DR. DORINE KRAMER
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When your nest is empty... It's your time to soar.

The Merry Month Of May? Maybe Not For Empty Nesters

For empty nesters, the merry month of May, joyfully celebrated in songs and poems, brings two poignant reminders of this new stage of life we’ve entered. First, May brings Mother’s Day, possibly your first Mother’s Day without children at home. Of course you’re still a mom, but it’s not the same on Mother’s Day without the hugs and without seeing those beautiful faces in person. And second, at least for some empty nesters, May brings high school graduation and the end of the era of hands-on, daily parenting. And graduation—well, under the tears of pride and joy lurk the tears of loss and sadness.

Putting The Merry Back in May
So what can you do if May just makes you sad?

Well, first keep in mind that Mother’s Day is just another day. It only has as much significance as you give it, so don’t get stuck there! It’s tempting, but not helpful.

What is helpful for empty nesters is to take yourself out of your usual environment.

If you have a tendency to stay indoors and mope, get outside and really concentrate on finding and appreciating the new life that is showing itself in the spring flowers and the new green growth on the trees.

How does it relate to you? What parallels can you draw with yourself? What do you want your new season, your next era, to look like? To feel like?

Spring is a time for growth—and that means you, too. Get together with a friend and have a conversation about what’s next for you.

Empty Nesters, You Have a Choice
It might not feel like a choice, but it is one.

And as an empty nester, it comes up over and over. Do I want to feel sad today or not? How sad do I want to feel? How do I stop feeling so sad?

It can be an uphill battle, but truly, you’ve done a tough and amazing job raising your children and you are worth whatever it takes to be happy. You deserve to choose happiness, and as a bonus, it will make your children and your spouse happier too.

How You Can Choose to be Happy
Believe it or not, you actually can choose to be happy.

You may not think you can, but here is a good way to start.

Think about a time when you felt really happy—it doesn’t matter when or why. It only matters that you remember and feel how you felt.

Now consider how you are standing or sitting. What is your posture? Are you slumped and slouched or are your shoulders back and your head high? What is the expression on your face? How deeply or shallowly, slowly or quickly are you breathing?

What you’ve just done is reminded your body what it feels like when you are happy.

You probably think that you look sad or upset because you are sad or upset. But really, and perhaps surprisingly, your very clever unconscious mind knows whether or not you are happy by the way your body is behaving.

For most people, that’s the opposite process to what you believe.

You can consciously generate a state of happiness simply by imitating that posture and physiology you just identified! Try it right now if you don’t believe me. Get into a sad posture and you will feel sad. Get into a happy posture and you will feel happy.

The very best way of keeping May merry is to get really clear on who you are and the gifts you have. If that’s a challenge for you, or you don’t know how to start, I invite you to get in touch and request a “From Being Mom to Being Me”™ discovery session.

How are you going to make your May merry?

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5 Responses to The Merry Month Of May? Maybe Not For Empty Nesters

  1. Great! I love the simple idea of reminding my body to be merry! (and cheerful) (and that other word usually associated with sexual orientation) To answer your question I am going to make May merry by celebrating the swallows nesting under the eaves of our roof, being 100% more focused now that I am working with my new mentor – Kelly O’Neil, enjoying letting things go with my new VA, and walking everyday in the mountains above our house ..

    • Dr. Dorine says:

      I love your plans Caitriona! Especially the swallows and the VA. Yesterday I was very excited to be shown a tiny hummingbird nest with two eggs in it that was only discovered when someone was dive-bombed by a hummingbird right near my sister’s front door. It’s on a person size pot plant on a covered porch and we would never have noticed it without the dive-bombing attack. Wonderful!

  2. dorothyinez says:

    I love this, ” very best way of keeping May merry is to get really clear on who you are and the gifts you have”

  3. I love how you are empowering people by telling them they have a choice and all they have to do is change their ‘state’ (as in state of mind, not where they live!). The superb Law of Thinking enables us all to be powerful and, as you say, it’s all about making a choice. Thanks Dorine!

  4. Dr. Dorine says:

    Thanks Lynn. One of my favorite parts of my workshop is watching participants “get” that they have control of how they feel! It’s powerful for them and for me.

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