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Consider that instead of biding your time to get over your divorce or waiting for ‘time to heal all wounds’, you could use the intense force of this divorce and change in your life to your advantage. Ilya Prigogine, who won a Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1977, is widely regarded as the Isaac Newton of our time. Essentially his work centered on a concept called PERTURBATION (bear with me as I explain the concept of his genious and how it relates to moving beyond divorce).

Most systems found in nature are not in harmonious equilibrium because they are continuously subject to flux of matter and energy to and from other systems. In other words, things in nature are always changing. Perturbation is the driving force behind evolution of organisms as it refers to the alteration of biological systems induced by external or internal pressure. If an organism experiences external pressure, it will reach a threshold of vibration where it one of two things will happen: The organism is ‘lucky’ enough to have a strong ‘container’ or cocoon which holds it in place while it reorders itself into something more complex so it can withstand the pressure and in so doing take on the properties of the pressure applied to it OR...

The organism is unfortunate to be left alone and will move to a state of chaos or disintegrate due to the pressure. This is called entropy. Prigogine’s revolutionary work was adapted further into the field of human behavior through Marilyn Ferguson’s book ‘The Acquarian Conspiracy’. Her work explained that how we handle changes thrown at us completely determines our transformation or disintegration.

My Story: I grew up in a town called Kimberley in my native South Africa. Kimberley is known for its diamond mines and kimberlite pipes. Whilst growing up, I became fascinated with how diamonds are formed as it was a natural marvel to me that something as dark and ugly as coal could transform into a brilliant diamond.

I began to study these Kimberlite pipes and found that they are funnel-shaped and produced as a result of a volcanic eruption, a few hundred meters in diameter. They narrow with depth, becoming a narrow ‘container’ which extends deep into the earth’s crust. Thousands of diamonds are produced inside these Kimberlite pipes under extreme heat and pressure to the extent that Kimberlite pipes cause the single biggest deposits of diamonds worldwide.

So what does this have to do with your divorce? Well, studying how nature works and how organisms evolve under great pressure gives us some insights into how human beings may transform under pressure too. To explain more about how this impacts you dealing with your divorce, let’s look at the how dark ugly coal transforms into a brilliant diamond. Coal (graphite) and diamond are of course both primarily carbon. For coal to become a diamond, the carbon atoms have to be re-arranged into a new pattern. To change the atomic ordering of coal into a diamond requires high heat and high pressure (like try temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius and many thousands of atmospheres pressure).

To ensure the coal does not disintegrate in the process of this change or perturbation, it requires a very strong ‘container’ holding it together whilst this immense pressure and heat is applied or the coal will break up into dust. If the coal is held together in such a strong ‘container’, the heat breaks down the current bonds to free up the carbon atoms, and energize them to bond in a tightly packed fashion…and voila – a diamond.

A Kimberlite pipe is just such a container and not only does it hold the coal together, it can handle a volcanic eruption which is so violent that it carries up coal fragments from the mantle fast enough that rapid cooling preserves the diamonds.In the same way as coal is transformed into a diamond, this type of Perturbation exists for human beings as well. In all the corporate work I do with clients, I spend most of the time creating such a ‘container’ with people to help them adapt to change and hold their lives together in the process. In my experience, without a ‘container’ in place, the change usually goes very badly.

Similar to the immense heat or pressure being applied to the coal – Divorce is a very chaotic change and represents that huge heat being applied to your life right now. If you don’t consciously create a strong Divorce Cocoon to hold yourself together, your divorce could literally break you up into pieces and eat away at your self confidence, esteem and possibly leave you bitter or full of resentment. As Prigogine suggested, if an organism has a strong cocoon which holds it in place, it can reorder itself into something more complex so it can withstand the pressure.

When you have this powerful foundation, you can withstand and USE the heat and pressure from this huge change in your life as a catalyst to transform yourself into anything you want to be – a diamond or butterfly. It also means you can heal faster. Through your transformation, you will take on the properties of the pressure applied to your life in the form of being stronger and you extend our ability to take on difficult challenges because of who you will become as a result of your divorce.

‘What doesn’t kill you, CAN REALLY make you stronger…’

TIP: Make use of this heartbreak, this pain, this Perturbation which has thrust you into a hurricane or forest fire. This is a unique opportunity to grow, develop and become the person you always wanted to be…

Interesting stuff hey?
Till next time…
Adele, Naked Divorce

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 25 May 2011 13:20 posted by Guest

    Coal is a sedimentary rock: Coal is a sedimentary rock and is not found in the mantle. The diamonds in kimberlite pipes do not form from coal.

  • Comment Link Katrina Stobie Thursday, 30 December 2010 07:50 posted by Katrina Stobie

    transforming yourself: I had that question in regards to the article as well. HOW? Plus all the terms, confused me a little bit.
    I know how you feel, I felt that my world was falling all around me. There were times when I felt like ending it all as well. Plus my mother was very "anti-me" after our divorce. She is telling me to go back to him, if he asks. Which I think is hillarious because he doesnt want to try again and even if he did, its just exposing me to more hurt.

    I think what helped me through it was words of affirmation. It takes a lot of work and a lot of repeating but you need to believe that you will be okay. I said things like "I love an accept myself" " I accept that this has happened, I know I will be okay"

    You will find it difficult at first, but If you keep repeating those words they will eventually sink in.

    However, in terms of the article this is my transformation:
    1) I am trying to loose weight the "natural way" calories in-calories out. No shakes or pills, I dont need that pressure right now. Besides if I control my calories, I can still have a little of what I love.
    2) I am also trying to be a more honest and open person. (and not negetative)
    3)I also want to be stronger


    I'm still very confused about it all

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 27 December 2010 14:44 posted by Guest

    Chamomile, I know it's hard: Chamomile, I know it's hard but you will find strength to survive. I felt exactly the same like you but after some time it was better and I realized that it is all in our head and we have to find some motivation to go on.

    Don't feel sorry about yourself!!! That is the worst thing you can do. Keep your chin up! Happiness is waiting just around the corner.


  • Comment Link Chamomile Tuesday, 21 December 2010 17:30 posted by Chamomile

    Interesting thought, but how?: Interesting thought, but how? How to "create a strong Divorce Cocoon to hold yourself together?" My world is disintigrating all around me right now.