Want to be intentionally fabulous?
Have you struggled through a divorce, and want to rebuild your life?
My guest today is Kelli Calabrese and she has walked this walk. Kelli has been a Life Coach for most of her career, and now helps women learn to rebuild their life after a divorce.
She is the best selling author of several books such as Success Habits of Super Achievers and Passionistas.
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"Living the life I want" was a phrase that I heard often while working with clients going through cancer, and so I created this podcast. I also saw that there is a gap in knowledge about cancer, lymphedema and how to manage recovery, so I created Fit after Breast Cancer.
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In Good Health!
There's so much fear that comes in. So I help women get that courage back so that they can be bold and not be a statistic.Speaker 2:
Hello and welcome to in the rising podcast. My name is Betina brown, and this is the platform I've chosen to talk about living a life that's really your best life. And for some of us, our best life comes from some of our deepest saddest , most broken moments. And when I see the words I do, a lot of us will think of people with smiling faces and families around them and rings and vacations. But for a lot of people, the words I don't come 5, 10, 20, 25 years later, and that's heartbreak, that's pain, that's an emotional rollercoaster and that's a feeling of loss. And my guest today is Kelly Calabrese who has experienced those words I don't, but she has transformed that. I don't into a message to help others that I don't into . I will overcome. Thank you so much for being on in the rising podcast today. I am eager, excited, and , um, really interested in what you have to say with just what I know about you so far. So thank you for being with me today.Speaker 1:
It is my honor be Tina . Thank you. I'm happy to do it.Speaker 2:
So you have been through a lot. I get to read about you beforehand. <laugh> you have been through a lot. And , um, what I love about your story is that it resonates with , um, likely a lot of women, cuz it definitely resonated with me. Share a little bit about what you're , what you're doing, what your passion , um, what you're intentionally fabulous in right now. <laugh>Speaker 1:
Yes. Thank you. So I empower women to overcome stress rejection, fear to create a fabulous bonus life after divorce. That is my number one focus right now.Speaker 2:
Yes. And often what I encounter is when we have a passion and a drive that I can see, I get to see you. Um, there's usually a story of why this became so important. Are you willing to share a little bit like why this became so, so much of a , a passion for you today?Speaker 1:
Absolutely. Nobody goes to the altar thinking their marriage is going to end in divorce. And I certainly did not. I knew very early on that I wanted to be a coach literally at 13. So I spent an entire career as a fitness, nutrition, wellness lifestyle coach. I have always desired for people to be well spirit , mind, and body . So I was blessed to have an amazing career. And 24 years into our marriage, my husband came home and he said, my commitment to our marriage is zero. And he left and it floored me. I just had to question everything in my life where my identity was as a wife and mm-hmm <affirmative> . I was a mom, but my kids were, you know, they were just starting driving and going off to college and having boyfriends and girlfriends. And so everything in my life was really changing. And I had to question that. So I went on this healing journey for about three years <laugh> and I did all the things I went to divorce recovery. I was in Bible study. I went on the retreats. I was at the seminars, read the books, listened to the Ted talks. I mean, had the healing guide coaches and everything that I could do to get well. And it's about a three year process. Really it's four to five, but I really made a commitment to get well as , as quickly as I could. And when I felt like I had arrived on the other side of the healing, you know, totally forgiving, I decided that I would put together the program that I wished was available for me because while I was getting divorced, I had about eight or 10 really close friends who were also going through divorce. And I just wanted people to do something healthy. And when you're in that much pain, you're going to do something to cope. And I saw some people do some unhealthy things, whether it was, you know, run into the arms of another man or alcohol or isolation or escapism, any of those things are just not healthy long term .Speaker 2:
And I like that you pointed out and you also said it , um , just now without any , um , finger pointing or judgment that we are all looking to cope when we are going through these and we can recognize what's healthy. What's not healthy. But at the end of the day, in that moment of severe pain, we're looking to heal. We're looking to get out of the pain, which is , um , kind of a ripping apart. It's like a physical, spiritual ripping apart. And you talked about your identity. You created this , um , goal of three years. Was there a reason that you were trying to get as was that a three year goal was there was something about three years , um , versus, you know, oh, you need six months for every year of marriage, which can be a long healing. How do you view that?Speaker 1:
<laugh> , you know what ? I was not that formulaic about it. However, I remember early on meeting a friend for tea and he was divorced about seven years and I was really in the thick of it. I mean, it feels like a tornado came in, it blew up your life. It scattered everything everywhere. It left this gaping painful, excruciating hole in your heart. And it's just tough to see when you're in the depths of the grief and everything is changing. I mean, for the most part, you're moving your job may change. Your kids' schools may change. You're navigating so many, just unreasonably difficult, major life changes at once. And I said to him about how long until you felt normal. And I'm like six months at this point. And he said about four years and I almost spit my out four year . Like that just sounded can't for four years . And so , you know , whether it is an intention at that time that, wow, I'm gonna , I'm just gonna do whatever it takes to be. Well, and I was bitter. I mean, I went through this deep, deep sadness and all the things that I didn't even realize there was this grief cycle. I had studied personal development for over 30 years. At this point I coached people for over 30 years and I didn't know that this really was a thing I'd had lost before I lost my dad. I've lost best friends to cancer. I've had businesses blow up, but this was my massive turning point. And so the healing is never linear. You know, you think you're doing okay, you have some breakthrough. And then all of a sudden there's a trigger. You know, you see a picture of your ex on social media with some new woman or, you know, he, you know, miscommunicate something to the children or, you know , you think you're good. And then it's like, ah , there's just still another stab in there. And so I wanted to just keep healing until I got to the point where it wasn't an issue that I was walking in joy and freedom and excitement about the future and really renewing my mind about the past and releasing it.Speaker 2:
Yes . And you, you have like you, I can see you in your joy right now. And when you show up in that way, just the , just living, just being, you makes a difference for other women as well, that there is this hope that there is something in their own light, their own path that they can attain with that you, you went also, you go ahead, goSpeaker 1:
Ahead. I was gonna say it is an inside out job. So everything has energy, the lowest level of energy, the smallest detectable vibration is that victim level energy where you just feel like the world is happening to you. And there is nothing you can do about it. The highest level is that love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentle. I mean, that's the highest levels. And the tipping point to get from the lowest level to the highest level is courage. So you really need to have that courage. And in that divorce season, whether it's from any period of, you know, we're thinking about getting divorced to we're decided we're separated all the way through the court and mediation and all that happens that the final divorce papers even years later is the courage you need to, at some point, have the courage to go. Well, I was knocked down 10 times. I have to get up 11. And if I can help women to really overcome the fear, cuz there's a lot of fear that creeps in about your money, about your kids, about, you know, will you ever have trusting love again, will you be able to, you know, live a place, get a good job. There's so much fear that comes in. So I help women get that courage back so that they can be bold and not be a statistic.Speaker 2:
How has your life changed now that you are helping women through that? How do you feel that your purpose has changed? Your coaching has changed.Speaker 1:
I never wanted this to be my story ever. I really did value my marriage and really on either side of my family, there were no, I mean, divorce affects 50% of all first marriages and there were barely any cases. All of my cousins are still married. And so I felt like such a failure for a long time. And now I can say this is crazy. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm glad that he left. And again, in a million years, knowing what I now know, I probably could have saved my marriage and it could have been good. However, that was the struggle. That was the turning point that made me who I am today and the best is totally yet to come in every area of my life and getting to help these women has been so rewarding, getting them to see that there are some great things about being single, about getting a second chance about being able to make all the decisions about having a fresh slate. Um, you know, you get to really decide everything. It's, it's a brand new club slate. So friends where you work , um, you know , what you do with your time, you could be in the best health and shape of your life right now. So just helping them to see and get excited again and really hold up the mirror and see what was holding them back in the past. And I know for me personally, I was a perfectionist. Um, I was in a relationship where I couldn't really trust my spouse. So when there's not trust, the other end of the ditch is control <laugh> . So I mm-hmm <affirmative> I try to control everything. And um, because he was a little, he was the baby a little bit less responsible. I was hyper responsible . So, you know, looking back now at how I acted in the relationship, I will never do that again. So it's great to work on me, to kind of catch myself in going, you know what? I'm not a perfectionist anymore. I , there are so many less things that I can control or that I can control that I can. So it's just been a fun awakening.Speaker 2:
And what I love about your story is that you talk about what you can control because in the middle of a divorce having this is my personal experience is that I felt I had no control over anything like this. There , I didn't even know. I didn't even know anything about anything. And I do. I do really, when you, what you said really resonated is that the lowest level is the victim level. That life is happening to you and to regain control over yourself and your identity as a woman with a , whatever your first name and last name is. And that a wife is a beautiful role. I, I enjoyed being married, but that was not the only thing that re was my life, you know, and same with motherhood that there's still a woman there who plays a lot of roles. And I think that is something great that you highlighted , um, just that you have the control of rechanging your energy.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I agree. I mean, it was a rough three years. There were a series of just very difficult unreasonable events. And there were so many things that I didn't know. I didn't know what gas lighting was. I didn't know what parental alienation was. <laugh> I mean, there were so many things that are a part of divorce that I didn't realize, for example, the children, no matter what age they are, are affected by divorce, whether they're three or 30, their hearts are affected and they are going to need to express that somehow. And typically it is the stronger parent. They need a safe place where they can go and be angry and blow up. And even if that parent, you know, was the victim or, you know, it was just not just for them to treat the parent that way. That's just what happens. So while you're managing, trying to navigate your own heart and all the practical things in the world that you need to deal with every day now you're potentially dealing with kids who are just, who should be loving and supportive and helpful doing the opposite. Cuz their world just got blown up too. Yes . So there's so many far-reaching dynamics that, you know, the person who leaves doesn't possibly think it all through. You just can't know. It's like, if someone says they've had an abortion and you've never had one, you can't know if someone says they've a divorce and you haven't, or their house burned out . I mean, unless you've experienced it and you just don't know the depth of everything that's affected.Speaker 2:
Yeah. And you said you created a program that you wish you had. Describe that a little bit please.Speaker 1:
Yeah . So the program that the brand is intentionally fabulous and intentional because we do need to be intentional. If we're not, it's like we're in a cruise to nowhere and the waves of life are just tossing us around and battering us and sending us some place that we don't possibly even wanna go. And so the , the fabulous part is a whole amazing life. A way too . You still have a great plan on your life that can happen. That's even better than you could ask, think or imagine today. So the program within the intentionally fabulous brand is called single redefined. So how do you redefine your life now in the present? And so what that means is first we get a hold of your identity, who are you by yourself? And it's a spirit, mind, body approach. So for me, it's me and God like, who am I? How does God see me? What's the truth in that versus my roles here, you know, as a wife, as a coach, as a mom, all of that could be temporary. And then we get into forgiveness. And I know that's a topic where people are like , oh , like , uh , you don't know my story. If you heard my story, you would never tell me to forgive. But we, we do a deep dive on forgiveness. And a lot of times the hardest part is forgiving yourself even more than your spouse. But we, I walk them through this whole forgiveness journey. And a lot of times forgiveness just wasn't modeled in their life. You know , maybe as a kid we heard like tell your brother, you're sorry, but you know, I didn't really understand like deep forgiveness. And then we get into renewing your mind cuz you can't sit there and keep telling that same story over and over and oh, it's just toxic. And then your body reacts. So we need to renew that mind. Then we talk about purpose because there is still a great plan and purpose on your life. And have you tapped into that yet? You might need to really sit and go deep in, what am I designed for who, you know, who am I supposed to leave a legacy for? What's the meaning. So we get into that and then gratitude is a superpower. So we do a deep dive on gratitude, self love , cuz there's so much self-rejection that happens. That's so dysfunctional in divorce, especially divine health, which that's my superpower. I've been a , a health wellness, nutrition lifestyle coach for 30 plus years. We talk about abundant wealth because single moms are the number one group for poverty in the country. And that doesn't have to be that way. And then the final week is joy, resurrection and celebration, cuz it's not all struggle. You know, it's not all just hard suffering difficult. There is still joy in it.Speaker 2:
And I love that. I love how you put it all together, the mind, the body and the spirit, because they are all interlocking with one another. And I do really enjoy the title intent. I have had so many , um, I've been really fortunate to have so many interviews where it keeps going back to the word intention, what is your intention? And that it can sway left and right, but that you have your eyes on the goal, whether you're bowling playing base , but you have your intention on what kind of life you want and fabulous, abundant, beautiful. And , um, is, is part of that. And then the self-rejection piece that I think a lot of women don't even talk about. We talk about self love , we think automatically wine and a bathtub, but there is a lot of self-rejection that we can feel , um, that we're not, we're not worthy of something anymore. Do you feel like you encounter that a lot in your coaching experienceSpeaker 1:
So much? I personally a spirit of unworthiness on me my whole life because of my upbringing. My dad grew up in orphanages and foster care system . So he already had that orphan kind of a spirit. And my mom was the youngest by far in her family , like , you know, 15 and 20 years, her siblings were older. So she was kind of that oops, baby. And she kind of knew that they wanted to have an abortion. Didn't really wanna have her . So you just grow up like, oh I better be the good girl cuz I don't wanna, you know, ruffle feathers. And so this was on me of not feeling worthy, looking back now I can see it, but this self-rejection it's it's so dysfunctional and rejection is a part of life already. Like we are not taught how to be resilient, get knocked down the 10 times, get up 11. We're not taught that. And I'm really concerned for the kids today, you know, kindergarten through college and older that, you know, just a little bit of stress seems to paralyze them. They're not taught this resilience, but the self criticism, when you see someone who's outwardly critical of other people, they're the most critical of themselves. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so getting them to see themselves differently, not as a victim , um , not as a control freak, but to just catch yourself in the self rejection, catch yourself in the rejection. You're sending to others by criticizing them. So what I had to decide to do was live a life that I call a predecided life of forgiveness. So I already decide before I even get my head off the pit in the morning that I'm not gonna judge anyone else , I'm not gonna judge myself that I am not going to self criticize. I'm not gonna be a victim that it doesn't really matter in the big picture what's happening in the government, in the news, you know, worldwide for my day. So I get up going, how do I win the day for everyone I can affect including myself, my family, my neighbors, my clients, and ripple out from there. So I wanna be authentic to me and you know, have my core values of, you know, trust and being vulnerable. The things that are important to me that at the end of the day, I can say I was authentic to me. I checked off the urgent, important things I felt I needed to do today. And I'm not gonna go throughout the day rejecting myself because that that's not what I'm here for. And that just, you know, wastes time and takes away from my life and joy and what I have to share with others. And hopefully that's really meaningful thing . So I don't wanna sit here being, you know, rejected, rejecting myself, the world rejects me enough. <laugh>Speaker 2:
You know, that's and that's, and that's true. And, and to know that before my head gets off the pillow, that there's a choice right away. First thing in the morning that, you know, you're, you're not even inundated with anything, you have this, you've also been a published author and, and , and , and podcasting, you are one busy lady. <laugh> share a little bit about other things that you're involved in.Speaker 1:
Yeah. So I do three best selling books. Um, the first one is called mom and dad pins . And it's basically, you know, putting your family first, but then also contributing to your industry on a really high level. So you can still do amazing things without sacrificing your family. The second book is called Passionist is , and that's what would women, my age sort of the , with the wisdom, say to your younger self. So it is written towards millennial women who are amazing and they have so many incredible things that we can learn from, but what's the wisdom you would tell your younger self. And then the third book is called success habits of super achievers . And that tells the story of over 80 ordinary people who had some difficult thing happen to them that used it to overcome the adversity and do something really extraordinary with it and leave a legacy. So I suggest people read one story a day, one chapter a day when they wake up would be most ideal because when you read these stories, you just get so inspired. So encouraged, so fired up. When I think about, wow, if that person overcame that I can certainly get to my day and do something that's also incredible.Speaker 2:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And you have just made so much of a difference. You know, you've written these books, you , you make an impact and a legacy, and you've mentioned it several times in your conversation that you are leaving a legacy of impacting women of empowering women. And I can totally hear it. I can see it. I've um, would love for you to share your website. So people that , um , are listening can hear , um , how to get in touch with you.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. The website is Kelly , K E L L I Calab Bree , C a L a B R E S e.com . And they can see, you know, that's kind of my main hub for the divorce coaching program. I have an incredible nutrition store that helps with, you know, youthful aging and energy and detox and that kind of stuff is there. The books are there. And then I also have a free private Facebook page where I am coaching these women. So anyone who feels like they need to overcome any relationship challenges, it's called intentionally fabulous . So that's on Facebook. Yeah . And they can go and they can join there. And I really pour into that group. I support them a lot. We talk about the hard things we laugh. We , um, you know, we challenge each other, support each other. So it it's a great place to be a part of a positive community.Speaker 2:
I really hope that you found today's podcast beneficial. And even if you've been through the divorce years ago, I love how she talks about courage and forgiveness and forgiving yourself because we can move on in life and still not do that. One thing that is important and that's forgive ourself for things that we didn't see for the things we did see, and we ignored or for the things we ignored in the first place and figured out it'll work itself out. We all have a place and opportunity to grow through every experience and every opportunity, if you feel that Kelly's message was something that you needed or, or someone that, you know, I encourage you to forward this podcast to them. And this podcast will do so much more in the hands and ears of those that can really make an impact for and transform their lives. And so I welcome you also to leave a five star review for this podcast. If you feel like it really makes a difference and thank you for your time, cuz it's something we don't get back. And until next time let's keep building one another .