My Own Re-Invention Story

My husband would tell you that re-invention is one of my most favorite things to talk, write, and coach about. Nothing makes me happier than to sit down on New Year’s Day with my family for some reflecting and visioning!

Every life is shaped by change. Re-invention allows you to be in the driver’s seat about how change shapes your life.

My life has certainly been shaped by various stages of intentional re-invention. Sometimes these stages have been prompted by a growing sense of something being “off” in life (coupled with my growing ability to listen and honor that sense!) But here is a story of a big external change that prompted re-invention for me and my family.

My husband, year-old daughter, and I moved to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the intention of working and living there for several years. We had a solid work/life plan. Then the plan fell apart. Long story made short, the St. Croix economy collapsed and we needed to create another reality for ourselves in a short time.

Not all re-invention stages are stressful, but this one was. So the first step for us was to get support. I flew home to my family of origin so that they could help with my daughter while my husband wrapped up our St. Croix life and I figured out a plan for the future.

The second step was to get complete with how it had gone. The situation was beyond our control and yet there were still many pain points of regret and anger and disappointment. Completion is an ongoing process of releasing emotion, forgiving self and others, harvesting gifts, and accepting responsibility. But the first step of simply intending to get complete is an act of creating distance from the automatic stress response in order to have more perspective and choice in the moment.

Then came inner inquiry through the lens of possibility. It helped to relate to the situation as an opportunity to create our lives anew. Of course, our life wasn’t a blank slate. We had a baby and a mortgage and loads of other life stuff, but this was a chance to re-assess who we knew ourselves to be, what we valued, and what we thought would make a pretty awesome life knowing what we knew at that moment.

Another long-ish story made short, this looked like lots of conversations that turned into lists that were separated into priorities and “must-haves” vs “wants” and so on. That particularly urgent moment of re-invention landed us in a wonderful little town with walking access to a forest full of hikes, a thriving farmers market, a great school district, a short commute for my husband, and a supportive platform for my coaching practice.

That was nine years and many re-inventions ago. Most re-inventions for myself and my family have not been as big, urgent or stressful (thank goodness!).

In truth, I have fallen in love with the process of sometimes pausing in life long enough to take stock of who I know myself to be so that I can more intentionally create a life that allows me fuller expression.

Re-invention helps me relate to life as an adventure. I practice seeing the possibility inside a challenge, and I feel more satisfied with how I am using this precious life I have to live.