In 2003, life as I knew it came crashing down around me. My respected, church going, physician husband was arrested and all the security I felt I had in my life evaporated that day. My seemingly safe and financially secure life changed very suddenly with one phone call.

Hi, I am Nichole Clare and I have traveled down a path of significant transition over the past few years.

William, my husband at the time, was arrested at his office on a Friday afternoon after a full day of questioning. The police descended on his office in the morning and he was hauled out in handcuffs by the afternoon. When I first got the call, I was confused and didn’t understand the full scope of what was going on. Arrested? Did he drive too fast and hit a pedestrian? It was the only thing that made any sense. As the truth trickled out over the next two days, I found that my life was not what I thought it was. As it turned out, William was very busy leading a second and very secret life. He had a business that no one (at least no one I had crossed paths with) seemed to know about. It was the business of making methamphetamine. The irony was that he was a respected surgeon who made his living healing others. He was a church elder and attended a men’s bible study every Thursday morning. All indications lead me and those around me to believe my life was normal. Because I was in charge of the financials for both his practice and at home, I felt secure. All income and outflow was present and accounted for. I had an illusion of a secure and stable life and now it was gone.

Needless to say, I was blindsided and overwhelmed with feelings of betrayal. I had friends calling from California to Virginia, all asking me what in the world was going on? I had neighbors calling to warn me to stay inside because news crews were outside my home. I had to decide what to tell my children and if they should go to school on Monday.

My ex-husband ultimately served six years in prison and permanently lost his license to practice medicine. I was alone. I had a lien against the home I lived in. I also had a lien on the home we were to move into in two weeks time. I was left to dismantle his office, deal with medical records and fight for family assets that were surrendered to the State. I had to make sure that my children were taken care of, and, oh, find a new career. I had been out of the workforce for ten years and was left to financially support and raise my three children completely on my own. In my previous life, I was a successful sales rep who sold a million plus dollars in paper a year. I left my career when William finished his residency to raise my growing family. Breaking back into the workforce was much more difficult than I anticipated. I found that a woman with a long work absence was no longer a marketable asset. After sending out hundreds of resumes, attending job fairs, and employing networking strategies, a recruiter finally told me, I was of no interest to corporations at this stage of my life. I was discouraged but not defeated.

I was onto plan B. I was determined not to spend the rest of my life in survival mode. I wanted more. I wanted to create a purposeful life that I loved living. I wanted “who” I was to line up with how I was going to live my life and I knew I needed a plan. When Jack Canfield, the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and The Success Principals, asked me to appear with him on the Montel Williams show it was an affirmation that obstacles can be overcome.  The experiences that I shared on the program shaped my approach to living fully awake. It has re-shaped my career and has been the foundation of my work.

I was fascinated by how women bounce back from major life transitions. Looking back, my stable and secure life was not always idyllic. While my story was probably more extreme than most, many women have to have conquer the task of rebuilding their lives after divorce, death of a spouse, or other major events in their lives. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there trying to put the pieces of my life back together. Statistically 50% of marriages end in divorce.

The feelings of chaos, loss and worry that accompany a life transition can take over. Creating a new life gets put on the back burner. Emotional and financial concerns drive women to get lost in fear and make rash decisions. Life becomes a series of REACTIONS instead of a well thought out PLAN put into action. Knowledge is power. Putting together a team of resources is time and money wisely spent.

I believe that we are the authors of our own life stories so… it’s up to us to make it a good one. Fortunately, women are resourceful. Women feel empowered when they intentionally create purpose in their life. I call this creating a life of purposeon purpose.Many of my clients are left starting over without a clue as to who they are or what they want. My philosophy is if you have to start over again dig deep and do it right this time. Find out who you really are and what do you really want to do. Create a plan and take action.

Building on my experiences and working with clients, I have developed a three step process that pulls my clients through their transition as opposed to pushing uphill.

Step1. Stabilize

Step2. Becoming self-sustaining

Step3. Identifying and implement the steps to propel you into the life you truly want to create.

I welcome you to After the ALIMONY. I encourage you to utilize my blog as a resource as situations arise throughout your transition.  After the ALIMONY is here to help you. Thanks again for stopping by.

Nichole is a Certified Financial Planner TM and professional coach. She brings her unique life experiences to her work as a fee-only financial advisor and fiduciary. Combining her financial expertise and coaching talents, Nichole focuses on comprehensive life planning, enabling her clients to reach their goals.