Psychotherapist, family therapist, author, blogger and internationally known divorce recovery expert, Vikki Stark, MSW, is the director of the Sedona Counselling Centre of Montreal. She has an international therapy practice and has done Skype sessions with people from places as far flung as Mongolia, Australia and Hong Kong.
In response to one of her four books, Runaway Husbands, she leads a worldwide community of women who have all experienced Wife Abandonment Syndrome - when a man leaves out-of-the-blue from what his wife believed to be a happy marriage. She hosts yearly divorce recovery retreats in Montreal, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Sedona, Arizona and is devoted to helping women turn the crisis of abandonment into an opportunity for growth.
Vikki has appeared in the media on NBC's The Today Show, Oprah radio, USA Today, The New York Daily News, Maclean’s Magazine and CBC news, among many others. She is a familiar face on the television news in Montreal and writes a blog on relationships for Psychology Today magazine called Schlepping Through Heartbreak.
My Goal of the Day: To stay in the present moment - not regret anything from the past or worry about anything in the future. If I can stay in the present moment, everything is easy.
My Thought of the Day: I try to live my life like my dog, Chloe. She’s always up for fun, showers everyone with love, and when she doesn’t feel well, she just deals with it without a lot of kvetching. When I have a problem, I ask myself, “What would Chloe do?”
My Action of the Day: Square my shoulders. I try to remember to square my shoulders every time I walk through a door. If you straighten your spine and open your chest, you’re opening your heart to whatever life brings you.
My Deed of the Day: I enjoy being kind. I really think it’s everything in life.
My Tip of the Day: Don’t believe anything you think between midnight and 6am. Your thoughts are distorted in the middle of the night and that thing that felt so awful in the wee hours will seem much more manageable in the light of day.
My Pic of the Day: This is a photo of one of the divorce recovery retreats I hold in Sedona, Arizona every spring. The retreats are an opportunity for women to come together for community and healing.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City? Ah, Montreal! I love to sit in the sun on a summer’s day in an outdoor café with a croissant and café au lait, listening to the swirl of French being spoken around me, enjoying the carefree vibe of this European city.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? It’s either oatmeal or eggs, eggs or oatmeal. I have no imagination when it comes to breakfast. Favorite restaurant would, of course, be the famous Schwartz’s, where you sit, squashed into communal formica tables next to a stranger, eating a hot smoked meat sandwich, with a black cherry soda and a pickle. I don’t eat like that often but you gotta go once a year.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Still sleeping but luckily, I have this weird ability to think lucidly while I’m fast asleep, so I may be writing a blog in my mind that I just have to type up when I wake and bingo! it’s done.
10:00 AM - I’m blessed to have an amazing job that I love. At 10am, I’m probably working as a therapist, in session with a couple, family or an individual client, helping them learn how to stay in the present moment.
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? Lunch is simple. I always make the same salad (I told you I have no imagination when it comes to food) - greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, olives, avocado and a handful of pumpkin seeds. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
7:00 PM - At 7pm on Tuesdays, I’m leading my online divorce recovery group called Hearts & Minds. Eight women from all over the world participate in the group, supporting each other and working on positive steps for recovery.
11:00 PM - Fast asleep. Maybe the dog snuck up on the bed and is snoring softly next to me.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Just water and my favorite herbal tea, Yogi brand lemon and ginger.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? My favorite Instagram page is my daughter’s nail art account. Nail art is like doing ten tiny little paintings at the tips of your fingers.
What should everyone try at least once? Zumba! There’s no way you can get through a Zumba class without having a goofy grin on your face.
Where do you enjoy getting lost? The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love to spend a day roaming aimlessly through all the hidden galleries, a million miles away from the demands of my real life.