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Most people going through a divorce will tell you that it’s one of the worst experiences they have ever been through. It’s a time of upheaval, adjustment, and enormous change. For many people, it’s also a time of great loneliness and isolation. However, it is possible to not only get through a divorce but to thrive after it. With the right mindset and support system, you can rebuild your life and create a new future for yourself.
After an excruciatingly painful divorce, our guest, Kelli Calabrese, got certified as a Divorce Coach to help her heal and help others to do the same. She is also a mental health care coach and the founder of Intentionally Fabulous – Single Redefined. Kelli empowers people to overcome grief, fear, and rejection so they can heal and create a fabulous life filled with peace, joy, gratitude, self-love, and celebration.
If you’ve been impacted by divorce and are feeling lost, uncertain or just plain ready for something new in your life, Intentionally Fabulous – Single Redefined will help you find your way. Through online video classes, coaching, and community, Kelli provides the tools and support you need to create a fabulous bonus life – on your own terms.
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Connect with Kelli Calabrese
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Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of money you should ask where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is an emotional roller coaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money, beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
Our next guest is Kelly Calabrese. Kelly empowers people to overcome grief, fear, and rejection so they can heal and create a fabulous bonus life filled with peace, joy, gratitude, self love, and celebration. She’s been a fitness, nutrition, wellness, and lifestyle professional and entrepreneur for 35 years.
She has appeared as an expert on all the major networks is the author of three bestselling books and has spoken on international stages. She takes a mind, body and spirit approach to a whole life wellbeing. Kelly is a certified divorce coach, mental healthcare coach, and the founder of intentionally fabulous single redefined.
She is a single mom to two collegiate athletes and spends much of her free time cycling Kelly, welcome to the
Kelli Calabrese: show, Bob. Thanks for having me here.
Bob Wheeler: So, you know, a certified divorce coach, people might go what that’s certifi. Do you come in at the end? Do you come in at the beginning? All of the above, like, are you pull the trigger?
Like it’s time leave. How does one find a divorce coach and how do you
Kelli Calabrese: help people? Ideally, I would love for marriages to stay together when it’s healthy and when it’s possible, I see people all the way from, I can stand to be in the room with him. I hate his tattoos. I’m moving into the guest room to it’s been eight years and I’m still looking at his social media.
I’m still not over this. So really any relationship it could have been, you know, childhood drama. All the way through the current relationship really it’s about the person more than it is the other person. Right? So I typically work one on one with the person who comes to me at any stage and we just take it from there because it’s not just this linear, like better, better, better, better, you know, it’s kind of messy.
So wherever they come, that’s where I catch them and we get unstuck and unsuck and we go higher.
Bob Wheeler: And were you taught like younger, early on that being single is being a complete whole person? Or did you get taught that you need another person to complete you? Like, how was that for you so that when you bring in your perspective for other people that might not know that, oh, I can actually have self love and I’m pretty amazing.
Just like I am and the other people are just bonuses. What was your mindset? What were you.
Kelli Calabrese: I grew up in New York, Italian Catholic, you know, that whole, whole thing. So lots of layers yeah. Yeah. So I had a great example. My parents met when they were 10, they married at 20 only cuz my grandmother made them wait and they were married for 50 beautiful years before my dad passed.
So I saw a great example of marriage. There was no divorce in my family, aunts, uncles, cousins. It just was how we were wired. And maybe that was the Catholic way, you know, just divorce. Wasn’t really an. But that was sort of the path you take. We learned so much from our culture. Yeah. So it’s what we see around us.
So I never, in a million years, I mean, who thinks they’re gonna go to the altar and divide? That’s never the plan and it wasn’t for me, but from the pain comes the purpose. You have to accept at some point and you have to readjust. And so it allows you to say, okay, what is it gonna take to make this pain?
And never do this again. yeah. And so I went on this journey of reflection, which includes holding up the mirror and saying, even though my story was, you know, you’d cry for me, it was horrible. It was unjust. All that. You still need to hold the mirror up and say, okay, what was my part in that? And that makes you stronger so you can lose or you can learn and hopefully people choose to learn.
Bob Wheeler: There’s gotta be a lot of pain though. I can only imagine. I mean, I’ve been through relationships. Having to look and say, I think I made a misstep or I need to change direction. It can be embarrassing or humiliating. People are gonna judge us. Why didn’t you see the signs? There’s a whole lot that comes up.
Do people resist wanting to face the
Kelli Calabrese: truth? Absolutely. So I love how Tony Robb says about his divorce. It’s excruciatingly painful because it is, it is a tearing of your soul, right? And so there’s a physical bonding that happens when you’re married and you’ll feel your heart and your soul tear. And it is called a life event for a reason because almost every area of your life is affect.
So your friend group may change. You’re probably moving. You may, if you’re a woman might be getting a job for the first time in 15, 20 years, cuz you were a stay at home, your kid’s schools may change. You may change churches. I mean there’s so much change that happens and you can’t predict the person who leaves has been thinking about it on average for two years.
Wow. So they have a two year head start on the person that may be completely blindside. And so that person is in total shock denial. What just happened. And that’s what happened in my case and other people it’s mutual. So it depends on so many things. And I found the biggest thing is. Your identity, how much do you identify in being a wife, being a husband?
How long were you married? How committed were you? How healthy was your marriage? You have kids together, but it is the acceptance. That is the biggest differentiator in how people move on the ones who are claw going. This isn’t happening to me, you know, and they’re just sticking their head in the sand and they’re in complete denial.
And then it goes into, you know, shock and anger and bitterness and all of that. They stay in a painful suffering place. Years, decades later. Some people never get well again and either stay alone or they repeat the same cycle of whatever their marriage was, whether it was enabling or addiction or.
Narcissism, whatever it was, they’ll keep repeating it. So that’s why it’s important for the person to get well, but I always love for people to work on themselves and if it’s healthy, stay in the marriage, make it work. Cuz when you change everything around, you will start to change or not. So that’s when you have to make a choice
Bob Wheeler: and how often, and I mean, I’m sure it’s a lot, but from your experience, how often is money a
Kelli Calabrese: factor.
A lot. It is one of the largest reasons for divorce. If not the biggest reason, it is a major contention in divorce, and we’re just not trained on these things. You know, we’re not trained in school. We don’t necessarily see good examples of this growing up because maybe our parents didn’t do it well, or didn’t talk about, or didn’t teach us how to save or talk to the other person about this.
So I highly recommend you learn these skills. You do pre-marital classes, you do financial training. Classes prior to getting married. I mean, that should be one of the biggest things that you do. It is the topic talked about more in the ancient book of wisdom than any other topic is money is finances. It is that important.
And we really can’t even get through a day here on earth without having. Some kind of money, transaction, interaction, decision making. I mean maybe a day, but not two. Right? So it is vital. It causes so much stress. I have a group on Facebook where I coach women. It’s a private group. It’s free. But I ask them, what is your greatest challenge as they come into the group?
The number one thing they say is loneliness, but number two is finances. Yeah. And when you’re going through divorce, there’s so much fear that’s surrounding money, especially for women. Because you’re not sure how this is gonna shake out. Are you gonna get the house? You’re gonna get alimony. You’re gonna get child support.
So much of child support or alimony is not even paid, even if it’s awarded. And the number one group for poverty in the us is single moms, right? So the fear is real. They don’t have the life skills. They’re primarily the caregivers. So how do I take care of three kids in school and have a job? And what about the summer?
And so it is a lot. There’s just so much fear and lack of information around.
Bob Wheeler: Do you think that the younger generation of women have less worries about the power dynamic and things like older generations? The man worked typically the woman didn’t and now money might have been used as a power dynamic. I make the money, I get to make the decisions, or there might have been financial infidelity and those kinds of.
Is the narrative shifting with younger couples or is it still sort of the same thing?
Kelli Calabrese: I have couples of all ages where the woman is the breadwinner, and sometimes it’s miss her dad who stays home with the kids or his job just doesn’t pay as much as hers says, cuz she’s high up in tech or she’s a CEO or entrepreneur.
So that happens across all age. But even still, I think the traditional thing is a woman wants security, not only just love, but also financial security that makes her feel secure. And then she wants to respect her husband when she feels secure. And that’s kind of how it goes around. But younger generation.
I don’t know that these women they’re consumers, I mean this younger generation, they don’t so much know about savings or investing anymore than other generations. Do I see them? I mean, I’ve got a 21 and 22 year old and I’ve taught them all these years. You know, the things that I can impart to them about saving and investing and money and not overspending and paying for things.
And they don’t have credit cards, they don’t ring up. But they’re still consumers, you know, I’ll watch them get paid and then, you know, they have to have the newest, you know, speakers or shoes or purse or so I’m really trying to continue to educate them. But I think it’s a slippery slope for the younger generation because of social media, because this one’s got a new car and this one went on this vacation.
And so there’s that FOMO of, I gotta do what everyone else is doing. Yeah,
Bob Wheeler: no, totally. It’s a hard impulse to resist. When it’s out there and yeah, you gotta have it. You gotta look how much fun I’m having. Right. It’s I want that in the conversations that you have with people, how often are people having the real difficult conversations?
We’ve gotta talk about the money or we’ve gotta talk about the strains in the marriage, or we’ve gotta talk about this thing that makes me. Do you find that most people are equipped to have these conversations with their spouses or they know they need to have ’em, but they’re just like, I’d rather not have it.
Cuz then I might have to face the truth or I might hear something. I don’t want to hear
Kelli Calabrese: a lot of times they’re not having the conversations at all because you’ve got two people coming from two different backgrounds, two different places about how they feel about. And they have not communicated. They don’t have the communication skills to have a conversation about it.
So you’re taking whatever you’ve learned up to this moment in your life. And she’s taking whatever she’s learned up to this moment in their life. And that’s how it was done in their family. So that’s how they do it. So whether it’s passive aggressive or hiding money or whatever, people will start to glitch and malfunction in whatever that looks like for them based on their beliefs and those beliefs then become the things they think about.
And that’s what they act. And that becomes their habit. And then that becomes their character and ultimately their identity. So people have a money identity. Just like they do an identity with marriage or their profession or their fitness or anything else. So they have this idea of what it’s supposed to be like, and that’s how they operate.
So it might put them in a place of debt and poverty and lack and fear. Or an abundance mindset. That’s what I work with my clients on having a mindset of abundance and not fear, lack in poverty, but you do need real practical skills. I mean, you can’t really get away from a budget for example’s like a foundational, basic math kind of thing.
Bob Wheeler: Gotta have a budget. Now, do you find when people say budget, they like run for the Hills? I always hear budgets are so restrictive. To me, they’re powerful tools that give me information, but a lot of people get trigger. When we restrict them with the facts they do.
Kelli Calabrese: Yeah. And people are wired different ways and you have to, as a coach, figure out how are they wired?
So for example, I did fitness, nutrition, wellness, weight loss for years. So if I knew I had someone who was a numbers person, I knew how to speak to them, you know? Okay. This person is an accountant. That gives me an idea, like, okay, I need to talk to her about calories in calories at where somewhere else is like, I’m not tracking or counting that stuff.
I’m not a numbers. So you have to, however you’re wired, the job still has to get done. you still need to be able to go, okay, here’s our expenses and here’s our income. And then here’s our investment strategy and here’s our play money. And here’s a number that either one of us can spend without telling the other person, but not go over this number.
So there’s gotta be some boundaries. Otherwise you’re gonna be in constant stress and chaos and fighting. But if you put these things in place and you communi. It makes for a much happier marriage, then you’re not keeping secrets. You’re not all of a sudden the credit card bill comes in and you’re like, what?
You spend $800 on sushi with the boy. Like you treated the team. What? So there’s no surprises, right? Because you have access to information and you’re communicating and you have some boundaries set around things. So maybe if you’re a starter couple, maybe it’s 250 bucks that you can both spend without asking the other.
And if you’re more affluent, maybe. 10,000 that you can go buy a motorcycle or whatever, and the other person doesn’t care, but have that number and be courteous. You don’t want to make big decisions without your partner.
Bob Wheeler: You talked about, we have this idea or an ideal of what a relationship looks like. Do you think all of us or the majority of us go in with, I’m gonna breathe the prince in shining armor, or I’m gonna be the princess that get rescued.
I’m gonna have the picket fence and the 2.5 children, because that’s what my sister has or that like, do you think most of us go in with some kind of false sense of how it’s gonna be when we find that person that completes us?
Kelli Calabrese: I believe there is a truth to how things should be. Not that that can’t look different ways, but there’s a design, that’s a natural design.
That’s how things are supposed to be. And when we start to counterfeit that when we start to rationalize that massage, that. Then we make it not the way it’s designed to be. That’s when it gets ugly and difficult and kind of can go south really fast. So, you know, find an advisor who you believe in there has to be belief.
So I can’t go like, Hey, for example, I’m gonna bring Dave Ramsey into our home. We’re gonna follow the system. And your partner’s like, oh, don’t want anything to do with that. There has to be some mutual agreement to follow some system. I’m not saying anyone system is perfect, but if you’re using a system, you’re probably way ahead of the game.
right. And people are gonna have different strategies. Different investors will do things differently, but pick something and follow it. That is going to have some foundational strategic way for you to exist in a way that is comfortable and not stressful. Has your money working for you and not creating debt?
No matter what that income level might look like, you’re kind of living below your means and investing for long term.
Bob Wheeler: How do you help people start to shift? From the scarcity mindset to the abundant mindset, because I hear all the time when I talk to people about this. Oh, well that works for everybody else, but not for me, or it’ll never happen or I’d love to be in that mindset.
But if you just knew what was going on in my life right now, The reality is my experience is that when I slowly chipped away at my mindset, I was able to get to the other side, but it’s not easy. And I’m wondering, because I imagine you hear that a lot. Like there’s a ton of reasons why I’m not gonna be able to get to that mindset and I’m not gonna get to that bonus fabulous life that has everything going, even though everybody else can get.
Kelli Calabrese: Yeah, it’s easy for people to go south fast and play victim. Yeah. And really that victim energy is the most decaying energy that you can have. So decide, you know, not to live there, to begin with, but it’s a combination of things that starts between your ears. So surround yourself with people who are, where you wanna be financially, spend time to them, get mentorship from them, asking questions, watch how.
Live in what they do. Get yourself an app that you can start to track things, pay off the smallest debts and then work your way to the bigger debts. Where can you cut out the spending? Where can you save money? Maybe you’ve never used coupons, but it’s time to start. Now, if you can save 40 bucks a week on your groceries, that adds up at the end of the year.
And after a decade, things like affirmations. If it really is your mindset and you’re not believing start to write a list or Google a list. Money affirmations, print them, put ’em on your screensaver, read them, put ’em on your steering wheel. Remind yourself, put ’em on your mirror and just start reading.
And there has to be belief behind it. So if I read I’m gonna be wealthy, I’m gonna be dead free. I’m gonna. Be blessed to be a blessing, all those things, but I don’t believe it that doesn’t help. So affirmations can help if you believe them and use them, get an accountability partner, someone who once a week, you’re gonna send them a screenshot of your accounts and how things are going.
You can also journal. So you’re starting to dream about how you would like your financial future to look, I will save this much. I will invest here. I. You know, we’re gonna save for a vacation or an investment property, whatever it is, start to write those things down, share them with someone who encourages you and let them know what your intentions are.
There’s so many good things. Podcasts set a boundary on the junk, like stop the R rated movie, stop the, whatever the, the scrolling, social media, whatever you’re doing and start to feed yourself information and knowledge so that you can make good decisions because the information. Is really inspiring. You might not know about crypto or whatever it is you think you wanna learn about unless you study it.
You’re not going to know. So cut off the nonsense, stop the video games or whatever you’re doing and get serious about learning about financial wisdom. Go to books that are gonna feed you. Good information. I like the richest man who ever lived is a great one. Oh my goodness. I’ve got hundreds of books, but you probably have some that you love.
Yeah. That people can get started with that. Just give them the basics, the apps, same thing, but you’ve gotta use them or none of these things work. There’s so many things that are amazing, but you have to be committed to using it. So I asked my client like, what, one thing are you willing to. Okay, you’re gonna stop Amazon.
You’re just gonna cancel your account and you’re gonna stop going there and shopping for shoes or purses or whatever you’re doing. Okay, good. Start there. Next time we check in. Let’s see how you’re doing and now let’s pick another thing and just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other stacking successes.
And then that will start to snowball.
Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And what you were just saying, like listening to a podcast or whatever it might be. There are a lot of ways to get support that don’t cost anything, because I think a lot of people, you know, yeah, I need support, but I can’t afford that person. And I can’t afford to take this workshop and yes, then I maybe go back into my poor me mindset.
How important is asking for support or seeking support. Even if I feel like I don’t have a lot of funds. Just from your perspective, cuz to me like I didn’t like asking for support. I didn’t like asking for help. Right. I’ll figure this out on my own. But ultimately I figured out it’s much easier when we have support and when we can consciously ask for it.
Can you talk about
Kelli Calabrese: that? Yes. Mentorship and accountability are both huge. So knowing that someone is gonna check your bank account or your spreadsheet or your investment account at the end of the. Should help to keep you in line and mentorship also. I mean, how long do you wanna keep suffering along and just having this long slow road of debt, because everything you’ve done has gotten you here the way you think has gotten you here, your actions have gotten you here.
So if you wanna do better, then you need to do different. So find someone who’s living the life you want has the investment you want, who, you know, you like you. it is an honor. When someone comes up to me or to you and says, Hey, will you mentor me? You know, that means like, wow, this person really values where I am.
And usually, almost always someone is willing to mentor you, but if they give you a, you’ve gotta do B, they’re not gonna give you C until you do B. So, right. It has to be a serious relationship because these people are busy. Their time is valuable. So if someone says, yes, I will mentor. You better be so lined up and ready to do whatever they say, or you’re gonna lose them as a mentor.
They’re not gonna keep coming back and make the people around you in your life. A 10. So that’s always one of the greatest things in my life is I have coaches in every area, even though I’m a fitness coach with three college degrees and 30 certifications. I have someone who I check in with on fitness, nutrition, seasonally to, you know, get to another level.
Or if I feel like I’m slipping or need to get better, or I’ve got a vacation to go towards, I have financial people, I have spiritual mentors. I have relationship mentors. So surround yourself by people because you will be like the people you surround yourself by. So you want the smallest house on the block and start asking your neighbors.
What did you do to get the bigger houses?
Bob Wheeler: You know, it’s interesting when you said that about mentorship. One of the things that I ask people when they come to me is I ask two questions. Are you willing to do the work? And are you willing to be uncomfortable? And sometimes people will say no. And then I’m sort of like, we’re sort of done here.
Because because it’s uncomfortable, it is not easy work. Looking in the mirror like you were talking about is not fun, always. I mean, sometimes it is, but most of the time when we’re self reflecting, it’s not fun and being able to get past. And I wonder if social media plays a part in this, but this place where, well, I’m an expert now.
So I can’t really ask for somebody else cuz how’s that gonna present? Right. Somebody’s gonna know that I might be less than the way I present. And I feel like a lot of people out there still feel it’s important to present a certain way. Instead of being their authentic self saying, this is me, these are my wart.
It’s not perfect. Sometimes it’s awkward. How often do you see that playing a role of this? Well, you know, I’ve gotta keep up appearances.
Kelli Calabrese: It definitely gets in the way. And the best thing you can do is be humble and be your authentic self. If you ever wanna grow, and you are gonna sit there and try and hold up appearances, you’re never gonna grow cuz you have the appearance of where you are.
But if you wanna get to that next level, you need to be able to have the courage to go to someone and say, Hey, I wanna write a book you’ve written 10 best selling books. Would you mentor me otherwise? 10 years later, you’re still gonna be saying, I wanna write the book. Wanna write the book. But if you wanna do things faster with more results, better outcomes, then get around the people who have done what you have done.
Why would you wanna waste time when you can learn from someone else? And like you said, there’s a lot of free things. Buy their book, get the podcast, watch the Ted talk, dive in. If you’re serious you’re night and shining armor on the white horse is not coming to scoop you up and rescue. You need to get out and do the work.
There are no shortcuts. My latest bestselling book is called success habits of super achievers, and it tells the story of over 80 different ordinary people, just like you and I, that something unreasonably difficult happened to which happens to all of us. No one has the life they thought, but they had the resilience to get back up again.
And not only did they get back up, but they did something incredible with the hardship that they over. So one of my stories is divorce coaching. Now I was blindsided by my divorce. I was married for 24 years. It shocked me. It took me to my knees and emptied me out. It made me question everything in my life.
And I went on a three year healing journey to figure it out. And when I felt like I got to a place where not that I ever say I’ve arrived, but I was readjusted and healthy. I felt called to help other women walk them through the process so that they didn’t get stuck and stopped. Not everyone can take three years off and go on, you know, retreats and sabbaticals and, you know, just take the time that I did to really heal and get well.
So I wanna help them accelerate their process, looking at the major things that really move the needles for me. And I wish it was what I had, that it didn’t take me three years. Some people it. Seven years, eight years. Some people never get healthy, but I took the major things and I put them into my program and now I can help people faster.
So they don’t have to suffer as.
Bob Wheeler: The mental health piece, which you also do is such an important component of all of this feels like, because if we’re not feeling good about ourselves, if we’ve been blindsided and doubting, everything that we thought was solid in the world, foundational, and then money is a struggle like mental health.
Can play a real big part of actually amplifying and making it even bigger than maybe it normally would be. That
Kelli Calabrese: is for sure. Mental health is a bigger issue, especially in marriages than a lot of people realize most people who have symptoms of mental illness do not get help. Right. They’re not going to a doctor for it.
And even when they do go to the doctor, most of the times they just get medication, which for some people that’s helpful, hopefully not forever, but for a season to get them. Adjusted, they really need to do the deeper work and I’m not a clinical psychologist. I don’t go back and say, tell me when you were 12 and you know what happened.
And, but I work with where they are and get them to overcome the source of the anger, the bitterness, the depression, we can work on those things and it isn’t just the mine, but it’s. Body mind and spirit approach. So you’re taking the three together because you can’t disconnect them. So when you work with all three, you see a lot more progress than just doing the mental health.
You know what I do? That’s a little bit different. I started out with the physical. My background is physiology and all the clinical things. I owned health clubs. I did all of that with fitness, nutrition, wellness for years, but it was pretty quick when I realized that, wow, the mindset has a lot to do with the physical results that people get.
And then in the last decade or so really added that spiritual component because then the miraculous can happen. Yeah,
Bob Wheeler: absolutely. And I think as an athlete, maybe you’re aware of mindset and being able to see, although I was just seeing on the news the other day that even athletes, young athletes, mental health issues, they think I just have to push through it because I’m supposed to be this amazing athlete.
And therefore I’ve gotta always overperform or overachieve. And even there there’s a place where not being able to admit I need some help. Do you think that’s changing that people are starting to realize. The significance, the importance and the value of diving into mental.
Kelli Calabrese: I do. I think it’s less of a stigma, especially with COVID these last few years where isolation was such a major factor.
I mean, we use that to torture people, isolation. That’s what they do in prison. And so when you take these people who were isolated with social media and video games, and it just has been so detrimental to people’s mental health and people were angry and they were suicidal and they. Depress and all the things to a point where you’re not gonna function well, eventually whatever’s inside you.
When the pressure hits, whether it’s a basketball game or the boardroom meeting, the relationship breakup, that’s what comes out of you. So if you have pushed down whatever fear it is, anger, depression, anxiety, denial. It comes up eventually, and you don’t want it to come up at the wrong times when you’re blowing up a marriage.
Having the massive tempered tantrum on the field or the cord, or you don’t wanna be that guy it’s going to rear it’s ugly head eventually, if you don’t deal with it. So why not deal with it? Otherwise you’re gonna just blow through relationships or roommates or jobs or whatever. You’re gonna keep repeating the same thing until you deal with it.
So deal with it. It’s way better. when you sit with a professional who knows how to handle these things, they have seen these things 10,000 times. You think you’re the only one who’s suffering with these thoughts or these habits or actions, but this is what they do. Why would you not just wanna get in there and cut to the issue and then have the tools to make that positive change and have the freedom of not having to deal with living in depression?
Just explosive, anger all the time. That’s not matched to the situation, everyone around you and your house is walking on eggshells and it’s just terrible. Get free. get free
Bob Wheeler: from all that. So you see a lot of people in excruciating pain, you see people dealing with their mental health issues and people that have stayed in this place of victimhood.
What is the most rewarding part about the work that you do? Because there’s a lot going on there. It’s a lot to unpack and it’s a lot for, even as a coach to hold all of that. What gives you satisfaction?
Kelli Calabrese: Every session is definitely satisfying and also very heavy at the same time. Mm-hmm I have to do the self care on me because after you’ve done, you know, a day of coaching sessions, my heart breaks, like I hate that people have just lowered their worth and put up with abuse and put themselves last.
And. Made all these sacrifices or dealt with all this. I mean, it hurts. It’s heavy. So I, I feel that, but at the end of every session, I see a little light inside them. I see a little glimmer. I see a breakthrough and I’m there to encourage them because some people have just lost hope. Yeah. So I wanna give them hope and also practical things that they can.
But give them feedback on how they’ve done since their last session. Like, we are not good about celebrating. I’m like, wait a minute, you turned off your technology at 9:00 PM and you drank an extra bottle of water every day and you had one less Coke and you, you know, whatever the things are, I’m like, that’s awesome.
And they’re like, yeah, I’m like, that was a big deal. And then I just give them hope I’m coaching their soul. Because we’re not good at celebrating, we just kind of go along. And so that’s part of it. And that’s part of my program too, is celebration. Joy, what you call fun and it’s resurrection. Like let’s get up again because that is the thing.
That’s the difference maker. It’s the resilience it’s get knocked down 10 times. Get up 11. Or not like you can stay down there and you can just stay in that victim decaying state, but that’s not what we’re called to do. That’s not how we’re designed to live. We are here to have connection and make a difference, and there’s still a good plan and a purpose on our lives, regardless of the accidents, the layoffs, the disappointments struggle is just gonna be part of life.
Yeah. And the better we are at accepting that rather than resisting. The more we’re gonna enjoy ourselves and just get up. I mean, if you look at people, even the people in the book who overcame hard things, I just had a friend lose. Their grandson, fell in the pool two years old. I mean, horrible. Your heart just breaks for them.
And they donated his organs and you know, it just unthinkable. You don’t ever think that’s gonna happen to your family. But you have to get up and say, okay, what’s good about this as horrible as that is. Yeah. So there’s a child, a grandchild, horrible. But if you wanna go on and live another 20, 30, 50 years, you have to make that decision.
I’m always gonna hate that my family blew up. I’m always gonna hate that. We’re not a unit of four, but I can look back and say, I’m thankful my husband had the courage to leave and that’s no longer my. It took a long time to get there, right? Because I had to do all the hard work and look at what was my part in it.
But now I can say, thank God, that’s not my life. I would’ve limped along till death to us part being miserable. Now I’m stronger. I’m braver. I’m more courageous. I’ve got this new platform to help other people that I would’ve never had because to be honest, Bob, I was a terrible friend. So when someone had said to me that they were going through a.
I didn’t have any reference for that. It’s like, if someone said my house burned down or I had an abortion, or I didn’t know, but having gone through it now, I understand. And I can coach people there. I can’t coach people on dating, cuz I’m not dating yet, but maybe one day, 30 years since I’ve dated, but once you’ve gone through it, you have the ability to be empathetic and help people.
Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I think that’s so important empathy. And I think this piece about celebration is so important. I know sometimes it’s so hard when somebody else is in pain to go, oh my God, this is amazing. Or when I’ve been in pain and then I have a good moment that somebody’s gonna come in and go, well, you couldn’t be in that much pain.
Cuz look how happy you are in this moment. Right. And it’s like, no, I’m not having great celebrations. I’m still having my pain. So I don’t wanna look like it’s too good. It’s still we’re checking it out. When is it okay to actually go, oh, thank God. I’m gonna celebrate this moment. Even though everything else has been shit
Kelli Calabrese: yeah.
We need to give ourselves permission. Yeah. You know, and I wasn’t really good at that. Like, I was burning myself. I was holding my own feet to the fire. Like, you need to suffer, you need to feel like a failure longer. You can. Right. I was like, why am I like, no one is burning me. I’m burning myself. Like, this is just right.
Silly. This. Ridiculous. I have to give myself permission to have joy and have fun, and it wasn’t something I had really done before. And it wasn’t something I was good at. I had to learn and have some friends kind encourage me like, Hey, get out and go. And it’s okay to do this. And it’s like, no, I have to sit here and suffer and be miserable and be in pain and be depressed and cry.
And, but you have a. You
Bob Wheeler: have a choice, you know, it just made me think like if your choice right now, folks out there is to suffer and continue the pain, set a budget of time. I’m willing to punish myself for six more months and then I’m gonna let it go, like figure out what that threshold is and then move past it because otherwise it’s just a cycle of pain and pain and pain and pain.
That’s self infl.
Kelli Calabrese: Yeah, that is a great tip to give yourself a deadline. My son is a collegiate baseball player and he just had a disappointment. He was hoping to make a team that he didn’t make. And so, you know, it was kind of moping around the last few days. And so I had to go, okay, you know, I hate this for you.
I’m sorry that you didn’t make the team. You thought you would make. How long are you gonna do this? Just so I know. And , you know, you think like three days is long enough to mop about this. And what do you put in perspective like that is how long do you wanna be bad? How long are you gonna beat yourself up over this?
And at some point, have that deadline and pick yourself back up and then go to the bating cages and go get another coach and go work on your speed or whatever you think it is gonna take, or what kept you from getting there. Go do that.
Bob Wheeler: Life is full of hardship and life is amazing. If we can focus on the good pieces, the abundance, the deep relationships, the life experiences, those good moments.
There’s a lot to
Kelli Calabrese: celebrate. There definitely is. We have to look for it. Gratitude was really a superpower for me when I realized that I was really stuck in this low point was so bitter. My former husband was reengaged within a month of our divorce and remarried really quickly. And it. Triggered me. And it was in that season where I was like, You have to do something about this.
So I’m like, you’re gonna start a gratitude journal now, and you’re gonna write in it every single night. And you’re not gonna stop writing until you fill a page. And it first started really mechanical. It was like, I took my vitamins, I walked the dog. just like, I just check, check, check. But then there was a shift and I started going throughout my day, like, wow, I got to talk to Bob today.
Not everyone got to be on the show and talk to Bob. My goodness. That’s amazing. I mean like less than 1% of people in the world are gonna get to do. And just starting to really go throughout my day, looking for things to be thankful for, because I knew I was gonna have to fill up the page at night. Right.
And I started to actually track the things that I was receiving. And I created a new section in the back of my journal and I started putting a dollar amount on it, like, wow, my friend Carol bought me soup. That was $8. And my friends sent me their new book. That was $14. I start, I put a dollar, it will be hundreds of thousands of dollars by the end of the year.
Yeah. And some things are priceless. Like someone will mentor me for an hour. I mean, my goodness. What’s that worth? When I started to look at it that way and started to really turn my receiver on the whole world became different.
Bob Wheeler: Absolutely, absolutely mindset. Make that choice. You’re gonna see the abundance and lean into the gratitude for sure.
For sure. Kelly, we are at the fast five. We’re gonna shift the energy just a little bit. Fast five is brought to you by acorns, where you can invest bear change bank smarter, save for retirement and more for more information, click on the link in the show notes acorns. So Kelly, we’re gonna have some fun here.
We’re gonna just jump in and see where it goes. What was the most expensive birthday party you’ve ever thrown for your kids?
Kelli Calabrese: Ooh. Well, my daughter’s in two horses. so it’s some pretty pricey barn parties. Yeah. Horses are not a four man sport, but I did take my son on an eight day cruise to the Caribbean for his birthday as well.
So that was pretty pricey. That’s pretty
Bob Wheeler: nice. That’s pretty nice. In one word, how would you describe someone who is intentionally fabulous love? Hmm. What’s your morning.
Kelli Calabrese: I spend about 15 minutes in quiet time and gratitude. Before I get outta bed, I drink a keto drink. I go for about a 45 minute bike ride.
Then I do a strength workout. I drink water with lemon. I take a shower and then I write my list of the most urgent and important things for me to do throughout the day. But it’s a prayerfully created list.
Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. Routine is incredibly important. I think in moving to getting what we want, what would be one thing that you would say people might wanna do every day in order to see real change in their lives?
Kelli Calabrese: would say surround yourself with great pupil. Yeah. I’ll add one more, take the high road. That was one of the best pieces of advice someone gave to me when I was going through my divorce. Mm-hmm and that has served me so many times when you wanna write the text, but delete it. yeah, cause you’re not gonna send it, take the high road, take the
Bob Wheeler: high road.
I love that. What are you saving for right now?
Kelli Calabrese: I am investing in some options. I am investing in some cryptocurrency, but I’m also doing some real estate investing.
Bob Wheeler: Fun fun. Fun. We are at the M and M moment, our sweet spot of money and motivation. Do you have a practical tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that has served you, that you could share with our listeners?
Kelli Calabrese: Be a good saver and invest wisely. Definitely invest wisely. Yeah.
Bob Wheeler: Well, Kelly, this has been such a great conversation. And what I appreciate is just really hearing this mindset of abundance and hearing the fact. And not that I loved hearing it, but like acknowledging the excruciating pain that it is when we leave a relationship and that the hard piece of having to look in the mirror do it anyway.
Right. It is about getting back up. Yeah. I fell down 10 times. I’m gonna get up 11. I’m gonna keep moving forward. I’m gonna see the gratitude. I’m gonna look for the gems. I’m gonna look for the celebrations and look at those practical pieces, looking at the budget, looking at the truth of the situation.
And even if it feels like it was really all their fault, looking in the places where I played a role, or I might have been complicit, or I might have just turned a blind eye. So I didn’t have to have that conversation and just say, you know, I did what I did. I’m not gonna beat myself up for the next 20 years.
And if I need to beat myself up, set a timeline on it so we can then move on, but I just really love this. Well, I guess your choice to be fabulous and intentionally fabulous, and really find the goodies in life. Even when we get handed some struggles and challenges that we didn’t plan on.
Kelli Calabrese: Thank you. Well, Bob, this was so fun to be here.
Thanks for bringing the show to the world. The world really needs it. It’s such an important topic.
Bob Wheeler: Well, thank you so much. Where can people find you online in social
Kelli Calabrese: media? My name in all the places. So Kelly with and I cree.com. If they go to Kelly cree.com, they can actually get a free electronic copy of my book, the success habits of super achievers book.
They can get electronically for free there. If they want a hard copy, they can go to Amazon. And if they want me to hand sign a copy, they can email me, Kelly, Kelly, calabrese.com. They can just pay for the shipping and I’m happy to send them a copy of that. If there’re a woman going through any stage of separation, divorce, post divorce, they can go to my free private Facebook page.
I do a lot of coaching there. It’s intentionally fabulous.
Bob Wheeler: Well, that is awesome. I really encourage people to check out the intentionally fabulous program. And I think it’s great that you’re out there empowering women in the world and just helping people navigate to a celebration of life and an abundant mindset.
So thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure.
Kelli Calabrese: Thank you, Bob.
Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast. So they too can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.
To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money. Visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.