Reschooling Ourselves

by | Jan 2, 2010 | NEWS, Of Interest News | 1 comment

transformation is possible at any age

Melia DickerSome of us are lucky enough to get to a point in a serious chronic illness where we are able to embrace the experience as a personal healing journey: one that gives us the space to reevaluate all we’ve learned in life, rethink our values, shed old behaviors that no longer serve our higher good, allowing us to become richer, wiser people. Then there are those rare few who make radical changes in their life without the prodding of a serious chronic illness or otherwise traumatic event. Such is the case with Melia Dicker, a 28 year old who went back to kindergarten and over the next several months repeated her education up through college, because she felt her life was off track and she wanted to start over from the beginning. She felt there had been something wrong with her education, and the way to break free of it would be to revisit the experience and transform it.

Melia documented her journey on a website called She writes

At what point in school had I lost my way, and how? How could I become as joyful and creative an adult as I was as a child?

The only way to find out was to go back to where I started: Kindergarten. Then first grade, then second, and so on until college. In the fall, I would spend about a week in each grade at my old schools. My goal would be to go backward, to make peace with my past. In the spring, I would reeducate myself, the way I wanted to. My goal would be to move forward, into a future of my own design.

I would have the opportunity for something that almost everyone dreams of: a do-over.

The name of the project came to me: Reschool Yourself. A command to me, and to others, that transformation is possible at any age. The project was never just about me. It had three goals: help to transform myself, other people, and the education system.”

Melia’s story has inspired me to take a look at the ways that I’ve chosen to reschool myself in adulthood, both pre- and post-illness. My path has been about learning how to nourish myself — both on the plate and beyond. I have studied nutrition, food preparation, permaculture, ecovillage design, personal/emotional growth, breathwork, meditation, energy work, yoga, tribal bellydance, and more.

What are the ways in which you have reschooled yourself, or would like to? What aspects of your education were lacking? What are the things you learned in school that you are grateful for? Please share in the comments section below.


  • Earthwalker

    Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like…

empowering the environmental illness community