When Barb Greenberg got divorced after 33 years of marriage, she was left feeling confused about what she was supposed to do next. She turned back to her English major roots and leaned on writing. She wrote books and joined a group for women writers.
Greenberg found the calling she was looking for through her writer’s group. After ignoring her friends’ suggestions to host her own workshops for women going through divorce, Greenberg finally followed their advice and began hosting monthly dinners at a Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in Eden Prairie (now closed). After no one wanted to leave the first session, even after the restaurant had closed for the night, Greenberg thought, “This is important. [The women] had a community all of the sudden.”
Greenberg went through a rebranding. Her idea eventually molded into what is now Rediscovering U, a community for women to find themselves again before, during or after their divorces. Although women from all over Minnesota have shown support for the group, Maple Grove women have joined, either within the group or as sponsors, who are in the fields of family law, financial planning and mortgage banking, Greenberg notes.
Rediscovering U acts as “a place where your story is honored,” according to Greenberg. Women who want to share their stories are welcome to do so but are never forced. “It’s so amazing to watch a person come in who’s really rattled and scared, and the person sitting across from her going, ‘You’re going to be okay,’” Greenberg says. She wants Rediscovering U to help as many women as it can reach as they navigate a painful transition in their lives and rediscover themselves.
Maree is one of the many women who benefitted from joining Rediscovering U. Maree met Greenberg at a networking event and thought Greenberg could be a good reference to give to some of her clients, who were getting divorced. But when Maree began to feel unhappy in her own marriage, she thought to herself that “[Rediscovering U] is where I’m going to go once the dust has settled.”
“[Greenberg] has really fantastic speakers that come in,” Maree says. As an avid reader of self-help books, Maree appreciates that each weekly meeting gives her a chance to reach a higher “level of clarity,” not only about her life post-divorce, but herself.
While many of Rediscovering U’s speakers have opened her mind, Maree says one of her favorite speakers was a woman who came in to talk about one’s inner-voice. Rather than continuing to think negative thoughts about herself, Maree realized how important thinking positively was for having a more positive outlook on life in general.
Greenberg serves as a facilitator to the women at Rediscovering U, according to Maree. Greenberg has been in their shoes and understands the difficulty of going through divorce, but she also knows that each of the women in her group can come out strong in the end.
“[They] are very courageous,” Greenberg says, “They really want to find a way through this where they can grow and learn. They’re looking for hope and value coming out of this really hard situation … They physically look different from when they leave than when they came in … [I’m] very, very grateful that my experience led me to this.”
“[Rediscovering U] is not anti-men,” Maree explains. Rather, it’s a group for women to empower themselves. “It’s a marvelous way to weather the storm of divorce,” she says. She appreciates that the group doesn’t only focus on divorce. Rediscovering U builds up all aspects of life and strives to give everyone a strong sense of community. Maree looks forward to designating, “Tuesday nights are Rediscovering U nights,” because she knows she’ll be around people who have dealt with similar circumstances as she has, as well.
Because of the hard work Greenberg has put into Rediscovering U and the effort that members like Maree put forth in each session, the positivity is contagious. The group provides knowledge, a positive mindset and friendship, according to Maree. It also encourages the women to achieve a sense of resiliency. This lesson left Maree with a very different outlook on her own divorce. She no longer sees it as a major setback in her life; “Okay, I got knocked down, but I got back up again,” she says.
If she has any advice for women interested in Rediscovering U, it’s this: “Start going early in the process, even if you end up not getting divorced … It’s reassuring to know that the resource is there,” she says.
For Rediscovering U veterans and newcomers interested in hearing what the group is all about, Rediscovering U hosts its first ever conference in May—Rediscover19, which will be held at Medina Event Center. The format will be similar to a typical session, but it will be held all day, giving attendees the option of attending some or all of the programming.
Greenberg recommends attending the Ask an Expert session, during which attendees move from table to table to talk with an attorney, financial planner or wellness expert. Each of these experts will have helpful hints or just give attendees general guidance.
At the end of the day, all Rediscover19 attendees have the opportunity to do yoga and meditation with Jennifer Grubba from MN Yoga and Life Magazine. Greenberg says that it’s a perfect way to end a day full of a lot of information, so the women aren’t left feeling overwhelmed.
Rediscover19 from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. May 19, Medina Event Center, 500 Hwy 55, Medina. Early bird registration $85. Register at rediscoveringu.com.