The past 9 months have been a time of great transition for me. On July 1st my divorce from Ryan was finalized. Ironic that this closure came to fruition so close to July 4th, Independence Day.

I say this with a sense of bittersweet-ness. Even though letting go of my marriage with Ryan was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I will always honor and appreciate the time we’ve shared together.

We’ve had a lot of good times. He knows how to comfort me and make me feel safe when I feel scared, and he’s helped remind me many-a-times of my own amazingness when I couldn’t see it on my own.

Our relationship is evolving and now we are supporting each other in a new way. I’m excited for him to achieve all of the things he wants and deserves for his life.

Most people see divorce as a terrible thing, but I actually think this decision was one of the best things we could have ever done for each other.

I truly love seeing him stepping into all of the important parts of himself that he had been ignoring for such a long time and I am happy to see him exploring and getting clear on what he wants most for his life.

Expanding My Capacity For Love

Ever since making the decision to go our separate ways, I’ve felt this shift within myself. It started slow—because it was scary—but now it has picked up some serious momentum.

This shift is in my capacity for love.

My capacity to love someone even if we decide we aren’t meant to be married anymore.

My capacity to love open-heartedly in general with no expectation of receiving anything in return and without any guarantee of what the future holds.

My capacity to feel love and intimacy with many people in my life, not just my romantic partner.

For a while, love and intimacy was a “back burner” priority for me. Even though I wanted it so much and tried in many ways to ask for it, deep down, I was okay with not experiencing it to the degree that I truly wanted because I secretly told myself that connection and intimacy was a waste of time.

I had big financial dreams that required a lot of attention and I rationalized that once I achieved those goals, I’d have plenty of time for connection and intimacy.

Better yet, maybe they would come into my life on their own because once I achieved my financial goals, all the stress would magically wash away. Pssshhh.

This sounds so silly coming from me, considering how parallel it is to what I teach related to believing all your body-image problems will be solved when you reach that certain number on the scale or the waistband of your pants.

Anywaysies, when Ryan and I decided to go our separate ways, at its core for me, that decision was about opening myself up to love—love that I had been craving for a long time but holding apart from myself.

Over the past nine months, this capacity to give and receive love has expanded to the point that right now it feels like it is in HD.

I feel so much love from the inside out—in some moments, my heart literally feels like it’s going to burst.

The only way I know to describe it is like my heart has cracked open and fresh new pieces of it are being exposed.

It’s crazy to me how present, happy, and “awake” I feel in ordinary, simple moments like:

  • Talking on the phone with my Dad, who lives across the country, and hearing about his latest 5K race with his work buddies.

  • Sitting on the floor of my sister’s bedroom and talking to her and her boyfriend about food and other random things.

  • Taking a nap on my couch with a breeze coming through the window, waking up and basking in the blissdom for a few moments before getting on with my day.

  • Being held—like really held—looking into someone’s eyes and feeling their love without them saying a word.

It’s a bizarre feeling to still have the big goals while at the same time being so completely satisfied with where I am at right now.

I’m not trying to make anyone happy, I’m just doing what feels right. I’m not concerned, in a hurry, or worried about many of the things I used to be concerned about. I’m at peace with trusting the flow.

I feel like I’ve let go of the guardrails and taken the Universe’s hand.

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately with family, friends, and clients and their first question is, “What did you do to start opening up to love in this way?”

Here are some of the things I did that helped this shift build momentum.

How I Opened Myself Up To Love

  • Put my phone away and had real heart-to-heart conversations with people, asked questions, and then REALLY listened to their answers

  • Paid less attention to Facebook

  • Made a list of 5 things I appreciate at the end of each day

  • Gave myself permission to do something every day that I really wanted to do

  • Looked for the positives in everyone I interacted with

  • Spent time in nature

  • Moved my body every day in ways that felt good

  • Ate foods that were nourishing to my body and tasted good too

I didn’t (and still don’t) do these things perfectly every time, but the effort and focus is what matters. Every day is a new adventure, a new chance to practice, and another opportunity to deepen my connection with myself, which in turn, deepens my capacity for love even more.

I’m just so freakin’ excited about life right now. I’m so excited for more adventures in the seemingly ordinary because I am so satisfied with what is and yet eager for more.

I’m writing this to you from a plane, on my way home from a visit with family and friends in Michigan. Next week, more family and friends are all coming together to celebrate my birthday with me.

I have no idea what this fresh new, 33rd year of my life holds. But I’m not scared or in a hurry anymore.

I’m a vessel for love and I’m open to receiving it.

I know that my purpose in this world is to feel joy and the more joy I experience, the more joy I offer the world and those around me. That is my gift, my power, and what I am here to do.

Awakening this capacity for love is a part of that journey of joy and without Ryan, our marriage and divorce, and my commitment to myself to love open-heartedly, I don’t know if I would ever have had the opportunity to feel the magnitude of love I feel now.

Messy, crazy, not black and white, confusing, scary at times… life doesn’t always look the way we think it’s supposed to, but in between, after, and in spite of all that are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

In the end, my heart—my intuition, the Universe—is guiding the way. And I am ready for more but so so happy with the tender, sweet, intimate, love-filled, seemingly ordinary moments I get to experience right now.

xo Sheila