Sunday, 8 November 2015

7 Ways a Good Divorce is Like Strictly Come Dancing


 I am kind of an old fashioned girl at heart, I like dancing as a couple, a pretty frock and good music and so I took myself off to Strictly Come Dancing with my Daughter for a night to remember.

We were royally treated to a marquee, a few previous featured celebrities and a whole load of supportive friends and family.  All very, very excited about the next 6 hours ahead ....

So I am sitting in my seat in the 'oh my goodness I am here' audience watching Strictly Come Dancing. It a show that has become a dear part of many lives, a regular topic of conversation in coffee bars, on buses, news and internet and I was struck by how a good divorce can be so like Strictly.  

Now no doubt a big whoa will be uttered by some in shock but read on, see how you feel, have I allayed your fears and curiosity ...let me know did I get this right?

First up is the "I never thought I could dance" ... Yup I get that, I never thought I could divorce well and neither do any of us on hitting the divorcing dance floor. Just as the Strictly dance floor looks so much bigger on TV, divorce is also so very different in real life. There is no rule book for having a good divorce and it is a gut wrenching business. We each have a designated pro guiding us on how the process works, however, our personal reality is a dance floor of potential slip, slide and a screw up coming out of divorce, with little or no measure of self-empowerment and kindness to self for all to see.

2nd - The whole of your world is watching, married family members, friends that have been through a divorce and those with fearing anticipation waiting in the Facebook wings. Everyone watching checks out your every move, whether it's a Foxtrot Feather Step and the initial meeting with a lawyer, the Rumba Side Break with the mediation route beckoning or Paso Doble Drag with delay tactics and games. It takes practice, commitment and a generous laying out of your soul on the dance floor of life every week.  Removing your ego from the divorce or dancing process helps focus on what is really important. That is learning fundamentally as a human to become a little kinder and better at it every week.  

Thirdly - The Art of Discretion and not airing your laundry in public...it happens... does it need to?  Strictly Come Dancing has a policy or golden rule of respect, sanctity and discretion. There is the understanding that even in this social media fuelled age, no one gives the result away before the Sunday night showing (it is recorded on Saturday night), everyone in mutual agreement that this would in some way debase this institution. Do we as divorcing peoples need to give our game away? Is that little social media contribution necessary? Does it make us feel any better giving energy to actions that cause hurt, mistrust and disappointment?  Karma, kismet, fate, power ... really do we feel any better in ourselves for wielding the social media sword?  Strictly doesn't seem to think so... I like that...

Fourth - Support is there - everyone wants your divorce to be okay, kind and respectful for you and your kids if you have them, for your family and friends.  Divorcees and dancers on either the dance floor of life or Elstree are all learning, feeling their way and ever so bravely taking on the challenges presented in their different formats every week.  It is our intention to have a good divorce that can keep us on that path, one full of support and admiration. Working on having a respectful, kind and gentle divorce heralds the same emotions from your loved ones as the audience does with Strictly. Know this, be proud of what you are achieving, being part of a movement to change the way we look at divorce and life. Know and believe it is supportive not lonely, understanding not judgemental, kind not harsh.   

5th - It gets uncomfortable... so the seats are small, 4 hours into recording there is a quick loo break, a gleeful handing out of a chocolate bar and a carton of juice.... With divorce it gets uncomfortable, it can be a long process sometimes especially when trying to get it right for everyone.  The offerings may be small along the way, but with the intention and the energy directed towards the end result of an experience that is truly positive is what keeps us focused.  Working together in your divorce for the good of the situation, for the final 'kindful' result is the binding, cohesive twine that exists in a life Waltz, a good divorce need not just be an illusion. There can be decorum, poise and a sense that with respect and kindness, a jettisoning of feel good emotions onto a visible dance floor can be a good journey ... 

No.6 - Be gentle with your brave, amazing and extraordinary self. Accept that some days are easier, as humans we don't always get it right, go with the flow and listen to your intuition. Understand that even with the best intentions choosing a Tango too early or risking
failure with a Progressive Side-Step Reverse Turn helps us learn.  

As Strictly shows us, the power of happiness, pleasantries and glamour hand in hand without the copious amounts of booze seen elsewhere on a Saturday night is a place we can all learn from. Hurting our bodies, our minds and souls with endless bottles of wine, unhelpful amounts of chocolate and no exercise is a well worn path to lack of self worth and feelings of failure.  Happiness can be found everywhere we choose to look; in a smile; a phone call; a walk in nature; giving someone you love a hug or telling someone you love them...


Finally as my 7th comparative we have the judges.  Life is full of judging types; there are those here to gently nudge and guide you; others with their straight talk with the necessary touch of the serious and judges that remind you of the lighter side of life.  Of happier times when we are feeling the creeping waves of failure, of self-doubt and judgement.  

In the end it is we, is it not, who are our harshest judges? We so often enshroud ourselves with the negative bias, this self-belief that we are worthy can be hard work and take much commitment. Taking those small steps, those empowering moves forward, every day, learning to be accepting, present and human is the big WORTH IT, we know this ... deep inside.

Time is a healer, it gives us space to reaffirm our good intentions, it helps us change our thinking, to believe in a future which is brighter, happier and easier.... we are not so different as divorcees trying to be kinder, than as the world of Strictly Come dancing; we are all learning processes which ultimately can benefit us; make us laugh again and shine a brighter light out to all those that are watching.

With love x




To Radio Times for Strictly Image 

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