Defining Spirituality & Rebranding God

Spirituality and Trust

I was very disconnected from anything I could not prove or touch for many years. Mystery was not my thing. This probably came from the model I’d absorbed growing up: that I had to manage everything by myself, I had to make it all happen on my own and most importantly, that I could not trust anyone or anything besides myself.

My journey towards spirituality and connection with a higher purpose began with my family (my now ex-husband and daughter) and has continued by myself. It has been a journey of ‘coming back’ home, returning to trust and reconnecting with that sense of ‘self’ that I’d stopped recognising within really early in life because of the traumatic events that ensued in my childhood. I didn’t know how to trust myself. I didn’t know how to recognise what was healthy from what was not… especially in relationships.

Despite my many efforts, and all the time and money spent, recovering the lost ability to trust (typical of a traumatised child) myself and others remained a painful and unfulfilling process and experience which more often than not led to disappointment.

In the second part of my life, after I turned 42, I felt the need to start connecting with a different kind of trust besides the one for myself and others. Rather, the trust in what I could not touch prove or control. A trust in God and in the Divine mystery of life.

Once again, my daughter was a strong motivation. I knew as a mum I had the responsibility to give her the foundations for a new way of living, different from the one I’d grown up with. I wanted her to learn about values and how to practice those values, not just talk about them.

Spirituality as a Journey of Discovery and Self-Empowerment

Beyond that, I was naturally drawn to learn and know God in more depth. At the time it was frustrating because I was greatly resisting the direction in which everything was flowing.

I sensed that the spirituality I’d encountered over many years of living in a multi-cultural society (Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Baptist and Protestant Christianity) were a strong starting point for developing a deep understanding of religions, how humans engage with them and how they serve a purpose in educating people with their beliefs and customs over centuries.

image by    James Blucker

In Psychiatrist Scott Peck’s, ‘Further Along the Road Less Travelled’, he says, “It slowly began to dawn on me that we are not all at the same place spiritually and that there are different stages.”

I personally went through the different stages, this became apparent after I made an inventory of all the spiritual growth I’d gone through over the years. I observed all the different and miraculous occurrences that happened in my life since 2008 when I first published, Stella’s Mum Gets Your Groove Back. Often, when alone and facing the sea, I eventually began asking, “God, who are you?”

I felt the time had come to no longer absorb myself in sacred texts, searching for God in the pages, or exclusively listen to how preachers and Gurus told me I should communicate with God. The time had come to experience God first hand and more so to get to know him.


Getting to Know God

How can anyone really know anything about God? Who was I to think I could? There are so many teachings, ideas and points of view about God. And yes, they all passed through humans to become so. Humans, in their humanness, must admit how much our idea of God is shaped by the different cultures they originate from.

With time, I came to believe that deep down in each of us, there’s a direct connection to the Divine. As I learned and experienced in work such as the Hoffman Process, there is a part of our being that goes beyond our ego and personality. Dr. Mario Scardovelli, an Italian professor and trainer/counsellor, calls it l’Anima (the soul), which is the same word I’d learn to refer to it as when I was a little girl.

When we connect with that part of us which is not our body, nor our intellect (thinking/judging side of us), and nor our emotions, a natural transformation begins to take place within us. It is when we shift and drift up. When we are not held down by our earthly self and when we begin to experience more openness within. It is when we feel a greater distance between our true self and the thoughts and emotions inside us.

You Can Feel the Shift Within When…

Day by day, over time, as I observed the change in me, I experienced the sensation of shifting and drifting up. I wasn’t feeling as much fear, anger or anxiety, nor was I as self-conscious and worried about others’ judgement and my own. I was resenting other people less, sometimes not at all, letting go of resistance and the old tendency to shut my heart away. Things I didn't want still happened, of course, but they didn’t seem to penetrate me like they once had. Where was I going? As I associated less with my physical and psychological dimensions, I was beginning to feel that I was moving towards and into my own spiritual being. I was going home, which found itself at the centre of my whole being.

How did it feel living from my spiritual dimension rather than my ego? I started feeling joyful, playful, open, curious and light most of the time. I felt more love and lightness within myself and for the world around me.

How My Spiritual Life is Today

It is like magic in a way, watching miracles unfold every day. When we willingly release the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our being, our Spirit becomes a constant state from which we can act from in our lives. We don’t claim to understand what is happening. We simply know that it is what it has to be and life day by day gets simply more beautiful.

Ultimately, how do we really get to know God deeply? I believe the only way is to get close to Him more each day starting by reconnecting with our Soul. Eventually, we let ourselves merge into Him and then seeing what happens to us and our lives.

I actually started to know what it feels like by doing exactly that. The transformations I was and am seeing within myself were reflected by the strength with which I was approaching my work and life. Knowing God is a lot more simple than people tend to and have been taught to believe. Knowing God doesn’t require you to study every type of meditation, it doesn’t ask for extreme sacrifices, it doesn’t mean forgetting about yourself. I’ve come to learn that knowing God requires time and silence, patience and persistence. It requires solitude. And above all, it required me to have the willingness to trust the mystery of life with faith and face the unknown by letting go of my resistance.

Day by day, over the past few years of living alone, I started to feel a new, deep love for all creatures and beauty in nature. I started to perceive every child as my own, every person as a wonderful and unique divine creation with its own colours, shapes and sounds. As I was going deeper and deeper inward, I began noticing something phenomenal: I was less and less judgemental of myself and others. This meant I was attracting less and less judgement towards myself. There was just honouring, respecting, appreciating, loving and cherishing. I was not differentiating any more, instead I began simply observing, recognising and experiencing, that is to say participating in life instead of standing back and judging it from my ego’s perspective, with all its needs and wounds.

That to me meant getting a glimpse of God.

That’s the best way to know God, I believe. It’s important to watch what happens as you get closer to him and observe the mysterious way in which he works.

image by    Gian D

image by Gian D

We Can't Know God by Only Reading a Book

We can't know God by only reading a book, nor by only listening to a sermon every Sunday. If we try to search for God on a mental level, somebody will dispute it for sure. It must come from real experience. It has to be an experience of the heart. That is what happens when we meditate for example and we drift into our Spirit or Soul. The more we do that, the more we will get a clear glimpse of what it must be like to sit in the presence of a Divine essence.

“Just as the rain makes you wet and the fire makes you warm, so you can know the nature of God by looking into the mirror of your transformed self. This is not a philosophy; this is a direct experience”, Michael A. Singer says in his best seller, ‘The Untethered Soul’.

One day, I realised that spiritual growth could be experienced just like anything else: anger and resentment, hate or even joy. We know how we feel when we feel these emotions and we know what we feel towards others when we feel that way. We know what our thoughts and behaviours or choices are and we are aware of how our heart feels. That is not theory, it is an experience which anyone can have.

A Metaphor for God

Not long ago, I came home after a long walk, when an image of God in my head and heart appeared: the wind. Yes, truth is I cannot see God but I can sense him around me daily as the breeze softly blows around me when I walk down the beach. Like the wind, God is playing with me, disturbing me, communicating to me, is requesting my attention and focus at times. He is laughing with me, crying and getting hungry with me. He is experiencing moments of deep joy with me.

This was when I realised I was exactly what I’d heard someone call, a spiritual being having a human experience (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin).

It is said that spirituality is above all, a way of life. We do not just think about it, feel it or sense it around us. We live it. And yes, I felt I’d started living spirituality and acknowledging what only a spiritual being can recognise to be the unfolding of miracles.

header image by William Farlow


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
The Danger of Spiritual Indifference
The Shift to a New Way of Living
Pieces Lost, Faith Found


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com.


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

What is a Confidence Coach and Do I Need One?

"What is a Confidence Coach?"

"What does a Confidence Coach do?"

"In what way can a Confidence Coach help me?"

These are great questions I often get asked.

I have been coaching people around the topic of confidence for many years. Having also designed corporate workshops which I've been delivering to hundreds of people around the world, I feel I've naturally grown into a Confidence Coach.

I've found that in order to truly understand what a Confidence Coach is and what they can do, we have to first wrap our heads around the definition of Confidence.

In 2000, the first counsellor I'd ever worked with left Singapore for Bangkok. Before she left, she gave me a card entitled. "Confidence". Inside the card was a poem written by an author I'd not heard of before and it was a poem about confidence. I imagine, as my therapist and someone who knew me very well, Marilyn had given me that card because she'd noticed confidence was one of the things I lacked most. Or rather, I was least in touch with.

By 2005, I'd become a communication trainer and facilitator. I'd designed several workshops in which participants were invited to learn more about Confidence. I had gained confidence in myself... at least more than I'd had back when I'd first started working with Marilyn in 1997. That card she'd given me went on to be the foundation of my work as a trainer.



What Most People Believe Confidence Means

Interestingly enough, when I would ask workshop attendees what Confidence meant to them, they'd all come forward with similar answers:

  • Confidence is believing in yourself

  • Confidence is having the courage to believe

  • Confidence means being motivated

  • Confidence is not having fear

  • Confidence is believing in your convictions




The Unexplored Side of Confidence

image by    Samuel Zeller

image by Samuel Zeller

When I'd then go on to disclose the slide with the poem, almost everyone would be left dumbfounded. There were several things that the poem highlighted that nobody would have connected to Confidence before.

The 4 major points that surprised the audience were as follows:

  • Confidence is living life driven with a positive attitude

  • Confidence is being patient

  • Confidence is having a dream

  • Confidence is knowing your talents and using them

If you think about it, how many of us would connect confidence with patience? I'd often hear, "Does a person need to be patient to be confident or confident to be patient?" In reality, the two are interwoven and cannot exist without the other. How many of us would relate confidence to having and maintaining a positive attitude to drive us through life. Would we naturally see the link between knowing our own talents and using them as a service to society as a byproduct of confidence? We'd normally think that confidence comes first, followed by the positive attitude, right?

One of the responses I got to the point raised about positive attitude was, "But when bad things happen in life, not even a confident person can always remain positive". In truth, a confident person will always look at things with an optimistic nature, regardless of how negative the situation may be.

One of the most shocking things I noticed after years of delivering these talks and workshops was how many people don't actually dream at all. I always enjoy investigating my clients' dreams and aspirations with them, but often times am faced with a strong emotional or physical reaction to the question, "What is your dream?" being raised. There are many reasons for why people stop dreaming or never dreamt to begin with, and they vary quite a lot. The most common reason we lose sight of our dreams is lost hope. After many tries, or failures, or too much fear getting the the way, people stop believing that their dreams could ever come true. "It's better to be realistic and stop wasting time on something that most likely won't come to fruition", I'd often hear.

As far as 'talents' are concerned, the reaction seemed even more hopeless. When I would ask the room whether they were familiar with their strengths, I was usually met with confusion and blank faces. Alternatively, I'd meet clients who were very aware of their strengths but not very privy to their 'blind spots', or are familiar with their innate gifts but unable to see the dark side of those gifts. These are people, who you might also know, who only see or know of their light (the good) and are completely unaware of or ignore the shadow that needs to be integrated for them to become whole (because they judge or reject it in themselves and project it onto others).

image by    sydney Rae

image by sydney Rae

Characteristics of True Confidence

Alongside the points raised in the poem, I also believe that true confidence is only possible when:

  • We know how to recognise 'fear' as the hidden motivation for our actions and we deal with that realisation in a loving and mature way

  • We nurture an empathetic, open, curious heart and mind

  • We know our needs and wants in life, work and relationships

  • We can assert ourselves and our needs firmly when a situation calls for it (rather than compromising or subsiding to avoid conflict)

  • We recognise where our responsibility begins and ends

  • We know and practice setting boundaries with ourselves and in our relationships (with our partner, children, friends, colleagues, boss and even parents)

  • We can say 'yes' when we really mean 'yes' and 'no' when it is indeed a 'no'

  • We practice selective listening

  • We enhance our Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

  • We trust that situations are unfolding for a positive purpose, even the most negative ones

  • We choose to build resilience day by day, with little steps each time

  • We deliberately choose self-discipline and focus and do what is necessary to develop it

  • We laugh and enjoy healthy pleasures life; knowing when to have fun and find a necessary balance

  • We have built a strong sense of self and therefore our life, work and relationships are built on foundations of authentic self esteem (We can recognise this when we see that our actions are following our words and intentions or when we 'walk our talk').

Since a really strong and healthy self-esteem is based on authentic self-love, I would conclude by saying that a truly confident person must first and foremost come to know what authentic love for himself and others means and how to put it into daily practice.

The Foundations of Our Self-Confidence

We start building confidence when we are very young, in our early teens. Many of us build our sense of confidence on a sense of lack or an awareness of what isn't good enough about us, rather than a healthy and grounded sense of the beautiful and worthy individuals we are innately. People from less developed countries or less privileged upbringings often face major challenges when building confidence. They struggle to trust and live in fear. People from more affluent backgrounds might be supported more in this area because they don't have to struggle for the right to be educated and they're very likely to attend great universities and find job opportunities thanks to their network. A more privileged child feels secure from a young age that no matter what, he will be financially stable. However, this is not to say that wealthier individuals go on to have more confidence. In my profession as a coach, I've encountered many young adults and leaders with wealthy backgrounds that struggle with confidence and self-esteem issues. Being wealthy doesn't equip you with will power or self-discipline, both characteristics which form some of the most important foundations for becoming truly confident. It doesn't mean knowing yourself, learning to set boundaries or a natural affinity for understanding EQ. In this way, there's no correlation between your financial status and your self-confidence.

Our background doesn't really matter. Anyone can build true, authentic confidence if they really want to.

image by    Kyle Glenn

image by Kyle Glenn

The Next Steps

Confidence however, is not a quick fix and many of us ignore the fact that to achieve it, we must gain a solid sense of self and learn to love ourselves authentically.

Confidence is a journey, one which can take a lifetime. It all depends on when you start your search by recognising there's something to do and asking for help to build it.

As a life and confidence coach, my passion and expertise lies in igniting 'awareness' on the topic of confidence. This involves the self first and then expands and ripples into situations and relationships that we engage with in life. I love to guide clients towards the different steps they can take to achieve physical, intellectual, emotional and relational confidence in their life, work and relationships. Mastering these dimensions leads the way for a joyful and confident sense of self. I love to believe in having this dream and the reality that with enough willingness and patience, it can in fact come true.

As Dr. Bob Johnson said in his foreword for my book, Stella's Mum Gets Her Groove Back, "If Elisabetta blossomed, so can you".


header image by Miguel Bruna


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
The Connection Between Unconditional Love & Self-Confidence
How a Vision Board Can Boost Your Confidence in 2019


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

The Connection Between Unconditional Love and Self-Confidence

What is Authentic Love and How Can Understanding It Make Us More Confident?

I’ve worked with several clients on confidence (or lack thereof). After many years of learning what the real meaning of confidence is, I recognise myself as an expert in this specific aspect.

Confidence is not as simple as it seems. There are many complexities and a spectrum of meanings within the definition of confidence. It involves attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that often aren’t innate gifts and need to be nurtured, practiced and/or acquired.

What is the real foundation of confidence? And why is real confidence in our lives, relationships and work (the three are interwoven, not exclusive of each other) so challenging to achieve? My 20 years of training, self-development and determined search for confidence, have taught me that the foundation of being a confident man or woman is a solid sense of self. As I say in my first book, Stella’s Mum Gets Her Groove Back (chapter 11, page 225), a sense of self can be achieved when we learn what authentic love means and when we apply that unconditional love to ourselves first and foremost. Spiritual teachings articulate finding a sense of self as, “learning to love others as we love ourselves”.

Not long ago I watched a YouTube video about a simple yet strikingly powerful story. It inspired me to write this blog and outline the differences between authentic and inauthentic love. This understanding can offer us a stepping stone to understanding and starting to embody true confidence in our lives.


The Conditional Love Analogy

"Boy, why are you eating that fish?"

"Because I love the fish," said the boy.

"Oh, you love the fish. That's why you pulled it out of the water, boiled and killed it. Do not tell me you love fish, you love yourself and, since you like its taste, you pulled it out of the water, killer and boiled it."

Much of what we think of as love is revealed for what it truly is through this love-for-the-fish analogy.

When a woman and a man fall in love, what does it mean? It often means that they see in each other someone who can satisfy their physical and emotional needs. We call this love but when you carve away a bit, in many cases its two people thinking about their own needs. Too much of what we call love is really the love-for-the-fish analogy. Truth is that if love isn't about what we receive, it's about what we give. So in either sense, our needs (whether to give or receive) are being met.

Rabbi Dessier said, "People make a serious mistake thinking that you give to those who you love". In truth, we love those to whom we give. For if I give you something, I'm investing my time, myself, my time in you. And since I love myself, now that a part of me is in you, I undoubtedly love you.


Conditional Love in Society

I recently discussed this kind of love, the 'fish love', with some friends. We discussed and laughed about the topic, which jokes aside, is a serious topic. Do we live in a society where 'fish love' is the predominant kind of love that we cultivate and nurture?

At our core, each of us is aware that love is the essence of a happy, fulfilled and human life. Love is the foundation of true confidence, which is why we could even say it is a true measure of success in life. This message invariably appears and is often reiterated in many sacred and spiritual teachings and traditions around the world.

For some time I have wondered why there is so much disagreement and negativity in human relationships. My profession as a life and confidence coach, facilitator and trauma counsellor has led me to discover a fundamental misunderstanding about love.

image by  T J

image by T J



Defining Authentic and Inauthentic Love

In an article entitled, "The Destructive Legacy of Conditional Love" by Greg Baer, MD, he expresses authentic or unconditional love in terms of, "I care/love how you feel". Alternatively, conditional love is demonstrated as, "I love you for how you make me feel". I would add that loving in an authentic way means being able to say, "I love you for all that you are, both your light and your shadow” or “Don’t change, for I love you just as you are”. Whilst loving conditionally means consciously or subconsciously saying, "I love you for what you give me", "I only love your light because it makes me feel good" or even "I only love your shadow because it makes me feel bad/good". In fact, loving someone because they make us feel bad can be equally as selfish and gratifying as the positive counterpart if we are addicted to feeling bad. It still serves us and based on a condition.

'Fish love' is equal to conditional or inauthentic love. It's the kind of love that tries to buy the other, can manipulate and manifests from a selfish centre: "I love you because I need you in order to feel happy / fill my emptiness / perpetuate my negative cycle and avoid becoming and expressing who I really am born to be: confident and powerful". As long as you satisfy my needs, I love you. This is what I mean by 'fish love'. And sadly, we are living in a society where we're unassumingly giving and receiving 'fish love'. That's what we're taught from an early age so it is only apt that we carry on 'loving' ourselves and others in that way.

It is fundamental that as human beings we are able to distinguish between authentic / unconditional love and inauthentic / conditional 'fish love'. As long as we cannot understand and integrate this distinction, this fine line, our conscious or subconscious tendency will continue to content itself with the cycle of giving and receiving 'fish love'. The cycle that begins by eating the fish because of the instant gratification that it offers and yet never feeling satisfied because of the empty, unhappy and/or frustrated feelings it leaves behind once digested.


The Root, Cycle & Result of Inauthentic Love

Somehow, since infancy we have been taught that we can do without authentic or unconditional love. We have become accustomed to nourishing ourselves with 'fish love', growing to believe that it's in fact the only way to love and be loved. How many of us felt immense warmth and happiness seeing our mother smile and express affection and love as children? Not for any reason other than feeling loved and happy because we were behaving or deserving of that love. Unbeknown to us, we were receiving 'fish love' in those moments. Often, mum would smile or show more natural affection if we'd been good, if we hadn't done something to cause stress etc. For some of us, we'd see that when we were more quiet, when we were better at school, when we helped more or offered more emotional support and understanding. Somehow we felt more loved when we were what we understood our parents wanted us to be through their subconscious reactions to what we did, said or felt. As children our primary goal is to win love from our parents, and how we trigger that love goes on to shape how we believe we can 'win' love for the rest of our lives.

When we did something deemed as 'wrong' by our parent, often the picture changed... swiftly. Although on the whole, their reactions might have been unintentional, our parents would communicate to us through words, actions or inaction that somehow they loved us differently, accepted us less and that our behaviour were the cause of their unhappiness or bad temper.

Giving or denying our acceptance or approval based on what we like and makes us feel good or happy about other people's behaviour is the essence of conditional or 'fish love'. Do you know that most adults will go through life having only known this way of loving.

This does not only apply to the love between parents and children. We see this often between teachers and students. when we are rewarded for being bright, forward-thinking and co-operative and penalised when we are difficult, stubborn or lazy. We see it between friends, between life partners and between employees and employers. We're loved based on how we make them feel against the backdrop of their expectations and how they deem our behaviour and how it makes them feel should be. We love them in the same way.

image by  Nick Fewings

image by Nick Fewings

The result is that all human beings, regardless of background, religion, sex and culture, are prone to receive love when we do or are what others want us to be. Naturally, when this system offers us the love we want over and over, we learn that to be loved we must follow the flock. We become and do what pleases others and in so doing surrender ourselves as fish to be eaten.

We ourselves are in constant search for fish we believe to love, but eat for our satisfaction. We ourselves let others to use us as fish to satisfy their needs. We repeat what we've been taught and practiced over the course of our lives.

Although the concept of 'fish love' is usually passed onto us unknowingly (the cycle repeats when adults and parents aren't educated or aware of what the true nature of love is), its effects are disastrous and consequential in our lives because it prevents us from discerning what an authentic connection between humans is and can be. And even more severely, we continue to repeat the 'fish love' cycle, forever questioning why we still feel empty, alone and dissatisfied. We are disillusioned, thinking the love that we give and receive is supposed to fill the void when really the only love that can fill us up come from within ourselves.

It's undeniable that we've been conditioned to love and be loved in an inauthentic manner since our early years. We have been taught 'fish love', a negative and destructive inheritance that we will continue passing down to future generations until we actively choose to break the cycle (through education, self-development and self-awareness). We live in auto-pilot, like sleeping perennials, programmed to give and receive 'fish love' without questioning it and passing down the custom to our children.

If we had a tumultuous childhood, most of us try to forget the whole thing and set it aside in the recesses of our consciousness as if it were a bad dream we could opt-out of. Many of us choose to believe that the love that was given (or not given) to us in childhood and adolescence does not and cannot go on to influence the rest of our lives... how wrong we are.

In my profession, I've listened to many stories, many 'fish love' stories. Mine first and foremost. I take full responsibility as I invited all of my clients to do for re-enacting the 'fish love' cycle I was taught. I published my book, Stella's Mum Gets Her Groove Back, 10 years ago where I said, my parents -like any parent- are yes, responsible for what they did, but are not to be blamed. They did their best and it was all that they knew for they themselves had received and inherited the same kind of love.

Living a life knowing only 'fish love' can deplete our stories of meaning and purpose. It can lead us to react by way of using guilt, toxic shame, fear, resentment, materialism or a neurotic need for approval and recognition. It can lead us to look for fulfilment in substance abuse or other kinds of addiction, even cycles of excessive ambition and need of recognition in adulthood. It can wreak havoc on our health and develop into illness or psychosomatic symptoms. And until we decide enough is enough, it will continue to manifest in various ways over the course of our lives.



Breaking the Inauthentic Love Cycle & Find True Confidence

Now that you've reached the end of this article, you know what 'fish love' is and what it is not. So you also have come to know what the first step to take is in order to build authentic confidence in life, relationships and work.

We look for or say we love the fish not because we really love the fish. To love is to give. Instead, we look for something that fills our emptiness and lack of fulfilment or happiness. Our lack of real self-esteem, the foundation of real confidence. We build toxic relationships, setting ourselves up for abandonment or betrayal and/or nurture co-dependency. If we were full and happy within ourselves, if we really loved ourselves, we would not then need to kill it and eat it. We'd co-exist with it. We would swim in the ocean with it, accepting it, respecting it, growing alongside it and having fun with it. We would not set ourselves up for 'fish love' but dedicate ourselves to giving and practising the true essence of love that is not in search of receiving or giving to receive.

When we love ourselves and able to fill ourselves us with love first, then we can truly love our those around us without expectation, condition or bias. It is when we can say we achieved 'confidence'. Truth is, we might believe that we love ourselves but if we're perpetuating the 'fish love' cycle, we probably don't. Therefore our confidence is not real. So with new discernment, I invite each of us to look at our consumption of 'fish love' honestly and decide that perhaps its time to learn and invite true unconditional love into lives, starting with unconditional love for ourselves.

header image by Ahmed Zayan


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
Authentic Love vs. Inauthentic Love
Wholeness: The Search for Our Lost Self
The Purpose of Addictive Relationships


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

How a Vision Board Can Boost Your Confidence in 2019

We often hear about and come across the term vision boards and visualising. We might know the benefits of using tools as such and we might not. But often we aren’t aware of the correlation between vision boarding and confidence. Even more so than a vision board, an inventory. Taking inventory of the past year is a useful tool. How do these tools come to play with confidence? Well, they help you to practice observing your actions and perhaps inactions and in so doing, practice becoming more confident in yourself.

A truly confident person chooses to no longer live in denial and to review the past but not swim in it. Taking inventory is much the same, reviewing the past in order to create the fruits to move forward. We are after all the result of our past actions or non-actions and when it comes to a vision, these actions and non-actions are relevant. A confident person knows themselves and their goals and is not afraid to recognise their blind spots, which can pop out uncomfortably whilst taking an inventory. Thus, the practice itself helps us to become more confident so long as we do not enter self-judgement and let it belittle us.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING AN END-OF-YEAR INVENTORY

I’ve come to learn that having a personal vision is crucial and relevant when we want to live a self-aware life. Reflecting upon the past year and building that personal vision for the new year is hugely beneficial when we want to become self-aware and stop living life in autopilot.

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to put together a vision board and set goals in the different areas of our life and wellbeing. Doing so helps keep our desires and goals at the forefront of my minds, visually engaging us every day. People often wonder why a mental vision does not suffice… Put simply, creating a physical and tangible montage of your goals in the form of a vision board makes it much easier to retain those dreams in our heart and minds even when we’re busy or facing challenges. Having a visual reminder of what we’re working towards and want, keeps the vision in clear focus even when we get distracted by outside temptations to let go of our commitment to ourselves.

There’s no need to go into too much detail on the positive impacts of drawing and collating a vision board though, there are countless articles and blogs about that online you can find. Instead, I’d like to invest this time writing about what I believe to be necessary to do before we end the year or the beginning of a new year: design (or re-jig) a new vision for the new year.

It’s important to reflect on what the year that has just passed has given us and what we’ve been able to create in that time. It’s important to note what we may have not created too of course, not as an invitation for the inner-critic to devour us, but as a responsible and honest acknowledgment or positive reinforcement.


BUILDING A VISION BOARD INVENTORY

Analysing what has happened or not happened and why, is the very first step in designing a powerful personal vision. To do this, we need to look back.

I normally don’t end up accomplishing all of the goals I set and of course a part of me would love to skip this analytical stage. Many of my friends or colleagues recommend not to look back at all, but rather remind me to stay in the present. “The present is all that matters”, I often hear, and indeed I do agree. But how can we live in the present in a healthy and functional way without opening ourselves to learning from the past?

An inventory at the end of the year is exactly this: looking at the past without falling into the trap of simmering there and being enveloped by it. It’s easy to fall into that trap but doing so will only put us at risk of becoming the victims of our past. Instead, we must observe what we did and didn’t do in the past year, without judgement, and recognise what we can celebrate and most importantly, learn from.

image source:  student life network


LEARNING LESSONS FROM THE PAST

Living life with open eyes is like going to school every day. Many of us believe we finished with school when we left high school or uni but this is not the case. School never really ends. Each day as an adult, we’re learning something new and applying it to our lives, hopefully in a responsible way which can bring us joy and happiness.

At school we learn to celebrate our successes. We’re also taught to recognise our mistakes in order to learn from them and ameliorate our outcome next time.

In life it’s much the same only we don’t have teachers shedding light on our mistakes. As we grow into adults, we’re required to take life into our own hands. We are responsible for our choices. Our mind therefore, needs to be clear, flexible and open to not only evaluating what we did well and succeeded in, but also what we could have done better. We need to nurture a mind and an attitude that enables us to approach our ‘mistakes’ without fear or judgement but rather with acceptance and joy at the lessons we can receive from them.

This is crucial to remember because we can be far more critical and demanding of ourselves than we might think.



ENGAGE WITH AN EXPERIENCED LIFE COACH

We must remember that all this is a process, not a quick fix.

You need to set a time to sit down for your vision and inventory and the best time is at the end or the beginning of the year, alone in your own company. I know we’re a few weeks into January, but it is still early enough to take some time to yourself and work on this.

If you feel you’re able to be objective and honest about yourself, working by yourself will still reap tons of benefits. If however, you struggle with objectivity or come across some resistance, I’d recommend that you engage with an experienced coach who can help you in the process. They’re useful in helping you objectively distinguish the blind spots that our own ego hides us from seeing and admitting to.

When we can’t recognise something ourselves, it’s because we’re blind to it, often in denial. Often this is because of having low self-esteem, but how can we know that? A coach can guide us to see what we can’t, and most often don't want, to see because it is too painful.

After working with many clients from various backgrounds and nationalities over the years, I’ve come to recognise 4 major reasons for which people prefer to remain blind and live in denial:

Because of an inability to take ownership for their actions (or lack thereof). This could trigger toxic guilt and shame, which we’ve not been trained to deal with and therefore can be harmful if not done with the support of a professional.

Because we’re still getting some kind of pay-off from staying in denial. For example, not having to take responsibility or ownership for our actions.

Because we might be in the middle on an inner conflict we’re not yet ready to face or resolve.

Because we’re not aware enough of our patterns and conditioning. This is when we are run by our subconscious.

image by  rawpixel

image by rawpixel

4 STEPS TO BUILD A YEARLY VISION INVENTORY

  1. Make a List. Write it down on 2 separate columns: everything you’ve achieved and everything you might not have.

  2. Feel What’s Happening In Your Body. When everything is on paper, it’s important to remain out of judgement (the mind can be our greatest enemy if we let it) and become aware of our emotions. Jot down what sensations you might be feeling in your body and where they’re coming from. Calmly and at your own pace, journal about the physical sensations you might be perceiving, connecting them to your emotional state in the present.

  3. Discover the Root Thoughts. Do your best to try and identify the thoughts and beliefs at the root of the physical sensation or emotion you’re experiencing.

  4. Practice Fully Experiencing and Feeling Your Emotions and Thoughts. Without judging or escaping through distractions such as food, smoking, drinking etc, work on accepting the process of the emotions, physical sensations and thoughts which have emerged… even the not so positive ones.


A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

A few days ago, upon observing the chaos around me (whilst making my inventory for 2018), I had a panic attack. I didn’t try and escape it through food or chatting with friends as I would have done in the past. Instead, I searched for an ear to listen to me for a few moments and I embraced and bore the pain in my chest and shortage of breath (the physical reaction). Then I began to take control of my breath and I allowed oxygen to slowly enter my system. Slowly but surely, I brought myself back to normal and was able to look at everything in a more loving and less dramatic and judgemental way. I could take ownership and make the necessary choices and changes to switch my state in a few hours. It was important for me to feel my feelings and search for the root thoughts, around which I then journaled. It was relevant to allow my tears to appear and flow. It was also a priority to give myself permission to feel everything that was going on as I went into memories to sense an old hurt which clearly still needed time and healing.

This is what I mean when I say ‘embracing and bearing’… I mean managing and working with the disappointment and other emotions we might face when we realise we may have not reached our goals.


LEARNING THE LESSON

We do not build a vision inventory only to end up criticising ourselves. The intent here is not to list all the reasons for which to hate on ourselves. We need to approach this task with compassion for ourselves for it to be truly healing and fruitful and to learn what we need to do going forward.

If we only look at what we’ve achieved and dismiss what we haven’t, how can we move into the new year with a clear, renovated intention and strength to achieve the goals we set on our vision board?

Denial, lack of ability to take ownership or being truly responsible, fear of losing face (toxic shame and guilt) are the root issues of our ‘failures’. There are times when we also experience inner conflict. It will continue to exist, unresolved until we can recognise it, and only then can we move on and set new goals for ourselves.

Let’s also not forget that more often than not, the reason we’re not achieving our goals is because of unconscious dynamics and behaviours at play. We are not aware of how we are being pushed into certain directions or letting ourselves be distracted by certain events or people. We don’t see how we might be self-sabotaging ourselves by doing exactly the opposite of what we’d set on our vision boards the year before. What’s important then is to bring what lies and exists in our consciousness into awareness so that it no longer has the power to work against us.

Self-Awareness is once again the key word. The vision inventory at the start of a new year is an amazing tool in helping us not only achieve those goals we set but also gain a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. When we become more self-aware, we can become more confident. We are not afraid to be uncomfortable and face the realities, we are driven by improving and learning about ourselves.

header image by Daniil Kuželev


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
Reflecting on 10 Years of Willingness & Courage
Visions of a 25 Year Journey
Do I Need a Life Coach


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

The Danger of Spiritual Indifference

“Religions have caused a lot of pain and trouble over hundreds and thousands of centuries but at their core, they offered us the possibility for spiritual experience and connection. They served a purpose which has now been totally lost in the whirlwind of skepticism we developed to protect ourselves against the unveiled dogma and corruption.”

The Shift to a New Way of Living

I believe we are living in a very exciting and powerful time. You may not agree with this of course, we’re different human beings with different backgrounds, experiences and different conditioning. We’re allowed to see things in different ways and no one would be bad or wrong for doing so.

Why do I think it’s an exciting and powerful time? I feel that on the deepest level of consciousness, a radical spiritual transformation is taking place in a universal scale. We’re all in some way being challenged to let go of our present way of living and create a new one in its place.

The old way of living, the old world, built its foundations on external things. The focus has always been outwards. So much so, in fact, that we’ve lost our spiritual connection along the way and have come to believe that the material world is the only plane of existence we can live on. The only reality that exists. We have arrived at a point where we’ve been so disconnected for so long that we now believe that feeling lost, empty or alone are synonymous with being alive. We are constantly trying to fill the void and find ‘true’ fulfilment and happiness through external things: material possessions, money, relationships, success, career, drugs, alcohol, sex, power… to name but a few.

A new way of living has begun to emerge though and it is built within us. It consciously allows the creative energy of a higher power or divine energy and presence to move internally. A new way of living is welcoming and allowing us to become aware of our free choice and power to co-create our own reality, and waking us up to our responsibility to do so. The change starts within each individual, and as more and more of us are transformed, the mass consciousness is increasingly affected. Can you feel it?

For many of us, this time may have been distressing… it may still indeed be, because the state of the world and for some of us, our personal lives, may seem to be going from bad to worse. In many cases, many things, systems and ways of life that used to work very well, are no longer working at all. In a way, things are falling apart and I think they’ll continue to do so with ever greater intensity. I however, don’t think this is negative. It’s upsetting due to the nature of our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual attachment to the old way of living and fidelity to our old limiting conditioning. But if we open our eyes to the profound changes that are happening globally, we can change our perspectives of the unfolding events. Everything has to ‘crumble’ in a sense, before it can be rebuilt on new foundations. I remember a Muslim friend of mine, Khan, who taught me something really relevant once, that everything that happens to us that we perceive as a negative, is nothing but a ‘blessing in disguise’. In fact, all the changes we’re undergoing are the most incredible blessings that any of us could possibly imagine.

Truth is that the old way of living that characterised the hundreds of thousands of years humans have existed, no longer works. And if you really stop and think about it, did it ever bring us deep fulfilment and joy anyway? Imperialism, racism, war, disease and colonialism are some tragic drives for external fulfilment that come to mind. Some people will say they have managed to live happy lives. I would challenge them by asking the following question: Were you really and deeply happy and joyful? Were you living and breathing your universal purpose? Or is there a part of you that felt the disillusion, pain and void that has plagued the human existence until today?

After a long journey of self-discover and empowerment, I’ve become aware that we spend our entire lives being taught, through society, justice and education, the exact opposite of how the universe actually functions. We do our best to make things work the way we’ve been taught, and we may even achieve some degree of success along the way. But in so-called developed societies especially, it always seems as though things never turn out quite as we’d hoped.

It may seem as though there’s never quite enough money. We may find that the ideal relationship never materialises or fades away for some reason even when it does. We may not get the recognition that we want. We may struggle to find success in our career of choice. We may feel disappointed in the way our children have grown up, never meeting our expectations. We may struggle to feel fully secure in our lives, or struggle to feel gratitude for all the things that help us to live a secure life. Have you noticed that even when we do achieve one or more of these things, we still seem to feel a sense that there just must be something more.

Our first responsibility, if we want to give way to the new way of living, is to recognise that we have are not given a 101 on living a satisfying live in traditional, systemic education. The way of life passed down to us in school and our families was passed down to them from older generations practicing from a faulty manual on how to live a fulfilling life.

It’s time to go back to basics, back to primary school and learn it all from scratch again. Beliefs and convictions need to be shifted. If an athlete builds upon the wrong foundations, they’re not setting themselves up for longevity or true success. What do they do? Blame themselves? Become victims? No. Upon recognising their shaky foundations, they go back to basics and rebuild new foundations based upon what was missing in their previous training. The same goes for the rest of us, athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s about going back to the beginning and learning a new way of living that’s different from the way we’ve assimilated so far.

For many of us, this might not be an easy task. It will take time, commitment and courage, first to choose to do so, and then to actually do so.

We’ll be challenged by many factors including but not limited to:

  • Familial, cultural and religious belief systems

  • Laziness, procrastination, apathy, indifference (all avoidance techniques by the way)

  • Doubts and cynism

  • Fear

  • Envy

We’ll have to have courage on our side. If it’s not something that comes naturally to us, courage can be developed through experience and daily practice and action, welcome mistakes and failure too… they’re a part of the process in learning a new way of living.

As I say in my workshops and public talks, just as a baby learns to walk by falling down repeatedly, we must learn a new way of facing life by doing exactly the same. We will learn by making mistakes and often, we’ll be scared, insecure, angry and fragile… exhausted too. And just as we do with babies, will will learn to accept, embrace and welcome those falls and mistakes as a part of the journey. We will keep loving ourselves. We will have to find and reconnect with our inner motivation every day: to do our best to live fully in accordance with the laws dictated by the universe and its Creator. Which is to say, do our best to live fully human, fully present, fully alive.

Is it an easy task to recognise where we are right now and start the journey? No. Self-awareness is the first step to building our new foundations to let go of the old way of living and enter a new way. And although the journey may seem arduous and relentless, I can assure you it is well worth whatever it will take for you to make the transition into the new.


header image by Khristopher Roller


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
Pieces Lost, Faith Found
Ego-Driven vs. God-Driven Purpose


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

Divorce, an Act of Authenticity or Escapism?

There was a time when married couples would stay together for life. Despite a lack of happiness in the relationship, often rooted in unhealthy co-dependency between two partners, marriage wasn’t easily dissolved. People would choose to stay ‘glued’ together in the name of a commitment they made many years before. Often because it was financially more comfortable. Other times because they lacked the courage to take a leap of faith and enter the unknown. And more times than not, because they were used to conforming to the expectations of a hypocritical society.

Today, everything is far from the same. With marriage more rooted in personal choice and the search for happiness more than ever before, people are becoming more aware of their freedom of choice and take ending a marriage far more lightly. I believe maybe too lightly. We omit considering the consequences this choice might have on ourselves as individuals and our children. We’ve gone to the other side of the pendulum, from a time where divorce was unspoken of and we devoted ourselves to subtle, silent and accepted happiness to a time where divorce is taken totally for granted as a ‘way out’ if it all goes wrong.

Yes, today divorce is a valuable and easy option disguised as personal choice in the search for freedom.

The question that arises for me is, “are we, men and women, truly happier than we were before?”

My family was an example of obligatory endurance despite the unhappiness both my mum and dad felt and I witnessed. I grew up watching two unhappy people live in denial and choosing to stay together anyway. My dad had his first heart attack at 53, which instigated the long and arduous medical issues he’d face for the rest of his life until he died aged 77. My mum suffered from depression and exhaustion from a very young age. I remember them talking about separation several times but they never went through with it.

On the contrary to them, my maternal grandfather had divorced my grandmother as soon as the option to end marriage was given. They spent their whole lives hating each other.

My ex-husband has a mum and dad who, like my parents, stayed together despite the unhappiness they were nurturing internally externally. He was already divorced for 7 years when I met him.

In short, I had a mix of role models around me when it came to choices made around marriage and divorce

So what was my choice? Well, I eventually divorced after many years, although it was not my decision. In fact, I chose to endure and be resilient during the time I was married. I never wanted to give up, just as my mum had never wanted to. I wanted to somehow, and probably unconsciously, repeat the same destiny as my parents’: a path of unhappiness. Choosing differently would have meant proving to be ‘better’ than them and unfortunately many of us children can’t subconsciously allow ourselves to be ‘better’. I know it’s a weird concept to digest and often really hard to believe when at first relayed: we are often not aware of the unconscious forces that drive us when it comes to parental legacies. These forces can have significant negative effects on our choices and lives without our knowledge.

As children many of us remember promising ourselves, faced with the unhappy marriages and relationships of our parents, that we’d never be like them. We vowed to be better.

In his theory of Systemic Constellations, Bert Hellinger suggests that unbeknownst to us and our best intentions, we tend to repeat the same destiny a our parents because we have a unconscious fidelity to their destiny. We’re connected to them on a much deeper level than we might know. We make promises to ourselves as children, which seem to completely unravel as we grow up because on an energetic level being better or happier than them, would be like betraying them. So we grow up, and eventually that internal promise we made to, “never be like you”, loses its power over our subconscious and becomes, “I will never be better than you, I’ll follow your same path because I choose to remain faithful to you”. Interestingly enough, what our mum and dad truly want in their hearts (and I corroborate this as a mother myself), is to see us live a happier and more fulfilled like than them. This is often a complete contradiction to what we end up choosing to do.

I’m aware not everybody buys into Bert Hellinger’s theory and that there are many skeptics, as with all schools of thought. So let’s explain this ‘shift’ in direction in a more pragmatic way…

We make our promise to ourselves in childhood or adolescence and then we grow up. We mature and enter society. We ‘conform’ to its standards and expectations and we adapt to its rhythms. We enter the comfortable world of materialism that we live in today. Eventually, something inside of us switches off. We find ourselves realising that it requires character and willingness to be ‘better’ than our parents. So we settle for what is more or less the same destiny, because it’s familiar and its easy. Often, this is not a conscious choice. But sometimes it can be.

Slowly we slip into our parent’s same old patterns and comfortable behaviours and day by day we find ourselves further along the road, consciously or unconsciously following their tracks. And one day we wake up and realise that, “gosh, I just became exactly like my mother and father”.

I look back and see I was indeed repeating my parental model of unhappiness. I chose to stay with and married to someone who I was incompatible with for too long. Though my grandparents had divorced, to remain loyal to the legacy of unhappiness, my parents chose to stay together. I believe my ex-husband followed the same model of unhappiness as his parents by having not one but two divorces.

So the question remains…

Is happiness in a couple dependent on remaining together forcefully or resorting to divorce as a quick fix?

Was it better years ago when people chose to stay together despite their unhappy marriage or today when we marry, don’t think twice about divorce and return to our search for some mythical happiness in the next partner?

I believe that before being able to answer these questions, we have to recognise two fundamental things:

Happiness does not depend on whether we stay or leave a marriage.

Happiness is rooted within us and therefore needs to be searched for within us.

A marriage or a divorce can’t determine a state of joy that can only be nurtured from within. After 25 years of marriage and a divorce that I didn’t choose (in fact, I strongly believe I unconsciously wanted to be faithful to my family’s destiny as Bert Hellinger’s theory suggests, despite my commitment not to conform and make all the necessary efforts to be happy), I choose to find joy within myself.

It is not healthy to remain stuck in a marriage if that marriage is causing us health, mental or emotional issues. Those issues can manifest when we don’t recognise or acknowledge that something is wrong, and choose to stay in denial. I saw my parents go through that and I slowly realised I was repeating the same dynamic. Towards the end of my marriage I was often seeing doctors and hospitalised for burnout and nervous breakdowns, just like my mother had done.

I also don’t support the idea that a divorce is the only option when we face unhappiness or lack of joy in our relationship. There are bound to be moments of struggle and change in any partnership over lengths of time because as individuals we change and our needs change. When we look to ending a marriage because of a challenge that could be momentary or overcome with patience, resilience and love, we forget to consider how truly challenging and arduous divorce can be. Divorce signifies disappointment, loss and grief for unmet expectations and dreams… and our family. There are many emotional, legal, familial and financial aspects in our lives that require shifts because of a divorce and it often takes people years to regain balance and a sense of normality. Nevertheless, divorce serves an important function in legally and emotionally freeing people to form a more sustainable and happy relationship.

The reality is that with a lack of self-awareness or desire to develop self-awareness, we can easily grow apart from our partners during the journey that is marriage. After many years, we’re no longer the same people we were when we first married. We we change as individuals, it’s easy to head in different directions and perhaps begin to share fewer things in common over time. We might begin to realise after many years, that actually we’re incompatible. Or we can no longer compromise our basic needs to support the needs of another. Furthermore, the person we may have desired as our partner in our 20s, may not be the same person we desire in our 50’s and 60’s. Priorities, values and personal philosophies change, and some of those changes can be absolutely significant and undeniable.

What is the ‘right’ way?

Truth is, there is not right or wrong. As much as there is no better or worse when it comes to following or own destinies or that of our parents. We all have free choice. Happiness? Unhappiness? Enduring a marriage or facing divorce?

Just as it’s relevant to know and understand ourselves, it is also of fundamental importance to get to know the meaning of marriage and the consequence of divorce. It should be a requirement to understand how to face a divorce if we choose to go that way or how to be resilient in a marriage should we choose the other way.

One thing is important to remember: if we choose to stay in a marriage, it must be a conscious one where both partners work on becoming self-aware and let go of ego or pride. We must be sure to understand that it takes two to tango and we must both be willing to participate in the steps of the dance. We cannot achieve the success and happiness in a marriage that we envision by ourselves.


header image by Foto Pettine


The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
What Does 'Giving & Receiving' Mean In A Couple?
Vindictiveness: a Holiday Special
Life is Not a Battle


If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.


► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.

► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.

► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.

► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com


If you liked this blog post you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to my newsletter by opting in here. For more of my blog posts, click here.

© Copyright www.elisabettafranzoso.com. All rights reserved. 

Fear of the Unknown & How to Overcome It

Fear of the Unknown & How to Overcome It

I’ve struggled with fear for a really long time. It manifests itself in different forms each day. In this blog post I want to address the fear of the unknown. And the subsequent resistance to facing the unknown that we have, paralysed by this fear. We give fear the keys to our fate so that we can feel comfortable and safe. But what if we looked it straight in the face instead? What if we kicked the door down and took control back from fear?

ANGER: The Misunderstood Emotion

ANGER: The Misunderstood Emotion

“One of these dimensions in particular, is one that we tend to forget or prefer not to deal with. Looking into it might lead us to recognise something about ourselves that we might have preferred not to see, so we don’t look into it. I’m talking about the emotional dimension, which refers to our feelings, empathy, moods and creativity.”

An Intro to the Mother-Daughter Relationship

An Intro to the Mother-Daughter Relationship

In this particular article, as I talk about mother-daughter relationships, I write addressing the group of women whose painful childhood relationships and experiences with their mothers have gone on to warp their adulthood in ways they may not recognise.

An Intro to the Father-Daughter Relationship

An Intro to the Father-Daughter Relationship

The importance of a father’s role in our lives is not as widely discussed and invites a lot of different conversations, so I’m going to continue unpacking it bit by bit, starting by focusing on the relationship between Fathers & Daughters.

Life Is Not a Battle

Life Is Not a Battle

Scott Peck opened his bestseller, The Road Less Travelled, stating that “Life is Difficult”. Buddhism tells us that “Life is Suffering”. Christianity teaches us that “Life is Sacrifice”. Have we been misled?

Ego-Driven vs. God-Driven Purpose

Ego-Driven vs. God-Driven Purpose

The search for the purpose of life has puzzled us for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong place - with ourselves.

Are They Right For Me & is Love Worth the Risk?

Are They Right For Me & is Love Worth the Risk?

Does a right man/woman exist?
Is there a right or wrong friend/colleague/partner?
Is there a right or wrong love?
When do I know it’s the right time to take the risk of loving?

Will this love make me happy again?

Types of Damaging Fathers and How They Influence Who We Are

Types of Damaging Fathers and How They Influence Who We Are

Types of unavailable fathers and how the father figure impacts who we become and the choices we make.

The Purpose of Addictive Relationships

The Purpose of Addictive Relationships

Through my own studies and life experience over the years, I came to realise that we can be compulsive and addicted to any kind of relationship, even one with a friend or colleague. The most detrimental reality is that often we don’t or can’t recognise it and can live a life going through toxic relationship cycles until we die.

The Upsides of Ageing They Don't Want You to Know

The Upsides of Ageing They Don't Want You to Know

Our desire to deny our real age as we grow older is not a new phenomenon, but why is it such an ingrained reaction?


The Importance of Trusting Our Intuition

The Importance of Trusting Our Intuition

We grow up, into ‘responsible adults’ thinking that we’re becoming more loving and more wise, but blind to what we’ve left behind because of fear and life experience. That wise, loving and responsible centre of ours is what we truly are underneath it all.

Everyone is a Narcissist, Everyone is a Victim

Everyone is a Narcissist, Everyone is a Victim

Narcissism is rife in the media today and is being Googled more often than ever. People are waking up to various narcissistic characters in their lives and I’m hearing more conversations about “how to remove toxic people from your life”, perhaps because of the rise in self-development and self-care.

Growing Up in an Anxious Generation

Growing Up in an Anxious Generation

This blog aims to shed a light on the fact that it’s not age that decides when we are adults. It’s not financial independence or not needing to ask for any help. What decides when we’re adults, and my mum has said this countless times in her writing, is when we begin taking responsibility for our choices and start standing in ourselves.

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