Again, with new year comes the resolution to change one's self for the better. But are the changes you are willing to make just skin-deep? Or are you willing to go on a paradigm shift?

Reinventing ourselves is one way of trying to preserve ourselves. It is very imperative to our happiness.

Being in a relationship for years, and giving my all for that, I slowly lost my sense of self. The separation was the result of years of carrying the stress of not knowing who I was anymore and what importance I was making in my life and in others.

My separation made me realize a lot of things including my priorities, what matters most in my life and knowing  my self-worth. Little did I know that this situation would turn out to be life-changing and the biggest turning point in my life.  I did not understand everything that was going on then, but I held on to my new-found strength which I got from my renewed faith in God.

God does not make mistakes and so I came to the conclusion that my reinvention was planned not by me but by someone who loves me more than I loved myself. Sort of a  reaffirmation that I am loved, but it would only be worth if I start loving myself.

The time my kids were separated from me, not a single night passed by that my pillows were not soaked in tears. And yes, I would literally cry out. I let it all out. I lived alone with one daughter so when she was asleep at night, I would start to feel so alone. I missed my two other babies terribly and there were moments when I thought I'd gone mad. There were times I have to convince myself I was still sane. I had to go through months of psychological evaluation as a part of the process for filing cases on violence against women. And the worst was when you found yourself surrounded by people whose sanity were in question. That's when you start to doubt your own as well.

During this time, I was able to use my "alone time" positively. Instead of wallowing in self -pity, I got involved in whatever would make me busy and help me forget the ordeal I was going through even just for a few hours a day. I am thankful that I was able to find a spiritual community and I started to change my beliefs and  strengthened my faith.Then I started to feel that I the spiritual community who accepted me as me, flaw and all, the community that reaffirms that we are all made in the likeness of God and that we are beautiful. Luck maybe, but I'd say, I was called.

I remembered one of my Care Group members telling me to tell God in my prayers that if He wanted me to through all that situation, then just lessen the pain and make it bearable for me. I did just that and the hurt that I felt everyday eventually became the driving force to completely change my life. Never did I know that at that time, I had already embarked on the journey to reinvent myself.

Looking back at how I was since 2009, I can say that I've come a long way. My life experience taught me lessons I did not learn from school. Three or four years ago, I would normally break down when something stressful happens, but now, I became a strong woman capable of facing head-on all the challenges life throws at me.

As I reflected on the things that had happened in the past, there were some regretful moments and some monumental ones that are worth remembering. I regretted having to go through psychiatrists and taking all the anti-depressant. Those things made me the worst version of myself, somebody who didn't value the sanctity of life, my own and others. The memory of how I won the fight for the custody of my children and the victory of disproving what people had labeled on me, those were the monumental things worthy of reliving in my memory from time to time. Victory is sweet made even sweeter because I did it with God by my side.

Changing my negative mindset to positive thinking, I also began to attract positive changes. Opportunities came knocking. For starters, I was able to get a full-time job which doesn't require me to work 9-5. In short, I got my dream job. Opportunities are still knocking, and it is up to me which doors I open.

Reinvention is mostly an inside thing. It is what happens on the inside first, what's going on in our emotional state, and then the physical changes just follow. Changing only the outer part of your being is remodelling. Reinvention is changing all aspects in your life. You need reinvention because it is important to your happiness.

So where do you start reinventing yourself? On the inside. Change whatever it is that is keeping you from achieving your dreams. Do not allow somebody else to put a label on you. The lid of the jar is open, all you need to do is to jump out of it and follow your dreams.

When you fall down, there are only two things that you need to do. Stand up. Bounce back.

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It's the first day of the year and I just can't let it pass without trying to write something about it.

Cliche? Probably. But New Year is all about new beginnings. And new beginnings means starting something that you have not tried to do before. I do not make New Year's resolutions for the mere fact that I have problems actually doing it. So, I just do whatever is needed of me at a certain moment.

I also do not like putting down on paper my goals for the next year or for the next 20 years of my life. In my humble opinion, life is too short to actually be living life under strict compliance with what you've written in a piece of paper for that matter. Sure I've read a lot of books and attended lots of goal-setting/planning seminars but somehow nothing seems to work for me. I did try to make a set of goals when my boss/teacher at an English language center asked me to do one  but I was not able to accomplish any of it. Maybe goal-setting just do not fit my personality type.

But we need to have at least a guide of what we should be doing for the rest of the year, a list of essentials and it should be flexible. We do not exactly know if things are gonna happen but at least we have something to fall back on. This is what we call "practicality".

So this year would be all about what I like to do. Doing something that we love is not work but passion. And all our creative juices comes out when we love what we do and that makes it successful. Being forced to do something because we think we do not have a choice  is the biggest bummer. Not only do we stress ourselves out but we also lose ourselves in the process.

This year though, there are only 6 essential things that I need to do. This is not even a plan or a goal but just a list of what I should be doing daily, but with a twist, for added drama. :)

Worship. This is on the top of my list as this is the food that nourishes our soul. Worshiping and praising God through song and prayer, in the church or in alternative ways, is the most important thing that we should never forgot to do above all.

Write.This January, I have to write one article for a local magazine which I have just finalized which topic to write. I decided to write something about women empowerment, my favorite topic and I hope to get my message across to the women readers of that magazine. If they like it, then they like it and I will be able to certify myself as a writer.

Cook. Later still in the first quarter of this year, my sister and I will be producing a cooking show which I will be hosting. This is something that I wanted to do. Who cares if people will watch it or not. I will watch it. My family will watch it for sure. One thing I am certain, I will be able to do something that I would love to do.

Learn. I have a list of courses from that will start later in January. I signed up for an entrepreneurship course called "Developing New Ideas for New Companies" simultaneous with a psychology course called "The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness". Then my songwriting course will start on March 1.

Work. Of course, I still juggle a full-time job with motherhood. Work is imperative as our pleasures in life will not be realized without taking care of finances.Right?

Nurture. Being a single mom, the sole responsibility of nurturing my children lies within me. Of course family members can help with the development of their well-being but our children need their mothers to nurture them, their personality, their talents as well as their potentials. Mothers like me can intuitively determine and identify our children's unique talents and personalities. Children needs constant nurturing that only a mother can give.

All these can be summed up in three simple words.

Live. Love. Laugh.

After a life-changing 2012, I realized just how precious life is and how life should be lived. I will live my life to the fullest and live as if it there's no tomorrow. Love will forever be an essential. Like worship, it is a food for the soul. I have learned to love myself more because I will not be capable of loving others if I cannot learn to love myself. Love what you do, love others. Laugh. I have not forgotten to laugh nor will i ever forget. Through the pain and the tears, there were still some nerve-wracking laughter that came once in a while. More so now that I am comfortable with the way i live.

As I wrote in my New Year's Facebook status, 2012 was a year of self discovery for me. 2013 will be a continuation of that sans the pain of separation from my children. Being blessed to be given a second chance in life, I did some soul-searching, I seek and I found what I was missing, the formula for life. Now I can say that I have a zest for life once more and an appetite for everything fun and passionate. It's like being born again, not just in faith but more of like re-inventing myself. And this year, I know in my heart that blessings will be overflowing.

Keeping the faith,


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