles for the training. Although it was only an hour drive from where I lived, I had decided to make it a mini vacation for myself. The children were with their dad that weekend and I didn’t have to worry about them. It was almost two and a half days of sitting and walking meditation plus talks and more. I had no idea what to expect, I wasn’t even sure if I could make it through the weekend, but I wanted to give it a try.
Arriving at my hotel Friday afternoon, I decided to unwind and set myself in the mood for the weekend. As I walked into my room music was playing. It was: “This Girl is On Fire” by Alicia Keyes. There was a sudden sense of joy and gratitude rushing though my being, Grateful for the freedom of having the whole weekend to myself. I decided to share that feeling with my best friend, Sharon. She was always there for me, checking on me, making sure I was not alone. Checking to see how I am getting through my days. As I shared my joy and gratitude with her while texting, I told her that I felt like I needed to throw a party. And of course she thought that was a brilliant idea. The date was set.
During the weekend meditation, the sense of gratitude became stronger. I knew exactly who would be invited to the party. What the theme of my party would be. I know what you all may be thinking. This sounds like a crazy idea. Who would celebrate going through a messy divorce?! But it wasn’t the divorce I was going to celebrate. I was going to celebrate the people who stood by my side and were helping me getting through my days. Let’s not forget that they are still around and as supportive.
As I sat thought the meditation and observed my mind, the sense of gratitude grew. It is an interesting journey watching your own mind while trying to pay attention to your breath. You begin to get familiar with your own storyline. And then you learn to release it and watch it come back with persistence over and over again.
Sunday evening after the retreat was over I came home and the first thing I did was writing a speech. Yes, SPEECH. Sound more crazy, I know. I never liked speech when I was in college. In fact, it was my least favorite subject. But I had the whole gratitude speech down. I needed to thank so many people who helped me in a many different ways. Some of them helped me with my children. Some were being the listening ears or would be checking on me on a daily basis. And others by being directly involved, trying to mediate between us. Helping us to find the best possible way out of the chaos. As I wrote the speech I realized how lucky I was to be surrounded by these amazing, beautiful hearted people. In Shambhala, we believe all human beings are basically good and in that weekend training, I recognized the basic goodness of the people in my life.
A month later, I had my party. The twenty minutes speech was delivered. I gave my thanks and gratitude to the most amazing people in my life. This party was for them; I had invited them to celebrate them. I found myself the lucky one to be embraced by their love and kindness. I felt blessed and fortunate all over again.
And here is how I started meditating my way through divorce. As I deepened my practice through my daily meditation, along with weekend training and weekdays group sitting, I started to get familiar more and more with my own mind and how my life was working or not working. My fears. My beliefs. And all the things that formed me. And the decisions that I made in my life based on them.