If you Can Change Your Mind...


“You have the reality you are committed to having.”  

I read this statement in early 2007 in a book that my sister Menchu sent me to read at the time. Menchu continues to send me books to read and I continue to learn and thrive on her recommendations - no kidding my muse of perspective always delivers. This particular book was also recommended by my brother Ruben and it changed my life forever.

The title of the book is “Conscious Living” and I can tell you that when I first read some of the concepts in the book I went crazy and was really angry about the author’s statements. I thought: how dare you, author! How could you even begin to imply that I have anything to do with the fact that I have been wearing braids for the last 10 years following the loss of my hair 10 years earlier. Instead of wearing a wig I solved that monumental issue with braids, inspired by Dione from the movie Clueless.  In addition, how could you suggest that it is my fault that I have been running a marathon of back to back relationships since I was 15? I’ve been so serious about my relationships that I have been asked marriage four times within that period and have been married twice already, how could you even suggest I had anything to do with either of those realities? (crazy drumroll please).

I have my genes to thank for saving me from a life of victimization. After my initial reaction, my mind felt restless to solve this conundrum. I was supposed to be intelligent and reflective, but what was I missing?  

Oh well, my mind was trapped in its own box. I was thinking of my braids in 2007 as if it was still 1996 when the only solution I had for my hairless head was still the only solution. My hair had grown and I had no setbacks ever since, but I was totally committed to my beautiful braids. I went religiously to Michelle, the queen who braided my hair for a decade, every other month,  no matter what, nothing would ever stop me from my recurring appointments. My braids were my sanctuary of protection and safety and they meant the world to me, my loyal companions and my shield against anything that could happen to me in the world. They were also part of who I had been my entire professional life and were part of my personality. However, as I reached the 10th year anniversary of happiness in Braidland, I began noticing the girls with long sultry locks who appeared in music videos and I remember thinking, how lucky are they?

Everywhere I went I would see girls with beautiful free hair and I kept thinking, what a great life! I kept telling myself I could never have what they had because my hair is super curly and I was like a latin Donna Summer. Even if I would free my hair, it could never be as sleek and beautiful.  

So, what about the book? Luckily, Conscious Living happened. It just hit me: of course I have braids! I never missed my appointment and the recipe for beautiful braids  - a 2-month cycle - no matter what. I realized that I was committed to MY BRAIDS! I told myself, I can commit to having a beautiful Donna Summer hair if I wanted, I just had to commit the same way I committed to my Braids (at this moment I did not know about the best invention of womankind “keratin” would be waiting for me when I opened the door to it).  I remember speaking to Menchu and Rebeca one of our friends from work: “girls, I read this book and now I will commit to a life of free hair”, Becky was very surprised and asked me, when are you doing this Pili? I said, today and I never looked back, only to smile and be thankful for the beautiful option I had when I lost my hair.

Just like that, I committed to the reality I thought I could never have by adjusting my thoughts and my perception of me in my box with help of this powerful book and a commitment to trying to understand me and the world better.  

I also know that if you really want something to happen, you will make it happen if you commit to it.  You have the reality that you commit to having. Nothing is impossible. After a decade of this episode, I relived a similar experience of being confined in my box of thoughts when I felt it was impossible to resign from my job and move on to new challenges.  When I finally realized that I could commit to a different reality, I was able to move on.

This premise of “you have the reality that you commit to having” remains relevant to my soul, heart and mind every day.  What are you willing to commit to, today?