Body & Soul - Summer 2003

The way to empowering yourself is getting to know who you are and realizing what it is you want. Romina Maurino teaches you to take control of your life after divorce to start a life of blissfulness.

By Romina Maurino
Updated: September 26, 2014
Health and Well Being

Leap of Faith

In Take the Step: The Bridge Will Be There, Grace Cirocco offers a practical two-part plan to help you achieve your life goals. Part one works to clarify goals and dreams by encouraging you to visualize what awaits you on the other side of the bridge, should you "Take the Step". Part two, "The Bridge Will Be There", articulates how to nurture faith in yourself and remove personal barriers that might keep you from taking action.

Cirocco emphasizes the importance of knowing yourself and being aware of what you want in order to take actions. "Yes, you must act," she writes. "But you must align your compass with what is most sacred to you. That can be done only by exploring who you are."

More importantly, she points out that the secret to your own empowerment lies in realizing that -- while people or books might inspire you -- only you can make the choices that determine how your life turns out.

Of particular relevance to divorcing individuals is the chapter titled, "Heal the Past". In it, Cirocco discusses how to heal "fault lines": the accumulation of stress that eventually leads to a dramatic life event such as the breakup of a marriage. By endeavoring to heal the painful aspects of your life, suggests Cirocco, you acknowledge them instead of running away from them. In so doing, you can come to understand yourself more fully, let go of fear and anger, and move forward with a lighter heart.

Healing takes time, and it doesn't always come easily. But the good news, according to Cirocco, is that "healing past hurts can happen anywhere, anytime. It can be triggered by a line in a book, a scene from a movie, a song on the radio, or a question from a stranger, if you're open and willing." When the time is right, it will happen for you, but in the meantime, take the leap and open your heart to the possibility of making positive changes to the way you think about your past, present, and future. For more information, visit or

Comforting Ideas

When times get tough, many of us turn to food for comfort. But like most quick fixes, raiding the pantry will leave you with more problems than solutions.

Yet food is a passion for many people, as well as a necessity of life. The key, explains Liz Pearson -- a Registered Dietitian, Professional Speaker, and co-author of The Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan That Still Leaves Room for Chocolate -- is in your approach. "If people are using food to feel better or comfort themselves," she says, "they often eat more than their body needs. You should eat primarily when you're hungry, not when you feel bad."

According to Pearson, the best way to satisfy a food craving isn't actually through food. "Go for a short walk, telephone a friend, or write a letter," she suggests. "Many people find that when they simply focus on something else, the craving will pass."

If you must have a treat, the most important thing is to decide ahead of time exactly how much you're going to have, measure out that amount, and stick to it. "If people give themselves permission to enjoy small amounts of treats on a regular basis," says Pearson, "they don't feel the need to overindulge."

Better yet, try the following healthy options to satisfy your sweet tooth:

  • Have a piece of whole-wheat toast with honey
  • Have a mug of hot chocolate (made with skim milk) topped with a few mini marshmallows
  • Enjoy a fresh, ripe mango or other favorite fruit If you crave something salty, like chips, here are some better choices:
  • Have a few whole-grain crackers (like Triscuits)
  • Make some popcorn (dust with Parmesan cheese)
  • Have some low-fat, baked Tortilla chips and dip them in salsa

For more great ideas on realistic healthy eating, or to get a copy of Pearson's book visit or

Get Happy!

Need a little pick-me-up? If you can make the time, exercise is one of the best ways to lift mood; exercise plus supplements equal a winning combination. Dr. Luke Bucci, vice president of Research for Weider Nutrition International & Schiff Vitamins, suggests the following natural mood levelers:

  • SAMe: This is what the body uses to normalize all neurotransmitters associated with mood.
  • Kava: Kava is a popular relaxing botanical herb, but it can be a little numbing and make you drowsy. It's considered safe -- just as long as you don't drive or operate machinery after taking it.
  • St. John's Wort: Used for mild-to-moderate depression, it's useful for people who aren't on other medication and can wait a few weeks to feel better.
  • Melatonin: Taking 1 mg at bedtime can lead to better sleep patterns, which means you'll wake up more refreshed. Epileptics must consult their doctor, but otherwise, melatonin is considered safe.

Your best bet to find safe products is to rely on reputable health-food stores carrying products from established North American herbal companies. Also, you must check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

Clean Slate

Divorce is a time when emotions run high. The last thing you need right now is to be worrying about details, such as the traces these emotions will leave on your face.

Yet even in the best of times, you're subject to 15,000 daily facial movements, which, over time, become one of the main causes of the formation and deepening of wrinkles. Luckily, the scientists at Lancome have discovered an innovative new way to target wrinkles caused by muscle contractions, and have unveiled a unique skin care line: Resolution D-ContraxolÂȘ.

Targeting the 35-45 age group, and more than 10 years in the making, Resolution D-Contraxol's "Skin-Relaxing" and "Anti-Aging" agents work to activate skin regeneration, maintain the elastic properties of the tissues, and prevent the setting in of wrinkles that come with age. For more immediate results, the microfiber texture of the cream works instantly to physically fill out wrinkles and smooth fine lines on surface of the skin, creating a veil that protects and moisturizes skin.

This product is already surrounded by a positive buzz: clinical studies have shown it produces more than 30% wrinkle reduction.

So leave these skin-deep worries to the experts, and take Lancome up on their offer to "laugh, frown, without worrying about wrinkles!"

For more information, visit a beauty counter near you or log on to

Sensory Healing

How often do you take the time to stroll in the park to relieve stress? Solitudes, a Juno-nominated line of CDs featuring the sounds of nature, can bring the great outdoors into your home with their Music for Your Health series.

Created under the scientific guidance of Dr. Lee R. Barlet, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate of the Center for Health Promotion at the University of Toronto, this series of "sonic-therapy programs" harmoniously combines nature recordings, original compositions, and effective programs based on the proven scientific principle of entrainment.

According to Dr. Bartel, "entrainment is a phenomenon of nature that results in the synchronization of the rhythms or motions of separate entities." Research shows that music can be used to synchronize (or entrain) body rhythms such as heart rate, breath rate, and brain waves -- the very body rhythms that respond to stress. The Music for Your Health series works by making breath and heart rates respond to the rhythm of music in order to decrease their variability and speed and create a sense of pleasant rest.

Moreover, explains Dr. Bartel, "in some ways, music sounds like your feelings feel -- so the music can remind your mind and body of unstressed states and help you experience those states again."

Your best bet for divorce-related stress is to try out the Natural Stress Relief I & II CDs. These are the core of the series and are designed to take the listener from a stress-full state to a stress-free state.

Or try Natural Sleep Inducement, a program designed to guide your brain waves towards the patterns that are predominant in sleep.

The idea of music as a source of healing, otherwise known as Music Therapy, dates back to the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Music Therapy is often used to improve the quality of life for individuals with mental-health needs, but companies such as Solitudes also make it accessible to healthy individuals for stress-reduction purposes. And these CDs are designed to be useful even if you can only listen to them for 15 minutes at a time.

For more information or to buy CDs online, please visit To learn more about Music Therapy, log on to

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August 08, 2006
Categories:  Coping with Divorce

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