Re-learning to “just be”

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” Gloria Steinem

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. Gloria Steinem – quote printed on background photo of mountains and water.

After a lifetime of molding (miraculous bodies we were made to feel were less than), minimizing (voices, hair, butts), anticipating (reactions), absorbing opinions, and many other ways women learn to exist in the world, we reach an age where we just want to be. It also takes some relearning and practice.

Maybe that happens much younger for some. Maybe some were born with an ability to be themselves from the get go. For many of us we were born to be free but then we quickly learn ways to exist in the workplace, in gyms, in social settings that end up feeling exhausting. We reach an age (35, 40, 50, 55) when we just want to be. And we need to teach ourselves to refocus certain (internal) thoughts and comments from others.

We remember comments making us feel self-conscious about:

  • chubby cheeks
  • big glasses
  • frizzy hair
  • too thin
  • too fat
  • not looking like a runner
  • a substantial nose
  • laugh and squint lines
  • “not doing too much to our faces”
  • potentially fading glow
  • too much blond
  • not enough blond
  • big bones
  • looking too young
  • looking too old
  • being perceived as judgmental
  • having opinions
  • speaking too much
  • sounding too old based on experiences

We don’t want to be a celebrity who’s fixated on looking half their age (see Nicole Kidman). We don’t want to be adored for how we look. We want to feel strong and healthy. We want to share our work and our value. We want to care for others and share ideas. We want to be appreciated for what we can contribute. For all the years of learning how to be. And not have it backfire in our faces, publicly (see Lisa Laflamme)

Let’s just be and stop reducing women to their parts, the colour of their hair, the lines they have or do not have, the pitch of their voice. Let’s stand up for other women who just want to be. Who resist other’s opinions about how they should exist. Let’s support those who thrive in BEING as they see fit themselves.

Black text on pink background that says:
“Unlearning the beliefs I hold about myself that keep my life very small.
Unlearning the beliefs I hold about other that keep my heart hardened.
I lay out all the things I’ve learned and try them on to see what doesn’t fit anymore. It is a gift to outgrow, to find room that I can expand into”

Nicole loves running, HIIT workouts, spinning and a little yoga to keep active and just be.

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