Unsubscribe from Society’s Expectations & Upgrade your Life.

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I remember being 13 and sneaking makeup into my uniform pockets before school, praying I’d get to the bathroom early enough that no one would see how many coats of mascara I’d put on.

Then, I’d wait until the very end of the day and hide behind the bleachers to make sure no one would see me once I’d come out of bathroom with all of it scrubbed off.

My mom hadn’t “okay-ed” makeup quite yet, but that would soon change.

Fast forward to five years later—I’m 18 and leaving my house to go to a friend’s birthday party, but am stopped by my mom halfway out the door, “You look so beautiful! You sure you don’t want to put on a little mascara before you go?” And, quite symbolically, the answer to that question felt like yes, but also felt like no. One foot in, one foot out.

And now, as a twentysomething, I rarely leave the house with a bra and without mascara (it’s for healthier reasons these days—braless with a full lash effect makes me feel like a sexy and empowered b*dass, I seriously invite you to try it some time).

These experiences have actually inspired some deep pondering.

How can we unlearn or de-identify with the unspoken rules we were taught by the same people who taught us red from green? How can we coexist with many different humans, without allowing the rules they’ve followed to become the rules we follow, too? How can we honor what it means to be unique individuals while collaborating within the societal systems we live in? How can we work within systems like college, marriage, and business, without allowing them to define us?

How can we express multi-dimensionality in a three-dimensional world?

I invite you to join me in cancelling some of the subscriptions we didn’t know we signed up for. Here, you can download a new type of self-acceptance for a potential life upgrade.

Let’s unsubscribe:

From trying to out-feminine our masculine

From explaining ourselves to cynical people

From a 1 a.m. curfew

From being bitter just because our coworkers, roommates, and family are

From ignoring hunger pangs so our hip bones stick out

From drinking until we’re sick to fill a void

From ignoring strangers because we’ve had a bad day

From high school reunions

From working a job we hate to pay for the nights to make up for it

From pretending some of us haven’t had life-changing revelations from eating poisonous mushrooms

From hiding that we may have eaten poisonous mushrooms

From acting like orgasms aren’t as essential as food

From “professionalism”

From impressing our parents’ friends

From impressing our parents

From silencing the guttural sounds we make when we feel hot water or eat delicious food

From deifying God

From counting calories and logging food

From tiny black dresses we’ll never be able to breathe in

From hair straighteners

From being so eco-conscious that we become judgmental

From being politically correct

From competition

From making softness and ambition mutually exclusive

From pretending that we still want to get together with friends we’ve outgrown

From taking food to-go because we’re alone

From getting married by 25 and having babies by 27

From designer labels

From moving back to the same city we were born in after exploring other places

From travel being a vacation

From small talk

From using our minds as anything other than a tool

From walking on eggshells on a ground that holds 7.4 billion people.

Our minds are programmed for auto-renewal on these subscriptions.

So, for the real cancellation, make a list of your own un-subscriptions. Put it next to your bed, on your altar, or somewhere you can see it. This reminder can be a daily practice for deeper connection with your unique authenticity and expression.

Soon to come—a list of the subscriptions that I have up for auto-renewal.

Let’s break these unspoken rules and walk in our truth, unapologetically, for however many decades we have left.

 

Author: Gabrielle Bodzin
Image: Brooklyn Morgan/Unsplash; Iburiedpaul/Flickr
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis 

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The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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Gabrielle Bodzin

Gabrielle Bodzin is a life coach and writer inspired by her continued education in Social Work and bachelor’s degree in Family Science. She currently contributes to neuroscience research at the University of Southern California studying the effects of meditation on breaking addiction, and works as a healing and arts facilitator at a homeless drop-in center for youth. She believes you can ritualize any part of your life. With her words, she hopes to instill a sense of home in people wherever they may wander… whether that be in Bali or to and from their 9-5. Connect with her on her website, Instagram, or Facebook.

Gabrielle Bodzin Nov 9, 2017 8:03am

Aw Thank you Leontien! I'd love to read your list some time, you should publish one of your own, I'd love to read it and I'm sure many would resonate :). If you decide to, tag this article too and we can spread our messages even farther and wider! <3 sending light to you.

Leontien Reedijk Nov 8, 2017 2:39am

Great article, Gabrielle! I had been thinking about this topic lately, and even started writing it up. But I didn't even come near the clarity and pointedness you got down here. Thank you for writing this!

Gabrielle Bodzin Oct 24, 2017 8:40am

Thank you Rob, feel free to share that list with me once it's made! I'd love to hear it!

Gabrielle Bodzin Oct 24, 2017 8:40am

Hi Donald! Thank you so much for this intentional response. I agree that it can be a delicate balance to follow our inner passions and at the same time not hold others accountable to do the same for themselves, or to join us on our path of self-discovery. Often, that path is far away from the path of the "norm" and while we still participate in relationships with others who are walking a totally different path, it can be difficult to balance and navigate these differences! At the end of the day, our own truth is where we can settle into whenever we feel this dissonance, and hopefully, that truth centers around love <3 Esther Hicks is amazing! I love listening to audios. "Tuning into our own vibration is the key and being willing to follow our own energy to where it is taking us." I love this. I also love the concept that you brought up about our dynamic nature, and that becuase it is ever-changing, we have infinite pathways that we can take each day if we can tune in and listen to ourselves without all of these societal prescribed labels! In that place, there is room for spontaneity, excitement, and freshness in each moment and day. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and reading my article Donald! Much love <3.

Gabrielle Bodzin Oct 24, 2017 8:35am

It sounds like you have :) I'm 23... and you'd be surprised how many people my age have figured it out! I hope that brings some ease and light to you :)

Gabrielle Bodzin Oct 24, 2017 8:35am

Thanks May! <3

Rob Smith Oct 22, 2017 4:10am

Wow... That was very inspirational.... now, to get started on that list.

Donald Glenn Theiss Oct 21, 2017 8:22pm

Well said Gabrielle This is the challenge for each of us. How do we stay centered in our self and follow our own inner callings and at the same time allow for the differences in others around us and all the false ideas and beliefs of our culture. We all have to face this challenge and identifying our own truth is essential to resolving these issues. I like Ester Hicks who you can find on youtube when she says that we are born wiht our own inner guidance system that is always giving us signals in the form of feelings and implulses that show us the way to our own fulfillment. We all know when something feels good and when something doesn't and if we learn to tune into our own energy it will guide us impeccably. Tuning into our own vibration is the key and being willing to follow our own energy to where it is taking us. Centering in our self, in our own sensations, feelings is our guidance showing us the way to our own fulfillment and that is always changing day to day and in every stituation so we have to pay attention to our own energy and follow it to where it is taking us. Thanks for your insights.

Ron Laswell Oct 21, 2017 3:37pm

Great article, Gabrielle. At my age (69) what I find to be sad is that there are many people my own age who have never figured this processing out for themselves.

May Wagner Oct 21, 2017 3:05pm

This is a great idea!