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Creating A New Me

Mary has retired from her job and has focused on her own personal inner journey.



Last weekend, a friend invited me to hang out with her in her backyard, where we were able to maintain social distance while enjoying each other's company. After parking my car in her driveway, she led me to her backyard, and was I surprised or what? I did not expect her garden to be so beautiful as she is a nurse practitioner and very busy at this time with the pandemic.

As I showed delight at her garden, she brought me around and introduced me to the plants and trees around. Some of the trees were planted by her mother when she first lived in that house. My friend described every provenance of her plants from the beautifully shaped Japanese Maple to the birch, and the Jasmine filled with flowers and sending its subtle smell in the garden. The plants were in various colors, height and shapes, and their leaves verdant and lush.

It was with a bit of envy and admiration that I went around the garden. Then, something disturbed my aesthetic sense. I saw a clump of potted cedars left somehow out there as though they did not belong. Puzzled, I asked my friend what she planned for those pots. She told me she was going to return them to the store. She bought five more than she needed to replace the worn-out cedars in her fence. Seeing my interest, my friend asked if I wanted them. Delighted, I jumped at this opportunity. For me, it was a dream come true.

For two years now, I had wanted to place evergreens on the balcony of my condo. I bought two blue spruce last summer but, sadly, they did not make it in the winter. Because of this, I got very discouraged and did not entertain any further thoughts about evergreens on my balcony.

The sight of these cedars brought back my spark of desire. I told my friend I would be delighted to get all five and would gladly pay for them. She wouldn't hear of my paying for it. Instead, she assured me she was relieved to have someone save her from another trip to the store.

The next hurdle was how to bring these cedars back to my condo. I knew they would fit in my trunk. My worry was bringing them to my car as I did not lift one to test its weight. This concern immediately resolved itself when another friend arrived with her husband. I now had someone to carry them to my car.

Isn't life supposed to be like this? Why are we surprised when things happen in a rhythm and events flow with no effort?


Somehow, that cedar experience invited me to reflect on the flow of life, those serendipitous moments when everything happens as if a more robust and knowing being is in charge.

I had been reading the book by Dr. Joe Dispenza, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”. By combining his knowledge of quantum physics, neuroscience, genetics, and brain chemistry with his life experience, Dr. Dispensa showed me how to create the reality I choose. He convinced me that I could change from the inside out by breaking the habits that made me into the person I am now. He also outlined the principles and steps to create this new self.

This book convinced me to take the steps seriously. With some hesitation, I started on my journey to know myself better, to enhance my awareness of who I am, so I could work on this habit of being myself. As I spent time observing myself, I became aware of my words and the emotions that accompanied these words. I identified patterns in my thinking, talking, and responding. From these patterns, I found out the habits entrenched in me.

As an example, a friend invited me to a party she was organizing for her daughter's graduation. As there were no ceremonies for this year's graduates because of the pandemic lockdown, she thought of a party, limited to a few family members and very close friends. I accepted the invitation, but as the day approached, I started to think of reasons I couldn't be there.

I immediately caught this and remembered the many times I had done the same thing in the past. I had become an expert in inventing reasons not to go to events. It took much cajoling from my husband to bring me to parties. Once I was there, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Puzzled by my reluctance, which was quite often, my husband brought this up with me many times, but I just shrugged my shoulders and dismissed it.

I saw how this behavior pattern became a habit wired strongly in me. I had to do something about it. Buoyed by my discovery, I looked into why I did this each time I get an invitation. I saw that my anxiety rose when I had to be with people so, unless events were vital, I avoided them. But afraid to say no to an invitation, I always responded positively and then, at the last moment, would get out of it.

Was it my insecurity? Was it my feeling of unworthiness? Was it my anxiety about my appearance? Was it my fear of driving to her place? Or was it fear in general? These were the questions I grappled with as I allowed the cause of this behavior to surface in my mind.


Many fears and insecurities surfaced, which overwhelmed me. Instead of dealing with the fears and insecurities, I opted to visualize positive scenarios. I pictured how smoothly I drove in the busy highways and my path for lane changes and exits. I saw myself handling my car happily and interacting so much with all the guests. I did this for several days. When the day came, I did what I envisioned.

The more I listened to myself and the deeper my consciousness of my inner self became, the more harmony I observed. Many of my desires happened to make my life abundant and vibrant, very similar to my experience with the cedars, finally looking very stately in my balcony.

Every morning, I pictured the new me, letting go of old habits and its negative manifestation. As I created the new me, old patterns fell off. I developed new patterns that do not bring negative emotions but, instead, love and joy. Things fell in place; harmony, peace, and my desires got fulfilled.

The journey continues, and more patterns reveal themselves, calling for resolution and change. It makes me listen more to myself, so I can change the old ways and create more life-giving behavior patterns. I enjoy giving time to myself. In the past, I considered it selfish to give my self too much time. Today, I realized it is the most selfless thing one can do. It makes you a better person, a gift to everyone else you encounter.

Before, my focus was on the external, never on my inner self. I would look outside of me for what would make me happy, what would make my life more productive, or what would make me wealthy. Once in a while, I would look in, but very seldom.

Now, when I focus on my inner self and start changing from there, I begin to experience a new me. Everything around me and outside of me also changed. A new reality emerges, which is much better than I have ever experienced before. Things flow in harmony, and I flow with it.

© 2020 Mary Norton


Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Lora, slowly I am getting comfortable in sharing my own journey as I continue to discover that many of us go through the same thing. Then, we can walk together.

Lora Hollings on September 22, 2020:

What a wonderful article this is, Mary! I like the way you talk about how our thought patterns and the way we perceive ourselves can cause our limitations and unhappiness. In order to reach our full potential and be happy in life, we often have to unlearn bad habits and replace them with new habits. Visualizing positive outcomes, as you did, is a very good way of replacing our self-doubt with confidence and self-esteem. Thanks for sharing your own experiences in helping others to feel better about themselves and lead more fulfilling lives too!

Robert Sacchi on September 18, 2020:

It seemed you learned much from a walk in a garden.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2020:

Thanks, Devika. You face challenges head-on, too. It's admirable.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2020:

Thank you so much for reading this article. It means much to me as I go through my journey towards a new self.

Devika Primic on August 13, 2020:

Hi Mary you have been busy and found a way to create a new you. Well done for taking on that challenge share about your adventures. You are a great supporter and sharing your work I believe that positive thinking makes us feel better each day in any crisis.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on August 11, 2020:

I love reading about your new journey and creating a new you. This interests me very much. We all have more time to attend to ourselves with this virus circulating and set new goals

Thanks, Mary for sharing your story.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 05, 2020:

How are your goals coming after so many weeks? How is the balcony garden coming? I hope you are still encouraged to continue to work on these things.



Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 13, 2020:

I truly admire you for finishing several books and for your adventures, too.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 13, 2020:

Thank you, Peg. It looks like we're mostly introverts here, and HP is a venue for us to express ourselves.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 13, 2020:

Thank you for the compliment.

Nell Rose from England on July 13, 2020:

I know just how you feel Mary. I often have to give myself a good talking too, as I also do the same old patterns and ways of life. This year really hasn't helped has it?

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 09, 2020:

I loved reading this, Mary. You have discovered the rare gift of reinventing yourself. That is amazing and wonderful. I could truly relate to what you said, " I had become an expert in inventing reasons not to go to events." I am the same way and really need to practice what you've described here to move out of this phase I'm in.

JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on July 09, 2020:

Excellent article Mary.Very well written.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 06, 2020:

Hi Mona. Thank you for your generous comment. Slowly, I am becoming more aware of the power within me to create my new self.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 04, 2020:

This was such an interesting article. First, I'm glad you practice social distancing, and I liked your experience of serendipity and how you described it by asking yourself, "Isn't life supposed to be like this? Why are we surprised when things happen in a rhythm and events flow with no effort?" I also liked your story about how you get anxiety when you go to a party. I am very much the same way. I admire your willingness to be mindful of what you are doing and why you think you feel certain emotions in such situations. That is a very brave thing to do. I know, because oftentimes if a memory hurts I find that it's easier to forget about it. However, you are willing to go through all of this and to reinvent yourself. Congratulations!!! Thank you too for the reference of the book that enables you to go through this process. This was a very helpful article, indeed.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 03, 2020:

I am happy to hear that. I continue to pray for the success of your new beginnings.

Fay Favored from USA on July 02, 2020:

Thanks Mary. Appreciate all your prayers and well wishes. Doing better each day, enjoying new beginnings myself.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 01, 2020:

Hi Fay. I hope you're well. I try to make anew myself each day. It has been fun to enter into this.

Fay Favored from USA on June 30, 2020:

Everyday I wake thanking God "this is a new day of beginnings". Funny though, those beginning were always there, but the busyness of life often steals the pureness of simple things. I have so enjoyed how you journey through life; you always find the richness in every aspect.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 26, 2020:

I'm happy, Anupam. I hope it will also help you.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 25, 2020:

True words dear Mary! Inspiring words. I have taken the book you have mentioned in my list to be read soon.

Lots of love and blessings

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 24, 2020:

Thank you, Chitrangada. I am trying now to change my thoughts when my old self manifests itself. I can catch it now, and I just don't give in to it.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 24, 2020:

Beautiful and inspirational writing. I loved reading about your personal experiences, and your plants look wonderful. Loved your art work, as well.

Positive thoughts can change the life so much, and I firmly believe in this. Gardening is one such activity m which keeps us mentally peaceful, calm and happy.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2020:

Funny, how, for some of us, the lockdown has been more of a positive.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 22, 2020:

Very deep of you to work on your self and your fears. Those are the hardest to overcome. I think I do the same thing when it's time to be with people. This lockdown has not been so hard as going out usually is.



Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 22, 2020:

Thanks, Umesh, for taking the time to read my article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 22, 2020:

Finding the new me. A great thought indeed.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 20, 2020:

Thank you, Dora. I think you keep growing seeing from your posts. It is a continuing journey.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 19, 2020:

Mary, thank you for sharing this experience of change. I'm also due for a makeover and I'm encouraged by your story. Best to you, going forward.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 19, 2020:

Thank you, John. I think what matters is that we keep going outside our comfort zone and make the unfamiliar known.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 19, 2020:

Thank you for sharing this Mary. We can always learn and improve ourselves and this article is inspiring. I have always been reluctant to accept invitations to parties or events where I will have to interact with a lot of people. Over the years I have pushed myself to go outside my comfort zone however. Well written.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2020:

Flourish, I feel that the more time I give to myself, the better person I become to others. That is why I try to push myself a bit each time.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2020:

GlenR, I am so happy to hear that you do mindful meditation. I like doing it, too, but I am not very disciplined. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2020:

Thank you, Alicia. I am so happy that you got inspired just as your articles do to me.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 18, 2020:

Thank you, AJ. You are so generous with your comments. All of us go through our growth and discover so much more inside of ourselves as we do this.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 18, 2020:

We need to never stop working on ourselves. I like the way you push and challenge yourself to your limits and open up new possibilities to discover what life may hold for you.

Glen Rix from UK on June 18, 2020:

Hello Mary.

An interesting article and good to hear that your journey of self-exploration is having positive outcomes.

Socrates said ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. I wouldn’t commit myself to such a bold statement but introspection in the form of mindful meditation is proving worthwhile for me.

The book that you recommend sounds interesting. I have made a note of it on my reading list. Last month my non-fiction reading group delved into My Hidden Chimp by Professor Stephen Peters. It’s an easy read that you might find useful.

P.S. I like your painting very much. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 17, 2020:

This is a lovely and very inspiring article, Mary. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Amazing and inspirational read Mary. I've always enjoyed your conversational writing style and not only thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautiful piece, but also was inspired and encouraged by reading this because I see some of these habits in me too. Happy for you Mary...stay safe, happy and blessed always!

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Yes, Linda and I invite you to do the same. I also prefer my own company. That is why I am working on myself, a bit late but age is no reason not to.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

My pleasure.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you so much. I invite you to the same journey.

Ann Carr from SW England on June 17, 2020:

Thanks for the book recommendation, Mary!


Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 17, 2020:

Mary, you are my inspiration. I tend to be a loner; this pandemic was tailor made for me. Intellectually I know that I need to reach out more, to share myself with others, and that I am worthy. But self-doubt and reproach always seem to enter in.

Your article is inspirational. I am so happy for you. You are inventing Mary 2.0.

Marie on June 17, 2020:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your account. Not only is it engaging, but your spirit comes through your writing. I can sense your honesty, and feeling of freedom, as you moved on to conquer your fears or hesitations. I am encouraged to try to journey for myself. Thank you!

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Lorna, you nailed it. We need to tap into the power of our inner self. You must do it based on your poetry.

Lorna Lamon on June 17, 2020:

This is an inspirational journey of self discovery Mary and I am so happy for you. Sometimes we find that negative thoughts can become entrenched in our minds, which stops us from moving forward. I love the cedars on your balcony and your watercolour is beautiful. Tapping into the power of your inner self releases an abundance of life's joys.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Hi Ann. Thank you so much for encouraging me. I look forward to the article you are going to write. My friend and I had a conversation on this today, how strongly our environment has shaped us, and often, they are all stored in our subconscious. You can find a scientific framework on this from the books of Bruce Lipton on Epigenetics.

Ann Carr from SW England on June 17, 2020:

Congratulations, Mary, on this amazing journey of yours! It's amazing what the mind can do, isn't it?

Interesting too is what you say about serendipity. I know exactly what you mean as I have similar experiences.

Strange too is that I'm currently writing a hub which is centred around how the mind is influenced by outside things and its interaction with place and circumstance.

I love your illustrations. That Magnolia is lovely - just like one I had in a previous garden. Is that your painting? It's beautiful; so subtle in style and colours.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure others will admire you for undertaking all this and for being brave enough to talk about it, though that in itself helps, doesn't it?

All the best to you, Mary. Keep safe and well!


Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you, Liz. It's very encouraging. I have a friend who helps me.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you, Manatita. The same thing happens to me. The money flows. Thank you for introducing me to the Tao. I want to learn more about this.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you, Eric. Your preaching encouraged me.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you Bill, I think next time, I will no longer use so many pictures as they distract from the flow of the story. One picture is enough and let the story flow.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Thank you so much, Peggy. I do have a beautiful view. Thanks for recognizing my painting. It's very encouraging.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 17, 2020:

The cedars look great. Thanks for sharing how you are changing old habits and discovering more about yourself.

manatita44 from london on June 17, 2020:

Mary, I am very, very proud of you. You are beginning to do what I said you can and had suggested you do. So much sincerity and beauty in your writing!

Spirituality has always been the way of the cross and so I'm extremely happy that you are facing your challenges. It facilitates transformation.

Your garden experience indicates the flow of the Dao (Tao), and you hint at this at the end --how things work together for good when we let them in. let me, with your permission, share a little.

I travel constantly and I have spent a great deal of money doing so. The Sri Chinmoy Centre helps me, but I have covered a lot of expenses, particularly on foreign trips. I love serving, it is my life, but I just wanted to show you how the Dao has worked for me.

I'm never short of money, purely because it keeps coming to me in strange ways. When I returned from Africa in October, 2019, I soon got a letter from the New Zealand revenue.

Long story but they gave me about 1600 dollars, U.S. Yesterday, I got a letter from the tax man here in the UK and was offered 1000 dollars, which they said that I was overcharged in my Tax Return. Cool, eh?

I would never be rich, as I am always given out money, but somehow it keeps coming back to me. Peace Mary. Keep doing what you're doing. God speed!!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 17, 2020:

Great article. I get excited over new beginnings. This was fun to read.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 17, 2020:

Lovely message, beautifully constructed story/article. Well done my friend.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 17, 2020:

That is wonderful how much that book has positively influenced your life. Your balcony looks fantastic with those cedar plants in pots. What a fabulous view you have! Thanks for sharing some of your artwork with us! Enjoy your day today, Mary.

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