One year ago, I signed my divorce papers and it was the beginning of a new life and an entirely new chapter.

In November of 2011 I found dance.  I’d started dancing (as I wrote here) in a couple of flash mobs, but then I decided to sign up for dance classes and ever since then my life has changed in many profound ways.  First of all I found something really joyous that I love to do.  I’ve met many people who love it too and many really great men.  Men to dance with – not necessarily the love of my life, but men I really enjoy.

My morning practice of reading, writing and meditating has changed a bit.  I’ve been chanting in the morning, which is very peaceful.

In August, my daughter Zoe moved back to New York after three years of living in San Francisco.

She arrived the first week in August, which is when my first piece appeared on the Huffington Post.

I’ve now had five pieces published and yesterday Zoe and I did a Huff Post Live on adult children moving home with their parents.  She did find a great apartment with a roommate and they are happily living in their own place now.

If you’re new to this blog and you or anyone you know anyone who’s going through a difficult time, go back three years to April 2009 and start reading.  There is a great deal of information about how to get through loss and grief a day at a time. 

And the present feels very exciting!  So stay tuned.  I never expected any of this, so it will be interesting to see what unfolds next.  If you’ve had any interesting surprises lately, I’d love to hear about them. 

Friedrich Nietzshe’s quote: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” used to annoy me.  I have to admit that I do find Kelly Clarkson’s song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” quite catchy.

Yesterday, I saw a TED talk by a woman named Jane McGonigal, a game designer who suffered a serious brain injury, which caused her to go through an extremely traumatic year of pain and constant suicidal thoughts.

She came out of it with a game – and research which supports the notion of “what doesn’t kill you, etc.”  It is exactly the conclusion I, too, have reached after my own difficult journey of divorce, death, and quite a bit of loss, all at once, and all of it traumatic. 

This theory is called “Post Traumatic Growth” – and though it sounds crazy, I believe it’s true.

Here is what she discovered and it completely matches my own experience:

My priorities have changed, I’m not afraid to do what makes me happy.
I feel closer to friends and family.
I understand myself better.
I have a new sense of meaning and purpose.
I’m better able to focus on my goals and dreams.

In addition, the idea of resilience in the following areas increases and gives you the chance to live a life of fewer regrets:

Physical resilience
Mental resilience
Emotional resilience
Social resilience

This is not to say that we don’t have bad days…we do.  But somehow they feel more manageable then they used to.  I know it sounds crazy and I hope you don’t spend the day with the song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” stuck in your head.  You should watch her talk on TED, it’s really good.

And if you find yourself singing the song, get up and dance!