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The Beauty of Breakups: How You Grow from Relationships Ending with Diana Davis

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

If you're looking for a new path and perspective on a breakup in your life — or any end — this episode may be what you need.

Three things we dive into in this episode:

  1. Holding, healing, and processing the grief of a breakup and getting to the other side.

  2. Feeling whole again after the loss of a significant relationship.

  3. Flipping the narrative and celebrating the new paths and perspectives we can find after breakups.


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📌Episode Highlights

[05:24] Caitie’s Insights on Breakup Recovery

  • Caitie went through a significant breakup earlier this year.

  • After the breakup, she decided to leave New York and begin traveling. It helped her rediscover and reclaim who she is after a significant loss.

  • For her, breakup recovery involves both grief and revival.

Caitie: “We have to let ourselves feel the grief of a relationship ending because we absolutely cannot heal the things that we refuse to feel.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • The most significant healing moments are not always in the grand gestures. Sometimes they are in the more intimate moments of learning to love yourself better.

[10:20] Diana Davis and Her Values

  • Diana Davis is a creative business coach and a nomad. She is also a former photographer and graphic designer.

  • Diana deeply values creativity. She understands that people have different creative outlets. For her, procrastinating is just part of it.

  • She also truly values community. She likes to make people feel welcomed and seen.

[14:58] The Breakup as a Means of Healing

  • Diana was in a relationship where her feelings of jealousy and insecurity were constantly invalidated.

  • When she realized that her intuition was correct, she felt relieved more than sad. Her biggest takeaway was that her feelings had always been valid.

Caitie: “Healing is not fixing yourself; it’s not pointing out the things that are wrong with you and fixing them. Healing is remembering that there was never anything wrong with you to begin with.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[23:25] Reconnecting with Yourself

  • When you are in a relationship, there is the danger of getting tunnel vision and dishonoring your own goals and desires.

  • When Diana broke off her relationship, she decided to honor herself again by traveling the world.

  • Breakups are not one-way, and relationships are never one thing away from ending.

[28:30] Coping with the Grief

  • One of the best tools for coping with breakup grief is cutting off communication with the other person.

  • Another tool is to talk to people who will tell you what you need, not just what you want.

  • Do things that light you up and help you tap into yourself.

[32:49] The Turning Point

  • Meet new people and create new experiences. The turning point from grief to revival is when you start seeing new possibilities in front of you.

  • Set clear boundaries. If you see yourself going down the same path that led to the negative parts of your previous relationship, then draw the line.

  • You will see yourself recovering the confidence you lost. You will no longer need to adjust to meet other people's expectations of you.

Diana: “Here I am, take it or leave it. So that was really powerful. Like, these romantic relationships were catalysts to seeing myself again.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • In the end, it is a powerful feeling to look back on an ended relationship not with bitterness, but with gratitude that it was able to help you grow as a person.

[44:42] Diana’s Morning and Evening Rituals

  • On good mornings, Diana loves to see the sunrise. She also likes to play cards, do yoga, and meditate using Shavasana.

  • Diana also needs to eat 10 minutes after waking up.

  • At night, she likes to read a book. She does not often make it more than five pages, but she tries to read what she can.

[47:56] This Week’s Processing Prompt

  • Is there a relationship you are contemplating ending, but not allowing it to end because you think it would mean failure?

  • Have you had a relationship in your life you can reframe to see as a success instead of a failure?

  • What positive impact did a previous breakup bring in your life? What opportunities did it offer?

[49:39] This Week’s Action Experiment

  • If there’s something that you like to do but have been suppressing because of a relationship or a breakup, just do it.

  • Do quiet self-care. Do your nails or meditate. Start reclaiming yourself.

About Caitie

Caitie Corradino MS, RDN, CDN, RYT, CPT, is the founder and lead counselor of Full Soul Nutrition. She is a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, a certified fitness and yoga instructor, an eating disorder recovery coach, and a Reiki practitioner. She is passionate about providing counseling services that are truly integrative and provide healing for the whole person.

Connect with Caitie: Website | Instagram

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Caitie Corradino: That is one of the pieces that I think applies to any type of breakup, right, a friendship breakup, or finally setting a boundary with a family member and breaking up with them like, that is not a failure. That is a success. Like to say, this friendship is no longer aligned with me anymore. I'm not going to waste my energy chasing this person anymore or trying to get this person to understand me when we're just inherently different people with different values. That can be such a success. It's not inherently a failure.

Welcome to Whole, Full & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are, underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.

I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it.

Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full & Alive. This is my second episode that I'm recording from Costa Rica. But it's a little different than the first one I recorded from Costa Rica because the first one I recorded from Costa Rica was in a closet in an Airbnb in the city of San Jose.

Now, I am way out there in the middle of nowhere in like a little bungalow style Airbnb. It’s like open air situation, so you might be able to hear some birds around me. The audio might be a little bit interesting. But it feels really cool to be recording a podcast here and I couldn't couldn't help myself. I don't think this is gonna be the highest quality audio, but that's okay, because I'm only sitting here for the intro.

Because for the second part of this episode, I'm going to bring on my friend who is here in Costa Rica with me, Diana Davis. So let's get into it, doing a little intro out here on the porch of our little bungalow, and then I'm going to go inside and talk with Diana, who's an incredible person. I'll introduce her in a sec. But today is the breakup recovery episode. Today, talking about breakup recovery, and I do not just mean breaking up with a romantic partner.

I mean breakups with friends. I mean breakups with family members that you maybe need to set boundaries with. I mean any relationship that you may have lost. That is how I'm defining breakup here, defining it as the loss of a significant relationship in your life. We're gonna be talking about recovering from that today. I shared on the show before that earlier this year, I went through a pretty significant breakup in a romantic partnership, and that breakup was the thing that gave me the permission to leave New York after 10 years and start traveling.

Leaving New York and beginning to travel was definitely a very, very, very empowering and wonderful experience, and I'm so grateful and privileged that I was able to make that pivot after I ended my relationship. Also, while I was in the first couple of months of traveling, there was a lot of grief that I needed to navigate, a lot of grief. Breakups are tough. Breakups forced us to confront the most fragile parts of our psyche, and they force us to confront the reality of impermanence, the reality that nothing in this life truly lasts forever, nothing.

Breakups also kind of destroy what we may have imagined our future to look like in the blink of an eye, which is a really difficult thing. Especially if you're going through the romantic kind of breakup, there is definitely a conflicting mess that's unique to it, unlike any other kind of grief, because in the romantic breakup kind of grief, you have to, most of the time, play tug of war with your heart and with what could have been and with an imaginary version of your ex that you no longer speak to.

You have to feel that grief in order to survive it. You have to let yourself sit in that conflicting mess in order to come out on the other side. You deserve to feel your way through all of that. You have to let yourself feel through all of that, so that you can get to the part where, I guess, you realize that breakups can also be really beautiful. Where you realize that to love someone really deeply, and then let go of them completely is very empowering and transformative.

So on this episode today, Diana and I are going to be talking through some of the grief aspects of surviving a breakup, and again, this can apply to any type of breakup, not just a romantic partnership. We're also going to be talking about that empowering and transformative part of the breakup, the part where you get to the other side, and you realize that this is actually a really, really incredible potent learning experience.

But it's so important to me that as we're diving into today's episode, we just keep in mind that breakups aren't only about the grief, and they're not only about the transformation, right? We have to let ourselves feel the grief of a relationship ending because we absolutely cannot heal the things that we refuse to feel. You've got to let yourself grieve. You've got to let yourself cry. You've got to let yourself vent, get angry, sad, get angry again.

All of those things are so important. We can't just focus on the big revival that often happens when we release a relationship that's no longer serving us too. I'm super grateful that my life this year has felt in many moments like a revival, like reclaiming myself and reclaiming what I really want. Also, I'd be totally creating a facade if I said that the most important parts of my healing have happened through the big and grand gestures like traveling and revamping my business and all the things.

The real healing has definitely happened in quieter and cozier and more personal moments, where I'm kind of learning to tolerate slowing down and learning to love living with myself. So as I'm getting ready to dive into this episode with Diana today, that's the major theme I want to leave you with is that big adventures, and the revival that happens after a breakup is so beautiful, can be so beautiful.

Also, the quiet moments where you're feeling your feelings and nourishing yourself are also so, so vital. So let's get into this episode with my friend and also my former photographer, and also my business coach, Diana Davis. She's the founder, the creator of Diana Davis Creative where she coaches creative entrepreneurs to build thriving businesses, and be themselves and make money and live life in the way they want to live it.

She's such an inspiring human. I'm so lucky to have her in my life in so many different capacities, and I'm so lucky to be here in Costa Rica with her so we can have this conversation about going through breakups at the same exact time this year, and doing the same exact thing which was letting go of our apartment leases and traveling. So yeah, let's get into it. All right, coming to you live from Costa Rica.

Diana Davis: From the bungalow.

Caitie: From the bungalow with little crickets and lizards and things in the background potentially.

Diana: The lizards are chirping. They're talking to each other.

Caitie: Diana, thanks so much for being on this show.

Diana: I'm so excited to be here and actually physically here with you, which is really cool.

Caitie: This is the first in person podcast recording I have done for the show.

Diana: I'm honored.

Caitie: Yeah, this is amazing. It feels a little confronting to be with you in person.

Diana: Like eye contact right here.

Caitie: Like we're actually having conversation right now.

Diana: Which we have been for like the last week, basically, not just recording it.

Caitie: I've actually been with you for almost a week now. Yeah, we're just going to record it this time, and we're going to talk about something specific.

Diana: Let's do it.

Caitie: Well, before we get into it, can you please tell us who are you? Of course, I want to hear what you do, and I want to hear what's meaningful to you. What do you value? How do people know when they're in your presence and your energy when you're in your element?

Diana: Yeah, that's such a good question. You know I love the holistic human thing. I do think it's important to note that I'm a rancher's daughter. I think that says a lot about my core. I'm also a creative. I'm also a Gemini. So if you know anything about that, we're kind of all over the place. I'm one of those people who starts 50 different books and never finishes them.

Manifesting generator, so that also means to me that you can't force me to do anything that doesn't feel aligned, kind of a rebel. I'm a procrastinator. I do things the unconventional way when I feel sparked to do them. I'm big on community. I'm big on creatives putting their gifts out into the world, getting paid for them. Therefore, I'm a business coach, and I used to be a photographer and a graphic designer, which was a huge part of my identity.

I'm a nomad. So all of those are descriptive things, but it also says a lot about where my energy is, and the kind of person that I am, I think. Yeah.

Caitie: That’s a beautiful answer, and what a cool thing to say that you're a procrastinator, right? Because I think so many people see that as their perceived weakness, and maybe it's just part of your personality. Maybe it's just part of your energy and part of your identity and part of how you get stuff done.

Diana: Yeah, I've learned to embrace it, for sure.

Caitie: Yeah.

Diana: Or you're just gonna beat yourself up for it.

Caitie: Yeah, there's so many things like that, like being a procrastinator, claim it, and just know that that's how you're going to work, and that's how you're going to move through the world. Maybe it's not wrong, and maybe it's not something you should feel ashamed about. Maybe it's just who you are.

Diana: Yeah, absolutely.

Caitie: Maybe you're not a morning person. Cool. You wake up late, and then you stay up late at night, and that's when you're in your zone of genius. Like, that's cool. That's a little rabbit hole, but I think that that's really cool that you mentioned that.

Diana: Yeah.

Caitie: Also, you are a full time business coach for creative entrepreneurs.

Diana: Correct.

Caitie: You’re former photographer. You and I met in New York City in like five different ways. I feel like I met you at a networking event, and then, you also came to my fitness class. Then I also was your photography client when I was doing completely different, like fitness projects and things back in the day. Something special I feel like sharing is that when I met you, I felt like I always knew you. For some reason, I felt,

Diana: Huge compliment.

Caitie: Like you were from New York City. Even though when I met you, I'd only been in New York City for maybe a year. I think that's the community piece about you. You're just so good at welcoming people into your circle and being open to inviting people into your circle. I felt that way instantly when I met you. You were like, oh, yeah, we could be friends.

Like that could be a thing that could happen, and I'm just like, well, I'm not used to meeting new people and then being so open to just being friends with me. People in New York are not like that, and yet, yeah.

Diana: Yeah. At the same time, I'm so flattered for you to say that I had New York, but because I love it, even though most people would be like, oh my God, you never want to be a New Yorker.

Caitie: Like yeah.

Diana: That’s sort of person but I'm like, such a compliment.

Caitie: It was like you had New York vibes because you were just so comfortable there, and also, you just had familiar vibes and for me anything familiar at that point was in New York, because I didn't really know anything else. I had been there my whole life. So it's just like, yeah, Diana's always been here.

Diana: Oh, my God.

Caitie: Anyway, I asked all my guests what is a challenge that you have overcome that has made you who you are or brought you to where you are today? On this show this episode in particular, we're talking about breakup recovery and expansion, and not just romantic partnerships, but also friendship, recovery and maybe like, subtle breakup with family member that you need to set boundaries with recovery. And so I mean, from the heart can you speak to a significant breakup that you went through that brought you to this expansive and seriously genuine, authentic aligned most yourself you've ever been place you are today?

Diana: Totally. Yeah. I mean, I do have to say, put out there that I am divorced, I got married very young. That was its own fast track to life University situation. I gained a lot of wisdom from that, and I wouldn't change the thing. The most recent was in May. And I came out of a breakup of six years. And that, yeah, I mean, might have to guide me on kind of where we want to go with this. But yeah, I think I know that this is the season where I've tapped back into my power, because there was a lot of making myself wrong in that relationship. And so to have not even like me back, I'm sort of processing this, as I'm saying it, but to unearth myself fully for the first time.

Because if you think about it, I'm 32. I met my ex when I was 25, started dating when I was 26. I was a totally different person then. And I didn't know who I was fully. So this is the first time I've been like, developed as a human and also able to just stand on my own in this space. So it has, it's like an age thing, experience thing, and finally being independent in this stage of my life

Caitie: So it's the first time you're a full, grown adult that knows who they are and what they want. And also, you're not including anyone else in the you're not consulting anyone else on the next steps for the first time.

Diana: Totally. Yeah, only tapping into yourself. Yeah.

Caitie: Yeah, that's really cool. And you said, you know, there was a lot of making yourself wrong in your relationship. What does that mean?

Diana: Yeah, I think you really have a lot of insight on this. But a lot of this was around jealousy, and cheating. And haven't talked about that a lot. Because we don't want to, you know, “throw anyone under the bus” or make any anybody wrong. But there was just a lot of feelings that I was really shameful around. No one wants a jealous girlfriend. No one wants to deal with these feelings. Why am I having them? I should tamp them down. And like, move on with my life.

And of course, that's not possible, right? When you're truly intuitively having these things come up for you. So I struggled with that for a long time. So I was making myself wrong by saying, “Hey, you should stop feeling this way.” And I was also legitimately being told, then my feelings were invalid.

Once I realized my intuition was actually correct. It was so validating. It was such a relief. That was actually my biggest takeaway — just relief. Not even sadness or anger. Just relief. I think the invalidation is huge. And just realizing you can't- It's like, what Esther Perel talks about like, death by a thousand cuts, when you're invalidating someone's feelings. So I wasn't allowing myself to sit with those feelings. I wasn't allowing them to come up. I was punishing myself for them. And I was also being punished by others for them.

Caitie: So what's interesting is, I talk on this podcast a lot about it, and with my clients a lot about this. Healing is not fixing yourself, it's not pointing out the things that are wrong with you and fixing them. Healing is remembering that there was never anything wrong with you to begin with. I feel like what I'm hearing you say now is that by going through the breakup, you healed because what you learned, once you got out of the relationship, and this happens to so many people — so many people hear themselves in your story is that you realize, “Wait, there's nothing wrong with me to begin with. I was just trying to change myself to fit into this relationship and to hold on to the box that this relationship was like keeping me in.”

So weird way of saying it, but I was trying to stay within the confines of this relationship and try to fit myself into a box that didn't lose it. And then when you get out of it, you heal. And so I feel like part one of this interview is actually taking a turn and we're saying that often by ending the relationship, that is the healing; the ending is the healing. Of course, there's the grief that comes after it, and that's what we're gonna talk about too, but sometimes ending the relationship is an act of healing to begin with, and relationship endings aren’t inherently failures

Diana: Wow, that was so good. Beautiful. No, it's so true. Yep. It was so healing for me. And it's been I just keep saying, Thank you, ex's name. Yeah, thanks for making this happen because I'm having the time of my life. But also, I have come back to myself.

Caitie: Yeah. And it's so interesting, you know, so we both- I think I'm gonna tell the story in the intro. I'll tell the story. We both went through breakups around the same time. People kept saying to me in like, April, and May when they heard I went through this breakup. I have, like, at least five to ten people say this to me. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry to hear that you and ex's name broke up. And I was like, to almost every single one of them, I laughed. I was like, ‘Why? I instigated this, like, this was me. This is a decision I made because I knew that I was losing myself. I was losing my soul. I wasn't honoring what I really wanted.” Did you have people say, “I'm so sorry” to you in the beginning?

Diana: I definitely had some people. I am also a big boundary setter. Yeah. So even in the posts that I made about ending the relationship, why make the post and make it public?

First of all, is because people are going to wonder because I share a lot of my life. “What the heck, where is he?” Second of all, I think we really ended it in a beautiful way and I wanted people to be able to witness that. But I explicitly said in that post, like, we do not need your “I'm sorry”. So if anything, please cheer us on and celebrate us. But of course, there was going to be a few people that are going to say “I'm sorry.”

And as you know, swear there's something in the stars. So many people had breakups during this time and are still continuing to like It's wild. It's like a post COVID situation or what? Yeah, but I always say, and I try to kind of watch myself, but I'm like, I'm really excited for you, whoever is breaking up with another person. I know, it feels awful, maybe. But I'm really, really excited for you.

Caitie: Yeah. And that's one of the pieces that I think applies to any type of breakup, right? A friendship breakup, or finally setting a boundary with a family member and breaking up with them. That is not a failure, that is a success. To say, this friendship is no longer aligned with me anymore, I'm not going to waste my energy chasing this person anymore, or trying to get this person to understand me when we're just inherently different people with different values, that can be such a success — it's not inherently a failure.

I just want to underscore this because I feel like so many people see breakups as this massive tragedy, and they are really hard and we're gonna talk about that in a minute. But also, they're this time where like, you're just so potent. And you're so it's just you and you get reconnected with yourself and you see who you are outside the context of that bond of that friendship, of that relationship, of whatever it is, and you sort of like crack open. Can you speak a little more to the expansiveness that you experienced the goodness that you experienced once you reconnected and recommitted to yourself?

Diana: Yeah, I mean, something that came up for me too, and I'm curious, while you're saying that is like, it is two very different experiences when you get broken up with versus like, this is something you're ending, right? There could be like, if someone blindsided me and broke up with me when I thought, well, I guess that sort of happened, but I just think it's different for everybody.

That being said, the expansiveness that I really experienced one of the biggest things was forever, I didn't really have goals, like new goals or desires. I thought, okay, we're about to buy this house, we were about to buy a ring, you know, and I'm not a traditional person, especially being divorced. I'm not like jumping at getting married, like we were together six years, and I can barely stomach the thought of getting engaged.

But I finally was ready to commit and so here we are, and my business is doing well. We live in Denver, it's, you know, not really a place I pictured for myself, but okay, this is life and we can roll with it. I didn't know where I wanted to go from there. And I really felt like I kind of reached my cap. And then the minute we broke up, I was like, I'm traveling the world. I'm doing this my way and it was like my desires had been tamped down as well for so long. To be able to tap back into them unapologetically that like, that was a huge expansion for me talk about cracking open.

Caitie: Yeah. It's kind of like you have tunnel vision sometimes when you're in a relationship, especially when you're in the wrong relationship, because you have to give so much emotional energy to try to make it work, that you just have such incredible tunnel vision. And it's like, you can't see anything outside of you. You don't know what's possible for you. If anyone had told me this time last year, that visiting a fraction of the countries that I visited this year wouldn't be possible for me, I'd be like, “No, it's not. My boyfriend has to work in person. He goes to work in person every week. How are we going to do that? I can't s