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My Next Chapter Begins.......

The Next Chapter
Life after divorce

I write this knowingly that I may be judged harshly by some. I am writing this to share something very deep and personal to my readers. In the early stages of my writing I was an open book with my life and I shared somewhat more personal stories. In many posts I spoke about a range of topics including my fears of pregnancy and getting my fitness shape back after having C-sections and other significant events in my life. I've made some shifts the last couple of years with my writing. I chose to use more of an informative and dryer tone sticking to subjects regarding strength training, kettlebell tutorials, and inspirational students or recipes. I'm finally ready to take the risk to open up to everyone and share with you a glimpse of my new life.

Ending A Marriage

A couple of years ago my marriage ended and I became a single parent. The moment we separated I felt as if I jumped off the highest bridge and dove head first into rough muddy waters. As a result, I experienced difficulty breathing, nausea, extreme highs and lows, and a considerable number of crying spells. I wasn't a crier before, so I felt I lost control. The tears of pain were filled with a frantic amount of guilt and fear. I felt utterly confused and crippled as to why a "strong" woman like me was having these low points of feeling so weak.

Processing the Stages

I'd like to highlight and make it known that ending a marriage, especially one with kids, is not the easy way out. It's hard on everyone. The only way I was able to cope was by visualizing and knowing that I'd be happier on the other side. As I swam water upstream and nearly drowned in the storm, I continued to focus on the beautiful island, the rainbow that awaited: The island of happiness, independence, balance, peace and harmony. Luckily with an incredibly supportive family and with friends who stuck by me, I was able to move through each stage. I want to deeply thank my friends that reached out to me without judgment and supported me during that time.

Discovering Self

After my separation/divorce, I didn't know who I was anymore. I felt like a scared little girl. All I knew is that I was a mom and business owner. I had forgotten what it's like to be me. I felt as if I'd entered a new dimension like the twilight zone. My confidence was low and it was hard not to experience feelings of vulnerability. My judgment felt impaired at times and I didn't trust my own decisions. After some trial and error, I eventually discovered who I could trust along the way and the people I chose to surround myself with. Isn't that just part of life anyway?

Being Away from My Kids

As an overprotective and hands-on mom, just thinking about not being continually with my kids made me panic. When they were born I changed my whole career structure to be able to be around them as much as possible. Just the thought of not being able to kiss them every night before bed or be there when they woke up became a harsh reality. I found this to be the most painful part of all. I discovered during my time with my kids, the quality time that was spent was taken to another level.

The Storm

Dissolving a marriage is one of the most emotional and draining experiences for anyone. Just like when someone loses someone, there can be major grieving periods. In rare circumstances, I've heard of very peaceful and amicable parting of ways, which is the ideal. A true test of strength for me was being able to create a bubble of happiness around me, without it being punctured during the emotional hurricane. When each mini cyclone passed, I made an effort to have small victory celebrations. Celebrating love and happiness became my religion.

During the process of adjusting to my new life, my career took a huge dive. Creative skills and writing were nonexistent and I was completely drained. I used any energy I had to sustain the art of juggling kids, paying a slew of bills, and training my students. Writing and filming took the back seat. Luckily my students were very understanding during this major transitional time.

The Kettlebell Body fitness DVD was born during this time.  I was still in the middle of the storm, but felt pulled to create this DVD. The workouts were very empowering for me. I was beginning to get my strength back and my stress levels started to diminish. This was the start of regaining myself and physique. The 4 generations of powerful women that were featured all had gone through hardships in their lives, yet overcame them. 

Dating Myself

I created a new relationship with myself as I began to feel more whole and complete. Initially I was incapable of doing this. I was carrying bitterness around and banned the thought of ever getting married again. Dating myself was a very gratifying experience. Being alone forced me to rely on myself and develop a new level of independence. Relationships with my friends became stronger and much deeper during. My happiness levels became less of a roller coaster ride and much more consistent. I was beginning to feel like I could accomplish anything. Looking back over the years I realized more and more that discovering who I am again, was a gift from God.

Whole Again

Becoming whole again took time, along with the practice of letting go. Letting go of the past and guilt, while moving through a stagnant limbo state, became the key to feeling more complete. Doing it all on my own was an invigorating feeling. It was at this time my physical strength was at it's all time high. It was almost supernatural how physically strong I became and honestly I didn't even try that hard. I even wrote an article about it here. The most important part of all is that my precious girls were happy and were adjusting. They continued to thrive in school and make lots of friends. Knowing they had so much love surrounding them allowed me to move past the guilt I was carrying.

Opening My Heart

 I finally felt as if I became a strong woman inside and out with control of my feelings. Several months in to my new sense of wholeness, the impossible happened to me. I didn't ask for it. In fact, I didn't even want it, nor did I trust it. I sure as hell wasn't ready to feel vulnerable or dependent on someone. I was afraid of being hurt and didn't want to chance losing my sense of being whole. I had just healed, recovered from being in the frying pan and was finally enjoying ME!

Falling for someone that was on a very similar path as me, was the last thing I expected to happen. It was as if we had been riding tandem on the same wave and finally collided. I admit, I broke the student and teacher relationship rule, for the first time.  It wasn't until months in to his training journey, while the transformational process was in effect, did we form a friendship outside of training.

Our lives were revitalized in more ways than one. This is where Kettlebell Revelation stems from. My 8th DVD, represents a new beginning and a new chapter with my new partner.

Well...... The rest is history.....

Blessed to have more to love

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MissTBee said…
Words cannot express how you must be feeling getting this post out. I do not know exactly how you are/were feeling, but I have been in a very similar situation and love is the only thing that pulled me through. Thank you for opening your heart and letting us "in". I'm sure there will be people out there that will be terrible to you for this post, but just know that I love you as so many others do. I think you are a very brave, beautiful, inspirational, and one of the strongest role-models out there. Eventhough, I do not know you personally, I feel closer to you and I hope every day is filled with love and happiness for you and your family. You deserve it!
Melody said…
I could not be happier for you and your newfound happiness. I know it's been a rough journey for you, and no one deserves true happiness more. I love you so much, and am so excited for all your beautiful tomorrows!! <3 <3 <3
Tempest Sharp said…
Oh Lauren, i'm so glad you shared this. so many times we "follow" people on fb, buy people's videos in stores, or online, and we really don't know anything about them at all. You are such a beautiful woman, and i'm happy that you have found new love. Is he the same guy in the new video that just came out? i just got mine today..... You are so beautiful. thanks again for sharing such a intimate part of your life.
Meghan said…
Great article! Thank you for sharing. I had a feeling after reading his transformation that you two had a closer relationship. :)

i understand your pain of divorce with children. I am still trying to recover and learn how date. It's a damn roller coaster!

So happy for you!
CM said…
Thank you for post..I can so relate to your journey..I had a very similar experience myself and am very happy for you and your partner! The kids look so happy too..
Debi said…
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. I can relate to much of it, as I have been a single mum of two special needs teens for 10 years. They do not often see their Dad (never my choice - always encouraging their relationship) so I am truly all they have. I went on my first date last weekend and it was followed by several hours of meltdowns and crying by my children. Despite my years of learning myself and inner work, I don't think finding friendship or companionship is in the cards for me, it seems to be too late. Your story is inspiring regardless, and I wish you all the happiness in the world. Just received my DVD... can't wait to get started!
Lee's Bread said…
Thanks for sharing! I can understand what you are going through totally!!!
Lauren said…
I've been following you for years now, and I have always appreciated your openness and honesty. Thank you for telling us the next part of your story. Thank you for sharing your heart!
Hedy said…
What a beautiful love story, Lauren! I am SO happy for you and your new family!
Michelle said…
Oh Darling Girl.....5 years ago,my first hubby, Bob died of an aggressive rapid cancer...your DVDs and soothing voice were an oasis when the pain was too much for me to go to the gym....How wise your were - you didn't get reckless or self destructive, and you gave it time....and and your new partner have a joyous chemistry, and what a lesson for your kids - that life can hand you such trying times, but you work,you breathe, one foot in front of the other....and guess what, you didn't survive, you prevailed!!!! Thank you for all you do for our bodies and your raw honesty that touches everyone!
robin duncan said…
So much love for you Lauren. You are such a brave women and having been on the same journey myself at one time, I have the utmost respect. And how lovely that my daughter is helping out as well.
Love you!
Lauren Brooks said…
This post has been in my head for so long but wasn't sure if I had the courage to share. I'm happy I decided to and I truly appreciate your kind words
Lauren Brooks said…
Melody, thank you for being there for me! You're amazing and I wish you the same! Xoxo
Lauren Brooks said…
tempraven, Thank you for the beautiful compliments. Yes Todd is the same guy in the video that you just received. I hope you enjoy it.
Lauren Brooks said…
Meghan, I wish you the best of luck dealing with the pain you're experiencing. If I can recover so can you! Keep surrounding yourself with amazing friends and trying new activities.
I am glad you were able to figure out the transformation post clues. ;)
Lauren Brooks said…
CM, I appreciate your comment. I hope you are in a good place now. It's nice to know others can relate. I do hope you've found yourself and are enjoying what life has to offer.
Lauren Brooks said…
Debi , I'm so sorry to hear that you've had such a hard time opening up. Clearly everyone has their own time table of what makes them feel comfortable. Dating is not for everyone. Maybe meet up groups or common activities is the best way for you to integrate in with both female and male friends. That way the relationship can happen organically.

In any case, I'm hardly a relationship expert. LOL However, i hope you enjoy your kettlebell DVD! May it bring you extra strength and confidence during this time.
Lauren Brooks said…
Lauren, Thank you for being such a loyal "follower" and I truly appreciate your words. I'm glad this new chapter has set well with people and maybe even given some hope.
RastaB said…
What an amazing story! Thank you so much for being so transparent. No one could ever have planned the lows and highs that you have experienced.I wish you much happiness in the future! You all look like you belong together. Congratulations on getting yourself back and gaining much more! Much Respect!
Christine Hand said…
Beautifully written from the heart and so touching. Thank you for sharing, Lauren. Wishing a bright future for you all.
Lauren Brooks said…
In response to Michelle. There are no words of how devastating your journey must have been. To lose your husband to cancer. I hope you have been able to get through this. I am so honored that you found my DVD's helpful during your healing process and beyond. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Wishing you the very best!

With Love,

Lauren Brooks said…
Robin, You've been such an inspiration to me. I know you understand first hand what it was like. It's quite incredible that your daughter is also helping us out. I knew I held out finding someone for a reason. She's perfect!
You are amazing Lauren! Thank you for sharing your story.
You are such an inspiration and a beautiful soul.
Jan K-G said…
After my divorce way back in 1994, I remember that horrible feeling of knowing I would not get to kiss my sons goodnight every single night, of not being able to see them sleeping, their faces angelic every night before bed. When I found myself in the supermarket right after kids were let out of school, I'd see women there with their kids, and I'd think to myself, "I used to be a mother." It was heartbreaking, and the biggest regret of my life is that I wasn't able to provide my sons with the one thing I wanted most to give them . . . an intact family. I know the divorce was best for all of us, really, and my sons grew into wonderful human beings in spite of it. It took me much longer (fourteen years!) to find, no, to be OPEN to the RIGHT guy, but we've been married for eight years now, and very happily so.
Lauren Brooks said…
Kelowna, Thank you! I feel the exact same way about you. So happy that I've met you and get to be apart of your life.
Lauren Brooks said…
Jan, I can not tell you what a happy story this is. Wow 14 years is definitely some time. But good things are worth waiting for. Thank you for sharing. Wonderful how great people turn out despite the heart aches of life that they can be dealt with.

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