A Journey of Separation

 By: Leigh Green

separationI never thought I would end up with a broken marriage. Years ago I resigned myself into believing that the way it was, was as much as life and marriage had to offer.Yet as my children aged, life was beginning to look bleaker.  Did I want to continue to live feeling unhappy, unfulfilled and stressed out?  Or was I brave enough to make a change? After 25 years of marriage and headed toward my 53rd birthday, I decided it was time to take control of my life.

I realized I had to change

In looking back I can see that the first step in my journey is when I sought therapy for myself.  My family had been in turmoil for many years and we had tried family therapy, but it didn’t work because I was the only one fully engaged.  My spouse didn’t see himself as part of the problem. When I started I was sad and depressed, but soon realized that I didn’t have to make any big decisions. I took baby steps. I began to reconnect with myself and learn that it was okay to have boundaries. I found my voice and learned that you can’t change someone else; you can only work on changing yourself.

I found support

The stronger I became, the less tolerant I became of bad behavior from my spouse and the more I began to disconnect emotionally from the marriage.  This past January I began to work with a life coach, even though at first I didn’t know what I wanted.  I knew that I was very unhappy, but not why I remained.  Slowly, we began to peel back the layers and I was finally able to admit to myself that it was time to make a change.  I had given it everything I had and it was okay to leave.

But with this realization came great fear. How would I take care of myself? Where would I live?  How would I manage?  What about the kids?  My pets?  My finances? How was I going to do it?

My coach helped me get informed and prepare a plan.  First, I attended a local divorce workshop. I wasn’t 100% positive I was going to file, but I wanted information and needed to educate myself if I chose this path.  I was told to compile financial information, accounts, tax returns, passwords, safety deposit box, personal bank accounts, etc.  Next, I met with a divorce attorney. I brought the gathered information and a list of questions.  He gave me clarity and ease. My coach was right, knowledge is power and helped minimize the fear.

I worked on fnding my wings

I had been in a home I loved for 19 years. But the house was too big for me and would require a lot of money and upkeep.  Would I be OK leaving? One scary yet liberating weekend I decided to find out and went searching for an apartment. I found one that was beautiful, would take pets, could accommodate myself and my youngest child (my older two were already living on their own) and was manageable on a small budget. It was time to leap. I put in an application and planned a move a couple of months later so as not to disrupt my child’s school term.

Suddenly, my world began to open up.  It became impossible to stay in the relationship and I broke the news to my spouse and children.  It was painful and probably the hardest day of my life.

A few months have passed. I feel happy, peaceful and finally free.  Daily challenges arise, but I work through them with the support team that I’ve created: my coach, attorney, family and amazing friends.

I chose to share my experience publicly because I have heard from others who are unhappy in their relationship and are not sure there are options. There are. Don’t give up: Surround yourself with a support team and do your homework. It will be painful. It won’t be easy. But, like me, you probably will never go back. The journey continues and I am ready to fly.

‘Leigh Green’ is a pseudonym used to protect her family. However, her experience is very real. You can reach her c/o

The Holistic Home

By: Debbie Schaffer

holisticImagine walking into your home (or maybe you’re there now). Do you feel comfortable and happy?  Or are you restless and at a loss?  Is your space your sanctuary? Or do you feel that something is missing? We’re all familiar with the term “holistic” as it is applied in a health context – as a way to bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit.  But did you know that this same approach can be applied to our homes and what better place to practice a holistic approach to living than in our homes.

As a designer, I study each client and home from a holistic perspective.  I can’t “decorate” a room without looking at the people who live there, how they live, what their energy is like, what their goals are, and how they want to FEEL when they are home.  It is so important to understand the “whole” of my clients and their spaces so that I can bring them into balance with each other.  Our homes are more than just the address where we live; they are energy that can be designed to support us… mind, body, and spirit.

Through my “holistic design approach,” I incorporate techniques that can have profound effects on my clients and their homes, including Feng shui, space clearing and use of essential oil sprays.

Most people are aware of Feng shui, the ancient practice of using energy to bring a balance.  Feng shui techniques can be applied to a whole house, a single room, or even a desktop or the garden.  As an advanced practitioner of Instinctive Feng Shui™, I help my clients discover how their “inner worlds” are reflected in their “outer worlds.”  We identify areas of their lives that they would like to enhance, and then work to balance the energy in the corresponding areas of their home.  For example, if a client wanted to bring a new romantic partner into her life, we would focus on the topmost right corner of her home.  I might suggest making sure the bed is big enough for two people, having a night table on EACH side of the bed (with equal lighting on each), and bringing in pairs of pillows – all of which represent TWO people in a relationship.

Energetic space clearing is another technique I love to use.  We all know what it’s like to walk into a space and realize that an argument just occurred.  What we’re doing is sensing the residual energy left by the people involved. “Space clearing” (a term coined by the amazing Denise Linn) removes old, stuck, stagnant, or unsupportive energy from a space and sets the intention for new supportive energy.  I recommend a space clearing after you’ve recovered from an illness, to remove the “leftovers” from an old relationship, to enhance the energy of a new season, or especially when moving into a home. Think of it as throwing open the windows on that first warm spring day!  I use bells, sage, crystals and/or essential oils, depending on what the space “needs.”  And make no mistake, rooms DO communicate!  I’ve cleared single rooms, entire homes and even yoga studios.

Speaking of essential oils, this powerful arsenal is a key component in my toolbox.  Essential oils have been used for centuries to “treat” various physical issues.  But did you know that essential oils have spiritual and emotional properties, too? Connecting with someone’s angels or guides will help me determine and create unique and personalized essential oils sprays in order to help bring them or their home into spiritual and emotional balance.

The relationship you have with your home is a two-way street.  How you feel on the inside will be reflected in the way your home looks.  But the reverse is equally true.  If you think of your home as energy, and you treat it with grace and kindness, it will reward you with a renewed sense of balance, happiness and support.