Cover of Tampa Bay WellnessEckhart Tolle wrote “Evolve or Die”. During a trying time in my life I had those words hanging in my room.That sentence resonated with me on every level. I literally felt that things either had to change or things were going to end. The other quote that hung on my wall said “The recognition of insanity is the beginning of sanity”. To me this meant that I didn’t have to try to tackle my whole life and everything about myself I wanted to be better. At that moment all I was able to do was call the crazy crazy every time it popped up. Over and over in my mind I met my own thoughts and said “you’re not true”. We have all had that moment, at the end of a job or a relationship where we sat there and thought “Well I can’t keep feeling like this, something has to change”. That’s the one beautiful thing about depression, things can’t get worse so you have to nothing to lose. Even more exciting is that we don’t have to be depressed to realize we have nothing to lose. Every single moment you can make a u-turn, you can decide to be different, you can change the course of your entire life. You can reinvent your world the way an artist throws away a painting and puts up a blank canvas, armed with a better vision for what they were trying to create.

Here is what a learned in my experience. First, you have to want it enough. You have to ask yourself if this change is more than a desire but a calling. It has been said we don’t make changes based on what we know, we make changes based on what we feel. A desire big enough to elicit this kind of change cannot be chosen, it rises up and chooses you. Then you have to stop the excuses, cause their always crap. Then you fake it. Act like the person you want to be, pretend you have the life you want to have.

Reinventing yourself is simple, not easy, but simple. Every time you think something that doesn’t mesh with the person you want to be you reject it. You do this as many times as it takes until you literally re-train your brain. Reinventing yourself is a spiritual process but it begins with understanding the science behind it. It has been proven that the way we think can overcome our life experiences and genetics. If your reaction to difficulty has always been anger, those synapses in the brain develop a strong connection. So when difficulty arises the brain will revert to the strongest connections to then tell you how you feel. The good new is that you can build other connections…any ones you want. So every time you feel angry, you stop yourself and think of compassion, even if you still feel angry…keep thinking of compassion. You’re building a bridge and eventually, through your souls hard work, that connection will be the stronger one. Then next time you experience difficulty your brain will revert to the strongest connection and simply because you wanted it enough, it becomes your reality. Ellie Weizel, a Holocaust survivor, spoke about how in the worst of circumstances no man can take from you the way you choose to think about it. The way we choose to think is our greatest weapon. That bears repeating. The way you choose to think is your greatest weapon in this life.

That’s the science behind the reinvention of a human life. The soul of it lies in believing beyond belief that you are loved and that you deserve the life you want. There is no person, book, convention, or inspirational quote that can convince you of this fact. This understanding can only come from that quiet place within yourself that we often only access through sadness. It is the place where you meet God, where he gives you a glimpse of the pride he feels when he thinks about you. There is no circumstance, no problem, no experience, no darkness that is greater than you are. You can choose something different. Sometimes those choices will anger others, but that’s none of your business. Because if their happiness is relying on your unhappiness then that relationship is toxic. Your new path may not look the way the people in your life or your culture wants, you may even shock yourself. But if what you’ve been doing isn’t working, stop doing it. That ineffective way of life will always be waiting there for you if you want to return. You have nothing to lose. Any person you may lose as a result of your new choices you never really had. Be selfish, be brave, be unapologetic. Reinvent yourself!

Below is an excerpt from my journal, a very personal thing to put out there but I found myself re-reading over the past years as a reminder. I had quit my job and gone by myself to Africa. I wrote this on safari and I can still feel the intensity when I read my words. I meant it with every fiber of my being and although the worst was still to come I look back on this entry as the beginning of my reinvention.

Kenya 2007

…“I want to quit “trying” to be the woman I want to be and realize I’m already her. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I don’t want to fear what I will do or how I would do it, who it will be with and whether it will be forever. I want to conspire with the universe. I want to know that she is always working for me. Here is the truth, uncut: Whatever I do it will fulfill me. However I do it will be an adventure free from the yolk of tension and image. Whoever I will be with will be the one. We will laugh and live and love fearlessly and with reckless abandon. It will last forever, as far as the plains I am looking at now and surely as I am a child of God. This the truth, because I say so. And the fight has begun. I will manifest in my life a way of living that pleases me. I will not be a slave to my gene’s, circumstances, weight, image, or expectation. The book I was reading asked “What is your word?” the word that describes you, as best as a word can. I have absolutely no idea. But I know this. If it’s out there, I’ll find it. I am reclaiming my days. I will no longer pass them out to the lowest bidder. Insecurity, fear, and hurry sure are cheap bastards. I am beautiful, charming, exquisite, pleasure with skin on.”     – Roni


Quotes used in Class:

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

“I claimed myself and remade my life.”  -Dorothy Allison

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin

“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.” – Brittany Renée

“Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion

“There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” – Hindu Proverb