Today on The Fire Insider Her, we invite you to listen to this thought-provoking and insightful episode as Diane and Shaunna unravel the taboo of divorce. Shaunna Lee offers insights into the added layers of pressure that society adds to marriage and divorce. The conversation touches on the fact that each situation can be unique and the need to answer to others for this deeply personal and complicated decision is one of the clear indicators of the stigma that still lingers around this life-altering decision.
The conversation challenges the prevailing belief that staying married at all costs should be celebrated and acknowledges the challenge and guilt that is part of being stuck in limbo. Instead, they discuss redirecting the focus toward the happiness and fulfillment of families, even if that means embracing the possibility of divorce. They also talk about the importance of self-care, self-discovery, uncovering personal strength, embracing the power of change, and the complexities of step-families and co-parenting after divorce. Join us for insights that have the power to ignite the fire within you!
Episode Diane referenced about she & Josh: Music & Self-Care
About Shaunna Lee
After nearly twenty years in Corporate America and surviving three divorces, Shaunna Lee, mom of four founded a business that helps women fall in love and make more money. Shaunna Lee is a best-selling author with a wealth of experience leading women through their own start-again moments. She offers one-on-one coaching and self-paced online courses. She also writes books and hosts a podcast. Her work centers around body/mind/soul alignment, falling in love, and learning to monetize one’s gifts. She helps her clients Align with who they truly are.
Shaunna’s Book: So You’re Divorced, So What?
How to connect with Shaunna
How to connect with Diane
Are you excited to get a copy of the workbook that Diane mentioned?
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Diane Schroeder [00:00:00]:
Welcome to The Fire Inside Her podcast. I'm your host, Diane Schroeder, inviting you to kick back, relax, and join myself and other travelers on the journey to authenticity. You are in a safe space to open your heart and mind, soak in inspiration, soak up wisdom and feel all the feels. Let's get started as we stoke the flames of your authentic self.
Diane Schroeder [00:00:38]:
Recently in the last 5 years, I've been through some significant life changes, including moving, changing careers, the death of a loved one. And did you know, divorce or separation is ranked number 2 in life's most stressful situations? That's right. Ending a relationship is really hard. And I have been divorced previously. And there is so much shame that surrounds divorce and ending a marriage. Regardless of what you know about the relationship or the people involved in it, I personally have felt the most judged in my life when ending a marriage. And here's the thing. We've only been marrying for love for a relatively short amount of time. We'll give it maybe 100 years. Prior to that, marriage was arranged. It was for land. It was for cows or cattle, maybe some silver or gold. And women were really given away as property in some cultures. So, to figure out what marriage really means is hard. And I believe that it's really hard to figure out how to be married and how to share a life with somebody if you're not sure who you are and if you don't know what you love and how you tick. I did not think I would ever get married again. And you will hear all about that in an episode of Josh and I, and I'll link that episode in the show notes. But marriage is tough, and navigating divorce is really tough. So, this week's guest, Shaunna Lee, we'll be sharing her journey through multiple marriages and the power of embracing change. Shaunna opens up about her experience with divorce, stepfamily dynamics, and the societal pressures surrounding marriage and divorce.
Diane Schroeder [00:03:01]:
She also discusses the importance of finding your voice and the healing process after a divorce, not to mention the impact it has on becoming a happier parent. So, get ready to be inspired as my guest, Shaunna, shares her story of transformation and finding strength in vulnerability. She also wrote a book all about divorce, and I will link that in the show notes as well. Welcome, Shaunna. I am so excited that you're here, and I think I say that after every single guest.
Shaunna Lee [00:03:41]:
Well, thank you. I'm super excited to be here.
Diane Schroeder [00:03:44]:
Yes. It's going to be amazing. Let's dive in with the random question. I would like to know what is the last book that you read or are currently reading that really has been impactful?
Shaunna Lee [00:03:59]:
This is probably going to be very relevant to our conversation. I don't know if impactful is how I would describe it just yet. I'm in the middle of reading Stepping In, Stepping Out. It's all about stepfamilies and it is quite the book. I've said it's tiny but mighty. I don't know who the author is. I'd have to go look it up. But this man was a professor at Stanford, I believe, so he's a smart dude. And it reads like a textbook. So, I feel like I'm doing homework when I'm reading it. Like, he's done all this research on stepfamilies and this whole concept of blended families, which is just this myth that exists that families are just going to blend together because in my experience, that's not how it works. Anyway, so he's providing some really good guidance. I think by the time I get to the end; I might say it's impactful, but that's what I'm currently reading.
Diane Schroeder [00:04:52]:
Oh, okay. I'm going to have to check it out as I am currently navigating that world right now, getting ready to get married here in a couple months. And,
Shaunna Lee [00:05:00]:
Dianne Schroeder [00:05:02]:
Thank you. And, yes, my partner's son is launched. He's out of the house. He's on his own. So, you know, that makes it somewhat easier if we just have mine, but it's still challenging.
Shaunna Lee [00:05:16]:
It is challenging. And I think, you know, we don't have really great examples of what stepfamilies should look like. You think about the pictures that we've had and it's been like The Brady Bunch, which is fiction. Like, this is not how it works. That was total fiction. I'll give you one tip that I've heard and maybe this will help your listeners that has been most helpful to me and that is if you take the age of the child at the time the stepfamily is created so my youngest daughter is 10. When her dad got married this year, she had 10 years with her father to create this bond, to know who he is, to know he's an authority. So, the expectation, I think a lot of people think is I'm going to get married and I'm going to have this instant bond with my stepchild. And what studies and research are actually showing is that it's going to take them that amount of time with the stepparent. So, it's going to take 10 years for her stepmom to potentially have a bond and create that connection that she has with her father. And so, I think that's really helpful if we step back and think, okay, this is a 10-year game I'm playing here. Like, I'm in the long game. This is not 6 months. You know, we hear the 1st year of marriage is the hardest. Well, with stepfamilies, whole different ballgame. Like, our expectations are just, I think, in society not realistic because we don't actually highlight that and show what a successful stepfamily looks like. Anyways, the book has been super helpful so far.
Diane Schroeder [00:06:46]:
Thank you for sharing that. And that does lead to good conversation. And my next question then would be, do you think that there's no really good model for step families or blended families because divorce is still so taboo.
Shaunna Lee [00:07:01]:
Well, I think divorce is still very taboo, which is why I wrote my book. I think that's a big component of it. We want to celebrate the nuclear family. We want to celebrate getting married and staying married, and longevity in the marriage is like the success mechanism, not how happy is everybody in the family or, you know, fulfillment and are we connected to each other. I think we're celebrating the wrong things. I think if we were to use those success metrics, then perhaps we would be highlighting some stepfamilies that are doing a really good job of creating new traditions and making everyone feel like they belong to this new unit. But I think, yeah, we don't have a lot of great examples and part of that, yes, is that divorce is still really taboo. When you look at the number of divorced people in this country, it is ridiculous that we still think that this is the anomaly.
Diane Schroeder [00:07:51]:
Yeah. I'm curious to hear why you think that is. Like, what creates that stigma around divorce. I have my own opinion, and I'll share it after you give your answer. Maybe it's the same. But I'm just curious because I've been divorced more than once. And so, I still carry a lot of shame. In fact, I waited a year to announce that we were engaged. We had been engaged for a year before I made it social media, you know, my family knew, and our circle knew for sure. But because I still face a lot of the shame and stigma around divorce regardless of why the marriage didn't work. So, I'm curious to think why you think there's so much stigma around it.
Shaunna Lee [00:08:32]:
Well, listen, I can relate to everything you just said because I was so embarrassed to get married for the 3rd time and now divorced for the 3rd time. I tell everyone, I felt like Ross Geller from Friends when I was facing this 3rd divorce and I thought, I'm going to fight this tooth and nail. I am not going to be divorced. I would have rather been miserably married than divorced a third time. Because there is so much shame and embarrassment and guilt and how the hell did, I find myself in this situation again? And if I look back at any one of my 3 marriages, they were so very different. I was not the same person going into each one, so I wasn't necessarily recreating patterns, but here I was divorced a third time. And I think I've already forgotten your question, but what was your question?
Diane Schroeder [00:09:22]:
Though it's fascinating because I feel like we're twinning right now. My question is, why do you think there is so much stigma around divorce still?
Shaunna Lee [00:09:30]:
Yeah. So, I think it really comes down to we're conditioned to believe in the society that you are supposed to be married to 1 person forever and ever, amen. And that is how you're going to be the most fulfilled human being, especially if you're a woman. I think that is how you look like the most successful citizen of the society. It's all bullshit. It's just not true. And I think people end up divorced for so many different reasons. And we want to say, well, there's, like, these three reasons why it's okay to be divorced and we're going to accept you're being divorced as this, you know, scarlet A that you're wearing, D, whatever the letter is. But you feel like you're the shunned person in society unless your divorce falls into one of those categories. And I just think it's bullshit. I think sometimes, honestly, people just grow apart. And I think, yes, sometimes there's infidelity and yes, there's sometimes abuse and these feel like the justifiable reasons. But I think if you are just growing apart from your partner, 1 is growing, 1 is not, I think it's unrealistic for us to think that we should stay with the same person for our entire life. I think people grow at different paces. I think that people come together for different reasons. I don't think everybody's meant to stay in your life forever. So, I think there's all sorts of reasons why people will end up divorced and we just still think it's, you know, the wrong way to go about things.
Diane Schroeder [00:10:56]:
I could not agree with you more. I know as you're saying this, I'm thinking, alright. I wanted to get married because I wanted a family, and there was never any really talk growing up about what marriage really is. My parents got married super young, and they stayed married for over 50 years. Good for them. You know, like, growing up, I was thought I was weird because all my friends' parents were divorced and mine weren't. And I think as I grew up, my first marriage lasted a hot second because I was 20 years old. I didn't know who I was. I just knew that, okay, well, my mom and dad are divorced. They got married young, so I guess I should get married young. And, you know, regardless of you know, when I look back, it's easier to say, oh, that’s why this happened, this happened, and it's no one else's business. It's my story and my journey, and I think we feel like, for me anyway, I feel the shame and pressure, like, and judgment from people that I really don't even care about because those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. But I think also, historically, marrying for love is a relatively new concept in the world. You know, it's not like we're getting cattle or sheep or, you know, a dowry anymore. It's not like we're, you know, previous to the dominator cultures long, long time ago, it was a very egalitarian community. Like, women we're the maternal line. Like, when you got married, men moved in with the women and took the women's name. So, I just think we've kind of screwed it all up a little bit over the last 100 or so years of, you know, marrying for love. And I agree with you that the eternity and we shouldn't be the same people we were 5 years ago. We shouldn't be the same people we were, you know, 2 years ago, if we're always doing the work and growing, thank you for sharing that with me because I appreciate having such a candid conversation.
Shaunna Lee [00:12:54]:
You invited the right guest if you want candid.
Diane Schroeder [00:12:56]:
I love it. There is so much stigma around it. So, tell us a little bit more about your journey and what prompted you to write your book and a little bit more about your book.
Shaunna Lee [00:13:06]:
Well, both answers play into the same thing. So, you know, my 1st marriage first of all, I got pregnant in high school and I was married at 19. So, she was 10 months old when we got married. Okay. Listen. There you go as to why that one didn't last, but we stayed married for 7 years. We had another daughter. So, my bigs, I call them my bigs and littles. I have 4 children and my bigs were my first husband and I. We were just babies. Like, we were so young, we were just struggling to figure out. We were learning everything. How do you pay bills? We bought a house together. We built a house together. We did all of these things and I would equate much of that demise of that marriage just to the fact that we were too young. We were growing and we wanted different things. And, anyway, so that's my World War 3 divorce. It was toxic. It was horrible. Like, if I could go back in time and redo things, I would redo that divorce. The way I handled it was so poor. And then fast forward, so, I actually, I'm going to be super candid. I cheated on my husband and married that man. That was husband number 2. Well, news flash, that didn't last. We were married for 4 years. It was an extremely toxic relationship. I always am really careful about how I talk about any one of these marriages. I'm not here to talk negative about them as people, but that situation was not good for either of us. That was my first experience though, I learned so much in that very short marriage. We were married 4 years. I was a stepmom to his twin boys. And so, this idea of stepfamilies, one of our Christmas cards 1 year was The Brady Bunch. Like, we created that. And I'm like, what a false sense of what we were building, but you don't know what you don't know. And so then left that marriage. So, I've left too and I've been left. This is why I wrote my book because I've experienced every kind of divorce that exists. So, the second one was I'm running for my life. I felt unsafe. I was trying to rebuild from a place of just feeling super insecure about my place in the world.
Shaunna Lee [00:15:17]:
So, I happened to meet my 3rd husband right after I was leaving. And I was like, listen, dude, we are just going to have a good time. I'll hang out with you when I don't have my girls. I'm not looking for anything serious. Like, I had promised myself I would never get married again. This is why they say never say never. Because then 2 years later, I thought I'm just going to date this guy. Things got more serious. I start introducing him to my girls. You know, we start kind of combining our lives and then he starts talking about babies. And I always wanted more children. And someone told me one time, babies are your Kryptonite. And I was like, they really are. So, he started talking about babies and I'm like, I'm in, dude. Like, let's do this. And so, all of a sudden, I was like, okay. If I'm going to have your baby, I'm going to “do it right”. So, we got married, planned this destination wedding. It is my favorite wedding, by the way. I tell this to everybody. Like, of all the ones I've been to and all the ones I've been the bride in, because there are several, it's my favorite wedding. It was so beautiful. It was on the beach in Saint Thomas. It was in Magens Bay. It was just like literally, this is what wedding photos are made from, was this experience. He and I had 2 babies together, which are my littles, and we were also married for 7 years. And I will say there's probably something about this 7-year itch. But fast forward, we end up divorced and I really struggled with telling people, like, when I started dating, I was just dating to fill my time. I was not dating because I was looking for a relationship. I was, like, screw it. Clearly, I'm not good at relationships is what I took away from those experiences.
Diane Schroeder [00:17:05]:
Oh, I can't tell you how many times I've told that to myself.
Shaunna Lee [00:17:09]:
It's just another limiting belief, but it took me a while to get through all of that. And it was one day when I had started this mindfulness journey and I was meditating and I kept hearing write the book, write the book. And I was like, what? And then all of a sudden, it just hit me one day and I thought, this is why I've been divorced is I can help people not be shame filled, to let go of the guilt, to actually pick up the pieces faster than I did, put 1 foot in front of the other, and build a life that is incredible. To see it for the opportunity that it is because I was starting to see that in my own life. And I thought, well, shit, I can save some women some time. And so, I wrote my book.
Diane Schroeder [00:17:53]:
That's so vulnerable, and I just really appreciate it. And I can tell as, you know, you have clearly done the work. You have processed a lot of it because you can talk about it so clearly and so genuinely, and I just really appreciate that. And I feel like I'm a little bit behind you on that. I'm working through that because of all the same reasons. My marriages have not lasted very long, and the marriage to my son's father, it was not a healthy relationship, and then it kind of sent me to rock bottom. In fact, I often say it was the crawl space to rock bottom. And so, after a string of more bad relationships after that, and my dad passed away, I'm like, I'm done. I am absolutely done. I'm going to work on me. I'm actually going to work on me this time. I'm not going to, you know, keep running. And I came to that space of, damn, I've got a good life, and I can do it on myself. And I don't need to be defined by what everyone else thinks of me. And to be quite honest, most people don't really know my story nor do they care about my life.
Shaunna Lee [00:19:05]:
Yeah. Totally. And this is why I started my podcast because I found such power in telling my story. Because every person I told, the series of marriages too, they didn't judge me. They were like, oh, well, that makes sense. And there's been times where even in my friend group, they’ll be like, oh, well, you know, so and so. They've been divorced however many times. And I'm like, excuse me. Hello? You realize you're talking to the divorced 3 times girl. Right? And they're like, well, yeah, yeah, but you don't count. And it's like, I'm the exception to them. It's not really true at all, but I found my voice and my power in sharing my story. And so that's why I'm like, okay. The more people who talk about it, the more people who share their story, they realize, one, you're not damaged goods. There's nothing wrong with you. You've had all these experiences because you learned lessons from them. Like, it's all the story we tell ourselves, right, about the things that matter. And everybody I talk to; they don't judge me. Or if they do, I don't care. Yeah. I don't know. I have found such power in telling my story, and it started with being scared to death to write that book. I thought, I'm going to go out on this infinite stage of the public eye to tell everyone in their face, I've been divorced 3 times and I was like, what on earth? This surely is not what I'm supposed to be doing. And I started to be the example that I wanted other women, I wanted for myself. I wanted to see that not only was it going to be okay, but it could be great. And so, I wrote this book and I tell everyone all the time, it's the prettiest divorce book you'll ever read because divorce is so ugly. But this book is full of empowerment and inspiration and little tiny baby steps to get you there, and it really is the guide that I needed when I was going through any one of those experiences, but certainly the third one.
Diane Schroeder [00:20:59]:
There is a lot of power in that. Like, I think before the actual divorce process. There's the should we get divorced? And I don't know how to explain it because I have never talked about this before. So, this is so empowering right now. I can just remember there were times where I was, like, oh, my gosh. In fact, I remember thinking, I shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't be doing this, but the pressure, the wedding, the you know, all the things. And then after the marriage, I recognized that, oh, man. This is bad. This is not going to work, but I don't want that stigma. I'm going to make it work. And then, eventually, it was the decision. It was that the waiting, the middle, the whatever of, should we even get divorced? That, I think, is probably a really hard first step for a lot of people. I know it was for me of, is this the right thing to do? And not necessarily because I knew it was, I was so worried about everyone else. So, what would you say to women listening who are like, maybe this isn't going to last forever.
Shaunna Lee [00:22:03]:
I think that phase that you are describing feels like limbo. Do I stay? Do I go? I've got a freebie, actually. I don't know if it's still visible on my website, but it's called, Do I stay? Do I go? And it's because this phase, for some women, this lasts years, years of their life, they are pondering what they know they need to do, but they're waiting to give themselves permission. They're seeking outside validation from everyone else. This is the one thing, if I had to boil down everything that I do in my podcast, in my online courses, in anything that I do in this business comes down to I am teaching women how to trust themselves because anytime you say, I don't really know what I should do. Yes, you do. You know. In the pit of your stomach, that's the answer. And I think the one word of encouragement I would say to anybody in that phase of limbo is, it's downhill after you decide. It's like you're getting up to the peak of the hill to decide and that is hard and it takes a long time for a lot of people, but once you make the decision, it's a line in the sand, there’s this weight that's lifted from your shoulder. Now, listen, there's a whole bunch of other stuff that has to happen and it can be very tumultuous and difficult, and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's just, oh, okay. I can do this. And then you build momentum and things kind of get easier.
Diane Schroeder [00:23:30]:
Yes. And I'd be curious to see if you agree that if I could go back and tell myself any advice, I'd be like, girl, you need to start doing the work on yourself before you make the decision. And immediately after, everything falls apart, and it's really scary. And you can view it through that lens, or you can be like, everything's falling apart, and I get to rebuild it. And there's beauty in rebuilding and to really take care of yourself and nurture and love yourself and try really hard not to beat yourself up. And if you're with people who are shaming you and judging you, it'd be like, see it. Not right now. Like, those are not the people you need to support you. You need your tribe and you need to do the work on yourself.
Shaunna Lee [00:24:16]:
Yeah. I talk about your tribe in my book. Actually, I tell this story and I don't know if you have heard this story, but it's about elephants and how female elephants, when a mother elephant is giving birth. All of the other elephants, circle around her and they are, like, forming this protection barrier wall so that when she is most vulnerable giving birth, she's protected. And then as soon as the baby's born, they're all trumpeting and they're celebrating. They're like, you did it, girl, you know? And it's so powerful of an image to say that that's what we need in our friend group. We need the friends who are going to form protection around us. They're not talking shit about you when you leave the room. Like, you've heard the phrase, if people are talking about you, then you're in the wrong like, no. I'm messing that up. But there's something along those lines. Right?
Diane Schroeder [00:25:09]:
Be with the people who talk about you when you're not in the room in a positive way that support you when you're not in the room.
Shaunna Lee [00:25:16]:
Yeah. And so, these elephants, they, you know, they're doing all of that, but the key thing that I always tell each other, tell people is that we're not always the elephant in the middle. Like sometimes and especially after divorce, you are the one in the middle and you need your tribe around you. You need them to protect you, to encourage you, to, you know, just keep you safe when you feel like a puddle of mush. Right? But then there's going to be a day when you get out of the middle of that circle and you get to do that for your friends. Like, there is a give and take. There is a balance and we've had some through the years in my friend group. You know, friend groups change, but there was 1 friend who always wanted to be the 1 in the middle. And you just can't always be the 1 in the middle. You have to get out and take your turn to support your friends. And so, I think that's really, really important after divorce is to choose your tribe carefully because, listen, sometimes friends fall away and you don't get to choose who stays or goes, but the people that do stay, you get to choose as well. You're not just left with whoever's there. Like, you get to intentionally choose your people, and I say choose wisely.
Diane Schroeder [00:26:26]:
Yes. Choose wisely. And, you know, sometimes it can be hard because, specially, if there's, like, joint friends and mutual, couple of friends and all. It gets messy. And so, yesterday, I went to the pool with a friend of mine. Our sons are friends. And the pool was in the neighborhood where my ex and I used to live, and it's been almost a decade. And so, I just sat, and I told her. I said, I'm so grateful that I'm here because it's taken me 10 years to be able to come back here because of how awful it was during the divorce. I was always so afraid I was going to run into someone that was going to judge me and say hurtful things. And I think that's just the hardest, you know, thing. And that's the beauty of growing. That's the beauty of evolving. It's actually the beauty of getting to the middle of your life and beyond because at point, you're like, I just don't give a shit anymore what you guys think about me. You know, you can think all you want. Clearly, if you're busy thinking about my life, there's probably things in your life you need to be worried about. Because my life is not that exciting.
Shaunna Lee [00:27:25]:
Diane Schroeder [00:27:26]:
But once you release that and, like, let that go, it feels good. And then when I run into people, I'm not sure if you have the same experience, but it's, like, from my past where I'm, like, it's not the big deal that I worried that it would be.
Shaunna Lee [00:27:39]:
Well, this is interesting because I did just have this experience. I ran into somebody I used to work with. This was just a few weeks ago, and I had not seen him in I want to say 20 years. It had been a long time. And so, it was this whole like, oh my gosh. And so, we had this little reunion. And what are you doing? And he's going through a divorce, bought my book. And I was like, well, that's cool. I just thought I was going out with my girlfriend and I sold a book. But he still works with my ex-husband. It was very interesting. And towards the end of the night, his whole group that came over, a bunch of them work with him. So, then he became part of the conversation and I was like, wow. I'm really, like, being tested, I just stayed positive and I hope he's well. And it really was an ability for me because I avoided conversations with people about him for years. And it's been a long time now, but it was just very interesting to be able to enter that conversation from a different space and just genuinely say, I'm glad to hear he's doing well. That's awesome. And it was nothing more than that.
Diane Schroeder [00:28:45]:
Right. And I think that's such sage advice, and I feel like, you know, especially co-parenting can be really challenging. And what I learned through my journey of co-parenting over the last, almost 10 years is that I had to change. I had to not anyone else was going to. My son wasn't going to. His dad wasn't going to. I had to. And that in itself is so empowering. It's so simple. I mean, it's simple to say. Right? It's hard. It's messy, and it's not easy. It is like I don't want to, like, say, oh, yeah. You just change, and life is great. And then, you know, you go on. And it's rainbows and unicorns. But it's true. It, like, it really does. And I feel like it has all led me to become the person I am today. So, when you're struggling and, you know, if you're in a relationship that's rough and bumpy and rocky, or you're going through divorce, or you've been through divorce and you haven't promised it or processed it. I would say focus on you and give yourself grace and know that you're not alone. Right?
Shaunna Lee [00:29:52]:
Yes. I actually have a whole co-parenting course that I created because my last divorce, I will say this is one thing we've gotten right. And not perfect by any means. Like, we have hiccups and bumps along the way, but we co-parent really well together. And everybody I've had people say you're the weirdest divorced couple I've ever seen because we still do things together. And I like to remind people that shit didn't happen by accident. I did it on purpose. I took intentional steps. And part of it was what you were saying was I had to change. I had to change the way I was looking at the situation, how I was approaching him, how I was responding. And that's what I teach people in this 4-week course is, like, how do you go through the process to change you? Because when you take responsibility, you realize how much influence you have over the entire thing. And that, I think, is what's empowering for women is to realize, oh, wait. I don't need him to change or do anything different for this to be a better situation. And, anyways, it's really empowering to realize, oh, wait. I do have the power to change the situation. I can actually influence things, and it's only from the things that I can control.
Diane Schroeder [00:31:15]:
Yes. And learning that, I assume, has, you know, it's a trial-and-error process, but I think it’s really important for my listeners to hear that you have your sphere of influence, and that's it. And it takes time, it's processing the trauma. It's processing the loss. It's grieving. It's, you know, regardless of the why it happened, it's still a loss in your life, and it's grieving that. And I love what you said earlier about, you know, you just wish them well and putting the kids first. So, if you're getting divorced with kids, it's a little more complicated because you're tied to that person forever. Like, that never goes away. And I've seen my son change as well when we get along. You know, this was a big season for baseball because we all sat together, all of us. It was beautiful because it made my son so happy. So, any feelings that I have or don't have anymore, it's really what's best for the children.
Shaunna Lee [00:32:15]:
Exactly. And that's one of the reasons I wrote the book is because it helps moms, especially, become happier moms. And when you do that, it's a benefit to your children. Like, when you focus on yourself enough to do the work and heal the hurt and grieve the loss and do all the things that are hard as hell to do. It makes you a better person so then you're a better parent. It's this ripple effect that your children get to benefit from. And the same thing with co-parenting. Like, I don't do that because I want to sit next to him at the hockey game because I don't. But my daughter, we have this path. Everybody sits in the same place. It's my daughter in the middle, her parents on either side and their partners outside. And every once in a while, you know, his wife and I will sit together or he and my boyfriend will sit together. And so, there's mingling because we're all co-parenting and we're not friends. But we are able to have a conversation. It's awkward enough that she has to watch her brother play hockey. Like, she didn't even want to be there. But it would be 10 times worse if there was the tension between her parents and their partners while she had to sit there at this thing, she doesn't want to do. So, it's all for the kids is the only reason we do it.
Diane Schroeder [00:33:30]:
I think as I'm unpacking this conversation in real time, it's so much of why I believe so much in self-care and why I believe that, you know, this phase in life, whether married or divorced, it's really important or partnered or you know, it's important to have that community of women to help you take care of yourself and to really learn to take care of yourself in a way that it isn't just a one off, but it's what can you do to create capacity in your life to kind of navigate the bumps as you're stretched, right, with parents above you, kids below you, ex-spouses, you know, ex partners, whatever, to really take that time for yourself. What do you do to take care of yourself? Like, what's your self-care look like?
Shaunna Lee [00:34:19]:
So, I, not super consistent, let me just say, because life happens, but I know what works well. So, for me, a morning routine has become so crucial. And this is one of those, like, it's so funny because I think my tarot card the other day, this is probably what I was talking about. It was like, a medicine bottle like, take your own advice. Because listen, sometimes I’m not the best student of even my own advice but I know it works. And even my morning routine, first of all, is coffee, but meditating and journaling are the 2 things that I come back to over and over and over again because it helps. So, my morning routine, I use journaling to do all sorts of different things. I can practice gratitude. I can set my intention for the day. I can remind myself of these beliefs I'm trying to create. I can unpack things and figure out what my limiting beliefs are. But all of these things, if I do them at the beginning of each day, it gets me in a better headspace to handle the bumps along the way because the shit continues to happen. Like, there's still conversations that you're not going to get like, I tell everyone, my ex-husband and I, we do not agree on anything. Part of the reason we ended up divorced. So, why do we think that we're going to agree on things now? Like, the disagreements continue, but how we handle them doesn't have to keep playing out in the same way. And so, for me, meditating also is like, the, let me just pull myself back together. Let me figure out. Let me set my intention. And when I say set my intention, I am choosing how I want to feel as I navigate my day and meditation lets me practice feeling that. And so, and a lot of times, we're trying to, for me, I'm trying to cultivate, like, an attitude of gratitude, which we're not conditioned to do. And so, I have to practice. Let me remind myself. Yes. I want to be grateful. And I have this journaling prompts that I give everybody and there's this gratitude kind of concept. And it's this framework that, especially if you're new to journaling, it gives you a 1, 2, 3. These are the 3 things I need to do. It's, first of all, the first bullet point is 3 to 5 things you're grateful for. So, when I first started, figuring out 5 things that I was grateful for was a challenge. I was like, I like my coffee. I'm so glad for my house. I'm glad my kids, it was all this generic stuff that I was just like, oh. And so, now with practice, I've gotten better at kind of honing in on that. But then the second thing is one thing I'm proud of because we are not, especially as women, good at tooting our own horn. So, really spending time to think, what did I do well today? What did I do well yesterday? What am I proud of? How did I handle the situation? Whatever. What have I accomplished? Sure. And then one thing I'm looking forward to. Because I think it's also, like, forward facing. Where are you going? What are you excited about? What do you get to do? And so, these three things, let people start journaling, kind of, tick, tick, tick, you get to practice, you know? So, for me, that's self-care comes back to my morning routine, but I'm also a huge fan of baths. Salt baths are amazing. And sometimes, you know, now that I'm working from home, I actually, I've been working from home for a long time, but I'm not tied to meetings and my calendar and my desk like I used to be. Especially when I didn't have a lot of money, this was something that felt luxurious because I was taking time out of my day when the kids are at school, I felt guilty at first, and I would just soak in the bath. It is fucking free and it is amazing. And so, I could just take care of myself and listen, I fall asleep sometime in the bath. I know it's not safe, but here we are. Sometimes it's just the moment to rest. And, you know, I listen to podcasts or whatever, but I try to use that time to just take my own advice and relax and set my feelings back where I want them to be.
Diane Schroeder [00:38:22]:
I love baths. And when you say is because that's what I exactly what I did when, you know, single mom. It was tough. I would go at night and soak in the bathtub, and I think there's just something very nurturing about being in the water. It's very calming. It helps just reset. It's like sticking your feet in the dirt to some extent, just a different type of grounding. And, you know, I've heard some people, well, I don't like to take baths. It's gross. I'm like, alright. So, you sit in the bath with salt, and I'm like, then you rinse off in the shower. Like, you can rinse everything off, but to soak in the bathtub is magical.
Shaunna Lee [00:38:58]:
It is so magical. In fact, I have a girlfriend who moved into her new house and it had this big garden tub and she's like, well, I'm going to take the tub out. And then I was like, I'm sorry. What? What did you just say? I said, do not remodel this bathroom until you have taken a bath in there. And she was like, I mean, okay. And she did it and she loved it. And she was like, okay. The bath stays. You were right. I'm like, you're welcome.
Diane Schroeder [00:39:25]:
It's also a very inner child thing because what children, what child do you know that doesn't love bath time. You know? So, it also kind of reconnects with just a happy place and time for a lot of people, I think.
Shaunna Lee [00:39:37]:
Yeah. For me, it's more the nurturing. It's, I'm taking care of myself. There's something about being in water. It just feels safe and warm and cozy. And so, for me, it's about nurturing myself the same way that I nurture everyone else, like turning that inward is the key point of self-care.
Diane Schroeder [00:39:54]:
Absolutely. And it's very powerful and empowering, especially when you're navigating bumpy times in life.
Shaunna Lee [00:40:01]:
Oh, for sure.
Diane Schroeder [00:40:02]:
So, tell us how my listeners can find you. And, you know, I know you've talked about the book, and I will put everything in show notes. And how can they find you and what would make you a good fit to work with them?
Shaunna Lee [00:40:17]:
Oh, I love that. So, first of all, you can find me on all the social media handles, I'm Simply Shaunna Lee. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. And then you can go to my website, shaunnalee.com. I will say, Shaunna, SHAUNNA. No one spells it right. But what would make me a good fit or them a good fit? To be a good match, I love to work with women who are ready to start something, but they're scared as hell to do it. And they're willing to do the work. They're willing to show up, but they're willing to learn.
Diane Schroeder [00:40:50]:
Yes. And because I love that, reminds me of there's no bad classes, there's no bad education, there's no bad coaches. It's not the other person's fault. It's you being willing to accept responsibility and doing the hard work that goes with navigating life. And,
Shaunna Lee [00:41:08]:
but I also think sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be. So, I think sometimes being able to let it be easy and let it be fun, we need to give ourselves permission. Like, that's one of my mantras, let it be easy and fun. Doesn't always have to be hard.
Diane Schroeder [00:41:25]:
Thank you for saying that because I feel that a lot of times, I know I do this. I'm like, oh, man. This is going to be tough. This is going to be rocky. And then I looked back, I'm like, I probably could've made that just a little bit more fun. And do I really have to beat myself up so much to do whatever the thing is? Can I just enjoy it?
Shaunna Lee [00:41:44]:
Yeah. I mean, I think allowing more joy and being more childlike, let's us have more fun. And so, there was something I heard just recently where, you know, they always say what gets you fired up about your business? What are you excited about? But reframing something that you have to do and saying, like, if you're trying to figure out how do I do this? I don't have clarity. This seems difficult. Creating a game out of it and letting it be that I get to figure out where the pieces fall together. Like, I get to do this thing, and I'm going to have fun with this game of figuring it out, is so much easier and lighter than, oh my god, I don't know what I'm doing, you know?
Diane Schroeder [00:42:25]:
I love that. And it also goes along with you’re going to fail. You're going to make mistakes, and it's okay, and giving yourself that permission to mess it up so until you get it right.
Shaunna Lee [00:42:36]:
Yeah. Because I think mistakes or failure, we somehow try to avoid that. But if you think about the best lessons you've had in your life, it's from when you fucked up. That's when you learn the most. So, I think if more people were willing to take risks because it may or may not work out and either way you're getting value out of it, oh, my gosh. I just imagine where humanity would be.
Diane Schroeder [00:43:00]:
I know. That gives me goosebumps. Well, Shaunna, thank you. So, I want to ask 1 more question. What piece of advice would you give to someone who's getting married?
Shaunna Lee [00:43:12]:
Oh, listen, I am going to steal this from Abraham Hicks. But they say, if I was standing in your human shoes and I was going to be sharing my wedding vows, it would be, I like you a lot. Let's see how it goes. It just takes all the pressure off.
Diane Schroeder [00:43:32]:
That is beautiful. That hits very, very near and dear to me right now. So, thank you for sharing that, and thank you for sharing your wisdom. As I said, I will put everything in the show notes. And this has been such a powerful conversation that I know, selfishly, I have needed to have and, like, get it all out. I already feel, like, so much lighter just owning this part of my story. So, thank you for giving me the permission and having this conversation in a safe and judgment free space.
Shaunna Lee [00:44:03]:
Yes. Well, thank you for having me. I love these conversations. They're fun.
Diane Schroeder [00:44:07]:
I appreciate it. Thank you.
Diane Schroeder [00:44:11]:
Another great conversation. Thank you for giving the valuable gift of your time and listening to The Fire Inside Her podcast. Speaking of value, one of the most common potholes we fall into on the journey to authenticity is not recognizing our value. So, I created a workbook. It's all about value. Head on over to TheFireInsideHer.com/value to get your free workbook that will help you remember your value. Until next time, my friend.