Christine Clifford likes to quip that not only is she one of those people who can take life’s lemons and make the proverbial lemonade—she’s also the kind of gal who can build, piece-by-lemon-stained-piece, the lemonade stand in which it is sold.
As a breast cancer survivor, she used all of her experience as creative fodder and started The Cancer Club, gave dozens of inspirational speeches at sold-out shows, and went on to write five best-selling books filled with anecdotes, humor and advice on dealing with cancer. And, twice-divorced, this dynamo has created The Divorcing Divas, an organization that helps those in any stage of the divorce process by offering seminars, resources, and information on divorce; not to mention that she just finished a humor book on the subject aptly named, The Clue Phone is Ringing…It’s for You! Humor and Healing for People Divorcing, and is actively seeking a publisher.
“I think it’s been a gift for me to be able to take these horrible conditions that many are going through—one in three people will get a diagnosis of cancer and 50 percent of people go through divorce—and find a way to make it manageable for people,” says Clifford, “And to give them hope that they can find life, a good life, on the other side.”
At the time of our conversation, she was just finishing the last chapter of her sixth and final cancer book to devote more time to her Divorcing Divas endeavor.
Yes, she’s busy.
Clifford co-founded Divorcing Divas—an organization that seeks to provide empowerment, education, hope and inspiration to people going through divorce—in April 2010 with her best friend, Barb Greenberg (who has since moved on to pursue family matters, but still speaks at the seminars). And, like most every other thing Clifford puts her mind to, the organization is definitely finding success.
Divorcing Divas recently moved its headquarters to Edina, and secured their third seminar event, “Happily Ever After,” which will take place on Saturday, October 15th at the Marriott Minneapolis West in St. Louis Park.
“I am thrilled to have Christina Boyd and Barbara Bencini, senior financial advisors with Eckerline, Bencini and Boyd Group, step up in this capacity as presenting sponsors,” says Clifford. “It really solidifies to me that we have something of value to the community, and that people believe in our mission and our cause.”
Not surprisingly, Clifford uses her own life as a guide when putting together the event. Even though she felt somewhat empowered when she left her marriages, she knows that many people don’t share that mindset.
“I found that the majority of people going through this experience feel like their feet are stuck in cement, they literally don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other,” says Clifford. “I am such a methodical person, so I looked back and asked myself, ‘What did I do?’”
The seminar (once again emceed by KARE 11’s Diana Pierce) will be chock full of information and the types of sources that were helpful to Clifford when she was traveling down the same path. Boyd and Bencini will speak to getting finances in order; Linda Olup, of Olup and Associates, will talk about the myriad legal aspects of divorce; others will cover everything from moving past the hurt and pain, to how best to protect the children, to finding your voice.
And, of course, Clifford will be there to show how to find humor in the midst of the chaos.
But this is just another chapter for Clifford; her dream is to possibly take the concept “on the road.”
“I would love to partner with other corporations in other cities and reach as many people as possible; this journey has only just begun,” she says. “Yes, I went through cancer, surgery, chemo, but I have a great life. Yes, I went through two divorces, but I have a great life. My goal is to show people that life does go on and it can get better and better.”
Now that’s some good lemonade.
To register and learn more about Divorcing Divas’ October 15 Happily Ever After event, visit divorcingdivas.net.