Monday, March 26, 2007

D-I-V-O-R-C-E--Is What You Make It

Whenever I think of divorce I recall Tammy Wynette’s hit song of the same name. This brings up memories of what a traumatic time my divorce was for me and my children more than thirty years ago.

At the time I didn’t realize that the way I had chosen to go through the “emotional earthquake” would change the course of my life. It would also result in great emotional and spiritual growth, as well as insights and blessings.

My husband and I were both very young. We had three children in fairly rapid succession, and were just starting to grow up ourselves but, unfortunately in different directions that neither of us was mature enough to have foreseen or imagined.

The next part of our drama was fairly typical of the times: After we went our separate ways, he still had his career, and went on to new relationships and creating the future he desired. I had the children, a very limited amount of savings, no career, no job and no house to call my own. With two teenage girls and a young boy, the prospects for the future at that time didn’t look promising.

It did get better—but not quickly—because it’s in the daily struggle that the hard choices are made and valuable lessons are learned. I came home to where my family lived for emotional support, rented a townhouse and landed a job that would eventually set me on the path to a successful career.

During the years of struggle for me and my children, I was painfully aware of the traumatic effect the divorce had on them, yet I believed what the family-life counselor told me. “It’s simple,” he said. “If you are all right, your children will be all right.”

With the deep love I had for my children, a positive attitude and a never-give-up approach, I was determined to make the best of an unfortunate and now all-too-common life experience. I began to discover there was a lot more to me than I had ever imagined. I tapped into a wellspring of inner strength, intelligence and spirituality that I never knew I had. Along with this came the sad realization that I could not shield my offspring from the emotional burden of divorce. It hurts everyone. I could only pray that the challenges would make them stronger, wiser human beings.

It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t overnight, but it was happening. I think the saving grace in our wounded-ness was that it forced us to turn within and seek a connection with the sanctuary of love, wisdom and guidance that is within everyone. As the years passed, I watched with relief and gratitude as my children began to emerge from the heartbreak of divorce and become independent, mature adults.

My other heart’s desire was fulfilled when I met and later married a wonderful, compatible life partner. We had more than twenty blissful years together, and even his lengthy decline and death yielded blessings for us both, not the least of which is the book “The Heart Knows the Way,” which chronicled our incredible experience.

Today, five years after my beloved husband’s death, some people might think I would be lonely and sad. Nothing could be further from the truth. The gift I received in my dramatic struggle was to focus on the lessons to be learned in every situation, to be grateful for life and to act from the highest and best that is in me. I can honestly say I have never been happier in my life.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available from, other online booksellers, and through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Stay Tuned: I Am a Work In Progress

In a recent column called “The Great Gift in Listening,” I talked about the importance of truly listening to others as a way of stopping the habit of objectifying others so that we could rationalize not caring about them. Shortly after writing that column a real-life situation came up that dramatically pointed out how this unwise practice had become a part of my behavior. Fortunately it also gave me the opportunity to learn some important lessons.

I have a relative who I have avoided for years because the person directs irrational and out-of-control emotional rages at others, including me. Immediately after a recent unsettling experience I realized the following: This person wasn’t going to change. Listening wasn’t the appropriate solution. And, it was time for me to choose a proactive approach for the sake of my health and well being.

I recalled that when the behavior surfaced years ago I had no tools with which to deal with it. I simply worked at quickly stuffing any thoughts and emotions I held about the person and the incident so that I could forget the whole thing. Now I know that the emotions I hold about the person and their behavior links the event and the person to me. Until I can release the energies I have invested in this situation, I will be emotionally and energetically tied to this undesirable interaction.

While writing my book “The Heart Knows the Way,” I learned a technique to clear energy held around unnecessary mental-emotional baggage that is no longer positive, desirable or life enhancing. [“Clear Now and Create the Life You Desire” is available on my Web site at]

After a few clearing sessions, I became aware that no matter when the situation or event takes place, and whether we remember it or not, it becomes a part of our cellular structure. The energy remains red hot and wired so that when something triggers it, the brain automatically sends us the same emotional reaction we had at the time of the original incident. The amount of emotion it brings up depends totally on the degree of unresolved emotion-energy that we still have invested in the issue.

The good news is that each time the energy-emotion comes up it is an opportunity for those involved to release the energy and be free.

I am fully aware that it isn’t possible to change another person, or wise to try to force their conscious awareness. But I can choose my actions and reactions. I also know that if I am involved in this situation, there are lessons for me to learn as well.

My desire is to be free of this issue and my emotional reaction to this person’s behavior. I also realize that what the other person chooses to do or not to do is none of my business. I decided to begin forgiveness work for myself and the other person for any real or imagined wrong we have ever done to each other, past or present. I would continue the energy-clearing technique, and direct daily thoughts of love and blessings to the person.

I will know I am healed [free] when I no longer hold any energy-emotion around this issue or the person.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY—How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within is available from, other online booksellers, and through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 12, 2007

You Can Trust Your Feelings!

When faced with a recent business decision, I ignored my instincts and went instead with the “right” or rational course of action.

After several weeks of uneasy feelings about my choice, I reversed my decision. Despite any embarrassment this would cause me, or the apologies I would have to make to the other person, I followed my feelings. Once I made the decision, I experienced an immediate sense of inner peace.

After some reflection, I realize that my action flies in the face of what is considered sacred in Western culture—taking in information logically and rationally with our minds, then letting our minds tell us how we should feel.

This intellectual approach forms the basis of our culture and our civilization. Any thought of trusting our inner feelings is often discounted, denied and ignored as being unscientific, unwise, irrational and—worse than that—“feminine” and unmanly. Honoring our feelings is diametrically opposed to what we’ve been taught to believe, which is that the only path to truth and reality is through the logical and rational mind.

I seriously question that concept. In my experience the lingering uneasiness came about because my inner-guidance system [instincts-intuition-feelings] was not in harmony with the decision I made, and the feelings just remained constant to remind me I was out of alignment with my inner self.

The idea of evaluating situations solely with our minds and then letting our minds determine our feelings is no longer acceptable to me. I know that in many cultures around the world people receive information with their entire being. I don’t think that we are any different. I believe our bodies are hard-wired to evaluate everything first with our feelings, and then to partner with the mind to complete the process. In our scientific zeal we have simply gotten the whole thought-process thing backward.

I trust the incredibly intricate design and perfection of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual bodies. I believe we have everything within us to help us function in life with the best possible outcome. Feelings are a natural part of us and have a positive purpose in our lives. It doesn’t make sense to deny and ignore our feelings. When we do this, it robs us of one of the great gifts of being human.

I have discovered that now when I honor and trust my feelings, I make the “right” decision the first time.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author's book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY--How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within, is available from, other online booksellers and major book stores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Spring Is on the Wing ... Again

I love this time of year. The Earth puts on an exuberant show of abundance and beauty, which is such a confirmation of life. My hot-pink tulips were a blessed sight during the recent and short-lived rainy weather. Soon the miniature lilies, gardenias and the jasmine bush will be blooming and filling the air with their heady scents.

Each day the mallards, geese, blue heron and other waterfowl fly low over my house several times a day to and from the nearby lakes. I can hear the familiar honking sound of the geese as the v-formation comes into view.

This is the second time that a quail couple has returned and selected a large flower pot on my patio in which to deposit their eggs. Last year I was delighted as I watched twelve little fluffy puffs of new life either rappel down the asparagus-fern fronds and land in a soft plump on the walkway, or simply say “Geronimo” [in quail-speak] and bravely bail out. The mother quail was around the corner calling to them and the baby quail did what generations of their ancestors had done and scampered straight to the sound of safety.

This year I discovered there were seventeen eggs. I never bothered to learn the gestation period, as I trusted my intuition to nudge me when it was time for the eggs to hatch.

Sure enough, one morning weeks later I was getting ready to leave for an appointment when something moved me to check the flower pot, which I could do by looking out the window. There before my eyes on the brickwork was an incredible scene--Mom and Dad and seventeen newly hatched dotting-and-darting bundles of life energy. I was mesmerized by the activity of what I thought was Life Survival Lesson No. 1. The baby quail were gathered in a loose, constantly wiggling and moving group. When they received their directions from the parents, they quickly scurried to another section of the patio. Then just as eagerly they hurried back for further instructions on how to make it through their first days.

When I returned home in mid-afternoon the whole family was still there. I delighted in watching them until dusk when the baby quail finally mastered the six-foot flight to the top of the patio wall and then they were all gone. My delight faded for a moment as I thought of how tiny and eager they were for life’s adventure, and what might await them. Yet, this was quickly replaced with the joy and gratitude I felt for this rare and blessed gift. It allowed me once again to connect up close and personal with nature, the true language of our being. I also knew the adults were doing exactly what quail parents have been doing since the dawn of their time on Earth, preparing the next generation for yet another spring.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author's book THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY--How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within, is available from, other online booksellers and major book stores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.