Hello Friends! Thank you for being part of the Focused Forward Community!
Although it’s still summer, I just finished a book called “Wintering” by Katherine May. Personally I love winter and while I fell right into her cozy imagery of blankets, candles and hot toddies, that wasn’t the purpose of the book.
Katherine writes about Wintering as an analogy for how we handle the hard times in our lives. The job losses, the illnesses, the parenting struggles and other dark periods of life. Her story takes us through her own Wintering. As I read it I thought of my own darker times as well as what my clients and future clients are navigating right now. I only wish I had had the chance to read this book two decades ago!
Divorce tends to be a different type of grief. A grief that is suffered alone, often in shame. Tucked away so it doesn’t offend others. Rather than face this grief head on and accept the Winter as it is (as Katherine builds out beautifully in her book) we especially hide this grief out of embarrassment of feeling like a failure for disrupting a pillar of society.
And so we suffer silently, alone at home. Maybe in a new house that doesn’t quite feel like home yet. Maybe we don’t feel accepted in the communities we are in. Maybe our church doesn’t support divorces. Maybe our friends have gone dark because they “don’t like drama” (more on that another time…)
I’m excited to help my clients through their Winter. Maybe the snowflakes are just starting to fall and preparations are needed. Maybe it’s full on Dark-at-4pm. Maybe your Winter is at the point where the snow crocuses are starting to peek through but it’s still bitterly cold.
How can we make our Winters work FOR us? How can we EMBRACE our Winter so we care for ourselves properly? How can we find the RIGHT community to Winter with?
If you are in a stage like this, I’ll leave you with this: Embrace it. Winter does not last forever. Allow yourself to feel the grief and care for yourself gently. Know that Divorce involves a grieving process not unlike the death of someone you love. Too often the shame of divorce overpowers the realization of the need to grieve. Allow yourself to grieve.
I always appreciate referrals! If you know someone who might benefit from my service, please send them my way! They can text or call me at 309-840-0881 or visit my website www.katievandenberg.com to learn more!
We’ve all heard this: "Divorce is so hard on children; parents should stick it out for the kids!"
Yes. It is.
But so is living in a home with fights, tension, jealousy and unmet needs. A home where the kids find themselves tip-toeing around their parents. A home where the kids learn to manipulate the fighting parents to get what they want. A home where healthy relationships are impossible to model.
I won't sugar coat this. Divorce IS hard on children. This is a huge reason why I do this: To help my clients be the best versions of themselves as they navigate their divorces so they can be the best versions of themselves for their children.
If you or someone you know is going through a divorce with younger children, here are two books I recommend to my clients! I picked these up at our local library but they also can be found on Amazon.
I always appreciate referrals! If you know someone who might benefit from my service, please send them my way! They can text or call me at 309-840-0881.
Hello! It has been a busy summer at our house! Between the kids being home, selling another small business, the constant cycle of work on our rentals and of course, helping my clients, I haven't had time to share this yet!
About a month ago, Andy Dahn from WBBM Chicago messaged me. He wanted to interview me about my divorce coaching practice. Click the link to listen!
Nearly two years ago I had a revelation.
I learned a friend was going through a divorce. While she had a good attorney, she was so emotionally drained she couldn't understand the process. She didn't have the energy to even know what to ask. The legal lingo was confusing. The options overwhelming.
I asked her if she would be willing to meet with me. Through her tears we talked about her situation. She was thrilled when I was able to join her at her attorney's office the next week.
The meeting went flawlessly. We paved the path for better communication, cleared the way for expectations and created a follow-up plan. Because I was not emotionally invested I could re-focus if we got too far into the Story of her divorce so we could make massive strides in the Business of her divorce.
My friend finally could get to focus on healing her heart. She was able to call and text me when she was confused about the legal process rather than rack up $$$ in attorney fees for re-explanations. She was able to trust the process and know her attorney truly was working for her.
It was then I knew I wanted to become certified as a Divorce coach. The situation my friend found herself in is sadly far too common. Sadness, anger, envy and revenge get in the way of the divorce process and often sabotage the results.
And....my friend ended up with a far better settlement than she ever expected!
If you are searching for divorce support at ANY stage of the process (even if the process seems like it won’t start for awhile OR you’re done and still need help moving forward!) please call or text me at 309-840-0881.
I’d love to invite you on a journey.
We’ll start by talking about where you want to go. I might make a few suggestions but ultimately, YOU get to decide. Once the destination is determined, I’ll share with you some resources to make the journey easier. Some ways to cut costs. Financial strategies to make sure you are prepared once the journey is over. I’ll connect you with well-vetted professionals who take care of people on this same journey all the time. We’ll talk often after you begin to be sure you’re still on the right path to get to your ultimate destination.
I know you probably feel nervous. Maybe you’re angry and didn’t even make the choice to go. Perhaps you’re feeling embarrassed about having to go on this journey. Maybe you’re nervous you’ll be lonely.
We can work through all of that.
I’ll be with you every step of the way. Think of me as your trail guide. This is YOUR journey, but it's a path I've walked personally and with my clients.
I point out the blind spots.
I help you avoid the cliffs.
I have the first aid kit when you are wounded.
XO ~Katie | Focused Forward
You plan your days, weeks and goals. You plan your educational path and college choice. You plan for career goals. And of course, your relationship and marriage. From planning the type of people you date, your engagement to your wedding day to the rhythm of your marital home.
But what happens when your well thought out plans go awry? When your planning feels like it was for nothing? What happens when you fail?
Do you plan for potential failure? Do you plan how the divorce will proceed? Do you plan how your career will shift as a newly single parent? Do you plan for lonely nights? Do you consider these failures when planning the future?
If you find yourself in an unplanned failure, let's try reframing the failure as an obstacle to be overcome. As an unexpected challenge. As a creative opportunity. As a gift to revisit your goals and dreams that just maybe were buried with marriage, a career and children.
I "plan to fail" by having a folder titled "If Something Ever Happens to Me." I am the primary financial planner in our family. If I pass away or become incapacitated suddenly, I want one less thing for Ben to have to worry about. On the flip side, he handles all of our maintenance and repairs for our home and rentals. If something were to happen to him I have a file of whom to call to handle all of the duties as they arise.
I believe that planning to fail is equally as important as planning to succeed. Planning to fail allows us to fail without capsizing our entire life's proverbial ship. It allows massive failures to appear as small blips on our timeline. It allows us to recover and pivot faster to still succeed, albeit on a different course.
If planning to fail is overwhelming, send me a message to book a complimentary session to talk about where to start! I love helping people creatively explore their options for their lives.
Katie makes her life surrounded by river valleys and surprisingly beautiful cornfields. Her days are spent helping her divorce clients, working with her tenants, spending time on her pottery wheel and loving her family.