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You Can Recover After Divorce – A Love Letter to Moms

Posted by on Dec 9, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | 0 comments

You Can Recover After Divorce – A Love Letter to Moms

(A love letter I wish I had read during my divorce which I now dedicate to moms going through and coming out.)

Dear Beautiful,

You may not believe that there is an end to your pain, confusion, and disappointment, but there is.  The many questions you ask yourself are heard. The agony you feel is acknowledged. Your inconsolable cries in the darkness of the night (because you won’t cry in front of your children) are seen. The many glasses of wine to numb your pain are without judgment.

 

To say, “Don’t worry, it will be alright”, just isn’t comforting. Instead, I say this to you: divorce is a journey. Make peace with it. Take with you a wise companion, Pain. Let her be your guiding light through the twists and turns along the path. Take with you the blanket of Confusion to cover your body when it is time to rest. Be sure to pack the pillow of Disappointment, because you will need to rest your head on something soft. The days will be long and hard.

 

I want most for you to relax into what is on the other side of the journey, the other side where Pain, Confusion, and Disappointment bid their farewell. On that other side are clarity, peace, and success. On that other side awaits the real You; not you your ex wanted you to be or you you tried to be to make everyone else happy.

 

The You on the other side knows who she is good enough just as she is.

 

The You on the other side owns her power.

 

The You on the other side settles only for extraordinary.

 

During this journey, remember just a few important points that are easy to forget:

 

  • You are not alone, so don’t go it alone. Reach out to those who love you for who you are and ask them to remind you what’s on the other side of the journey.
  • Find daily motivation. Motivation is the fuel to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep moving through the journey.
  • Write down the vision of what you want for yourself and for your life when you have reached the end of this journey. That vision will pull you forward.
  • Be kind to yourself. You are not a bad person and you are not being punished.
  • Your children will be alright as long as you tend to your healing and growth. Be their example of how one journeys through pain, confusion, and disappointment. There is no greater life lesson than this example.

 

Lastly, I call you Dear Beautiful, not to be gratuitous or patronizing. I call you Beautiful because I already see who you are. And you, Beautiful, are courageous and strong spiritually and emotionally.

 

With all my love,

The Real You

ORDER INSPIRATIONAL BOOK


black female motivational speaker

As a Resilience Speaker, Author, and Singer, I am passionate about helping moms have financial success and emotional strength during and beyond divorce. I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to share my story of divorce recovery. I wrote a book about resilience and inner truth that guidance moms to clarity and calm, and recorded a song of empowerment. My passion is helping moms own their power, know they are good enough, and settle only for extraordinary.

7 Unexpected Gifts of Divorce

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | 0 comments

7 Unexpected Gifts of Divorce

gift of divorce

Divorce is an experience we have to talk about so that we can learn from it, then redefine it on our own terms:

DIVORCE is:

Destructive

Inciting

Vicious

Obdurate

Rocky

Contentious

Emotionally draining

I marvel at the amazing, destructive power of divorce. Yet, we gave it the power it has! We (those going through it, their family, their community, the media and entertainment) are the ones who give legs and feet to this beast.

We created the beast, we feed it and give it a human heart to live in:

  • Fighting in front of the children
  • Speaking poorly of a parent in front of the children
  • Endlessly speaking negatively about the ex-spouse to anyone who might listen
  • Battling in court over one’s “rights” to this or that
  • Withholding financial support
  • Bullying the ex-spouse emotionally and/or financially

All of these circumstances and others are examples of how we have allowed the Divorce Beast to run amok.

Paradigm Shift

What might our lives and relationships be like if we took control over the Divorce Beast, tamed it and then retrained it to serve our need for growth and healing?

DIVORCE then becomes the bearer of many gifts:

Determination

Independence

Victory

Optimism

Resilience

Calm

Emotional Intelligence

 

1.      The Gift of Determination

Go start that business your ex thought was a waste of time or believed that you didn’t have the skills to do. Lose the weight, finally, because it’s good for your health not because your ex made you feel inadequate. Take that trip (without the kids) that you have been dreaming about. Leave that job you hate and start a new career. Do what you have been wanting to do and don’t even think about asking for someone’s permission.

2.      The Gift of Independence

You get to make decisions on your own terms. Period!

3.      The Gift of Victory

What you thought would destroy you, didn’t.

4.      The Gift of Optimism

Your future has promise. Give thanks for what you have and what is to come, rather than obsess about what you don’t have.

5.      The Gift of Resilience

How could you know your own strength to bounce back unless you were first stretched to your breaking point? You really are super bad!

6.      The Gift of Calm

There is no better time to learn the practice of meditation than now, whether going through a divorce, coming out of it or well beyond it. Meditating daily, as a practice, confers emotional, spiritual and physical benefits. The world may fall apart around you, but you won’t because you have tapped into an inner world of peace and calm.

7.      The Gift of Emotional Intelligence

You are a human being with emotions and as long as you are human, you will experience emotions. How you manage these emotions determines your level of intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a skill that anyone can develop and strengthen. Success in work, life and love are linked to high emotional intelligence. Self-awareness and self-regulation of your emotions improve your relationships because the stuff that used to irk you no longer does. Instead of reacting, you now respond.

Take Advantage of The 7 Gifts of Divorce & Start Winning in Life

These 7 gifts of divorce are yours for the taking and they are free. Start creating the life you want. Live your dreams and be the best version of yourself. Focusing on your inner world and your personal development is a gift you give to yourself and to others. What a win-win.

Start winning in life by using this system called Manifestation Miracle. You will find the courage to live a life that is true to who you are, not the life that others expect of you.

 

What You Should Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Dreams

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on What You Should Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Dreams

What You Should Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Dreams

A Relevant Story

My birthday was a couple of days away. My children kept asking me what I wanted to receive (as a gift) and what I wanted to do with them on that special day. They kept asking me because I wouldn’t give them an acceptable answer. All I could say was stuff like, “Oh…anything…”; “I don’t know…doesn’t matter.”; “I haven’t thought about it.”

The answer I really wanted to give was, “Nothing. I just want the day to come and go as quickly as possible.”

You see, I was in a funk – probably a depressive funk – and had been in this funk for longer than I realized.

On my birthday I turned 53 and nowhere close to my dream: a successful, thriving business, which I started several years ago. Certainly, the business exists and is legal. But it sho ain’t “thriving” like I want it to.

But it’s not because I have limited skills or smarts. Nope, that’s not why I’m nowhere close to where I want to be.

It’s because I get discouraged before I see consistent results.

I go from highs (great business effort) to lows (inaction, lack of clarity, insecurity).

Feeling like a manic-depressive.

Feeling terribly inadequate.

Kept hearing the haunting voice of my ex-husband telling me to “go get a real job”. The self-employed gig isn’t moving and certainly isn’t bringing me sufficient income.

I made a decision. I would ditch the business owner gig and go get a real job. You know the one where you have benefits and a steady paycheck? I was ready to ditch the dream.

Two days later while still mourning this decision, I found myself stuck in unexpected traffic behind a line of cars. Two cars ahead of me was a van that caught my eye because of the writing on the back:

“You are so close… you can almost taste it.”

 

This statement caught my eye immediately. I took a picture of the van. For me, it was a sign from the Universe that the fulfillment of my dream is so close that “I can almost taste it”.

Later that night, I shared this story and the photo with my girlfriend. She looked carefully at the photo and asked,

“Do you see the cross?”

“What cross?” I inquired.

“The cross in the distance.” She replied.

“There’s no cross in that photo, Cathy.” I countered.

“Here, take a look.” She said with confidence as she returned the photo to me.

Low and behold, there it was. When she expanded the photo, the cross can be seen in the distance. For me, this symbolism was precious.

But that wasn’t all. She went on to ask,

“Did you notice the other writing on the cup…’New Hope’?”

Nope! Hadn’t seen that either. Another precious and meaningful symbolism for me.

 

The Lesson

At the writing of this blog, I noticed something else in the picture that I hadn’t seen previously: “But almost isn’t good enough. Taste for yourself.” That statement meant to me one thing and one thing only: KEEP GOING! (DON’T GIVE UP! YOU ARE SO CLOSE.)

 

What You Should Do When You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Dreams

How many times have you been discouraged while reaching for your dreams? How many times have you given up?

Chances are, you are probably discouraged about your dreams even now. That’s ok! Discouragement is normal. It is part of the journey.

What you should do when you feel like giving up on your dreams:

  1. Accept discouragement. Relax in it, but don’t surrender to its staying power. Think of it as a temporary visitor; treat it with respect, then set a time for it to leave.
  2. Look for the signs that are always around you to keep going. These signs are subtle. If you aren’t careful, you will miss them (like the cross).
  3. Get vulnerable. Meaning, share your discouragement with a trusted friend or two. Had I not told my girlfriend I would have missed the supporting messages in the photo. Chances are, you’ll get discouraged again. You’ll need someone to remind you of these signs!
  4. Mastermind. Get a small group of people to help you accelerate the manifestation of your dreams, stick with your dreams, come up with new ideas, and hold you accountable as you do the same for them.
  5. Take smaller steps. Sometimes you want to see the whole staircase. When you don’t, you get frustrated and want to quit. Instead, if you take one step at a time, you will get to the top. The whole staircase will unfold.
  6. KEEP GOING! Perseverance is the key!

What Have You Been Dreaming About?

So, what’s your dream?

  • A fabulous home?
  • A restored relationship with your daughter?
  • A partner who adores and respects you?
  • Your own business?
  • Perfect health?

It’s okay to dream. When you dream and then pursue it, you give other people permission to do the same. Going after your dreams is holy work because it doesn’t just serve you, as Marianne Williamson said, “…it serves the world.”

 

Final Thoughts

My dream is manifesting. I am on the right track by following my passion for helping women of divorce find resilience. When I look at the cup half full rather than half empty, I realize that I have the right resources and training to continue to build a business around this passion. And, I’m already doing a lot to help women:

I won’t give up on my dream.

I don’t want you to give up on yours either.

Are You Standing in Your Own Way? (The importance of self-acceptance)

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on Are You Standing in Your Own Way? (The importance of self-acceptance)

Are You Standing in Your Own Way? (The importance of self-acceptance)

You are feeling like you are on a treadmill. You are moving but going nowhere. While on the treadmill (going nowhere), you see your colleagues and friends moving along steadily, making progress: they are getting job promotions, being invited to speak at big conventions, making more and more money (these are the times you loathe the creation of Facebook).

But, why aren’t you?

Why aren’t YOU going and growing?

Why are you stuck where you are?

Being stuck like this brings on a natural response: to blame others for your stuck-ness.

You blame your:

  • Boss
  • Co-worker
  • Neighbor
  • Significant other
  • Pastor
  • Child
  • Brother
  • Ex-spouse (ahhh…the favorite one to blame)

To blame is a way to discharge pain, says author, speaker, and sociologist Dr. Brene Brown. And, it is painful to feel stuck when everyone around you isn’t!

But, let’s take a look at another possibility – other than it’s someone else’s fault – for being stuck.

You.

 

You are stuck because of YOU.

You are stuck because you are standing in your own way of your success and happiness.

Can this be possible? You’re in your own way?

Yes! And Yes!

There may be numerous reasons why you are standing in your own way. I offer one: you haven’t accepted who you are and you try to fit into someone else’s expectation.

Don’t worry. You aren’t standing in your own way to hurt yourself intentionally. You aren’t a masochist. I promise you aren’t.

You are standing in your own way because you are unaware. You are unaware of your gifts, talents, uniqueness, specialness. If you are aware, you don’t value them and you wish you had someone else’s.

Mostly, you fight against yourself routinely with your inner critic:

  • “I am always opening my mouth.”
  • “I’m not as smart as she is.”
  • “I suck! I need to do better.”
  • “I can never finish one task. I’m all over the place.”
  • “How stupid I can be sometimes.”
  • “No one likes me. I don’t fit in.”

On and on and on.

 

Why You Fight Against Yourself

This internal “fight” suggests you have not accepted who you are. You are who you are. And, you are perfect and whole just as you are. When you fight against yourself, you suffer, needlessly. When you fight against yourself, you cause stress. Stress accounts for numerous sicknesses and diseases. When you fight against yourself, you fight others and create a difficult relationship, needlessly.

 

A Really Short Story

Three years ago, I took a self-improvement course through Landmark Worldwide. The homework assignment was to interview 5 people about who I am to others (what I do well; what are my strengths; what do I offer that benefits others; what are my weaknesses; yada, yada, yada). I asked one friend these questions. Out of all the positive responses she gave, I couldn’t help but focus in on one comment that wasn’t meant to be negative, but certainly, I took as such. In answer to the question about a weakness, she replied: “You know how when you can have a few tabs open on your web browser? Well, you don’t have two or three open tabs, you have like 20!”

Now, I don’t know about you, but that comment threw me into a tailspin…for years! I simply was unaware that I am all over the place, unable to focus at times, having multiple tasks going on in my life at the same time, and sometimes never finishing what I started. Yes, this was my interpretation of her innocent remark. In fact, every time I opened my web browser and notice I had 6 or 7 tabs opened, I’d quickly close them all down in a panic!

This is only one example. I have 13 others.

These examples translated into inner voices that kept me fighting against me. As I fought against myself, wasting time and energy, others were moving along, gaining the success in life I desired for myself.

So, what did I do?

Well, I did something unconventional (forgive me, mom). I turned to astrology. I looked up my zodiac sign and my natal chart. I had to. I had to understand aspects of my personality that I didn’t choose. I had to understand aspects of my personality that friends, co-workers, and mentors could not answer with depth. What I discovered is, as a Gemini, having 20 tabs open in my web browser is an aspect of my personality that makes me the fun and delightful person I am.

These open tabs reveal my voracious curiosity about everything. I am a constant learner and enjoy sharing what I learn through speaking, writing, and other creative outlets. Wow! Spot on! This is me.

I learned more as I read about my zodiac sign. Once I relaxed into accepting myself as myself, an important shift occurred in my heart and mind. This shift was surrender to who I really am, what I have come to earth to deliver, and how I wish to serve others. That surrender is this: I AM A HEALER. Yes, as a Gemini, I was born at the right time, at the right place, to the right parents, with the right siblings in order to bring healing to others. I have chosen at this time of my life to bring healing to a special group of people. This group is divorced parents. I am on this earth at this time to help divorced parents heal their emotions so they can have SUPER success in work, life, and love.

I still have 20 tabs open when I’m browsing the web. And, you know what…? That just makes me a lively healer!

 

What You Should Do Now

You no longer have to stand in your own way because you haven’t accepted the uniqueness about you. Here is an exercise that will help you get out of your own way.

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen (old school way, but it’s more effective than using your smartphone or computer).
  2. Divide your paper into two columns.
  3. Write down in the left column every critical statement you make about yourself. You will need to start listening to that inner critic that is ALWAYS talking and ALWAYS listening to your conversations so she can criticize you later.
  4. In the right column, counter every internal statement with a statement of who you really are (even if you don’t know who you really are, make an affirmative statement anyway. Do a quick research of your zodiac sign if you need help). For example, if you wrote in the left column, “I am always opening my mouth.” Counter this with an affirmative statement like, “I have a lot to share with others.” If you wrote in the left column, “I am not as smart as she is.” Counter this with an affirmative statement like, “I am smart enough to fulfill my unique purpose in life.” Get it?
  5. Once you have a nice long list, cut the paper in half the long way so you have two sheets: internal statements and affirmative statements.
  6. Throw the internal statements in the trash (okay, recycle it), and as you do, recite these words, “I am who I am and that’s perfect enough!”
  7. Read the affirmative statements in the morning, before you get out of bed to start your day, and at night, just before you close your eyes. You are more receptive to the truth of these statements during these times. Do this until you accept who you really are.

Let today be the first day you no longer stand in your own way. Let today be the first day that you accept who you really are.

The world is waiting to benefit from the gifts your true self has to offer.

How to Have a Resilient Relationship (with a problem person)

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on How to Have a Resilient Relationship (with a problem person)

How to Have a Resilient Relationship (with a problem person)


Want a resilient relationship?

A resilient relationship is one that once sucked, now is successful.

“Successful” can mean many things. What “success” means to you is what’s most important. For example, I had a relationship with my teenage son that got so bad, we couldn’t live together anymore.

He lived one place.

I lived in another.

I rarely saw him. I didn’t care. I just enjoyed not having the headache.

As time went on, I started feeling a loss. When I did see him, we barely spoke. This distance was starting to get to me. My inner voice was nudging me to do something about this obvious disconnect. I wanted our relationship repaired.

I took action.

 

Step 1: Get In Touch with What YOU Are Doing that Hurts the Relationship

Believe it or not…accept it or not…you are doing something that hurts your relationship.

The first action I had to take was to get in touch with what I was doing that made the relationship tough. I had a responsibility in this, whether or not I wanted to admit it. I was playing an unhealthy/unsuccessful role.

What I was doing was pointing out his many faults, which seemed – in my mind – the reason for our problems. After all, if he would just do what he was told, the relationship would be just fine. I’m the mommy and he is the child!

Right?

But that approach wasn’t working and it never did work, although I kept at it.

 

Step 2: Get In Touch with What YOU are Feeling that Drives What You Do

Once I got in touch with what I was doing that wasn’t helping the relationship, I had to do the next HARDEST step: get in touch with what I was feeling that was driving my doing (pointing out his faults). What I was feeling was my own sense of inadequacy as a mother.

Yes…I felt that I wasn’t a good-enough-mother.

If I were a good-enough-mother (I reasoned), then my son would do what I told him to do, he would be respectful, and our relationship would be easy.

 

Step 3: Get Authentic…with the Other Person

Get authentic with the other person means you openly share what you have been doing and feeling that causes difficulty between you two.

This step requires some coaching. If you are not used to being open-hearted about how your behavior and feelings affect a relationship, you will need some coaching on this. Authenticity has a specific energy of truthfulness.

You cannot fake authenticity.

The receiver will smell its purity or rottenness.

If it’s pure, the receiver won’t resist your open-heartedness.  In many cases, the receiver will open his/her heart too. However, if you fake authenticity (and you can fake not even knowing you are faking), the receiver will smell that fakeness and resist big time! Your words will fall on deaf ears or be rejected altogether. Worse case, an argument will follow.

I invited my son to breakfast at his favorite eating place. He agreed. In that time together, I acknowledged the very specific things I said that caused him frustration and pain (e.g., “If you did your chores, you’d be a better student.” “Why do your sisters do what they are supposed to do and you don’t?” “Get a job, or get out of my house.”). Then, I admitted that I felt inadequate as a mother.

No, he didn’t make me feel inadequate.

I brought that feeling into my relationship with him.

This was not about BLAMING him. This was about taking responsibility where I was clear I could.

 

Step 4: Offer a Path to Resilience

This is an important step. After you have gotten authentic, (and if done correctly, the receiver will now be open to a new and improved relationship), offer a way to improve the relationship. The receiver will be able to get authentic with you too. That’s when a sweet exchange takes place. There is nothing more exhilarating than two hearts opening up when once both were closed.

Nothing!

Suggest ways that you can improve and allow the receiver to do the same (don’t you dare offer suggestions in which the receiver can improve!). Then, come to an agreement to follow the suggestion. The suggestion can be simple. There is no need to complicate this.

In my example with my son, his heart opened up. I agreed to shift my thoughts to what he does well when I’m feeling inadequate. He asked me to be “more excited” about his school work accomplishments than he is for himself. Now, he tells me every day about an accomplishment and I respond with “WooHooo!!!” and give him ridiculous praise!

It’s a beautiful experience.

My son is back living with me part-time during my custody. We spend one-on-one time together when he is with me. We have gotten to know one another.

I like him (success).

He likes me too (success).

He shares what’s going on with him in school and life (he freely shares, using full sentences vs. the dull “Yes”, “No” that teenagers typically give).

SUPER success.

We are experiencing a resilient relationship. You can too.

Are you courageous enough to do your part to bring the happiness and success you deserve and want in a relationship?

I believe you are.

In Search of SHEros: Women Who Bounced Back to Give Back

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on In Search of SHEros: Women Who Bounced Back to Give Back

In Search of SHEros: Women Who Bounced Back to Give Back

I am a storBe a sheroyteller, and there is a specific story that I want to tell.

The story I want to tell is one of Resilience after divorce, where Hope and Healing play supportive roles to the main character. The main character is a woman who went through the pain and devastation of a divorce but used that pain and devastation to become a better version of herself. As a result, she made/is making a remarkable difference in the world.

This woman is a SHEro. To become a SHEro, she progressed through the stages of a “hero’s journey”. The “hero’s journey” was theorized by the late Joseph Campbell who wrote extensively about this phenomenon. The hero progresses through a number of stages of life events in which he is challenged to overcome what holds him back from attaining heroism. Along the way, he is assisted by various guides and resisted by others. Every stage brings him closer to becoming a better version of himself, meaning; his authentic-self emerges. His transformation culminates with an essential demonstration: he returns to whence he came bearing a gift. He delivers this gift (or elixir) to his “people” and his people benefit. His journey – struggles, challenges, transformation – was not just for his benefit. His journey was for the benefit of others.

 

The Problem

But there is a problem. The problem is that the story of Resilience after divorce is seldom told. Instead, another story is often told. That story is one of pain, disappointment, misfortune, and litigious vitriol. The problem with telling only this side of the story is that it damages the collective human psyche, and perpetuates enmity between parents, thus affecting the well-being of children and ultimately society. We are a society of broken relationships, hopes, and dreams.

We are waiting for repair.

We are waiting to hear the SHEro’s story.

 

A Solution

A simple and easy solution is a series of stories of women who were devastated by divorce, yet found a way to recover, thrive, and are making a difference in the world. Multiple stories can be told. Each story can present one of the crippling challenges women of divorce face.

Much is accomplished in each story:

  • Key lesson learned
  • Details of the confusing divorce process simplified
  • Secrets of the legal system revealed
  • Resilience (SHEro) journey explained

Resilience themes include (but not limited to):

  • Losing custody of children
  • Supporting children without child support
  • Husband hiding assets
  • Depression
  • Poor health
  • Homelessness
  • Loneliness, never finding love again
  • Isolation and excommunication from faith, friends, and family

The audience isn’t just women. Men need to hear these stories too. The audience of women and men are educated and inspired by every story and are called to action. That action can be big or small, even as small as letting someone going through a divorce know that s/he is not alone. That’s really big!

These stories of Resilience are intended to bring hope and healing to a nation broken by the scourge of divorce. Imagine such a world. Indeed, it’s beautiful, just like a resilient woman.

 

To Those Who Doubt

To those who doubt if recovery from a divorce is even possible, there is good news…no, there is fabulous news: you can! There is plenty of evidence that you can recover and thrive. Take from the stories of these women everything you need to have a remarkable life after divorce. And, in gratitude for your recovery, use the elixir to make better the life of someone else.

 

Are You a SHEro?

Do you have a story to tell? Did you bounce back after a divorce and are now making a difference in your world? Write to me and let me know: PamelaElaine@DFGreatness.com 

 

———————————————————————-

Pamela Elaine Nichols

 

Biography

Pamela Elaine Nichols is a Resilience Expert. She teaches women how to reinvent themselves after a marital transition. While wife and mother, she put the wants and needs of family first and ignored her own. This behavior led to her breakdown and marital breakup. Desperate to find a breakthrough to emotional and spiritual recovery, she discovered resilience. Through video and public speaking, Pamela Elaine shows women how to recover and move on to a resilient life.

Before starting her resilience business, Pamela Elaine made important contributions to health care during her extensive career in management at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other high-profile companies.

Pamela Elaine is a speaker, author, and coach. She has been a guest on numerous radio and television. She appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to share her story about building her business as a healthy way to bounce back from divorce. Her book, Muddy High Heels: 14 Lessons Learned From My Breakdown, Breakup and Breakthrough, reveals what holds women back from feeling good enough, and teaches lessons of resilience in life.

In addition to a passion for empowering women, Pamela Elaine is a singer/songwriter and produces inspirational videos. One of her songs was the theme for a radio program on 900AM WURD, Philadelphia. She co-produced an original 3-part series on divorce recovery that aired on public television.

Pamela Elaine is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in business process improvement, a triathlete, and half-marathoner. She is a proud native of Los Angeles, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from California State University at Northridge and a Master of Health Sciences Degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

She resides outside of Philadelphia, PA with her four children.

 

Filmography

 

TV Productions

Host, Creator, Co-Editor – Episode 1: “Take Care of Yourself” https://tredyffrin.viebit.com/#df410c87eca895d54acff63946adc142

Host, Creator, Co-Producer, Editor – Episode 2: “Making a Bounce Back Plan” https://tredyffrin.viebit.com/#25c9dd176d36febed401ba7d0beec7d9

Host, Creator, Lead Producer, Editor – Episode 3: Finding Happiness and Love Again https://tredyffrin.viebit.com/#d33738d0812db9d56341ebd46f90050d

 

Video Productions

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Mothers Who Bounced Back From Divorce Strong & Beautiful! Part I: Encouragement” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_S1NUpD5u4&t=27s

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Getting Un-stuck (Part 1)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LyG_q9Pd6Y&t=4s

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Resilience Through Beauty”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNMfiUWvygM&t=2s

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Take Care of Yourself FIRST!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFe7IZuX80o&t=1s

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Don’t Wake & Run. Wake & Meditate”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j79SlMLBux4

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, host – “Muddy High Heels Book Tour Featuring Business Coach Mindy Lipsky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ns8m79WNlc&t=265s

 

Creator, producer, editor, talent – “I Can’t Take It Anymore…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl5DnYnQtNI

 

Creator, producer, editor, videographer, interviewer – “Editor of Book, Muddy High Heels, Shares His Thoughts”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZaP1s8RhAc&t=3s

 

 

Publications

Muddy High Heels: 14 Lessons Learned From My Breakdown, Breakup and Breakthrough, 2015, CreateSpace

 

Blogs (Creative Writing. Partial List)

What I Learned When My Teenagers Threw Me Under the Bus

The Greatest Lesson from “Marriage Beyond the Vows” Seminar

“WHY” I Woke Up with a Heavy Heart This Morning

What Likely Was Missing From Your Divorce Settlement

7 Critical Mistakes Divorced Women Make and How to Eliminate Them

Your Ex: Ass or Asset?

The Place To Go When Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Why You Must Be in Harmony with Yourself

 

 

What I Learned When My Teenagers Threw Me Under the Bus

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on What I Learned When My Teenagers Threw Me Under the Bus

What I Learned When My Teenagers Threw Me Under the Bus

How The Lesson Began

We set the Christmas plan: this year instead of spending Christmas dinner with their dad, they would spend it with me. We planned the menu: roast beef, roast chicken, gravy, macaroni and cheese, rolls, cranberry sauce, lasagna and French fries (yeah, I know…who does French fries for Christmas dinner?). The kids made a plan to spend Christmas Eve and open gifts with their dad. At 4 PM, they would be ready for my pick-up. They chattered about playing board games, watching movies and spending the night. Although Christmas did not fall on my custody week, they still planned to spend the evening and night with me.

shutterstock_247785061Happily and full of excitement, I did all of the dinner shopping. With Christmas cheer, I wrapped their gifts and stuffed their stockings. All four of my kids would get practical and fun gifts from me. The excitement was in the air.

Just to make sure I had the details correctly, I went over the plan with them several days before, several times (you know, teenagers can be forgetful). Yup! I had the details to the plan correctly.

Christmas evening finally rolled around. Seemed like an eternity waiting until 4 PM to pick them up from their dad’s house. Everything was already cooked. I had slaved in the kitchen making all the main dishes, leaving the lasagna and French fries to the kids.

Upon arrival to their dad’s house, they all greeted me with Christmas cheer. We exchanged secret Santa gifts, laughed and prepared to walk out the door. Then, the announcement came from their dad,

“I’m going to the [FAMILY FRIEND’S] party this evening, for whoever wants to go with me.”

I didn’t give much attention to the announcement and wasn’t sure why it was being announced anyway. The kids were coming to my house and staying.

We packed into my minivan, and then the announcement of all announcements came,

“Mom, we are going with dad to [FAMILY FRIEND’S] party this evening. Dad will pick us up.”

“Huh?” I questioned with confusion.

With the same declaration of clarity, they repeated,

“We’re going with dad to [FAMILY FRIEND’S] party this evening.”

(“Dad, the enemy?”  I thought to myself.)

“But I thought we planned to spend Christmas evening at my house. You all would stay the night. Right?” I reminded them.

“Yeah, but we want to go to [FAMILY FRIEND’S] party. Okay?

“Okay??? Okay??? No, it’s not okay!!!” I responded.

And right there in the driveway of their dad’s house, I gave my “It’s not okay” lecture to them.

They were confused and offended.

I was pissed off. I felt they threw me under the bus.

When we got to my house, the kids prepared the final dinner items. There was quietness in the house, although there was a lot of noise with TV, music, and other guests’ chatter.

Before we ate, the kids tore through their gifts from me and dug into their stockings for the treats I had stuffed in them. They ate and then disappeared upstairs for a few hours. The next words from them were,

“Bye Mom.”

They were out the door with their dad to head to the party.

The Lesson Unfolds

Upon reflection the following day of the evening’s event, I realized two important things:

  1. I did not get a Christmas gift from my teenagers. (In fairness, I did get a secret Santa gift from one of the kids). Not one!
  2. My teenagers take me for granted…and I have allowed it.

Just to be clear, I’m not whining about no Christmas gift. That’s not the point. However, Christmas is about giving and I want my children to understand that giving includes those who consistently, year-in-year-out give to them. That should be a no-brainer! Giving does not have to include an expense: a hand-made card, a letter, a video story, a photo story. Anything expressing the spirit of the season would have been acceptable.

The point of the matter here is the second realization: that my teenagers take me for granted, and I have allowed it.

 

The Lesson Revealed

But why? Why would I allow someone to take me for granted? Certainly, I didn’t allow it on purpose.

Three days later, after giving this realization thoughtful consideration, I came to understand why I have allowed it:

Because I am a people-pleaser! Yes. I am. I was a husband-pleaser when I was married. I was a children-pleaser while married and while divorced.

Being a people-pleaser is good: you think of other’s needs before your own, meaning you can be self-less.

But, being a people-pleaser isn’t good either: you sacrifice what’s best for you to make someone else happy. Sacrifice is what I did year after year only to end up resenting all the sacrifice after I divorced their father. When I think about where I might be on the corporate ladder had I remained in the workforce, steam comes out my ears and tears well-up in my eyes. When I think about the breakdown I had – in front of my kids – I have regretted a breakdown had to occur for me to honor my needs. Yet, I still defaulted to people-pleasing behavior.

 

One Thing People-Pleasers Must Learn

What people-pleasers like me must learn is how to listen to your authentic voice. This means that you must ask yourself, “What is it that I want?” “What might be in MY best interest?” These are difficult questions for a people-pleaser to ask of him/herself. But they must be asked. When you ask these questions regularly, and in all types of situations and learn to listen to the answer, you will experience what your authentic voice sounds like. Your authentic voice exists. People-pleasers haven’t developed the skill to listen…we’re too busy pleasing J

 

People-Pleaser Fears

I know listening to your authentic voice may cause a bit of anxiety. I get it. Listening to my authentic voice was scary at first. Fears begin to surface at the thought of not people-pleasing at your own expense:

  • Will the world fall apart?
  • Will my relationship end?
  • Will my partner find someone else who will please him?
  • Will friends and co-workers stop liking me?
  • Will my children throw me under the bus?

Maybe. Maybe not.

People-pleasing at your own expense never works out in your favor. You’ll lose one way or another, so what difference do the questions make anyway? Instead of letting your fears take over, think about the win-win that can exist in your life if you balance your needs and wants with those of others. At a minimum, consider what’s in your best interest.

 

People-Pleaser Question

My mentor once told me, “you teach people how to treat you by what you tolerate.” Tolerating the needs of others before your own, ignoring your own, or dishonoring your own needs in order to please means you will be taken for granted. That’s the treatment.

Does the “disease-to-please” show up in your relationships? At what cost to you?

The Greatest Lesson from “Marriage Beyond the Vows” Seminar

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Blog, Divorce Recovery | Comments Off on The Greatest Lesson from “Marriage Beyond the Vows” Seminar

shutterstock_119165203I stumbled across the radio program, “Marriage Beyond the Vows”, in 2013. I wasn’t looking for that particular radio program. It was simply in the way of me getting to the station I really wanted: NPR on WHYY FM 90.9. After a quick listen to “Marriage Beyond the Vows” with Host Pastor Marcos Mercado I moved on thinking, “Let other people figure out their marital woes. Mine are over!” And on I went to listen to NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Fast -forward to Wednesday, 2016, three years after my divorce. While driving my youngest to school, I turned the radio to my favorite program, “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” “Marriage Beyond the Vows” was advertising their upcoming Relationship Seminar, inviting the listeners to come to the free event. It was Pastor Marcos Mercado…again…in my way of getting to the program I really wanted to hear.

Then, a thought flashed across my mind, “Hmmm…I think this upcoming Relationship Seminar needs some agitation! How about the voice of the divorced community share lessons to awaken the married community.” Having never listened to “Marriage Beyond the Vows”, I just assumed the focus was always on the married and not on the divorced. Boldly, I sent a personal message to the program via their Facebook page. I expected to be ignored or scolded (sometimes divorce leaves you a bit overly sensitive). I was surprised to receive an immediate and welcoming response.

Me: Hello and thank you for the work you do to keep marriages together. Have you done a show where those who have gone through divorce share the lessons learned that can keep marriages together AND happy (just because a marriage is together does not mean it’s happy)? I would be happy to brainstorm this idea with you. Although I am divorced twice, I have learned several lessons that had I known then, I might still be married. One lesson is: “conflict is misunderstood difference”, and “a woman who gives up taking care of herself also gives up a man who is attracted to her”. Hope to hear from you.

Response: Hi Pamela – great ideas. Will you be attending the event this Sat?

Me: I heard about it this AM on radio and came up with idea. I’m thinking about it…

Response: Pamela, I just watched what you shared on Dr Oz and I loved what you had to say. If it works out let’s do this. Let’s see if we can still get you to showcase your company at the event. You will have to contact Nia Moses from our promotions dept and fill out the request form (attached). Slots are very limited. 

I had no idea from whom I was receiving such a response until the responder listed his email address. It was Pastor Marcos! Arrangements were made and three days later, I was at the Relationship Seminar with a table and chairs to display my services.

But, I was in a panic the days before the seminar.

  1. What, if anything, do I say to people in marriages? I’ve torn through two of them along with two divorces. I was afraid no one would want to hear from me.
  2. My coaching business is for women ONLY (not men!) who have gone through divorce. As a resilience coach, I help these women get their life back. I was afraid people were gonna avoid my table like the plague.

I put together a not-too-professional presentation: a simple banner with glue stick, hand-cut some business cards that didn’t even have my name on them (I had to write on them), and a used tablecloth that was really a window curtain.  I waited for people to pass by my table looking the other way.

your-resilience-coachI waited for people to pass by my table looking the other way.

But they didn’t. They came to my table with great curiosity for three items I displayed:

  1. My book, Muddy High Heels: 14 Lessons Learned from My Breakdown, Breakup & Breakthrough
  2. My webinar, “10 Relationship Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them
  3. My laser, on the spot coaching service as “Your Resilience Coach

your-bookThe laser, on the spot coaching from my perspective as a woman who has been divorced, awakened me to a hunger in people who are married. That hunger is to know how to stop making the same mistakes over and over; how to let go of a relationship that isn’t working; and how to honor the current relationship so it can grow. I’m familiar with the hunger in women who are divorced and feel totally comfortable sharing my perspective, for sure. Yet, being able to touch the hearts and minds of those still married surprised me.

my-book-guyFrom my experience being married and divorced twice, I understood every point on the spectrum of the stages of a relationship. No one cared that I had had two marriages and two divorces. They cared that I had learned valuable lessons that, if adopted, can save years of heartache and sadness, can save their marriages, and can improve upon what is already working.

The invitation by Pastor Marcos to vend at this event was unexpected. But it pushed me out of my comfort zone – you know, that place where true growth happens – in order to recognize a new dimension to my calling as a coach, speaker and author. That calling is to men who are hurting in their relationships with women. Many men stopped by the table to openly share their stories, their pain, and their mistakes. I listened with intuitiveness and offered feedback that seemed to register with them. Men…the very group I wanted to throw under the bus…showed me that they want and need healing. I can no longer ignore this group as I have wanted to in the past.

I offered a lot of great lessons to others at this Relationship Seminar. I also learned that divorce brings wisdom that married people want to hear. Perhaps the greatest lesson was the one I learned from those who honored me with their conversation: we all want the same things in relationships – to love and to be loved; to forgive and to be forgiven; to heal and to bring about healing; to be known and to know another intimately and profoundly.

And, it doesn’t matter if those wearing pants or a skirt desire these things.

Thanks, Pastor Marcos!


Written by:Pamela Elaine Nichols

Pamela Elaine Nichols

Your Resilience Coach

www.YourResilienceCoach.com

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