So, when we ended last week, I had emptied everything out of my heart. At least that’s how I saw it: kenosis.  I stopped working on all the things that I was afraid I was doing just because they made me feel special.  Like, can I just have a corporate job that pays me really well and gives me tons of flexibility to be with my kids? Can I just focus on planning a wedding and getting married?  Can I just focus on raising four good men?  Is that enough? And this may seem odd to you (or not) but that was really hard for me!  There were times when I would be talking with girlfriends and they would ask me what I was up to and my response was short and sweet.  “I’m good.  I’m planning a wedding.  The boys are all good.  I’m happy.” I always had this strong urge to say something else…something that felt more meaningful, more “special.”  Learning to leave an empty space in those conversations took practice for me. I was used to carrying on about a terrible divorce or grad school or writing or yoga or SOMETHING that made me feel unique. I know that I sound like I am being hard on myself about this and about being a type 4, but I’m also just admitting these things to be true without judgement, really.  Which, by the way, is what the Enneagram does for us.  It teaches us to observe our personality, our habitual responses, with detachment and compassion.  It is is not a tool for self-belittlement although it can most certainly feel that way at times. What the Enneagram was really trying to teach me was that I am already special and I can stop running around doing all these things just to feel special.  And, most importantly, it was trying to teach me that it was okay to be happy. What?!!  Okay to just be happy?! For real? Is that allowed? Without a coaching business and without a masters degree and without publishing a memoir? I can be happy just for being alive? Being married? Raising boys? It took me awhile to admit this but it’s so true. I am way more comfortable with disappointment and with being uncomfortable.  I had to develop some new muscles to allow myself to enjoy this beautiful new life that I have co-created. And enjoy it I did! I have traveled to so many wonderful places. Some with Jeff and some without. Jeff and I went to India!  We saw the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple.  Dreams I never imagined would come true!   I also went on a week long yoga retreat to Costa Rica with two of my besties because one of my heart and soul desires I commit to every year is to go on retreat alone to reconnect with myself and Spirit. I also started carving out time on a weekly basis to connect with my BFF, Amy Dreamgirl (not her real name). I focused on taking care of myself in a real way that included (like I mentioned last week) taking supplements, working out, eating good food, flossing my teeth, washing my face, using moisturizers and sunscreen and wearing a hat. These may seem obvious to you but they were revolutionary for me – lol! I knew that all these essentials needed to be in place before I could restart my coaching practice or write regularly again. I had to layer in all these good habits and commit to them and my own well being before I could open myself up to supporting others again. These became the focus of my life. 

And I waited.

 I waited to see what could come up for me in terms of coaching and writing.  Finally, on July 27th, I attended a women’s empowerment event facilitated by my dear friend and teacher, Angie Knight.  It was called, “Time to Fly: Rising In Love.” I have to admit that I had resistance to going because it didn’t feel like it fit where I was in my life.  I thought it would be focused on helping us in the pursuit of our sacred work and, outside of marriage and boys, there wasn’t much of that going on for me. And I was totally okay with that. But over those two amazing days, I watched my friend pursuing her passion of teaching women how to have their own backs and fulfill their dreams with appreciation and imagination..and I was envious! I know, it’s terrible but true. Type 4s are famous for their envy but I struggled with what that meant. Because I was envious, did that mean it was something that I really wanted? Or did it just mean that my ego and need to feel special was acting up again? I wasn’t sure, but after that weekend, all these different micro- moments kept occurring – mostly among my friends – where that envy kept coming up again and again.  I had friends from grad school who were finally graduating.  I had friends that were teaching at spiritual centers where I’d always wanted to teach.  I had friends who were considering leading retreats for divorced/divorcing women. 

I wanted all those things!  But I just couldn’t yet trust WHY.

 Then one day, I was texting with another girlfriend who is also a type 4 and she asked me if I had all these big dreams, but I was afraid I’d never be able pull them off. And in that moment, there was a very clear, “YES.” Then, I immediately got a phone call from my therapist’s office saying that I was late for an appointment. I had a different time noted in my calendar and the assistant wanted to know if I wanted my therapist to call me for a phone session.  “YES.” In those next 40 minutes, just because of all those tiny but additive moments, and because of the text from my friend, I was finally able to admit to myself and my therapist that I do want a coaching business. 

I do. I do. I do want a coaching business.

 And not because I need it to feel special, but because I have a desire to teach and write and I have accumulated a lot of wisdom over my lifetime.  I have so much to share!  So much, really, that it’s almost an obligation on my part.  And will be one of my greatest honors. Early on in the process of ending my previous marriage (months before I had yet decided to do so), I knew that God would use this experience – this suffering – for good.  I mean, more than I knew it, I made a conscious choice to believe it.  There had to be some good that came out of it and choosing to believe that is what got me through.  Finding meaning in my suffering allowed me to dig deep into my own strength and navigate my way through the darkest period of my life. So, I am saying yes to a coaching business again for what I call “Women in the Desert.”  Those beloved women who have decided to end their marriages or relationships because it is unhealthy …because they feel unsafe due to betrayal trauma, sex addiction or just straight up narcissism. 

When a woman goes into the desert, if she doesn’t have something to hold on to, she’ll go back.

 One of my beloved teachers told me that.  When I was in the desert, I needed a choir of angels that included therapists, coaches, a spiritual director, yoga teachers, a women’s group and a handful of really good girlfriends. I am both proud and humbled to say that I can check at least three of those boxes in what I will be able to offer my clients. And I say “will be able to offer” because I have a couple more things that that I need to do first. First, I want to create and share with you all lots and lots of content!  That means a weekly LoveLetter along with daily messages on social media.  I’ve mostly been a Facebook girl in the past, but I feel like I’m starting to jam on the Instagram, so I hope that you’ll follow me over there at msjennirochelle. You can also follow me at Jenni Rochelle: Be the Love Of Your Life on Facebook.  Some fun and exciting things are starting to happen over there! Second, during that session with my therapist, I realized that before I can officially open my doors again, I have to first do what I am calling The Next Write Thing. I am committing to several sessions of Emotional Transformation Therapy® (ETT®), this amazing new therapy for treating trauma-related PTSD, and documenting my experience. I’ve had several sessions of ETT already, but they have been more focused on neutralizing the impacts from childhood attachment wounds.  What I haven’t done but knew that I would do eventually, is focus my sessions on the specific, traumatic events that occurred in my previous marriage, which include multiple Discoveries, Disclosure and Divorce. I don’t really know yet what this project will evolve into, but I am choosing to do this so that I can write about and share the experience.  I am also because the timeline of my coaching business and my divorce are overlaid with one another – they are deeply intertwined.  During that session with my therapist, I didn’t just admit that I wanted a coaching business.  I also grieved the loss of the dream that I feel like has yet to fully come true. And I emphasize the word yet…because I trust myself and know that my intentions are good because they are rooted in the directives of my heart.  I know that there are many women out there in the same space I was a few years ago… women in the desert…who are looking for their choir of angels.  I pray that some day soon I will be allowed to join in and sing. This was a long one, I know!  Thanks for sticking with me.  Until next time, xoxo Jenni