You will laugh throughout this book and feel inspired to be your best self.
The author realized that life is a journey of change. Embrace it.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Kim Marie Mahfood
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Kim Marie Mahfood
All rights reserved.
"Don't fake being OK. You'll only hurt yourself. Be real with what you're going through, just don't let it consume you. Balance."
Heart Centered Rebalancing
Dating has changed over the years. I remember as a child going to Space Mountain at Disney World and being fascinated with their predictions of the future. Small cordless phones that fit in your hand, televisions floating on a wall, little ovens to cook food — what we now call microwaves. I realized the other day that we are living in that decade now, as hard as it is to believe, and the dating world has seen even grander changes.
So I guess I should back up to not-so-long-ago, when I first started dating my ex-husband in 1999. The scene was boy meets girl, boy asks girl out on a date, they court by calling each other on the phone, boy gets on one knee and asks girl to marry him, and they live happily ever after.
That was how we imagined it, but the reality was that my ex-husband became an alcoholic and made this girl's life hell.
Let's not dwell on the past. This story is about life after divorce and the experience of dating from 2010 to 2015.
Ginger Love is my name. I'm a brunette, five foot three, and a former ballet dancer. I was forty-one years old in 2010. I am petite, which means short, and I love to eat good, healthy food; therefore, I am always looking for the next healthy diet to try out — green juice cleanses, herb garden grower, kale, chia seeds — you name it, I know it.
When I got divorced, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my married life. That goes to show that a bad marriage can make you miserable and undesirable to yourself and others. Right before I got divorced, I slipped a vertebra in my back, and the doctor told me that, for the rest of my life, I had to do core work and exercise to avoid surgery. That began my journey toward the discovery of yoga and Pilates. Finally, I was working out again.
I got a trainer who helped with band therapy and weight training, and Julie helped me with all my physical therapy exercises. We gossiped, of course, every Monday about the men in my life and gabbed about being divorced.
My Pilates instructor was my gay friend Uri. I went to his studio to work on the various Pilates equipment and received additional advice each Thursday about the men in my life. Let's face it, gay men give the best advice, and I knew whether I looked good or not just by his facial expressions. I love honest people.
Then there was the straight guy trainer at the gym, Bruce, who gave me guy advice about what men want and don't want in a woman. He told me to make sure I smelled good for the guys when I went out on a date. Well, of course, I would take a shower and wear perfume. He had me sweating like a dog and I am sure I didn't smell the best while working out with a bunch of guys all around me! This gym smells like dirty socks.
I took yoga classes at the gym and at a yoga shala. (Shala means "house" in Sanskrit, so it is a house of yoga.) This is what really helped me heal spiritually.
My quest of rediscovering myself was underway. Learning to live in the present moment, not the past or the future, was my lesson. I prayed a lot during this time, and I learned forgiveness and understanding. I went to Mass every Sunday and lit candles and said prayers to Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, Archangel Michael, and Archangel Raphael. In my prayers, I always asked God to lead me on the right path, to guide me so that my decisions would be true to myself and for the good of all.
My dreams had been shattered. You know the famous saying, "And they lived happily ever after." My "Cinderella Dreams" washed away with one statement: "I am not happy anymore and I need to leave."
If your spouse tells you these words, believe them. Your husband or wife is going to leave, and nothing will change that, no matter how many prayers you pray. The writing is on the wall.
Looking back now, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but at the time, my world crumpled.
The worst part was the thought of telling my family and friends because if I did that, it would become a reality that I had failed. So I decided not to tell anyone except one close friend who gave me advice along the way.
Jucy told me about a spiritual medium her friends were going to. The medium had told her friends exact details of what would happen in the future, and everything he said happened.
My ex, Dante, told me on Holy Thursday in April 2010, just as we were leaving for Miami to meet my aunt and uncle and to watch "The Tennis," that he was not happy and he wanted to move out and live in Atlanta. Of course, I was in denial that this was not going to happen. So I went to the psychic, Leonard, in May, and he told me that by September of that year, Dante would be out of the house, that the divorce was happening, and that I would marry again in my lifetime.
I was devastated but determined to prove Leonard wrong.
Leonard also told me that Dante's father would die that year. Dante's dad really was sick, and Dante had been planning to visit him in May. With this piece of information, I encouraged Dante to spend as much time in Tennessee with his father as he could in case what Leonard said proved to be true; at least he would have that time with his dad.
His father died right before the Fourth of July. I attended the funeral, and Dante came back with me to Florida. I was sure that this had changed everything and that he would not leave me after all.
But his drinking worsened, and he became suicidal at times. He refused to admit he had a problem when he announced that he was moving to Atlanta. I was actually relieved at the time; I wanted him out of the house. I could not take the drunk every day who refused to stop. He was out of the house by August 19, and Leonard's prediction came true.
Damn that Leonard!!!
In hindsight, though, thank you, Leonard.
I won't go into how lonely I was or the amount of tears shed. I was a strong woman. Thank goodness for routines. I went to work every day and tried not to cry, and I worked out at night. But I had to reestablish a social life that consisted of just me. It was a sad time because I was not sure what was going to happen.
I have to say that the worst part of any divorce is telling your family and friends that your marriage is over. Telling my parents first was the worst, as it made it a reality. Seeing my mom cry broke my heart. I didn't tell my extended family until November, right before Thanksgiving. To avoid the questions at Thanksgiving, they were all warned not to bring up the subject. Of course, it was the elephant in the room.
I drank a lot of wine that Thanksgiving.
My family is Jamaican and Lebanese, so family gatherings remind me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The entire family of aunts, uncles, and cousins are always at every event, and we are like extended sisters and brothers. We are very close. It's not uncommon to have fifty people for just a simple family dinner on a Sunday. So for any life event, all you have to do is tell one person in the family and, by the end of the day, everyone knows the news. Sometimes this works out quite well.
I gave my mom the go-ahead to relay the news, as I did not have the energy to call and tell anyone. Then came the looks and words of consolation at Thanksgiving:
"Are you okay?"
"Come here and give me a hug and a kiss. I know I am not supposed to talk about it, but we love you."
By the time Thanksgiving was over, everyone was talking about the divorce and what had happened.
My divorce was filed. He was in town that November, and we signed the papers close to our fifth wedding anniversary.
My first New Year's Eve, I decided to show myself a little love and scheduled an afternoon spa day. I had a facial, massage, and mani/pedi. I went home and I had a bubble bath and then I cooked myself a lamb dinner, something I loved but my ex did not. It was a romantic dinner for one.
I went to bed early and woke up refreshed and went to the gym. Yes I had conflicted emotions, but it was all about me for the new year ahead.
He came back to town in January 2011 after I went to court on my own and the deal was completed. He moved all of his things out of the house while I was on vacation.
I went to Costa Rica with my roommate from college, Chrissy, that January. Singlehood began once again.
The best thing anyone can do is travel with a girlfriend to an island after any sort of life tragedy. The days consisted of drinking, smoking lots of cigarettes, having spa days, and swimming. I took advantage of pool activities, float-up bars, casinos, hiking, golfing, and amazing dinners. Need I say more about what an exquisite way to start singlehood this was? Of course, I talked about my ex a little. What a great friend, though, to put up with me and love me all the same.
"Give love without asking for anything in return, not even 'thank you.' That is unconditional kindness; everything else is ego."
Timber HawkeyeCHAPTER 2
How to Date Again
"Whatever the problem, be part of the solution, don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles."
How do you date again? How do you give that come-hither look to a guy? I have not been in this world of dating for quite some time, and things have changed.
First, there is social media: Facebook is a new one, where guys will start instant messaging you, which is communicating through the computer.
Second, when you exchange phone numbers, there is texting now. A guy asked me for my phone number and then he texted me the entire time of our relationship. What happened to speaking on the phone? He even planned our entire date via text. I am completely baffled by this new way of dating.
Then there's online dating through Match.com, OkCupid, eHarmony, Christian Mingle, and various other sites. Add to that the dating apps for your cellphone — Tinder and Hinge — where you swipe left if you don't like the look of a guy or swipe right if you do. If you are a match, then and only then can you communicate with each other. I find these online pictures to be very shallow, as you become very critical of people's faces. It's kind of like seeing someone in a bar; you have no idea about any chemistry. For instance, when you meet in person, you let some flaws go. Because someone is so funny, say, you can ignore that they are going bald or have a paunch. But when I check a guy out online, he needs eight-pack abs and a model-like, chiseled face or there is no way in hell I am swiping right! Channing Tatum becomes the new standard, and my married friends tell me I need to be more realistic.
I am not a fan of online dating. I once received a long-winded message from a widower explaining why I must contact him, and he signed off with "Soft French Kisses." Ewww, are you kidding me? I had not even met this man! I was sorry his wife died, but really.
I chose not to respond to his message.
There is also speed dating, where you speak to twelve men for six minutes each and you note whether you like them or not. Then there is "Lock and Key." It usually takes place at a bar. The guys have locks and the girls have keys and, as an icebreaker, the girls approach the guys and ask to unlock their locks and you can win prizes.
Then there is "It's Just Lunch," an expensive matchmaking program. They tell you what to wear and then match you up with a horrible guy, such as a shouting bill collector, or a pouting jilted lover who blames everything on you, or a gruff telemarketer. I never did this one; a friend told me about her experience and I decided it wasn't for me.
"Oh Ginger, don't think that you are going to get these model-like men. It's a tough world out there. Just be happy if you get anyone to date." This is what some so-called friends said to me.
Who are these people and why am I friends with them? I have to say when you experience a life tragedy, you begin to realize who your true friends are and who you need to start eliminating from your life.
"Oh really," I would say. "Well maybe that is what happened to your friends, but I am not going to settle for just anyone. I would rather stay single than date any more losers. I don't need just any man. I will be happy for companionship for the future, but I am totally content being single, working out, and pursuing my interests and travel." Who are these people and where do they come from? So much jealousy and anger exist, and staying away from that energy is a must in life.
I remember others saying to me that I was way too nice to Dante when we broke up. I wanted to have an easy divorce. He kept his money and I kept mine. We never had children together, so there was no real reason to keep in touch, nor did I want to. I am thankful for that outcome and I am blessed in that aspect. I believe in karma and I could not live with myself if I was mean in any way.
I decided I would prove these so-called friends wrong, and thus I launched myself into a self-discovery quest of yoga, working out, losing weight, and letting the chips fall where they may.
"Life is never going to give you what you don't have the courage to ask for."
The Light Workers AcademyCHAPTER 3
"Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now."
I have never been one to jump right into dating again. I need years to recover before I can actually give my heart to anyone. I never understood the men or women who can just pick up and even get married right away.
The wife of a family friend died from cancer. During her ordeal, this friend never left her side, and he was devastated when she was finally gone. Less than a year later, he went to Lebanon and had his sister find three Lebanese women to choose from to become his next wife. He said that he was lonely and did not want to go through life without a woman. He is waiting for the one-year mark since his wife's death to pass so he can get married again.
That is not me. I want to be alone, not lonely, to feel the emotions and become strong again. A strong foundation is never shaken, no matter what life obstacles get placed in your path in life.
I love yoga.
I love yoga class.
I love Jonas; he is such an amazing instructor. How old is he, I wonder? I bet he is in his twenties. He is so dreamy. I love his classes. I am going to go to Lululemon and buy some yoga clothes so that my body will look amazing. Oh my God, he works at Lululemon! I can't let him know my size. I am going to have to avoid him and find a girl to assist me. Oh, thank God a girl came over.
Well, it turns out that Lululemon sizes run smaller on me. Normally, I am a size 8/10, but I fit into Lululemon's size 4/6. Oh my goodness, it sucks my butt in and makes it look small. This is making my butt look hot!
I am loving yoga, yoga clothes, and yoga classes. I feel free, and I love these mantras and meditations. I can make things happen by concentrating on a subject. I never knew how powerful my mind was. I am now calling God "The Universe." When did that happen? What would my Catholic school upbringing think of this?
Hi, God. It's me, Ginger. Is it okay to call you "The Universe"? Do I have to go to confession? I think I will say a Hail Mary and an Our Father just to be sure. Holy guilt trip! I think I am going to run to confession on my way home, just to be safe. I wonder if anyone else does this.
Wow, that class went fast!
So this became a daily thing, going to the gym and taking yoga classes, and this constant rhetoric going on in my head for a year. Who am I fooling — it's still going on. Then I discovered hot yoga, where I sweat buckets and lose up to three pounds in each class. My hair looks really frizzy, like a drowned rat. Who is going to look at me in this yoga class, looking like that and smelling like sweat?
The beautiful thing is that I do not care. I am loving the way I feel, and my body feels so free practicing yoga. My back feels amazing and I am keeping my body limber. I also love the fact that every age group is represented in yoga class, from teenagers to ninety-year-olds. I feel yummy and content.
Accept what is, Let go of what was and have faith in what could be." Heart Centered Rebalancing
Excerpted from Ginger's Quest by Kim Marie Mahfood. Copyright © 2015 Kim Marie Mahfood. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Divorce, 1,
Chapter 2: How to Date Again, 6,
Chapter 3: Rediscovering Me, 9,
Chapter 4: More Self-Discovery, 12,
Chapter 5: First Guy, 15,
Chapter 6: Guy Friend, 18,
Chapter 7: Brazilian, 20,
Chapter 8: Surfer, 22,
Chapter 9: Alone Time, 25,
Chapter 10: New Year, 28,
Chapter 11: Persian, 30,
Chapter 12: Speed Dating, 33,
Chapter 13: Calling In the One, 36,
Chapter 14: Me Time, 38,
Chapter 15: Angel Reading, 40,
About the Author, 45,