Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
—WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny.
—DAVID O. MCKAY
As we come to the end of our time together, allow me to share a line from Joseph Jaworski’s incredible book Source: “The next phase of human evolution is that of fully conscious beings who are directing their own destinies and the destinies of the world around them.”1
Those words, dear reader, convey the ultimate purpose of this book. Wealth building, in the context of rewiring, is but a metaphor for personal transformation, a Heroine’s Journey to find your Soul’s path. By combining neuroscience, psychology, spirituality, and personal finance, I’ve given you a self-directed process to train your mind to reprogram your brain and empower you to consciously direct your destiny.
While this book has laid out a step-by-step plan with the main goal of improving your finances by amassing more than enough, it does much more than that. The financial independence you create gives you a distinct advantage when pursuing your dreams. It also wakens you to your authentic nature and the person you were born to be before the world began indoctrinating you with its lies, half-truths, and other misinformation.
Admittedly, rewiring is not easy. Nor is it comfortable. But it is well worth the effort. To become your true Self means shining your light brightly, spreading your wings boldly, and soaring far beyond your limiting beliefs to do what you’re here on this earth to do. What could possibly be a greater accomplishment or grander privilege than that?
The world desperately needs awakened beings—both women and men—to help heal the misery and pain, divisiveness and discord, inequality and intolerance that is afflicting this planet. But first each of us must heal those afflictions within ourselves, which is the work we’ve been doing throughout this book. I leave you with one last story—before getting to your own—of a woman convinced she was powerless until she learned how to direct her destiny by following the three steps of The Rewire Response.
First become a blessing to yourself so that you may become a blessing to others.
—RABBI SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH
One day after an exceptionally fun Zumba class, I rushed up to thank the instructor. She looked at me oddly, then burst into tears. I don’t remember ever eliciting such a response from anyone.
“I was just watching your videos on YouTube,” she sobbed. “I need your help.”
And that was how I met Dionne Thomas, a fitness instructor who loved her work but had a body that felt battered, a calendar that was crammed full, and a bank account that was near empty.
“I’m living hand-to-mouth,” she told me, trying to pull herself together. “I’m at my wits end. I can’t keep going on like this.”
Two weeks later, I was on the phone with Dionne for our first session. I’d just begun bringing neuroscience into my work, making her, one could say, an unwitting but eager guinea pig.
“I teach at gyms and rent space in studios. I’m always running around trying to get people to sign up. I get so caught up serving others and making sure everyone’s happy that I put myself on the back burner and work myself to the ground,” she told me. “I avoid thinking about money because it seems so overwhelming. I have nothing in savings. Nothing.”
“Let’s talk about what you do want,” I said, posing the Power Question, which I posed to you earlier when I had you write down your intention for reading this book. I told her this question—What do I want?—is the first step toward consciously training your mind to direct your destiny.
“This is tough,” Dionne griped, but after a few minutes, she spoke up. “I want to serve more people all over the country. I don’t care about helping them lose weight. I want to help them connect to their souls, their authenticity, and their joy, through movement.” She then added emphatically, “I definitely want to lead a balanced life.”
She took a deep breath and continued, “I want to come out of vagueness about money.” And she wanted to “clean up the mess” of not paying taxes in 2010. “I know I need to talk to someone,” she explained. “But I’m so ashamed. All I do is beat myself up.”
Dionne grew up poor, watching her beloved mother come home late at night, worn out from working long hours to support her children. “She lived a hard life. She was always in pain. I remember just wanting to make everything okay, but I couldn’t.” The trauma of watching her mother suffer left Dionne with a deep sense of powerlessness.
Her early wiring became obvious with her next words. “There was never enough. No matter what you do, you have to keep working until you’re exhausted.”
“That’s the same story you’re replaying to this day,” I noted gently. “So that’s what we are going to rewire.” Thus began our passage through The Rewire Response. I relished watching Dionne dig deep to ferret out the truth. When I interviewed her a few years later, I was speaking to a very different woman.
“Working with you, I realized I was so focused on everyone else, but what was I doing for me except beating myself up? Just seeing my behavior in an objective way was the start of me making changes,” she said.
It didn’t take long for Dionne to recognize how brutally she was abusing herself through an incessant stream of vicious self-talk.
“I never realized that my drug of choice was beating myself up. I was trying to avoid pain by causing pain, like a cutter,” she acknowledged. After Step 1, recognizing her unhealthy thoughts, she then reflected on the next two steps, reframing and responding differently: “I’ve learned to resist the urge to beat myself up by consciously being gentle with myself. I take my young Dionne for walks on the beach, telling her everything is going to be okay. This always puts me in a better place. I’ve been able to confidently move forward instead of constantly bemoaning where I should be.”
During our work together, Dionne also began a relationship that quickly grew serious, but he lived in another city and wanted her to move. She was torn because she longed to live closer to him, but she also hated the thought of leaving her many friends and devoted students. “I loved my life. I didn’t want to leave.” Underneath, of course, lay the burning question: What if it doesn’t work out?
As she struggled to come to a decision, she asked herself a different question: “One of my biggest takeaways from you was to ask myself the most important question for me, which is ‘What do I really want?’ My first reaction was always I can’t have that. It’s not for me. I’m not one of them,” she recalled, until she understood these were erroneous messages imprinted in childhood. “When I take time to really sit with that question now, I get to the heart of the matter instead of just being on the autopilot of deprivation.”
She was able to follow her heart and make the move when she reframed her fear. “I’m not leaving. I’m moving toward something better,” she told herself. “It’s a choice I’m making. I’m willing to take a chance. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be sad. I’ll grieve the loss. But I’ll be fine. I can rebuild my life wherever I want. I’d never had those thoughts before.”
It took time for her to find her footing in a strange city. But when I interviewed her, she was working far fewer hours—“I have the lightest schedule ever. My body feels good.”—making a lot more money, teaching Zumba classes in corporations and high-end gyms and offering workshops, just as she’d long dreamed, combining joyful dance moves, soul connecting exercises, and personal healing.
I can’t help but attribute her success to another profound recognition. “I realized that I’d been holding onto lack to stay connected to my family. It made me so sad, feeling like I am different than them,” she said, describing the bittersweet process of individuation. “I don’t feel that way anymore. I see the difference in their thinking and living and how far I’ve come. I have better things to do with my money than rob Peter to pay Paul. I don’t want to pass this family legacy of lack on to my kids.”
“Remember how you kept yourself in scarcity by never filling your gas tank to full?” I reminded her, laughing.
“Yeah, I’d only get enough gas to get me through a few days, just enough to get by. But I had a massive shift in thinking,” she said, also laughing. “Just the other day my mom picked me up at the airport with my car. I stopped for gas even though there was half a tank left. She was shocked. Having a full tank was a foreign concept to Mom. It’s what rich people do. I told her that’s my way to stay in abundance. My old way was always running on empty. Now I know I’m not going to empty my savings, just like I won’t empty my gas tank. That’s my new normal.” She happily, gratefully shared everything she’d learned about rewiring with her mother and her children, a both generous and genius gesture. What you share with another, you strengthen in yourself.
Dionne was rightfully proud of the progress she’d made since we first met. “I feel like I’m setting myself up for success, doing my heart’s work, eating well, and feeling secure. I’m no longer stressed out about money because I’m taking care of it. I’ve never loved or trusted myself so much,” she said, excited to tell me she’d broken her old pattern of avoidance by consistently responding differently than she used to.
“I’ve learned that taking care of things as they come up instead of having a big dark cloud hanging over me is so freeing, so life changing,” she exclaimed. “I got my taxes taken care of. I had so much resistance. But I went through it. And I hardly owed any money. The lesson for me was that so much of what I’ve been scared of and didn’t want to face has been nothing. The frenzy was worse than the facing.”
She had just returned from a Zumba conference in Orlando where, she told me, “I spent less than $100, even though there were all these fancy new clothes I wanted. But I’m so conscious of spending now. And it doesn’t feel like deprivation. It’s like the concept of the gas tank. It feels so much better having money in the bank than barely getting by. I never want to deplete myself again, in any way.”
There are still times, she admitted, when she slips into “a momentary fear of lack. But when that happens, I remind myself that I create my reality. I created lack when I told myself I couldn’t have something, or I’d avoid something because it was scary or hard. If I created lack, I can also create abundance.”
I knew she fully grasped the true meaning of wealth when she told me, “I used to think abundance was a certain amount of money that I could never achieve. But having more than enough feels really abundant. And I feel like the more I allow money in and pay attention to it, the more I’ll have.”
She concluded our conversation saying, “I’m in a great place. I’ll have slipups. I don’t expect myself to be perfect. But I won’t get caught up in my own crap like I had for years. It’s not who I am anymore.”
Like Dionne, everyone begins the rewiring process in some degree of distress or despair. And like Dionne, those who commit to stay the course and exert the effort wind up sounding like a Greek chorus singing the same tune: “That’s not who I am anymore.”
I am larger, better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
I like to think of Rewire for Wealth as a work of nonfiction paving the way for your fairy-tale ending that, through the miracle of mind training, can actually, inevitably come true. An ending that would go something like this:
. . . and she lived happily ever after. Not because she found her Prince. But because she discovered her Power. A Power that had lain dormant within, her entire life, until the day fate intervened. That was the day she stumbled upon a formula for rewiring her brain. It was as if she (not her fairy godmother) cast a magic spell and she fell deeply in love with someone she knew she could count on forever . . . herself. From that day forward, money ceased to be a source of stress or distraction but became a tool for enriching her life as well as making a difference in the lives of others.
I conclude with a final exercise. I want you to write your new story.
Rewire in Action
WRITE YOUR NEW STORY
In this final exercise, you will write your new story by completing the sentence below: “And I am living happily ever after because . . .”
I want you to briefly describe the life you crave, not the one you’re living. It may involve a total makeover or small modifications in a few different areas.
Notice if your thoughts tell you it’s not practical or even plausible. Know that’s your brain defaulting to old neuropathways. Resist the urge to acquiesce.
Consider the legacy you wish to leave. Allow your imagination to run wild, to dream audaciously. Make it fun, as if you’re a child playing make-believe.
Ignore your Ego’s shrieks, “You can’t do that. Who do you think you are?” Keep reminding yourself, “I’m making a conscious choice to direct my own destiny.”
“And I am living happily ever after because ______________
Let this story become your new reality. Trust it is your intended future yearning to emerge. Allow the words to sink into your psyche. Adopt them as your new mantra. Repeat this story often (especially when you are tempted to tell your old one). Focus on it in meditation. Visualize it as you fall asleep.
Recognize any negative reactions and quickly reframe them. When making pertinent decisions, respond differently than you normally would, despite the discomfort. Above all, presume it will come to pass. Positive expectation, according to research, is more powerful than a strong desire for rewiring your brain.
Rest assured. This new story is not some grandiose tale told by your insecure Ego, but guidance from your loving Soul, urging you to step into your Greatness and inspire others to do the same. This is what it means to become a shining light in a world seeped in darkness. This is what will happen when you Rewire for Wealth.