Fresh Start

A former divorce attorney weathers her own failed marriages on the way to self-reinvention.



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Motivational speaker/writer Carole Goldstein of West Chester’s WCOJ-AM (Photo by Shane McCauley)There are two ways to look at the world, according to Carole Goldstein. You can look at what’s not working and what you don’t have, or you can look at what you want and what you can have—and by doing so, affect not only yourself but also everyone around you.

“This is no gift of birth,” she says of the latter option, which is her positive approach. “I’ve had to learn through the experiences of life.”

As Goldstein has learned, she’s evolved—and what perfect timing. These days, she says, we’re “living through transformational times” in which the old structures and paradigms are no longer working.

“That’s why there’s so much chaos,” says Goldstein. “The dinosaurs—the boomers once on the vanguard—can’t just learn to flow with it. The young are already integrated into the shift, so it doesn’t seem so chaotic to them.”

As a West Chester family law attorney, Goldstein spent 13 years mostly representing women in divorce. As founder and president of Navigating Divorce, she authored, co-produced and nationally marketed (on DVD) a like-named seminar for women. Her sole mission was to provide women with the information they need to strengthen their position and avoid victimization by their spouses and the judicial system.

Now Goldstein is in the aftermath of her second divorce—and, at 60, she’s busy transforming her own career. Since leaving law behind, she’s become a life coach, a social commentator, and a motivational speaker and writer. She writes a daily blog and podcasts. This past year, she’s been on 15 radio shows around the country. She has an e-book, Too Many Secrets. She’s co-authoring a children’s book titled Kali’s Journey, the first in a series. She’s also working on a book for adults, The Highest Good, about accessing your own uniqueness and bringing higher ethical and spiritual principles to personal and professional relationships.

Goldstein continues to write despite what a book agent once told her: If you aren’t famous, no one will care about your story. “I live an extraordinary life with experiences and passions,” she argues. “I’m just another you.”

As she was phasing out of her law practice, she spawned her new career on West Chester’s WCOJ-AM. Between 2001 and 2002, her program, Higher Ground, delivered a positive spin on negative news—“going where the mainstream media won’t go.”

“Justice for all,” Goldstein found, was an illusion, not a reality. While she’d entered law school with a vision, she admits now that she was naïve and idealistic. “I wanted a professional atmosphere where ethics were the highest protocol,” she says. “If not in law, then where?”

She never found those ethics in law, and when she stopped saying she was a “lawyer,” she let go of her ego and grew as a person.

“[Lawyer] is a powerful word,” says Goldstein, who now lives in Cherry Hill, N.J. “My identity was tied up in it, but I’ve shed that skin and I’ve come to love myself—and to know I have value. Before, my apparent power was that I was a lawyer, but that’s so artificial. I came to the realization that it was what I did, but it wasn’t who I am. We get those two confused.”

While she’s been known to modify her last name to Gold for professional reasons, she admits, “I never felt like Goldstein—though ‘Gold’ is such a wonderful thing.”

Growing up, Goldstein felt alienated, even if she was seemingly well adjusted on the outside. Her late father, Bernard Goldstein, founded the nation’s first residential burglar and fire alarm company. International Alarms was a multimillion-dollar business, and Goldstein enjoyed an affluent childhood in Cheltenham. She had a car the day she turned 16; she had two Corvettes and a Jaguar XKE before she was 21.

“I knew what money could buy,” she says. “I had all the materialism, but it left me isolated, lonely and confused. I was living an unauthentic life. I was living my parents’ life—the community’s—but not my own. You have to be very awakened to take on the task of being uniquely who you are.”
 

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