Blossom of the Month
Meet Bonnie Hillman Shay - Blossom & Professional Organizer
Bonnie Hillman Shay reinvented herself professionally when she became a Professional Organizer and founder of Mariposa Creative Solutions. Bonnie was born hard wired for this line of work: She has the organizing gene. Bonnie creates order out of disorder, in whatever shape that may take and specializes in residential and home office organizing, email management, and photo organizing (printed and digital.)
Bonnie has been featured in numerous publications and presents on a variety of organizing topics before live audiences, on teleseminars, radio shows, and webinars. Bonnie recently published “Take Charge of Your Email Inbox”, a step by step guide to “de-clutter” your inbox and maintain a streamlined inbox going forward.
Bonnie named her business Mariposa (Spanish for butterfly) since she loves butterflies and helps people transform the way they organize their space, their possessions, their lives. And Bonnie certainly transformed herself since her divorce and spread her wings to fly.
Bonnie is offering all Lilac Tree clients 10% off 1 three-hour session as well as an additional 10% donation to The Lilac Tree. THANKS BONNIE!
Help Support our Blossom of the Month - Go To Her Website!
How did you get involved with TLT?
Bonnie: When I was contemplating getting a divorce, I attended a Lilac Tree Divorce University and also had a one on one consultation. I learned so much.
What stage of divorce were you in when you were introduced to TLT?
Bonnie: I had moved out of my marital home 3 months earlier and was trying to figure out what to do going forward.
What events did you participate in at TLT?
Bonnie: Divorce University, one on one consultation, one support group meeting, and was invited to share my story at both a small group Lilac Tree event and at a Divorce University.
How was your experience?
TLT gave me logistical and practical information to help me make my decision to divorce and how to do it go through the divorce process. TLT also gave me the moral support to forge ahead with my divorce and how to do it successfully. Meeting other women going through similar experiences was invaluable as I didn’t feel so alone. Just knowing there are resources to tap into is so helpful as well.
My divorce went as smoothly as possible. We started with mediation (which I had learned about at Divorce University), but my husband needed more individual support so we each retained an attorney and worked out all of the details and the judge basically rubber stamped and finalized our divorce. Our divorce took a couple of years because I was still working in our photography business and we were living on our own, dating and pretty much acting as if we were divorced. Finally I wanted the divorce official so that our financials were separate and I wasn't impacted by any financial decisions my husband made and I knew what I had financially to work with going forward. We had been married for 20 years when our divorce was finalized.
What are you doing now?
Bonnie: I have been divorced for five and a half years, living on my own with one daughter still at home and one daughter living on her own after graduating college. I started my own professional organizing business helping people in their homes by making order out of disorder. One of my biggest and favorite organizing specialties is photo organizing. I help people with the boxes and boxes of photos they have accumulated and the computers and devices that are now filled with thousands of digital photos. I love photo organizing and getting families' photos back in action and shareable, and I love telling people's stories. I also wrote a book on email management called "Take Control of Your Email Inbox" since email has become such a pain point for people personally and professionally.
I have continually grown professionally, financially, and personally every step of the way since my divorce. Of course I'd prefer not to be divorced, but for my situation divorce was the best decision and I have enjoyed a very gratifying and satisfying life that much of which I wouldn't have had if I were still married.
What advice would you give to women as they go through their Divorce?
Bonnie: Put self care on the top of the list as you go through the challenging times of divorce. Exercise, healthy eating, having fun, good sleep and other basics are key to feeling good and making sure you stay as whole as possible through the process.
Even if you don't know how you are going to make it financially, emotionally or the like, maintain a vision that you will be alright in the end. You'll figure out the path one step at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, professionals, etc. You don't have to do it alone.
If you can, take the high road when it comes to dealing with your husband/ex, especially if there are kids involved. You want to minimize the negativity for you, your husband/ex and the kids so that you can as quickly as possible move in to a positive state of mind and get on with your life.
Avail your kids to therapy so that they have a place to vent and share what they are going through and get professional help.
Grieve the end of your marriage certainly, but celebrate a new chapter and an opportunity to do things you've always been wanting to do. There is life after divorce and it can be what you want to make of it.
I have been proud to be a good role model for my daughters. Showing them that my ex and I have remained friends and collaborative as parents. Also that I can navigate through the divorce experience, take care of myself, create a new happiness and be strong. I have always taken care of my daughters, but they also see that I'm taking care of myself.