Divorce can be painful, ugly, depressing, but you can be refined, and redefine yourself to live an extraordinary bonus life filled with peace, joy, gratitude, self-love and celebration. Listen as Kelli helps women going through any stages of separation and divorce go from fearful to fearlessly pursuing what sets their soul on fire.
On this episode:
• Joseph and Kelli will talk about trauma, the hurt, the pain, the guilt, everything that comes along with, or that can be attached to a divorce.
• The struggles that Kelli had to face during her relationship with her ex-husband and how she overcame them.
• Kelli’s transition from the divorce coaching to now the health and the wellness coach.
• How group counselling help people overcome challenges.
• Kelli shares her book and how it impacts to coach people.
1. Every person that you have been with has a piece of you and you have a piece of them.
2. If hurt people can hurt people, healed people can also heal people.
3. We’re all looking for unconditional love. The only place that we can get it is from God.
4. You are who you hang around.
5. The things that we do go through in life, prepare us for those times that are dark, for those times, that are uncertain for those times that you just I gotta find myself again.
1. “Love is not taught, it’s caught.”
2. “Victim energy is actually equivalent to death.”
3. “You adjusting by teaching others and then teaching others, teach others.”
4. “What happens in the home is just magnified out in the workplace.”
Connect with Kelli Calabrese:
Personal Website: https://kellicalabrese.com/
Connect with Joseph James:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/meetjoejames
Joseph: Hey everyone and welcome to another great show of Purpose Through Pain Podcast. I am your host Joseph James, and we have an amazing guest today that what she's gonna be talking about and sharing is the trauma, the hurt, the pain, the guilt, everything that comes along with, or that can be attached to a divorce. But this lady has not only just come through it, but she is helping coaching men and women across the nations, across the lands, across the seas, to in to be empowered to become a better version of themself, to live it lives at the fullest, not only in their own relationship, but also in health and wellness and entrepreneurship. And I just wanna welcome you guys ‘cause she's got a lot of things, a lot of great things to say Ms. Kelli Calabrese to the stage. Ms. Kelli, thank you so much for joining us today
Kelli: Joseph, it is my honor, I am so happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Joseph: Absolutely, absolutely. Wow, just reading your bio and just understanding, there there's no doubt that divorce can be, can take a toll on anybody. I thank God that I haven't been through one, but losing my wife to death I almost feel like divorce could be harder, and the reason why I say that is with death, one thing that I realize is she's no longer there, there is no, I'm gonna run into her because we have kids, or I'm going to still deal with her on text messaging or, the court issues or all the things that can come. But with divorce, you, it's almost like a drug out, it can be a drug out process that can cause a lot of hurt and pain and resentment and hatred and, things with children. Take me through what was going on.
Kelli: Yeah. I don't, it's hard to compare, obviously there's so many factors that. Are dependent and independent of divorce versus death, but in death it is final, like you said. And in divorce, there's so many things that the person who leaves and the persons who's left doesn't think about the person who's leaving. They might not be thinking about what about that first Thanksgiving or what about the graduation ceremony? And who is gonna pay the medical bills or, oh my goodness that woman is on the vacation with my kids that I'm supposed to be with or you're seeing your, former spouse on social media posting pictures, so happy with another person. And now they live across town and they have another family and perhaps stepchildren. There's just so much depth to it that you can't possibly know until you go through it. And it is a tearing of the souls, when two people come together in marriage, it is supposed to be till death do us part. And it is a spirit, mind, body, conjoining, and so when that's broken apart, your soul is torn, but there's still a piece of them that's with you and your soul is made up of your mind, your will, your emotions. So if you were the one who was left, you're probably dealing with a lot of rejection, and if you were the one who kind of blew up your family and left. They tend to deal with more guilt and shame for blowing up the family. So there's so many factors. How long were you together? How much did you identify with being that person's spouse? How much did you value and treasure that marriage? Was it abusive? Was there adultery? There's just, there are so many factors to it, and every single one is different and everyone will go through the grief process, it can look definitely different, but you can't skip it, you can't just, invite the next relationship into your life and move on because you take that same person with you with all the hurts, and you likely attract a similar person to the spouse that you had. So there's a lot of deep healing that really needs to happen.
Joseph: Yeah, and I'm so glad you said that about, one, it is a tearing of the souls, and I just, I was reading a book the other day and it was explaining that, and I'm like, golly, I'm like, I think of it sometimes, going back, growing up in a faith-based home, we were always talk about okay, like the sex before marriage thing, right?
Okay, or even dating and having the soul ties that come with that, and I always made it reference to an apple, okay, if you as a lady has an apple, your heart is an apple, and I as a guy come and I sleep with you, or I'm in a relationship with you, or you're in a relationship with somebody else, it's like somebody taking a piece of your heart. So when it comes, finally comes down to the time of your husband, your soulmate, it's who God created you to be with, are you giving them an app or are you giving them the core? But we're giving ultimately, regardless of that and regardless of the healing, not to take away from it, but like it is a stripping away of the soul. And it's a would you say that's the most painful process? Is the realization, I know there's things that go along with it, like you said the healing of let's say the abuse, but where do you see is the pain? Not that it's not in different areas, but do people really realize that it's a tearing away of the souls?
Kelli: I know I personally did, and I believe people do, I remember seeing that my husband was on a dating website while we were still married, I could tell you where I was standing, what I was, just that moment, and I literally could feel my soul tear, and when he said, my commitment to our marriage is zero, that went to my heart, it went to my soul. It just ripped it in half, and so the soul ties that you mentioned, when people are, having those intimate relations, every person that you have been with has a piece of you and you have a piece of them. So if you're now having sex with someone who's been with 10 people and who knows how many people they've been with, so pieces of their soul are now in you and you are part of other pieces, souls. And that's why there's a design the way things are supposed to be. Now we're in a difficult, struggling all in world, so it doesn't necessarily always happen that way, but the design is, you're made for one person and your souls are knit together and you stay together for better, for worse, and sickness in an health, until deaths you apart, but it just, it doesn't always happen that way, and God does hate divorce but he also hates his children being abused, so there are times when it is necessary if it's abusive, and I know, it's a lot of what you talk about.
Joseph: Yeah, absolutely, and I grew up in church that divorce was wrong. You don't ever get divorced, and I watched my mom, go through the abuse, the physical abuse, the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse, and I can safely assume the sexual abuse, maybe being forced into things. I don't really know a hundred percent, but I could just safely assume, but even I asked her at one point in time in our, in my, when I was a child, I said, mom, why don't you get a divorce? He beats you. My dad beat us, and of course my, before my dad ever passed away we had a phenomenal friendship. He was my best friend, but her, even though she came out and basically said is, I didn't wanna split family, but I think really what she was saying a lot more is, I don't want the children to hurt. I don't want y it's my disbelief because that's what church says, and I have a hard time Kelli, believing that as much as God does hate divorce, and I'm a totally in agreement with you on that is I don't think a God that loves his children enough to send his own son and sacrifice his own son. For me, is okay with me or anybody staying in an abusive relationship. I believe me too much.
Kelli: I agree a hundred percent with that. He hates divorce, but he hates to see his children abused, there's a lot more mental illness that goes on than people realize in marriages. And people stay because of their commitment, and as you said, they will stay for the children, and the statistics for divorced children are not good, their chances of suicide are higher, their chances of dropping out of high school are higher. Teen pregnancy is higher, jail is higher, abortion is high, it is not good, their chances of getting divorced are significantly higher. So if you look at what can happen generationally to a child with divorce, you have to take it seriously, you really wanna do all that you can, you wanna be able to say, I tried everything, it just wasn't safe to stay, it wasn't healthy to stay, it was abusive to stay and it's not better for the kids to be in an abusive family. And you're also training them about what marriage is like. So you're training child children, it's okay to be beat up and it's okay to beat people up. So that's not okay, that's not kingdom, that's not God's way at all. So you wanna get to a safe situation. So there is a lot of mental illness behind abuse and again, the hurt people hurting people that's just perpetuated generationally.
Joseph: Yeah, absolutely. And I literally just released a little, is a little 17 second, 18 second reel on Instagram and Facebook yesterday about if hurt people can hurt people, ‘cause we know it's true, healed people can also heal people and that's just, He's the vessel of God, because I know I don't have the healing power myself, it comes through, but it's getting out of that because at the end of the day, and this can go for anything in life, I believe that love is not taught, it's caught. We catch love, how did we really learn about love by the model of our parents? I learned that marriage was about abuse. I learned that marriage was about yelling and screaming and things like that because that's the environment that I grew up in. However, seeing and being around other people that loved on their wife and I'm like, man, I wanna, like we see the videos on social media of the old couple that are in their nineties and they're still loving each other. They've been married for 60 something years and I'm like, man, I wanna be like that. So I knew there was something different, and I'm like if there's something different, then I know that this doesn't have to be it. But a lot of us, we grow up in that and I can see where, children that are now the generational curse or the, of they get married and then into divorce. And if you see that, you can almost trace it back to it, my parents got divorced and grandparents got divorced and things like that, because they know and understand, that becomes a model to them that it's okay for it to happen, and I'm not making excuses for people that get into a relationship that's bad, okay. The mental abuse, the physical abuse, the spiritual abuse, the emotional abuse, ‘cause like you said, mental health is on the biggest rise we've ever seen in our nation, recognized anyways, I should say than ever before. So let me ask you this, you made the comment like you, you saw him on the dating site and you felt like your heart, your soul was being ripped out of you. What did you do? What was your thoughts? Like what do you do in that situation?
Kelli: Yeah, that was a moment of shock, obviously, and, unexpected and just hurt and lost, and I stood there frozen for a moment, and then you just start searching like, what do I do with this? What do I mean he was asleep in the master bedroom down the hall. And I'm like, what do I do with this? And so I ran out to the garage for privacy and I got into the car and I just sat in the car for a moment. I'm like, who do I call? Who do I call? Who do I call? And someone was highlighted to me who's a friend whose son used to live with us when he went to seminary for four years. He's moved on, got his PhD. I haven't, I keep in touch with him, but I hadn't thought of his dad in years, and it was this man, pastor Jerry, who was highlighted to me. So I call him and I'm like, this just happened. And he said, I'm gonna break the soul tie off of you, and he said, repeat after me. And he walked me through that prayer. And he said, you have legal grounds for your soul not to be tied to his, and so I could feel a peace just wash over me after that. So that was my initial reaction. And then once, the morning came and the kids were off to school and I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him then, it just, the next step started where I could see he wasn't committed to our marriage.
Joseph: Now you said something interesting that I've never heard before in the timing of it, he immediately, you see it on, you see it on your phone, you see it, he's on a dating app, and what would we say, 10, 15 minutes later, you're on the phone with the pastor and he's break like, I mean to me and of course I haven't been through this, but I'm thinking in my mind, I'm like, why not? The conversations, why not All the things of like, why are we doing this? Why can't we fix this before the breaking of the soul type? Okay, and I have a question asked because I want to understand this better. I get, and I understand completely the spiritual side of the Breaking the Soul tie, but what would you also say that at that moment, regardless of what he was going to do, if he was gonna fix it, that you are now done with the marriage.
Kelli: And we had been in, in counseling for a year already at this. I just happened to, in that moment, see that he was on a dating site, okay.
Joseph: Makes sense.
Kelli: Yeah, it was a bit of a bit of a slow fade as much as that moment was shocking because I was all in, I was a 10 in commitment and he was a zero. And that was just how it went. I didn't know Pastor Jerry was gonna do that, but that's how it went. He's you have, those legal rights now. But we had been, working on our marriage for, but we were married 25 years.
Joseph: Wow, wow. So let me ask you this is a question that I've Have been asked by females and of course males too. And I've heard, and I don't, I can't remember if I read this or what, but it says it takes, statistically it's about up to three years that a woman, it takes for a woman to actually leave because of, let's just say whatever problems that are happening, that the, is that true? Does you seem to be that something very accurate from the… well on average?
Kelli: Well on average, the person who leaves has been thinking about it for two years on average. So that means some longer and some shorter, but they do take time to give it thought. And the person who leaves has probably a two year head start because they've already been thinking, okay, how am I gonna do this? What am I gonna say at work? What am I gonna say to the kids? Where am I gonna live? What am I gonna say to my mom? So they've been thinking about this for two years, and the other person really could be blindsided by it. I really was blindsided even though we were just going to marriage counseling as a couple. And so that shock of, wow, he had a two year head start. So when you're still like, oh my goodness, I can't even, I'm numb, I'm in denial, I'm in anger, I'm in fear, he's already I got an apartment, I'm on the dating side, so they're way ahead of you. So the person who leaves in that sense definitely does have a bit of an advantage.
Joseph: So let me ask you this. Is because I've seen this with friends, I've seen this with other people that I've coached, is one individual, let's say the person that leaves, right? And you're talking about being two, three years ahead of them, possibly, is this why you also see, like they're immediately jumping into a relationship right after physically or logically we see, we know they're just they're just, this is a flinging or this is a rebound. But really this has been a mental process for a couple years of going on and preparing themself to move on, it just happened to be almost right after the actual physical divorce or the physical moving out from each other.
Kelli: Right, yeah, and it is both men and women. So it used to be more men that asked for divorce. In fact, biblically, a woman couldn't ask for a divorce for a long time. So it had to be the man, but now obviously women can. Covid shifted some of the divorce statistics a little bit. So women are now asking for divorces 70% more than men are, you have a lot more people getting prenuptial agreements more than ever, so they're going into it thinking, yeah, this might not work out, this might not last. A lot of prenuptial agreements, which you know, might not tell you a lot about or tells you a lot about their commitment or lack of it. The number one age for divorce right now is 30, the number one age for marriage is 28, so people are getting married later, they're living together, and then they're not staying married nearly as long. So married at 28, divorced at 30. The second highest age for divorce is 50. And that's typically when the kids are now outta high school, you're an empty nester and you've been together 20, 25 years and you're looking at each other going, we don't even really each other, we don't have anything in common. I'm tired of taking care of you, I'm tired of fighting or not having what my needs met, and that's when the women are saying, enough is enough, and they're leaving. So whether they're leaving for another man or they're just tired of being abused, but people will jump back into a relationship pretty quickly. And for the most part, it is not recommend, any counselor, and I'm a certified divorce care coach and counselor will tell you not to rush into that, you need to get healed at some point, the next relationship may be that final piece of your healing to really heal those places from your marriage. But you need to get a lot of work done before you get there, so where is your identity? Can you be a whole authentic person standing by yourself, hopefully with God? Have you really forgiven? Have you forgiven your spouse? Have you forgiven yourself? Your in-laws, God, wherever you're holding that bitter root have you renewed your mind to, this is my new life now. This is, me being alone, standing good, being okay, san I be by myself, be alone, and not lonely. And I want to get good there before I need another person to feel complete. Do I have vision for my life? Am I healthy in every area that I possibly can be? Am I presenting myself well to my next future partner? Am my whole physically, relationally, financially, emotionally, socially spirit in every area, you wanna get as whole as you possibly can before you move into that next relationship, and are even, are you at a place where you're just loving your life and you're okay? And if that person comes along, it's just an incredible bonus right to you having a joy-filled, peace filled life because you will attract so if you're bitter, depressed, addicted, whatever, that's where you go into attract. But if you're walking around going, man, I am so good, I'm so healed, I'm whole, I'm enjoying myself, I've got this authentic life, I'm okay by myself, and then you're available to attract a person on a much higher level because they're free, they've done the work, and you're not gonna be equally yolked with someone who is in a lower level of life and energy and friendships, and you want someone with similar fruit in their life.
Joseph: Yeah, that's so powerful, Kelli, that really is because, you can see it a lot throughout, even somebody that hasn't been married, maybe even a younger person that just continues to date somebody that's just, toxic after toxicity, and I've always tried to figure out like, is it like a father figure in their life? Is it like, where does that model come from? And I think you nailed it on the head where it's like, how they feel about themselves, how they, because I've seen plenty, especially on the female side, like your beautiful but your identity isn't there. And I'm like, you're the type of female that can attract anybody and get anybody's at whether you want or they want. But because of you don't have your identity, you're not okay with being alone, you're attracting the people that will give you anything that you want, but not give you what you really need.
Kelli: When you're hurt, you're gonna do something, we're all gonna glitch in some way, and some people may be the perfectionist, the enabler, the good girl, you could be the sick one ‘cause when you're sick you get love and attention that way. You could be the rebellious one ‘cause when you go off the rail you get attention by being rebellious, and so ultimately we're all looking for unconditional love. The only place that we can get it is from God, so we're doing things to attract love and it's not necessarily in a healthy way, but it's a manipulative, controlling way that we figured out, even as a child, we figured out if we got good grades, we got love. So we figured out if we were the good girl who helped mommy, we got love, and so somehow it starts in childhood, but then it just magnifies as you're an adult and you're figuring it out, and so we wanna work all that stuff out, all that striving, all whatever it is that you do depression, isolation, you're doing something and you want it to be a healthy thing. You always want it to line up with truth, line up with light, line up with goodness, line up with hope, and if it's not, work on those stuff because you are in a way just living in the past and being a victim. And if you look at the scale of energy with victim being at the bottom and love being at the very top, that love, joy, peace, victim energy is actually equivalent to death, so it's the energy of a body that's decaying. So you're literally decaying when you're living an irresponsible, blaming victim, life. You're dying is what you are when you're playing victim, and this could be in different areas of your life. So maybe you're a victim in relationships, but you're a superpower when it comes to earning money or you're a victim in your health, but you're a superpower somewhere else. So you might think, that's not me ‘cause I'm a rockstar over here,but there's probably some area of your life where you're stuck or stopped in going round and round with the same cycle of whatever it is. That's a low level thing.
Joseph: Yeah, absolutely, is there when you're coaching people that are going through a divorce, so do you do more focus on after divorce or during the divorce or all of it?
Kelli: You know what I do all of it, I have helped a few marriages be recovered, which is always the first goal. Hey, if it's not too late, if you come to me, and then some women will be like, I hate him, I hate his tattoos, I hate his bald head, I don't wanna be in the room with him, like I'm in the guest room and I'm like, okay, let's work on you, okay. Let's just forget about him, whatever happens, whether he stays or goes or there's a new man, let's just work on you. And in working on her, it just changes, the dynamic in the house when I can get her to hold up the mirror and go, wait a minute, it's not a hundred percent him and 0% me. What is it that I can do better? Because even if you're taking it to the next relationship, you need to go, what was my part in it? Because everyone had some, of course, some little part, even if it was small.
Joseph: Yeah. Both parties are guilty to whatever degree it may be. So when you are taking people that have gone through a divorce, right? And they're like, okay, I've made up my mind, I want to heal. Because there's always that denial too, right? Okay, what, do you have them, because you said you want to be the best version or the, healed in the most possible way, or, is there a, I wouldn't even say a percentage, but are things that you really like to coach people in or tell people or inspire people? I'm like, listen, this is what, here's a good indication of where you at in these different areas of your life that would, that most people would have success, and not only just moving on and being healed, but getting into another relationship. Is there things that you factor that you see has been like a great outcome for your clientele and stuff? The people that you coach?
Kelli: Yeah, there are definitely lots of great tools that we can use assessment tools to see where people are, and one of them is simply your readiness to change, like how ready are you to actually do something? And some people…
Joseph: I this one too.
Kelli: I wanna cry, I'm not ready, I have been wronged, this is in just, I have been, I just wanna say to him, cry for what? Great, you let me know when you're ready. How long are you gonna give yourself to sit there and cry? When are you gonna get back up? Then call me, ‘cause I'm here, I'm ready, I'm ready when you are. So some people just are not ready, they wanna sit in denial, in emotion, in outbursts, in fear, and you know who, I'll check back in on them. Hopefully at some point they wanna get back up, but then there's other people who are like, it's time I'm ready, and it's not just like this, oh better, better, like this, perfect, it's like it's messy.
Joseph: The rollercoaster up.
Kelli: It's down, you're triggered, you think you're okay and then all of a sudden, you know you're not, because whatever, you see them with pictures of another person and you're like, whoa, that triggered me or they get remarried that triggered me or it's Mother's Day and your kids have somehow been alienated from you and you're by yourself or Father's Day you're apart from your family, I mean it's, there's triggers along the way, but with healing and in time, you don't fall as long as deep, as hard or as fast. You can go through that cycle quicker and get back up and readjust in a healthy way.
Joseph: Is there a time for grieving in terms of Is there a limit of time? Do you encourage people? Okay, ‘cause I've run across people's yeah, I hate my ex-husband. And how long has it been, 15 years? I'll never get married again. Okay, there's some bitterness there, right? Okay, but and the reason why I asked this question is this right here? And I didn't realize I was doing it until about 10 months after my wife and my dad had passed away, I kept on getting this question on Facebook, people reached out to me and was like, how in the world are you still smiling? You lost your wife, you lost your dad, you're raising three kids by yourself, you have a business like you, how are you still smiling to begin with? The only thing I knew was it's my faith, it's God, okay. But even though that's the truth, it was still a really surfaced answer, so to say, okay, ‘cause how do you explain to a non-believer that doesn't believe in God? That God is your y your healing power or you got through it because of God, or you smiled because of God. So I'm like, I gotta start thinking deeper, and what I didn't realize I was doing is when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, I felt to my heart I needed to share her story. So I would go on Facebook live, I'd do about a 15 or 20 minute, life thing. And I'd cry, I'd laugh, I'd tell people my story, I'd give them an update, I'd pray with people, and that's eventually how I coped, I didn't realize that I was taking incremental times to actually grieve the grieving process started not when she passed away, when she was diagnosed with cancer, ‘cause even though I believed in my heart, God's gonna heal her, I also knew the reality of is she was just diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, you've got a couple months to live, and for me, what I realized is that I was taking time to grieve, and I relate it to this, if it's gloomy outside with a light drizzle, what do we all want to do? We all wanna stay in bed and do nothing all day long, okay. Because it's just like that somber, gloomy feeling, but if it's a pour down rain and it only lasts for 20 minutes, we kinda let it go, and then we're done and we go throughout our day, okay. I felt that if I was crying all throughout the day, it just added to more of the state of depression. Me not wanting to do anything, me not having any purpose, not setting any goals but when I realized that I was setting 15 to 20 minute increments of grieving and that being on Facebook, and then I had to come back in and be with my wife, be with my kids, be strong, I realized that when I grieved in incremental times, even if it went to, okay, I'm crying for 15 minutes and then I'm, I wiped my tears for one, and then I'm back to crying again for another 15 minutes. I found myself that the one minute became two, became five, became 10, and I wasn't doing it all throughout the day, and that personally, helped me get through the depression or the possibility of depression and, not wanting to do anything. Do you see that there's a, not necessarily saying that you have to have it done in two years, that's not what I'm saying, but do you see that some people have just, have moved on faster because of doing certain things and allowing I allowed myself to grieve. I just didn't realize what I was doing in incremental times to keep from it being five years down the road, 10 years down the road, 20 years down the road, and I'm still mad and hateful and I'm not married again.now eight months later, have:
Joseph: I'm so glad that you shared that, what did you start doing? I know you said it took three years of the grieving, what did you start doing to change your mindset, change your health, change the things so you can get through the grieving process, however long that was going to be for you?
Kelli: Joseph, I did all the things, I was like, oh my goodness, I was in counseling, I was in divorce care, I got certified as a divorce coach, I was at the retreats, I was at the Bible studies. I had 20 women coming to my house every other Saturday for a year, just prayer group. And every book, every pie. I was like, this has to stop, like how do I get this hurt to stop? And I'm a knowledge person, so I was just seeking, and the more I learned, the more it helped me understand, I'm like, oh, that made sense, like even what you said before, like he'd been thinking about this for two or three years, that's why he was able to move on. And I'm devastated, the learning helped, I was surrounded by wise friends and in those dark door kicking moments that I could call them and just be sad, and it was a season of really difficult, unreasonable events, especially those first 12 months that were just, emptied me out and took me to my knees. And it wasn't just the divorce, but so many other things that were happening, with the kids and professionally and moving, I moved four times in 12 months, it was just a lot of chaos and difficulty. So I just pressed in, really pressed in.
Joseph: And people have asked me to, say, how did you get past losing your dad and your wife? I'm like I just did everything I could, there was no specific thing. It was accumulation of multiple things and I guess the part of me is and you talked about this a couple times, about the identity, right? When you get something stripped away like that, like a marriage, like a, I was married almost 15 years, knew my wife almost, or I'm sorry, almost 14 years, knew my wife almost 16 years. So that was a big part of my life, and I didn't get married until I was 27, at 27 years age, so I wasn't young, but being almost 40 and now a father, having a one-year-old and then an eight-year-old, and then a 10 year old I felt like I didn't know who I was, like my thing was like, I'm just gonna go travel, I'm gonna go to every motivational program I can ‘cause I wanna find myself, and of course there was some benefits that got me on stage with Tony Robbins, there was a lot of great things that happened. But I realized also it's like I had also had to make the decision of stop chasing, trying to find myself. By there, I was there the whole entire time, but I had to be able to tap into what was already there, because I believe I'm a true believer, the things that we do go through in life, prepare us for those times that are dark, for those times, that are uncertain for those times that you just I gotta find myself again. And ultimately, I didn't need to be found, but I needed to pull out what was already in me. So I knew that my identity truly was in God for me, or, and it wasn't in some, it wasn't in being married, it wasn't in being a father. It wasn't in, even though I felt I was like, man, I don't know how to change diapers. I gotta do, it was like, I'm a father and a mother all at one time now. There was no, even though there was a warning of things, like you just didn't think it was gonna happen. So one thing that I heard, and this was interesting, I wanna ask, get your opinion on it, is Simon Sinek, you know who Simon Sinek is, okay? I was running across a video of him and he talked about helping alcoholics recover, okay. And it was like a 12 step process, and I didn't even hear steps one through 10, I don't even think he talked about it on steps one through 11, but he said this right here, and it really hit me because it was something I was already doing. He says if an alcoholic goes through steps one through 11 of becoming, sober and not going back to alcohol, he says if it doesn't do number 12, then he'll always go back to drinking alcohol. And number 12 was this is finding somebody that they can help and help them, right? And I think for me, I was able to get through the grieving process because I was ultimately helping other people go through relational problems, trauma problems, things like that. And I was actually getting a lot of my answers to the problems that I had, my coaching them, and I don't necessarily recommend it for everybody, you get divorced today and, in three weeks you're, you're coaching people on how to get through divorce, I'm not saying that's good nor bad, but how has helping, how has you helping other people helped you get through this painful process?
Kelli: That is the last step in the grief cycle, that's that, helping others and lost adjustments. So for example, when my husband, ex-husband sat me and the kids down and said yeah, your mom and I are getting divorced, we still love you. He just had that little talk and I was, I couldn't even breathe at the table ‘cause I'm like, I just ruined my kids' lives. So the commitment that I made in that moment was, I'm gonna get these kids set up for success. So they were going into their junior and senior year, so I'm like I need to get them in college successfully. So three years later that day came where I had a freshman and a sophomore in college, it was an 18 hour day, got the vehicles, drove them out, unpacked them, they had cell phones, I had their tuition paid. I had their cars paid, I had, they had, he's a baseball player. She's in a quest like everything I could do, and I came home that night and I was like, okay, now what? Because that was a three year mark and I really felt strongly, you need to help. People get through this grief of divorce, and I was like, oh no, oh no. That is not me, I kept, I was so private and so quiet, like literally my ex-husband had moved out before I told my mom and my brother and I talked to my mom every day talk text. My mom, my brother was so close to them and I was just so embarrassed by it that I didn't, I was, my clients didn't know, I kept this, the fourth sale sign was out, at some point you're like, okay, I can't hide this anymore, but I did not want this platform. So I went on this que and I had already gotten certified as a divorce coach just for me because I wanted to learn. So I was already certified, but I had gotten, was just so fed by a place called The Healing Place where I had been a client and where I went to do Divorce Care that I went up there and I said, Hey, do you need someone to teach divorce Care? And they're like, you're perfect, and so that first 14 week cycle that I taught was so healing for me. In fact, we, I still keep in contact with all 12 people that were in that first class and pray for them. And, but teaching it was a whole different level, it let me see how far healed that I was, but also how I could be ahead of other people and help them. So there was so much power. And then, I did that for a couple semesters and then one day I realized that there was someone in the class that I thought should teach it, and so the next level is teaching someone else to lead. So she happened to have a degree in Christian counseling and she, her was recently divorced, but it had been a three year process. So she had a long time to heal, and so now she's teaching the class and I love that. So it's the perpetuating, even building up more leaders to do it ‘cause I can't, do all the things, at some point you gotta pass the torch, right? So you adjusting by teaching others and then teaching others, teach others.
Joseph: That's building the legacy.
Joseph: And it really is, it to me is, it's like spiritual duplication, or multiplication, it's reproducing who you are through somebody else, it's not just the blood from our kids, even that's, to me I think that's our first, but so now you've gone from not just coaching and divorce, but you also help people out in some, a lot of other areas. How have you been able to transition from the divorce coaching to now the health and the wellness, and because you had a life of that was your life.
Kelli: I did, yeah. By training, I'm a clinical exercise physiologist for, 35 years now, I've been in the health, fitness, wellness industry as a coach. But in this last year, and I've been blessed to do so many things, writing, speaking, consulting, editing, spokesperson and media work, been on all the major networks, travel the world, speaking, awesome, so blessed, but this season has been a little bit different. So I'm actually doing business coaching with a variety of different businesses that kind of came to me. But I have the anointing for, ‘cause I've been an entrepreneur my entire career, but the thing that I'm really focused on now is, it's called Women Who Prosper, and I'm taking women who are on the edge of their seats, who want to be leaders, who wanna rise up and have betterment in every area of their life. It's a faith-based curriculum, but I'm focused on, the half of God's army, the women, getting women to get rid of this spirit of unworthiness, the spirit of fear and empowering them to live this bold, courageous life where they get to do new things and they get to be overcomers and whatever their superpower is, to really hone in on their vision, their mission, their why, and to help evangelize them to go out and do those things.
Joseph: Wow, that's powerful. That's part, why do you think there's such a it's on both sides. Society suppresses men as, the guys wearing, the skinny jeans and being weak and things like that. Not being the leaders of the home and where women have to now be the leader, okay. And I'm not against women making more money than a household that's, to me, that's not leadership, okay. But how has society or even cultures suppressed women to where they're getting to that point of not feeling empowered, they're not feeling worthy, they're not feeling the things that you were just saying that you do encourage and do you do help build up.
Kelli: Even if you look at when Jesus came on the scene for 400 years, women couldn't read the Torah, the Jewish law, more than half of them were against women. They were suppressing women. So Jesus came along to go, hold on, we're missing out on half a God's army here if we're not helping women. And women have a role, you can go read, anyone can read Proverbs 31, the men are supposed to be out front, they're supposed to be the ones out there with the sword and the shield. Fighting, leading, protecting, providing, with God and the woman is the support, the protector, and you can each have different strengths. Hey, if the woman is better at finances, let her handle the money in the house. And yeah, however it works, you both have strengths, but it's this coming together with God in marriage, so if the man isn't doing that, if the man is down for whatever reason, if he's sick, if he's ill, if he whatever, not being responsible, then the woman has to pull out her sword and her shield and just go out there and fight for the family. And that was the case in my family. My husband, he wasn't the provider, he wasn't the protector of, we didn't have that security in him, he a lot of foolishness. So I did have to rise up and do those things. And it's not the design, but it's what will happen if the man goes down. The woman should rise up, but if the man is out there trying and the woman pulls out her sword, she's gonna cut her husband's head off and she's gonna put him down and stab him, and that's not how it's supposed to be done either. We're here to support, to lift up, to evangelize, to cheerlead and to pull out their strengths and also to help identify their weaknesses ‘cause the woman is the most intimate with a man and vice versa. So we see the fears, we see those, the places where you're not thinking rightly and to, in a loving way, call those things out. For example, if you're jealous like, Hey Joseph, I see you're always comparing yourself to the neighbors or the other guy or whatever, and, to do it in a loving kind way to bring it to your attention, to help strengthen you in that and vice versa. Yeah, if you saw that in me, then you should find a gentle, kind way to pull that out in me.
Joseph: I love how you say it, the men being in alignment with God and then the gentle, kinder way. It's hey, we men, we have the ability to be able to talk to our wives, we don't have to yell and scream, we don't have to control them, we don't have to be the alpha, so to say what's been painted as the alpha. Let me ask you this, because, talking about your faith-based program is submit the word, submit an Ephesians, okay? And you get a lot of, I know I can get a lot of flack from women when I read that scripture, wives submit to your husband's as unto God, okay? And the way I've always looked and been taught, even though I grew up that way, submission is in its form, is love and respect, it's not a man controlling, or it should not be a man controlling, but how do you work with women to get them to understand the biblical role of submission in terms of helping their husband, supporting their husband, evangelizing their husband being the help mate that God called them to be, how do you go, how do you go about that or what does submission mean to you in the way that you talk about things or when you hear that?
Kelli: If you read right before that in Ephesians, before this, the woman submit, it's about man, be upright, get right.
Joseph: Hundred percent.
Kelli: Be righteous, stand up dude. So I am happy to submit to a wise man who is in line with God, then yes, all day long.
Joseph: You got it.
Kelli: I don't have a problem with that, the only one who was perfect was Jesus. So I don't expect a man to be perfect at all, but I wanna be under the covering and protection of a godly man then absolutely. But if it's a foolish man I can't submit, go and look up all the scriptures that talk about a fool. If you're dancing with a fool, you're gonna become a fool and you're gonna be abused, and there's no wisdom there. So yeah, I wanna be under a wise man. I'm happy to be under his covering and protection and have that knowing he's with God, then yes. And then how I complete him and he completes me, that's a power, that's a force for the world. When you have a power couple, watch out enemy, like we're just, it's the woman who trample the enemy and crushes him under her heel, the woman is powerful, the enemy went after the woman first try to take her out cause she can with the man reproduce. I'm all for submitting under a godly man.
Joseph: Powerful, and I'm glad that you said that ‘cause I knew you were gonna lead to it. And I, but I had to leave it open for you, it's a man coming under, men love your wives like Christ, love the church ‘cause he gave himself for the church, okay? And he served the church, but if we are not and I tell this to people all the time, ladies, if your husband is telling you to submit, then number one, he's not submitting to God, okay. Number two, he doesn't know what submission is anyways. Not biblical submission, so I wanted to hear your take on that, because I know there's no doubt that when you're empowering women to come in their rightful role within a marriage, that's part of it. But I think the rightful role all revolves around is the man and his rightful role because how can anybody, whether this is an entrepreneurship business, things like that, how can any CEO, whether a man or a woman, okay, lead his people, his team, to doing something if he's not doing it himself.
Kelli: Yeah, what happens in the home is just magnified out in the workplace.
Joseph: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. And you mentioned that earlier about they could be struggling in their marriage, but like they feel successful in their business. To me, I think it's eventually that it catches up too, because I remember and I was sharing this with you a little bit, is when I felt like I was ready to move on because I had a happy marriage, okay. And after 14 years, I'm like, did I maybe have the wrong mindset? I was like, man, I need somebody to help take care of these kids, I'm not built to be alone, God, help me, there's a reason why you gave Adam a woman, ‘cause you saw that men was not fit to be alone. I was one of them, and I was desperate, okay. But I was also going through a very fast healing process. God started my healing process before my wife ever passed away, I just didn't realize it until after she passed away, and, but I met the lady that I just married a few weeks ago, and everything was great for the first seven days. And then we met, and then it just went downhill from there, every trigger that you known a man came out from her ex and her narcissistic, the relationships that she was in, and I didn't even know what triggers were, okay. But the reason why and a lot of the problems that we had is we both wanted more, but we weren't ready for it. We weren't ready to be in that relationship, we weren't ready to be committed because we still had some healing in different areas of our life, okay. I was still dealing with a lot of rejection. She was still dealing with a lot of what he did as well to her, but to get to the, to my point here is, several months ago we finally said, okay, number one is I'm trying to coach men on leading God leadership, but yet I am living with a woman and playing married, okay? And not in, we were trying to do everything right, but we weren't doing it fully, and I finally said, you know what? I'm tired of the toxicity, I'm tired of this, it's either going to, we're either gonna come under God's alignment and covering, me as a man, and or we're, this is gonna be done. This will not work for us because we see the cycle of toxicity between us, we know that we're supposed to be together, we know that God's doing great things for us through us, okay? We're healing a lot, but we haven't made that final commitment. And until it was, until I said, me as the man, as the head of the household says, I am not going to sleep with you anymore, I am not gonna do these things with you anymore, that means get it on the couch, we didn't have the money at the time to move you out into a, to an apartment, kind of thing. But until, when I finally made that decision, did everything start flowing with us the way God has created a relationship to be? And I'm not saying that relationships won't have difficulties, that's not what I'm saying, it's not, peanut butter and jelly, okay? There's gonna be the roller coasters at times, but, It doesn't have to be toxic to the point of, I'm wanting to kick you outta my house, or I hate you, or I don't wanna be in a relationship with you anymore. Through the covering of God, if everybody is doing what God has called them to do, and I'm, I truly believe, like you said, it starts with the man. And until I came under that coveting, covering for myself and that alignment with God, did everything start to align within our relationship with my kids again and then even with my business. So I was getting a trifecta of all three, but they were coming at different stages because we were not in a great relationship when we first met, but my business was thriving, I was doing seven figures easy, that area was thriving. So I'm like hey, if the business is doing good and my kids were good, everything else eventually work out, but ultimately it came back down to me as an individual, me not being who I was called to in my relationship with God as the alignment with him, as the covering under him, and then the covering of my household.
Kelli: There's a lot in there about order, there's a reason, and you can go back, there's a lot in there about marriage and when you read it gives you the answers. So it's in there for a reason.
Joseph: Without a doubt, that's the instruction booklet. So for those that are listening, how, what would you do for those that are in that process of maybe they've just gone through a divorce or maybe they're getting towards the tail end of maybe they feel like they're ready to get out there. What would be some advice that you would give them besides coming to you as a coach, okay. What would be some things that you can give them to help them out?
Kelli: Yeah, I would say keep your eyes on God. I don't know what your relationship is with God, but the quicker that you can, have a heaven experience and really know that God is real and he's with you and he never leaves you, that is the first step in the right direction to get realigned, religin, that's what religion is, religion line up with God. So that would definitely be, first I would say, I wish I could say I did this early on, but forgiveness forgiving yourself is going to be really an important part of your healing, there was a book that I read forgiving Forward, I think it was called, yes, forgiving Forward by Habel, was a book that I highly recommend Unforgiveness. And what I found in that book was that forgiving myself was actually the hardest part that I was holding my own feet to the fire, and so if you have bitterness and you're just stuck, and just the thought of the other person makes grind your teeth and clench your fists, consider that book for giving forward, even just for yourself to get out of that anger and fear. Community, so important, get yourself around people and don't get around all the divorce bitter people. Get around the people who have great marriages or who are happy and single or have successfully gone on the other side of divorce. But you need to, have a pause, take a break as life happens fast. So cut out all the things in your life that aren't working, so even that to don't list of stopping the things that are just draining you or bringing negative things in negative people. Like cut stuff out, get, maybe you have to get off social media, but what do you need to stop doing that's not serving you? Maybe you're staying up late, maybe you're watching porn, maybe start with the to don't lift list before you do anything new, but what could I cut out? What's toxic? What is not serving me? And if I miss it, I won't, if I get rid of it, I won't miss it or I'll be better for it, and then once you make room because you've cut out the toxic things that no longer serve you, then you can ask good questions. What do I need to start to do to start healing? Maybe it's simple, I'm just gonna write, three things of gratitude every morning or every night or start somewhere, but start to rebuild yourself, it could be journaling getting out in nature, you need to do something different if you want a different result. So maybe you walk at sunset every night around a lake or find something that's gonna feed and fuel your soul. Listen to good sermons, get in the word and be okay, being imperfect. Be okay, being sad, it's part of it. Jesus was sad, He was angry, He went through emotions. He was, guttural, yelling when Lazarus was dead, when he was in the temple and they were, mistreating it, he was throwing tables around. It's okay, whatever you're feeling, don't deny it, like God can handle it, give it to God, if it's anger, bitterness, just searching, it's always, I like to have what I call a heaven experience. So the highest thing that I can imagine is heaven, so if you can just close your eyes in someplace safe, and just imagine what it would be like to be in heaven, whatever that looks like to you, and being able to talk to the creator of the universe and just ask him, how do you see me? You can ask him any question and he will answer, and it'll be profound and healing, it'll always be good, it'll always be peace filled, you'll always leave with some answer. So just carving out that time to create that relationship is the most important thing you can do.
Joseph: I love it, love it. Now, besides your coaching, you are also a author?
Joseph: You've written a book?
Kelli: Yeah, I've written a few books, a few books. Yeah. What has been so impactful about writing the book and which one do you feel like is the most helpful for what you coach people on? The last three books, the one was called Passions, and in a nutshell it's what would you tell your younger self? So it's wisdom from someone who's gone through some stuff that you would say to your younger self. The Mom and Dad Pan's book actually came out way before Covid, but it was about God family and then tending to the gifts that you're given without ever sacrificing your family or God, so it's Mom and preneurs, being an entrepreneur and still valuing family. And then the latest one is Success Habits of Super Achievers, and that looks at, okay, these are people who've overcome some really difficult things, but they got knocked down 10 times, they got up 11, and not only did they get up, but they did something great with it. So it's not just the morning routine or just one thing, but how do they overcome something unthinkable, something really hard. And they did something great with it.
Joseph: That's good, that's good, and now that's a collaboration book.
Joseph: Yeah, ‘cause you've got some pretty some pretty heavy hitters in there.
Kelli: Yeah, I do. They're amazing friends, I'm so blessed with the people that I know. Kyle Wilson is actually the glue that brought that group together. He's a dear friend, I've been in his mastermind for almost eight years.
Joseph: Wow. It's, that's a whole nother subject, there's so much, there's so much power to being in the right circles. And we can talk about you, Tony Robbins has said it, Jim Ron has said it, you are who you hang around. If you're hanging around five drug addicts, you're gonna be the six. We can, that's a whole another subject. We won't get into that right now.
Kelli: Yeah, Kyle Wilson is actually, he was Jim Ronan's business partner for 18 years.
Joseph: Oh, that is right, Ah I, okay now I'm making sense now making sense. For whatever reason I was thinking he was a younger guy, but he is not.
Kelli: Yeah, he's later fifties, early sixties.
Joseph: Yeah. For whatever reason I had a like a 25, 28 year old in my mind. And I don't know why I did but how can people get in touch with you? What is the best way, ‘cause I know you're on social media, you've got your websites you've got your coaching programs your Facebook groups. What is the best way for people to reach out to you, get signed up if they're interested?
Kelli: People can email me, I love to hear, people's stories and what inspired you about this message today with Joseph, Kelli with an I @kellicalabrese.com is my email, or Kelli Calabrese in all the places. Kellicalabrese.com on Facebook LinkedIn, Instagram, I have private Facebook groups for divorced women that they can join. Intentionally Fabulous is actually the name of my divorce recovery program, and I took all the things that I learned in three years and put them into one course. It was the things I wished I knew when I was going into my divorce that I put into this program.
Joseph: Wow, powerful. Kelli, I am so honored to have you on the show today. Thank you so much on the short notice, and we really appreciate it. For those that are listening, don't hesitate to reach out to Kelli. She's a wonderful soul, been following her for quite a while. Not stalking her, but we have a circle of friends and she's finally getting to connect with her. And she's just an amazing soul and amazing person, has a very powerful story, and there's no doubt with my mind that for those that are going through, not just the divorce, but also the wealth and the hellness, the health and the wellness and then also entrepreneurs and building the businesses and things like that, that she's the woman. She's the woman to come after and search after. So Kelli, thank you so much for coming on the show, I really appreciate it.
Kelli: Thank you, Joseph, so happy to be here.