Whether you are thinking about separating, immersed in a difficult court battle, mediating your case, or it’s many years past your divorce, you may find yourself experiencing a range of emotions. You may be in an unpleasant or chaotic emotional swirl. You may be feeling stuck.  Maybe you are just feeling disconnected from the life you imagine yourself living. 

New Years is the perfect moment to press-restart and kick off your clarity practice. Clarity is the tool that will help you decide what you want going forward and manifest your dreams.

Now’s the time to step beyond the blame game and begin to get clear in your goals and vision for yourself and for your family’s future. The sense of calm may seem elusive when your life is chaotic. However, with some mindful intention, you can powerfully activate your inner agency and create your optimal life.

Remember, focusing attention is an art.  What we attend to is what fills the day, and essentially creates our life.  Our energy is limited and we must be mindful of where we place it. When we are feeling unhappy, it’s of course, understandable to enter a cycle of anger and blame. To begin with, this loop may serve a protective function.  But, over time, when we don’t let it go, we stand in our own way from moving forward. We hold ourselves emotionally hostage. If you feel that you have been stuck in anger for long enough, it is now time to enter the next stage.  This is where you get to become an active visionary.  

If you’re ready to begin to let go of your anger, disappointment, and frustration, here’s a nice exercise from The Better Apart Method to start you on your path forward and manifest your dreams.

The only supplies that you need are a pen and your active visualization journal. It’s best if you can get a journal that is sensorially pleasing to you, with a feel and look that you are going to be inspired to use. However, any clean notebook containing your musings and forward-thinking reflections will do.

It all begins with an exercise I like to call VIR.


Visualize.  Internalize.  Realize.



Think about one part of your life you would like to improve. Is it around your relationship with your family? Your thoughts around dating? How you communicate with your children? The language you use around your ex? Your health? Your career? Your social life? Your self-perception? Select just one area. Then take five to ten minutes to write down how you feel about this area today. Allow all your negative or unpleasant angst-filled thoughts and feelings out until you have nothing more to say.  

Take the next five to ten minutes writing what this aspect of your life would look like if things were just exactly how you wish they were. Get as specific as possible. How would it look?  Feel? What are the new qualities you imagine would enter your life? Keep going and be courageous in what you envision.


Each day for the next thirty days, devote five to ten minutes to writing the positive attributes you wish to manifest around this same topic.  It does not matter if the list is exactly the same day after day. Be granular. It may feel silly or strange when your actual life is not in line with your imagined life, but stick with this process and you will ignite important shifts in your experience. If you are writing about your work situation, describe your projects, your office, your co-workers, the environment, your pay. If you are writing about money, describe exactly how much you need and detail the cost of each thing you will be able to purchase. Maybe you are envisioning your new dream partner. What qualities do you see? How do they make you feel? Specificity is important as you manifest your dreams.

It is important that you stick with this process for a minimum of thirty days. Remember, in order for something to become a habit, it has to be done regularly. A habit is formed when the practice becomes automatic. You no longer have to think about doing it. Like brushing your teeth. Optimally you will continue for 90 days.  

As you write down your active visualization, you are literally disrupting your thinking. Your new uplifted thoughts are beginning to take hold. Risking that I sound a little “woo-woo” for a divorce attorney and mediator, you actually are energetically recalibrating your life experience through this process.

Step Three: REALIZE

It may feel like all of this active visualization is silly or a waste of your energy, but it is the key that allows you to manifest your dreams. Stick with it and allow your inner child mind to take hold. As you tap into your mind’s more creative crevices, you will begin to experience an inner transformation. As if by magic, with the constant positive interrupting of your internal narrative you will find your circumstances beginning to shift. The important piece of this practice is the clear imagination of the qualities you wish to bring to life.  Engaging habitually in the daily internalization practice, especially on the more difficult days will be pivotal in shaking up your internal messaging. As your thinking clears, your inner narrative shifts.  

This process should be engaging and fun. Remember that each day, each moment is an opportunity for a new unfolding.

Divorce can feel like your life is spinning out of control. But with the right tools and support, you have the opportunity to shape your life and design a bright new future. When you take the time to get clear, you give yourself the tools to manifest your dreams and create a new vision for yourself, your family and your future. 

It’s the start of a new decade and a new year. Whatever turmoil your divorce has caused so far, you can create a new narrative for yourself. You and your Ex can truly thrive and be Better Apart in 2020.

P.S. Want more tools and resources to stay positive during a divorce? Download my Free Divorce Survive & Thrive Kit below!


With support and strength,

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DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
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