I live in the small town of Colonial Williamsburg. Well, it’s not so small anymore. At least from the perspective of the natives. To them, it probably feels more like New York City with all the “traffic” in the streets and the buildings that are now covering what was once open fields of grass and dainty wild flowers. It brings anxiety to the elders to see their little town bustling with new construction and new residents. They don’t care for all the change.
This used to be the hometown of Thomas Jefferson. I bet he is diggin’ on all the new energy flowing through these here parts. Tommy was all about change. That’s for sure. He created change. He made shit happen. He enforced change. Don’t worry, I won’t start talking about the history of Thomas Jefferson, because I suck at history. As a matter of fact, I disliked history so much that I baked cakes and cookies for my history teacher just to butter him up. Pun intended. Thanks to me and my yummy Southern Living carrot cakes, Mr. Graham needed to wear elastic pants by the end of the semester. But hey – the dude was happy and so was my GPA.
I didn’t care for history then and I don’t care for history now. I’ll tell ya’ what I DO care about though. I care about the here, the now and the future. Instead of history teachers, they should have future teachers. They should have teachers that help you move on from the past, live in the present moment and help you design a better future. That would be cool. I would totally rock that class. I’d still bring cakes and cookies for my teacher, too. A little buttering never hurt, eh?
A little change never hurts either.
Whether it be in the heart of our hometowns or in the heart of our souls, change is inevitable. Change is good. Change means that we are evolving. I’ve had a few people say to me recently in a somewhat negative fashion, “Wow Wendy. You have changed.” And I respond with a puzzled look on my face (not good for the wrinkle forming in between my eyebrows), “Well, thank Gawwwd! Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Change?”
We weren’t dropped into this groovy Universe to treat every day like it’s Groundhog Day or to be in some type of time warp. Everything around us is changing, from the environment to our bodies, so why wouldn’t we change our thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviors, beliefs, and values? Why do we cling to them like a magnet on a refrigerator? Peel that crap off and get some new magnets. Aren’t you tired of looking at the same magnets day in and day out? Gosh, I sure am. Especially those business-card-like-magnets from the 1980s. Peel that crap off and replace it with something newer and better and more exciting! Like a magnet with a big fat cat on the front that says, “You are Purrrfect!” Corny, I know.
Sometimes we need more than just a few changes here and there.
Sometimes we need a complete overhaul of ourselves.
Going back to my quaint town of Colonial Williamsburg, we’ve had some much-needed demolitions going on lately. There was one in particular that I was quite excited to see go down to the ground in a pile of rubble. It was the one building that just didn’t belong amid the beautiful and majestic colonial houses with colored shutters, plush green lawns and mature Virginia trees that almost seemed to wave at you as you drove by. This ugly building instead would give you a middle finger as you drove by.
And I gave one back.
It was an old dilapidated Super 8 motel that was built in 1963 and it was ugly as sin. I don’t even believe in sin, but for this one instance, I will. The Super Sin. I read in the newspaper that the City of Williamsburg paid the company 2.5 million dollars just to tear the crap down. 2.5 million dollars! Wow! I’m glad that somebody besides me wanted that sucker destroyed. The property was only assessed at $773,000, so quite obviously, the owner of Super 8 is feeling Super Great.
And now when I drive by and see the freshly plowed earth encircled and protected with a neon orange, plastic construction fence, I smile. I immediately think, Ooooo! I wonder what they are going to build! Maybe some pretty boutique clothing shops or a French café! Just please no Super 8! Or even a Super 9 for that matter!
As with most things, I began to see this not-so-super Super 8 as a metaphor in my own life. Unlike the Roach Motel that went through a complete destruction, I have gone through more of a deCONstruction. I know those words sound the same, but they are different. A destruction means to completely demolish something to the point that it cannot be repaired. Eeee. I don’t want that for myself. I mean, there are at least some good qualities about myself that I want to keep! Maybe my goofy laugh. I'll keep that.
A deconstruction rather means to take it apart piece by piece for the purpose of recycling, reusing, repurposing.
Just as Maurice Godelier, a French anthropologist said, “... you deconstruct a model of matter because of something wrong in the previous explanations, so you construct another model in turn.”
Basically, I needed to construct another model of Wendy. I prefer to construct myself into a model such as Meghan Fox, but I’d actually like to repurpose my gigantic head of hair. That would be ...
One. Fine. Model.
But seriously, I’m not so much referring to the physical model as much as the mental/emotional model. I have found that it’s more difficult to change the intangible aspects of myself as opposed to the tangible aspects of myself. The invisible versus the visible. Workin’ my booty in spinning class and doing planks on my yoga mat is a heck of a lot easier than changing my belief system. Give me P90X for my body any day, but give me P90X for my mind and I just might start having convulsions.
It’s a little overwhelming to tackle your old belief system, at least if you try to tackle it all at once. I have failed miserably at doing that in the past. Not that I believe in failure. I just sucked at it. Much like history class. That is why I have taken a different approach this time with creating the new and improved Wendy.
The Wendy that I want to be and not the Wendy that was created as a product of her environment.
Do you ever stop and ask yourself sometimes, “Why do I think this way?” or “Where did this belief come from? Do I even agree with this belief?” If you are not asking yourself those types of questions, you should be. You should be curious as to why you are the way that you are. Most importantly, if you even LIKE the way that you are. You might discover as you dig a little deeper into your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values that you won’t agree with them.
You’ll be eager to deconstruct your current model and reconstruct something that better serves your heart and soul.
After all, that’s what we’re here for, right?
Here are a few of my tried and true methods for deconstructing the old you, so you can reconstruct the new you:
1. Trust your heart – I know. I know. Easier said than done. If you really tap into your heart and ask her what she wants, she will tell you. Sometimes – no, a lot of times – she will tell you something that you don’t want to hear or accept. It’s usually the stuff that will require you to make serious changes in your life. It’s the stuff that conflicts with your current way of being. But lemme tell ya’, if you listen to her all the time ... oh my gosh, the fun you would have in your life! The joy you would experience! Mmmm. It’s up to you, of course.
2. Shhhh. Listen. – Mindfulness is all the rage these days! Why be mindful? Quite simply, so you can listen to all those damn thoughts swirling in your mind. A lot of people think that meditation or mindfulness means you have to veg-out under a Bodhi tree with your legs crossed so tightly that your circulation is cut off. I might go for that scenario if I could sit in a recliner. Mindfulness/Meditation allows you to watch your thoughts as if they were leaves floating down a stream. If you like the leaf and the thought that it contains, keep it. If not, send that nasty leaf down the stream. The more you do this, the more that your mind will be filled with happy thoughts.
3. Construction in reverse – deconstruction is also known as “construction in reverse”. In order to figure out why “YOU ARE HERE” on the map, you might need to back it up a few twists and turns. I’m not saying to go lay on a therapist’s couch and talk about your past so much that you want to vomit on the therapist’s couch. I’m just staying that you need to review where a lot of those big nasty leaves originated. If it's origin is still currently in your life, then you need to make sure that you don’t repeat the same thought patterns. Otherwise, you’ll be a hamster in a wheel.
4. Help or Hinder – I am always asking myself this question, “Does this help or hinder?” Is this thought, feeling, belief, action, relationship, handful of M&Ms, etc., helping or hindering towards my purpose and joy in my life? Simple as that. If it hinders, then drop it like it’s hot. If it helps, then go with it. By the way, I would never drop a handful of M&Ms.
5. Be a Master Builder – Just like the City of Williamsburg slappin’ down the big bucks to own that property, you need to do the same for yourself. Please make checks payable to “Wendy Renée”. Bah-ha-ha! My point is that you are worthy, valuable and deserve to rebuild your life. You need to own that shit. Put up a neon orange, plastic construction fence and claim your precious property. No wait. Make it a tall, stone fence with a sign on the outside that says, “Future site of a Badass Warrior!” Yes! The cool thing is that you can build whatever you want! Anything! YOU are the Master Builder, baby!