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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Easter

The Unlearning {written by Candace}

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Paulo Coello ~ The Alchemist

When I was in my 20’s and even late into my 30’s, I felt that I still had all the time in the world to do what it was I needed to do to feel I had successfully lived. Bearing in mind, it was the late 1990’s and very early 2000’s when I was in my 30’s. This was at the birth of this wild thing called the internet, that was, at that time, reserved for computer programmers and science nerds. Social media hadn’t begun and my point of reference to living was my very small circle of friends, in my tiny town. I had been married when I was still a teenager and became a mom in my early 20’s. Life was…..even. It wasn’t until I went through a very surprising and somewhat debilitating divorce in 2007 that the paradoxical aspect of a life close to half over and yet hardly had begun to sink in.

Enter my first run at therapy! What was this glorious treasure? I’ll never forget my first therapist, who I thought was going to echo my sentiment that my husband was an ass. I felt I was within my right to be a victim and then pat my head and tell me I was right all along. Spoiler alert, she didn’t do that. She asked why I felt I was special, how I contributed to the complacency, and that only by working on myself would I be able to live harmoniously with uncomfortable decisions. Um…….what? After shaking my initial damaged ego, I, thankfully, explored her thesis. That was the beginning of my personal quest into who I was, where I was going, and what I needed the world to know about me.

The unlearning came through this process. The small box of thinking that I had draped my subconscious with, was slowly starting to unhinge. Doctrines such as : my value is tied into the contribution I supply to other’s lives, the harder I try the more I deserve your love, and that I deserve reward only if I prove to you that it is beneficial for you to administer. There were PLENTY of situations that threaded these belief systems. Most of them are woven with trauma, some of them extreme, all of them damaging.

So as I entered my fourth decade, I can only describe my undertaking as this: I tore myself down to the studs. Removing the aesthetics that were outdated, maybe even harmful, and throwing those in the bin. All that was left was the bones, the structure. I would be lying if I said the task was anything outside of painful, even excruciating. I looked deep. I dug into corners. I faced darkness.

And I won.

I won because although far from complete, through the journey I saw the potential, the vision. I knew what I could be, and I settled for nothing less. I remember hearing “you’ve changed” so much that it became my hymn of celebration. To be clear, it wasn’t usually said, in the beginning anyway,with admiration, but rather a cynical response when nothing else seemed to work on me. Every time I heard it, it fueled in me another stride, a stronger dance, more movement, faster pace. This is what I wanted and needed. What would be the point without massive change. It started with me, but migrated to my business, my friendships, relationships with people, things and more importantly food, which had been my enemy for so long. The change encompassed every belief, every cell, every part of my epigenetics. I was like Forrest Gump, running with my confining braces falling off with every awkward step. FREEDOM!

And now, as I entered into my 50’s, the most revolutionary things happened. I was given an opportunity to ambassador for an exciting boudoir company and now, PHYSICALLY, strip away the last of the confines. With my heart racing I accepted this challenge. This was the physical manifestation of all my work. It was a chance to show outwardly what I had worked so hard to achieve inwardly. I will never forget the first click of the shutter. It was exhilarating!! I very quickly adapted and couldn’t get enough of the camera. Who was I?

I was the woman I knew I would become. I will forever be grateful for the kindness of Theresa and her expertise of capturing that feeling. I will forever be grateful to the other 5 women who are now counted on as trusted friends. And I will forever be grateful to myself for the time, but most importantly, the effort given to truly be happy.

So, with that said, here is a gift. Here are my top 5 things to stripping yourself down, and rebuilding from your foundation:

  1. Lean into the difficulty. There isn’t much in this world that isn’t hard. I’m sorry to say, as you age, some of it gets harder. Sleeping takes work for god’s sake! But reframing the belief that hard isn’t impossible, it’s just hard, helps. We’ve been taught that hard work should be avoided….? Why? Simply because it’s hard? Don’t buy into the bullshit! Hard is just hard. Period.

  2. One more! That’s my mantra…just one more. Ten months ago I started lifting weights. Like, heavy, heavy weights. Every set that makes it feel like my arms are going to fall off is met with …one more. This applies to everything. One more call for your business, one more therapy session, one more walk around the block, one more date… one more. You never know which rep is the one that takes you to the top. Do one more!

  3. A blessing can feel like a kick in the teeth. That’s my mom’s favorite saying. It’ll hurt like a mother f**ker at first, but when the sting subsides you realize those pearly whites are tougher than you thought. Spoiler alert….so are you.

  4. Water always finds it’s level. Even the angriest of oceans calm. Take the power out of the storm. Whatever the outside drama is, don’t feed it. Leave it to blow out and over by itself. Without the wind it has nothing.

  5. Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners. Others will look at you and your journey and either cheer or jeer. Neither are needed. Not to say that you don’t want supporters in your corner… they are great to have. But hear me when I say …. NOT NEEDED. You and you alone know what needs to be done and how to do it. The key is trusting yourself to do it. I put into place a personal board of directors. Yup, just like a company. A board is there to HELP you navigate and implement YOUR ideas and paths. They most certainly can offer suggestions and support, but remember who has built the company and wants its success more than anything… you!

You are capable, at any time, any age, any place, to do what you dream. You have but one life… add to cart!

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