Who: Happily divorced single mother, break up recovery coach and all round positive super woman
Why we love her: For her strength and grace and her passion to empower others to heal and become whole again after divorce.
Founder of Joanne Michelle, Break-up Recovery Coaching for Women
My 5 favourite things:
My children, green smoothies, travelling, meditation and champagne (life is all about balance)
1: What inspired you to become a break-up recovery coach?
After my own break-up from a 20 year relationship, I wanted to support others going through what I had been through, and to come out with a positive outlook in life.
During my break-up I was studying a certified health coaching course. This course helped me while going through the separation. With what I learnt through my own healing I chose to support other women and Joanne Michelle was founded. Joanne Michelle is a service where I support women across the globe to rebuild themselves after their break-up.
My Mission is to EMPOWER Women to rediscover their identity after their break-up.
2: In your experience, what are the 3 most common reasons for relationship failures?
Non-communication – with the mundane everyday life, communication on how one is feeling can at times not be communicated. It’s really important to keep open communication in a relationship. Couples counselling can help immensely, it’s about being aware of each other’s feelings.
No self-love – a lot of times I see women (and men) falling into the trap of no longer knowing who they are. With that you can find yourself no longer loving yourself from within. By being aware of your feelings and your identity where you are still able to do things that you enjoy, keeps a relationship healthy.
Lacking respect for each other – when communication and self-love diminishes, so does the respect for your partner. One can start to resent the other… Minor petty issues become your everyday normal and respect is lost due to not communicating the bigger issues.
3: What are your top 5 tips for getting through a break-up?
Self-awareness: Ensuring you are feeling everything that comes with a break-up, knowing the tough days won’t last and you have a choice on how you react and feel during this time. Taking note how you are reacting to situations and being mindful of your actions.
Having support: Ensure your surroundings are not toxic. There are times when family and friends are also going through their own emotions due to your break-up. Make sure the people you surround yourself with are not toxic, but positive. Having support from a coach who knows how you are feeling can really help as you move forward after your break-up.
Wellbeing: Taking time to ensure your diet is clean. To be mindful to not abuse alcohol and drugs, although these substances may feel like the right choice at the time, they are more depressant than anti. Being active is a great way to release any stress, even simple walks can take your mind off the stresses of a break-up and keeps you fitter at the same time. Practicing mindfulness such as meditation or yoga is a wonderful tool to support you through your break-up stresses.
Getting enough sleep: Without enough sleep, we tend to not function well. During a break-up, especially a divorce, there are many important decisions to be made. Without enough sleep you may not make sensible decisions. Not sleeping well can also be due to not eating well, by eating well you will find yourself sleeping better. There are many healthy techniques to help with sleep. An important one is to setup a bedtime, staying up late for no real reason doesn’t help you in the morning.
Journaling: Extremely helpful. Even if you don’t journal, now is the best time to write everything that is on your mind. Clearing your mind will help you make better decisions. With journaling make an effort each day to write a grateful list. What are you grateful for today day? Even though there may seem there is nothing positive in a break-up, finding small gifts in everyday sets you in a positive mind frame.
4: What do you think is vital to a healthy and strong relationship?
As mentioned above, to have a healthy and strong relationship is all about communication and respect. Without respect we can start to dwell and resent your partner and fester over mini issues, which are really a reflection of bigger ones, bigger issues that are not always communicated. It’s really important to take time to spend with each other, the mundane of everyday life can take over, but there needs to be effort to ensure you are still on the same page in the relationship. Keeping it fun and spontaneous. Remembering how you felt when you first fell in love with your partner and keeping that love alive. Relationships need work constantly, and that is not a negative thing.
5: How soon should women be open to new love after their last relationship?
There is no time frame when one should start to find new love again. But to be honest, women need to know who they are first. If you think you are ready and open to find new love, you must have healed from your past break-up, otherwise it can be difficult to really find that special someone. You may find someone early on after your break-up, but you may end up with the same relationship issues down the track… It’s about being clear on who you are, and also clear on what you want for your future. Once you are clear on everything from your past relationship, or relationships, you will have a better chance of finding the one who will compliment you.
6: As a woman who has experienced divorce, what was the hardest part of the transition?
One of the hardest parts of transitioning from a divorce was being ok with being single and the independence that comes with it.
Independent me, coming out of a long term relationship where everything for over 20 years was about the both of us, a unit, became overwhelming when the realisation I’m now single and need to make decisions 100% of the time without the emotional support. And being ok with it. And being ok with now I’m a single mother. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mother, the perfect woman, and I was in that place at first. With the transition it’s not about being perfect, but more about being sensible with our choices. Understanding I now had the chance to redesign my life, became very liberating, fear came up for sure, but once I embraced it and pushed through it, and was comfortable with the independence that comes with a break-up, life changed in a positive empowering way.
Independent financially, to ensure I was going to be ok and also that my children will be ok. Being mindful with expenses, taking note of what I was spending each day and simplifying my life. Having control of your finances can be frightening in the beginning but having the right support will help such as a Family Lawyer, Financial Planner and Coach, and with the right support you will transition a lot easier.
7: Why do you think women should invest in a Break-Up Recovery coach? How do you differ to say a counsellor or psychologist?
I work on supporting women to focus on their future where a psychologist and counsellor will focus more on the past, our services complement each other. Break-up recovery coaching supports women who need emotional support, along with tools and strategies to help with the transition after their break-up. It’s about getting your mindset right, we all know what we should do and how we should do it and react and live, but it can be really hard to do alone, having my support without pre-judgement and with my own experiences and training I have a great service to ensure women are on the right track.
Being a divorcee, a single mother, and out there dating again, shows women you can do it and it gives them hope. I’m real, open, and caring and that makes a big difference with the support I offer. I created this business to empower women after their break-up to support them to live the life they desire, but who may not quite have the confidence to get there.
I am there every step of their break-up and offer practical tools as they move forward, showing them ways to take on their new status as ‘single’ with a positive outlook. I am their accountability partner, I am there for the transition, to support them as we work through their self-awareness, dreams, goals and ultimately the future they hope for. I have seen many women transition with confidence and have the strength to move forward with a clear vision of where their future is heading. It certainly is empowering.
I collaborate with many professionals and my support compliments added services the women I support maybe using.
8: What is your advice to women who are now ready to find love and date again?
To know what your relationship is with dating. To be open to meeting new people, but without putting the pressure of wanting an outcome straight away. It’s important to understand who you are first. Once women are comfortable within themselves, they will transition into dating with a clear vision and with more confidence. Being yourself is really important. And to not be too hard on yourself if the date doesn’t work out. When women start dating again after a break-up, they will learn a lot about themselves and with that they will shine through and find love again.
9: How does someone practically let go of someone they used to share a life with?
The reality is it takes time, and everyone is different. There is no timeline on letting go. Being able to accept the relationship has ended is key. It may seem hard at first. Forgiveness is important, forgiving your ex, and also forgiving yourself. Without acceptance and forgiveness you will only prolong the letting go and moving on.
I find a really great tool is to write a grateful list of the relationship and of your ex. Even if it ended not so great. By allowing yourself to feel positivity and not so much on the negative will have you letting go more easily, even if it hurts. There is always something to be grateful for.
10: For women who are going through a relationship break down right now, what would be your one piece of advice to them?
Right now, allow yourself to feel your emotions. Don’t push them away. You need to feel to be able to move on. By doing this you will begin to open up and reconnect with yourself. A good tool is to write down how you are feeling. Yes you maybe feeling overwhelmed and confused right now, but ask yourself, “What do I want from life?”
Being single after your break-up you have an opportunity to grow, to love from within and experience life like you never have before. Take this time to spend with yourself, but most importantly be kind to yourself.