Unlearning is the intentional letting go of what we have learned and the openness to explore our own personal truths and be liberated from our past conditionings. It is the taking of a confident step from the comfortable and known into the ultimately freeing uncomfortable and unknown. The goal is to move away from thoughts and beliefs centered in fear, scarcity, and lack and replace them with love and overflowing abundance. Conditioning is inevitable, but just because it is inevitable doesn’t mean we can’t challenge those belief systems and thought patterns and replace them with what seems more authentic to us as individuals.
Growing up, we are bombarded by messages from our parents, peers, the media, learning institutions, and religious institutions that we take on as our own truths when they are really someone else’s beliefs and not our own. For example, that God is a punishing, fear inducing God or that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Don’t let someone else dictate where or who you should or shouldn’t be in your life. Challenge your belief systems about yourself and your life, and decide what brings YOU joy and what is best for YOU. Following false truths that do not resonate with who you are, your authentic self, will eventually lead to feelings of emptiness and unhappiness as you continue to live a life that does not resemble your divine nature.
Right now, I live with my family while I continue to heal myself from a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), with their help, guidance, and support, and I am ok with that. At just turning 27 years old, I’m not married, and I don’t see myself having children anytime soon. Instead, I completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work (MSW) and am holding onto the dream of continuing on for my Ph.D. when I am healthy enough to take on such a challenge.
I go against the grain of society and live an alternative lifestyle. I’m a single woman, a high raw vegan, an animal lover and advocate, a writer, a licensed social worker (LSW), and an intern at crazysexylife.com, a holistic healing and wellness playground founded by Kris Carr. For a 27 year old woman, society would not agree with some of my choices, but I am living out of authenticity, not out of other people’s expectations of me. Shake things up, and be a trailblazer! But most importantly, do what brings you joy.
Below are my five tips for “unlearning.”
1. Recognize the Need – Are you truly happy? Do you stay focused on the present moment or are you chained by the past and/or living in the future? Are your thoughts fear-based or love-based? Do you feel spiritually empty or full? Are you living for yourself or for others expectations of you? Examine all areas of your life and recognize the need for change where it exists. Your willingness to recognize what is not working in your life and your readiness for change will determine your success.
2. Live in the Now – The present moment is not a means to get to the future. If you think of it that way, you will be and remain perpetually unfulfilled. If the past is over and the future doesn’t exist, you are a beautiful blank slate existing in this present moment free of past conditionings, false belief systems, and future fears.
3. Let Go of Your Ego – You know ego—that little voice inside of you that judges (you and others), fears the unknown, is attached to the material world, and desires to control every little detail. The first step to unlearning and relearning is overcoming your ego mind so that you can remain open to change. Become aware of its presence by listening to your thoughts closely as you go through your day. Once you recognize it, you are more likely to let it go.
4. Start Questioning – Question what you’ve been told by your parents, your teachers, your religious leaders, your romantic partners, the media, and your friends. Check in with your intuition and ask yourself, “Does this feel right to me?” If the answer is a blaring, “NO,” take some time to figure out what does resonate with you.
5. Break Old Patterns – Breaking old patterns can be a difficult but rewarding experience because it requires that you strip down naked to the core of who you are free of outside influences. You almost become like an infant learning how to crawl, walk, and run all over again except it is your spirit that is learning how to take its first steps.