avatarMaria Camille


The Monk Break

I‘ve learned we need a Hard Stop about once a year

You know that feeling . . . change is coming. It feels a little ominous.

You have a sense your life and work will not be the same in the coming year. It brings a bit of trepidation, anxiety, and an underlying fear that you may . . . gasp, have to reinvent your future.

Now, you face all kinds of trauma, drama, because you have not practiced how to reinvent yourself.

We will all go through multiple change events throughout life. It’s a complex endeavor.

Think how positive it would be if you were ready with more clarity when the flow of life brought the next change.

If you had been honing your situational awareness skills, you would be tuned in to gathering and harvesting your achievements before losing it all.

I learned that reinventing yourself is best when it is a deliberate growth.

In my younger years, I was good at running away as I did not have a clue . . .

At 16, I was a young Mafia wife. See the Back Story

By the time I was 21, I had three children, my son was killed, and two homes were burned to the ground. I got the courage to leave but had no foundation or plan. Life became more about running away. I ran for two decades. All around the world -

From competing in extreme sports and winning four gold medals to starting entrepreneurial ideas and projects across 15 countries, running from one thing to the next became my lifestyle and exit.

I had failures and some incredible successes. But many failures would not have happened if I had been wiser.

Timing and payoffs are elusive. Successful exits are difficult. And the clean-up of surviving and reinventing yourself afterward can be devastating.

Over time, I thought, how have I reinvented myself so many times?

This is when I started developing a change ritual that is now a part of my yearly focus.

Here is what I do; — perhaps some of these ideas may be helpful for you.

The Monk Break

I’ve learned that we need a Hard Stop about once a year. Trying to figure out the future on the fly is not empowering.

My growth always came from my love of retreating and being in nature — in the most memorable ways.

I call it my Monk Break.

Through retreating, hiking, meditating, and being in nature alone, I gain new inspiration and can start seeing into the future.

Over the years, my Monk Break retreat has become a normal operational part of my Life Schedule.

It is a retreat time that is all about taking care of me. It’s about giving myself permission to wander . . . it’s my “More Me” project.

It’s like my F You account, all full of Plans A’s, B’s, and C’s for when life throws me a change event. No matter what happens, I develop ideas and plans that can mold into something new.

Here’s How to Plan a Monk Break:

Find Your Power Place

Find a location where you can go to feel comfortable and powerful. The mountains? The beach? The desert?

Your Power Place is where you plan new creativity and a new path. Find a place where you can cry out your pain and fear. Give yourself new space to open your heart and imagine anything you want. This is when you form new ideas about the future.

It’s best to take at least seven days for a Monk Break. It takes at least three days just to unwind and become comfortable being alone. You gain confidence once you can be with yourself for seven days and pass the solitude test.

Nothing will break you after retreating for some time year after year. You’ll start to feel a different identity as you develop into something more.

Because our lives are so busy and noisy, retreating alone may feel like a crisis. But that’s why it works. Your demons will seek you out.

This cultivation is a battle of self-for a lifetime. When you get home, you may feel like you need to recuperate from your recuperation.

It comes down to reinventing yourself without an idea or concept of what the outcome will be.

It’s important to give up the comforts of what is familiar, as this helps you to find new space within yourself.

It’s about changing your current identity, which may be a false ground.

Practice moving in a new direction before you are ready

(Going on a Monk Break is your first step)

Most people wait too long to act when major upsets happen. It’s generally out of fear because you want to wait for better circumstances.

Before I left my Mob Husband, I knew I had to make a change long before I was ready. I learned that when you get ready forever, your path becomes more difficult because you begin to create more obstacles.

But, once you make the move, it’s like the Law of Power — your energy will rise to the level you need.

Learn to be kind to yourself

I make each step of my reinvention feel like I’ve won a gold medal. I meet the journey with reverence and anticipation.

I say to myself: “Oh dear one, you are growing something so new and special. Keep going.”

Write Your Own Constitution

Before you leave your Monk Break, write your own Constitution! This is about what you will accept in life and what you won’t accept.

It’s like your Warrior Code.

It becomes the foundation of how you want to live. Your declaration needs to come from the heart. Do not be small-minded.

When you write your constitution, you are declaring your new start. The intention becomes dependent on your claim. Aim for an expansive and infinite new path to walk.

Take a Journal with you

It’s become one of the most important items I pack when I travel.

I only write random thoughts, then look at the journal after getting home. There’s such sweet new brilliance. I find so many cool new ideas, inner feelings, and discoveries — things I can’t believe I wrote down.

Keep the Journal going. The ideas add up over time and unfold new ways to reinvent.

Handwriting is a key point. Don’t mess up your thoughts by putting a computer in the middle of your hands and brain. It’s about getting back to a pure mind-body function.

You need to stay stealth and not let others suck your power before you are ready

And do not just dabble with your new creative ideas. It is all or nothing. Remember, we are creatures of habit. Practicing new ways to focus is essential.

I suggest you try something new and extraordinary. The point is to do things that take you away from everyday complacency.

Your reinvention and new evolution will feel like a slow tragedy. I know!

Start practicing change and reinventing yourself in baby steps around the new way you want to live and operate. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with the voice of failure as your depression sets in.

You are still not announcing yourself, but people start to see changes. It begins to look like you’re getting something new and powerful put together. These are landmark moments.

Become One of the Courageous

Remember, most people simply like the idea of trying something new — you decide to be one of the courageous and do it.

Slowly, start sharing time with other imaginative people — those who brave the complacent and do not fear losing it all.

Because it’s not all about money.

Know that you’ll always be on the path of change until the end of your life. There is no failure. It’s just about learning. We all know that.

What you do with your new YOU is what will define you. Richness comes through the struggle. We all know that, too.

Last Step:

Embrace your larger story as it begins to take shape. You are entering the wisdom stage — And it takes as long as it takes.

Your new story will be about how people will know and see you. Let the sweet sense of discovery show up.

Now, here is one last important part to your Mission. It’s a key point.

Start planning something special to benefit all of humanity after you’re gone. It could be writing a book, producing a documentary on something massively important to you, or starting a school in another country to help teach others, you’ll come up with many ideas. The main point is to find your “ give back project” and leave it behind. This alone will ensure you always have something new to look forward to.’

Your new story will be about how people will know and see you. Let the sweet sense of discovery show up.

Originally published at https://mastersmisfitsandmentors.substack.com.

As a lifestyle coach and plant medicine host, I provide Vision Quest Retreats for reinventing oneself, finding your inner warrior, and inspiring creative ideas.

Reach out to me at: [email protected]

If you enjoyed this article, consider trying out the AI service I recommend. It provides the same performance and functions to ChatGPT Plus(GPT-4) but more cost-effective, at just $6/month (Special offer for $1/month). Click here to try ZAI.chat.

Personal Development
Life Lessons
Recommended from ReadMedium