9 Signs You're Conscious Uncoupling All-Stars
Ben and Jen keeping up regular family farmer's market outings post-separation, Kate Hudson taking the high road in her split with Matt Bellamy and now Blake Shelton and Mirada Lambert graciously allowing each other the stage at the CMAs only hours after Blake confirmed he'd moved on to a relationship with fellowVoice pal Gwen Stefani. Everywhere we look, it seems like celeb couples are maturely turning to the path Gwyneth P. laid out a few years back when her lifestyle site Goop launched the term "Conscious Uncoupling" into the stratosphere.
It turns out the term's creator, Katherine Woodward Thomas, who is most well-known for her bestselling book and companion e-course, Calling in "The One," has been working on an eponymously named followup book in which she describes how to use the same conscious process to navigate a relationship's end, and in a perfectly timed move, it's just come out this fall.
"Life is a great leveler and we will all suffer from heart breaks and disappointments. People can move into a place where they begin to retract and live lesser lives." Instead, she says, we can learn "how to absorb the lessons in a way that expands us and makes life more beautiful." But it won't come naturally for most—thus the "conscious" part of the title. "The decision to develop ourselves must be made as a conscious one," says Thomas.
InConscious Uncoupling, 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After, Thomas takes us through the conscious uncoupling process she employed after the dissolution nearly 10-year marriage. Rather than seeing the end as a personal failure and hoarding bitterness and anger, which can "set the break incorrectly again," she outlines five steps to a truly amicable breakup—a Kübler-Ross-ian grieving and renewal process of sorts. And one in which even "core wounds from childhood" can finally heal and be released for good.
"During a breakup our body is filled with fight or flight hormones that can cause us to do uncharacteristically unkind things and make rash and hasty and somewhat destructive decisions," she explains. "It's important to remember that every action we take and every choice that we make we will be living with for many years to come. We want to make good choices that are reflective of the good people that we are."
Hey, it seems to be working for Gwyneth (must be something to do with grocery shopping?). Here are nine signs you're on the path:
1)You have your feelings but they don't have you."Rather than reacting to your overwhelming emotions, you are able to harness the energies inherent in each as the fuel you'll need to make positive change in your life," explains Thomas.
2)You're asking yourself questions meant to maximize growth and minimize shame. "Rather than ask 'What's wrong with me?' which is shame based, you're asking, 'How did I give my power away to my former partner and what can I do to reclaim it?'"
3)You've stopped the blame game."You are willing to take personal responsibility for your part of things so that you can trust yourself moving forward to not make these same mistakes ever again."
4)You're looking at the bigger picture. "You're stepping back from your current breakup to see if you can notice the underlying pattern of all of your disappointments in love in order to deal with and heal, once and for all, the original hurt in your heart."
5)You're letting it go. "You are willing to clear the air of any festering resentments between you and your former partner so that your kids and extended circle of family and friends don't have to deal with the unresolved reside of hurt and angry feelings left festering."
6)You're playing fair."You aren't pulling on your family and friends to take sides but are instead letting everyone know that it's okay to keep a loving connection with you both."
7)You're putting your family's needs first. "In setting up new living situations moving forward, you are thinking in terms of what's good for all involved rather than just looking out for yourself."
8)The endless stream of Diane Lane movies have stopped. "You are proactive in your own healing rather than just waiting for time to heal your hurting heart."
9)You're truly ready to move on. "You are using this time of having your heart broken open to grow and expand your capacity to love and be loved even more deeply moving forward."
KATHERINE WOODWARD THOMAS, MA, MFT,is the author of the national bestsellerCalling in "The One": 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life,a licensed psychotherapist, cocreator of the Calling in "The One" online courses, creator of the Conscious Uncoupling five-step process to recover from a breakup or divorce, and the cofounder of the Feminine Power Global Community, a thriving learning community serving thousands of women worldwide.
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