Ep.19 - Love, Humaning, & Hotflashes | Sylvia Bueno Part 2 — Candice & Sylvia pick up where they left off last week, reflecting on what twenty years of friendship has taught them about love, especially during hard times. Inspired by the wisdom of bell hooks, they explore an expansive definition of love, and Sylvia speaks about where her capacity to offer compassionate support may have originated. She speaks transparently, and somewhat tearfully, about how the knowledge that we are loved can carry us through life's darkest moments. Together, Sylvia and Candice get fired up about how love is often 'sold' to us as a commodity and the pressures to produce/perform in a capitalist society. And the episode wraps up with a conversation on menopause filled with all sorts of hilarity and laughter. Headaches and hotflashes aside, if you sometimes grow tired of tempering yourself to squeeze yourself inside of other people’s expectations, this episode may be for you.

1:28 — bell hooks defines love
12:36 — Friendship can rewrite history
18:50— Embracing the darkness as authenticity
24:33 — Love is not for sale
35:19 — Self-love & sobriety
41:47 — Productivity, Presentation, & an alternative
44:13 — Menopause; all the fire we never spent
50:07 — Taking the label

Ep.19 - Love, Humaning, & Hotflashes | Sylvia Bueno - Part 2

Welcome, welcome to The Deeper Pulse. This is Candice Schutter.
Hello, my dear listener. Welcome to part two of my conversation with Sylvia Bueno. In the last episode, I told you a little bit about our personal history, and in the spirit of truth and sisterhood, we moved through a difficult truth together. And now I'm so excited because you're going to get to hear more from Sylvia directly. We talk about love, friendship, headaches and hot flashes. It's an episode laced with both tears and laughter. So let's get right to it.

Candice Schutter: 0:47
And that's, what's so beautiful about you is you... and this is where I want to go in our conversation next is that you have this ability, this is why I want to share you with the world. You have this ability to allow people to be as they are. And that has given me a permission to show up with a degree of transparency that I don't know that I've ever felt with any other human. So what I want to talk about is love. We've talked about love a lot. Leading into it, I want to share a quote from a book that I've been reading. So as most of you probably know, bell hooks passed away a few weeks ago. And so I felt called to revisit some of her work. And there was a book that I hadn't, couldn't believe I had never read. It's called All About Love and it's all about love. It's a beautiful book. I read it before bed each night, and it was just a wonderful way to go into sleep. And, you know, bell hooks tells the truth as it is, and she's also a siren for love in terms of the way she describes and expresses love as an action and as a verb. And there's a lot of good stuff in it, but there's this one piece that's just really stayed with me. And I feel like it connects to what I've been experiencing with you, Sylvia, for so many years. And I haven't been able to articulate. So bell hooks talks about how, as humans, we don't really have a common and shared definition of love. It's sort of this nebulous thing. It's a word that we use a lot to describe so many different things. So many different types of relationships. We're often caught in this polarity if we are experiencing love but then we also have suffering in the same context. Like, how do we reconcile that? We're just often stuck in all that, and it's just a really messy affair. And in this particular chapter where she's talking about the true definition of love. She's talking about children and how we become very confused as children because we, maybe, if we're fortunate, are told that we're loved. And we experience care and affection, even if it's intermittent. Even if it's unpredictable. Like for me, growing up... I experienced a significant degree of trauma. And I also was always cared for. I was told I was loved every single day. I was given a certain amount of physical affection, not a ton, but for the community that I grew up in, my parents were relatively affectionate. And I've grown up with this conflict around, how could it be the case that I grew up in a home where I was so deeply loved and also where so many of my needs were unmet on a deep, emotional level? And reconciling that has been a real challenge. And bell hooks, she curates this definition of love, which is: "The will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." She then goes on to talk about how, in many cases in our home life as children, we experienced tremendous care and affection, but we never actually experienced love. Or if we did, it was very infrequent. Because if you look at the definition, nurturing spiritual growth, as you're interacting with a person, their spiritual best interest is of utmost importance to you. And that it's not about the conditions that surround you or them, and it's not about controlling outcomes or behavior or anything like that. It's about this true sense of acceptance and the nourishment of that person's personal path. So, long-winded explanation of what's sort of leading me into this conversation with you. Because I feel that you are one of the few individuals that I've ever experienced it with. And the one individual I experience it with consistently. When I go to you with whatever it is, you offer a spaciousness and an acceptance and allowance that fits this definition so beautifully. What comes out of it for me is like, you can't love someone while you're seeking to possess them, control them, or change them.

Sylvia Bueno: 5:33

Candice Schutter: 5:34
They're mutually exclusive. And when I have come to you... sometimes having repeated dysfunctions that I even now shamefully look back on, like, really how many times did I have to learn that lesson? How many times did I have to push that button and get smacked in the face? And I would go to you and there was this sense of... I've got you. What's going on? I will reflect with you. And there's never a moment of... here's what you need to do... here's how you need to change... here's the answer you've been looking for. None of that. It's just this glorious, spacious, loving space that I enter into. And I never feel judged or, I don't feel your impatience... You might just be really good at hiding it. I don't feel a lot of the things that I feel when I go to other people... and, and I don't fault them because they're things that I feel sometimes when people come to me. Although I want to give you credit, because I think I have become really great at listening and holding space as a coach because you've taught me how. I don't feel it when I'm with my clients. I don't feel impatient or judgment or anything like that. I just feel what you've helped me to embody. And I want to know, like, how did you... where did that come from? I just am curious, like, where do you think that came from for you? I mean, does, first of all, does that definition speak to you? And feel free to modify it in any way. And like, where did your embodiment of that come from?

Sylvia Bueno: 7:20
Thank you so much for all those wonderful, wonderful things. And, and I am honored to be able to be that for you. That definition that bell hooks writes pretty much blows my mind. I think it does put words to how I feel when I think about love. And it also just gets my mind going and thinking about all the different relationships that I've had in my life and kind of how to just reframe them. But, um, thinking about the nurturing and just having one's own and, or another's spiritual, what was it?... spiritual growth, spiritual wellbeing..

Candice Schutter: 8:05
Uh huh, spiritual growth.

Sylvia Bueno: 8:06
Spiritual growth as the utmost importance like, I think probably is the truest definition of love that I've ever heard. Because I think it just cuts right to it. You know, no matter where anyone is, no matter where you're, well, you know, I am in my life no matter where someone else is... as far as if they're, you know, hitting rock bottom or super successful anywhere in between, if you truly love yourself or that other person, it's not selfish. Right? When you said about, like, love isn't about controlling or possessing or something... I think those are all very selfish ways of "loving", right? There's no love about that. That's just wanting to get something for yourself. But truly, truly wanting the best for someone else or for yourself that, I mean, that's the best way I know how to describe love. I'm not great with words. I know a lot about how I feel.

Candice Schutter: 9:09
You're great with hearts. Which might be more important so... hat's off!

Sylvia Bueno: 9:17
So I think that's a great definition. When I think about growing up and experiencing love in that sense, two people do come to mind. My grandma and my aunt Patsy. Whenever I was with either of them, I felt safe. I felt accepted. I felt like I didn't have to do or be any certain way. Like I could just relax and be myself. And I knew that I was loved.

Candice Schutter: 9:54

Sylvia Bueno: 9:54
Yeah. So, you know, was it modeled for me? I think, yeah. I would say maybe grandma and aunt Patsy. But also I think it's, it's also inherent in a way. You know, talk about God and spirituality could be a whole other like series of podcasts right now where I... where my own spirituality is like, and, um, the reason I'm talking about this is cause I, I was about to say it was God-given. But I don't even like my whole relationship with, with the concept of God, I don't know what it is right now. It's very confusing. So I think I'll just say that I feel like some of it is inherent, and I don't know where it comes from. I just know how I feel and how I want to show up for the people who matter in my life. And that kind of feels a little weird to say people who matter as if one person matters more than another. But like, I think with you, it's so easy for me to be in that space, because I feel the same from you. I remember one instance in the early years of our friendship. I think you had seen maybe a not so pretty side of me, maybe when I was drunk or belligerent, both. And I remember in the aftermath, of course I was afraid, oh my God, you're not gonna like me anymore, or you don't trust me anymore or, you know, whatever. But you said to me, "that's just another part of you to love." Something like that. Like, you know, that's just more of you to love. It's just, it's, it's who you are. It's a part of you. And I love all of you. And that blew my mind. And so, I think that we've made each other feel safe in ways that we were never made to feel safe in the past. And so I think that opens up a heart connection. To be able to, I think explore what love is, what love really is. So hopefully that answered your question.

Candice Schutter: 12:19
It did, and it actually really inspired another layer, which is really what this is about. Right? So you said, two things... you said, we're offering each other the thing that we didn't get, that we needed the most. And I feel like in many ways, that's the beauty of deep friendship, and in some cases deep partnership, depending on how that looks. But we're speaking about friendship today that... it's actually easier in friendship now that I think about it, because in partnership there's inevitably parental transference stuff going on. It's just, it happens a lot for most of us because that's where we do that work. Right? It's like where, where, we're sort of hopefully rewriting history and not just repeating it. And in friendship, that's less likely to be the case, and there's this purity to the connection and it enables us to do what you just described... to like, what would it feel like if I loved this person the way I've always wanted to be loved? And it's healing. It's just as healing for the one who's doing the loving as the one who's receiving the love, because we're teaching ourselves how to reparent ourselves by demonstrating that love to each other. And I, and I think that's why it's always felt so nourishing and nurturing to race toward each other when we're... I know speaking for myself when I am at a rock bottom place and I've hit a few of those spiritual rock bottoms as I would describe them... um, I think about when I lost my stepbrother who died tragically in 2010. And it was like, you were the only lap I wanted to lay my head in. Because I knew I was going to get permission to show up with all of the stages of grief and... and you weren't going to try to fix it, change it. You were just going to love me through it. And I think we've done that for each other. And that, that is the test of a true friendship because sometimes, I mean, there have been times when we've come together and pushed each other's buttons, you know. I don't want to give all the listeners the impression that, like, it's just been hunky-dory skipping through the park every day of our friendship. There have been times when we, you know, we give each other a lot of space in our friendship. I think that's one of the things that also functions really well is we've gone weeks, I don't know if we've gone months without talking, but we've gone long stretches without communicating. When we come back together, it's just as rich and true because we don't place an expectation on each other. And yet, expectations happen and we've hurt each other. And we've had to clean that up and, and do the repairing, which has then made our relationship so much richer and deeper and more connected. It's all of that is just so profoundly healing, if we're willing to show up to each other in those vulnerable moments and say like, ouch, like, ouch.

Sylvia Bueno: 15:30
Yeah, and I think that also helps... I know it helps me to be... to shed just another layer of, okay, now I can be that much more vulnerable. Because there, yeah, there are times where I will question... Should I say this? Or, you know, start to sort of question and doubt myself. But then I remember, oh, it's Candice. I come to you because I know that you're not going to judge me. I know that you're a safe place, and I know that whatever I'm coming to you with, you're going to listen. Because you're such an amazing listener, and you're going to reflect. And that's, I feel like what's so juicy for me is that you see me for who I am and all the stuff. All the stuff, not just the lovey stuff, but the, the ugly. And so you, early on, gave me that permission to show up no matter what. That it's safe to show up for you. And so if I start to doubt, like oh, should I give her this feedback, you know, like on, on your podcast, I'm like, of course, of course I can do that. And it just kind of opens up the heart even more and takes that love to a deeper level and helps me to be even more vulnerable, not only with you but in other relationships in my life.

Candice Schutter: 17:09
And I feel like you're, you're underscoring once again... there's this thread that, through everything you say has been there, which I think circles us back to the definition a little bit and where we maybe even need to clarify the definition itself, because we humans, we love to, to hijack really juicy, beautiful truths and use them as weapons. So this, this definition of the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another spiritual growth. One of the things I keep hearing you say, whether you're consciously saying it or not, is your spirit, your growth. There's this sense of not having an agenda for the other person. And I think that's liberating. And when we have... and this is where we get into trouble if we have a lot of dogma around our spiritual path. Because it all rushes in... when something happens, all the dogma rushes in and it's like, the spiritual path looks like this. Here's what you do. Here's the... you know, to make fun of myself, the seven keys of courageous self expression or here's the, whatever the checklist is of things that define the path. And then we impose them on other people, whether it consciously or not, we think oh, I do have an idea about how this should go. And then I begin to measure the person against the idea I have of how it should go. Like grief should look like this, or, or, you know, vulnerability, this is how it works or whatever it is... and this is where our sort of self helping ourselves to heaps and heaps of things can kind of get in the way of actual connection, because we're bringing all of these ideals to an interaction that just wants us to simply be present for the other person and curious. And like you say, can we reflect? Do you have it within yourself to become mindful enough to notice when your shit's coming up and ignore it and reflect back what the other person is attempting to communicate to you? And in the case of a longterm relationship, reflect back what you know to be true about that person, not about what you would do if you were in this situation, but what has that person shown you? Who have they shown you that they are? And how can you reflect that back to them over and over again, their essential nature and weave in like... How I feel about you when you speak about your self doubt or your, your brokenness or the trials that you've lived through... I don't see any of that as a problem. I see all of that as fodder for what makes you so extraordinary.

Sylvia Bueno: 19:42

Candice Schutter: 19:43
I've told you before, when you were in a really dark place and you felt so lost and you were hurting so much. And I said to you, I love you more you having shown me this because you are so honest. Being human is fucking so difficult and so confusing and so maddening. And you're saying to me, Candice, I feel fucking crazy. And I'm like... yes, I will meet you there. Thank you. And I'm not one of those everything happens for reasons people like, oh, you went through all this shit so that you could be like... no, I don't know about any of that. I just know that when you show me the resilience of having lived and stood up over and over again and you just keep getting back up over and over again, I'm like... that's my hero. The person who's got everything... the perfectly designed life and is hitting all the marks and all of that... I feel suspicious of that, quite frankly. I don't feel safe with that person. I feel safe with somebody who is willing to invite me in to the darker spaces within themselves. And then also shows me how that darkness births life. And that's what you show me over and over again. It's not love versus fear. It's both and.

Sylvia Bueno: 21:24
Everybody needs a Candice. Everybody needs a Candice in their lives. It's bringing tears to my eyes. Like, wow, you know, when I doubt myself, when I go to those dark spaces, when I want to leave this earthly body and just say, 'fuck it, I can't do it anymore.' Like, I need relief. You know, when I want to give up, it's just like, wow, I'm going to have to come back to this, to this recording. Cause it's, it's so important for us as humans to feel loved, to feel seen. And not just, not just on our good days, having battled depression for most of my life, you know? And I think it's important for other people out there who battle depression and get to suicidal thoughts and stuff. It's like, it's so important to know that you're loved, to know that your existence matters. This is what you're affirming for me right now, is that my existence matters, you know? And it's so important because when we're in those dark spaces and we're ready to give up and leave this earth at our own hand, it's so hard to remember these moments. That's why I think it's so important that we have these conversations with each other, with your best friends, with your partners, with your siblings, your parents, whoever... it's important for us, especially now with the way the world is, just like at each other's throats, it's so important for us to really think about and talk about love. What is it? You know, and why do we love each other? Why our love for each other matters. It's super, super essential, I think for humanity, for us to keep going. So thank you so much for affirming that for me.

Candice Schutter: 23:35
Absolutely. Well, and the thing is, is that what I've really learned in our relationship and other relationships as well, in my relationship with Chris... is that you can't own love. You can't own it. I mean, I appreciate what you're saying and I understand the sentiment of like, everyone should go get a Candice and I'd say everyone should go get a Sylvia. The love that we are expressing to each other is actually not a function of us and our personalities and something that we learned in a workshop that we can now, you know, execute. It's like, no, that's... and I think this is really where we're at this paradigm shifting place, culturally. That's the capitalist definition of love and of all things. There's this idea that you have to earn love both in terms of the ability to express it in a way that's constructive. And in terms of like, I have to earn love in order to receive it. And when we have those moments, there's this feeling... I have the similar thing with, you have this feeling of wow, like my existence matters... that even that, when we look at that and we, we say, yes, your existence matters. And yet, it's not about the material. It's like we're all chasing things that prove that we matter. Whether it's money, or a degree, and I'm pointing at myself for those listeners out there who can't see right now, or whatever it may be. You know, we've got to get the book deal, or the perfect relationship, or the this thing. And my inbox is flooded constantly. I feel like I'm unsubscribing every other minute from something that promises to give me the thing that will reinforce the fact that I matter. And it's not that love isn't material because we know in terms of how we need to rebuild systems so that everyone is loved. That's a whole other conversation too. So that, love becomes an equal opportunity experience. We need to do a lot of work in terms of that. So it's material in that sense. But in terms of how we show up for each other, we don't have to do anything in order to matter. So when we're in our rock bottom place, we matter. Whether we're producing or just simply breathing air, trying to keep our head above water. There's this sense that... when I look at that definition of spiritual growth, we're aware and we care about the other person's spiritual growth or our own spiritual growth, even that becomes a check box for a lot of people. And maybe the word growth isn't even the right word. I think when you immediately rephrased it as wellbeing, I think you're on the right track. Is it really about growth and trajectory and, you know, the next highest, biggest, best? Or is it about resting into something? And perhaps it's both. I don't have the answer just to speak to the fact that we're pretty good at hustling in our culture for our worth. We're not so good at resting into it.

Sylvia Bueno: 26:47

Candice Schutter: 26:48
Not so good at that.

Sylvia Bueno: 26:50
Right. Because there's no, yeah, cause there's no producing in resting. Just like.. Who am I if I'm just resting? What good am I? Is just kind of like the societal thing, but I think you're right. And it's difficult for me to even think about... If I'm not making an impact, if I'm not doing something for someone or myself, it's like, well then why am I here? What's the purpose? So I agree. I agree with we really just need to matter because we exist.

Candice Schutter: 27:29
Being in the space of love is a choice. I realized this, uh, gosh, a couple of years ago when my partner and I got back from traveling abroad, and we were in a rough place. And I remember he even said to me at one point, like, I feel as though you've fallen out of love with me. And I was conflicted by his words, I felt, well, yes and no. If I'm thinking of the romantic infatuation phase of our relationship, that's been gone for awhile. And yet, I do feel love for you. And it wasn't until one day we were having an interaction in the kitchen, and I don't know what happened. I just turned and I chose love. And all of a sudden I was inside of it. I don't know any other way to describe it. I was 'in' love with him. Like I occupied the space of love again. And I looked at him, and I saw him again. And I'm not saying that turned on a switch and everything's been perfect since then, but it was a big awareness for me because I was like, oh, being in love is something I can step into... now being in infatuation, which we usually call being in love is different. Not talking about that. I'm talking about actual capital L love. I can just step into that space. And the truth is, is that Chris and I are together, thanks to Sylvia because what was it? Our fourth date that I was so triggered by his presence and the fact that I wasn't infatuated with him. I didn't know what to do with the fact that I was interested in someone and not infatuated. I was just all tied up in knots and I don't know. And I was like pros and cons lists. I don't know about this guy. And I almost walked away from the whole relationship. And I remember you said to me, it was before our fifth date. I remember this, because I remember him thanking you years later. You said to me, What if you just went on this date and just opened your heart to him for one day, just opened your heart and set all that aside and see how that feels. See what happens." And I did. We went on the date and I was, I don't know what opening one's heart and sweat has to do with one another, but I was... it was ridiculous. I mean, my shirt was stained pits. I mean, I was running so much heat and I was sweating... maybe it was the muscle of keeping my heart open. It was just so strained I could hardly stand it. But I did it. And that was the pivotal turning point in our relationship, and we've been together for almost ten years now. I had to actively step into love as a possibility, as a potential. And many years later, stepping into love in the kitchen, once again... as a thing that isn't some magic that I don't have any control of, that just happens without any of my volition whatsoever, but as a choice. And I feel like I practice that daily now in my most intimate partnership and our relationship's better than it's ever been. And it's because of a lot of things, right? It's not just that. We're not here to give formulas. That's not the formula, at all. And when the other things are working and the love seems to go away, why do we see it as this like nebulous force that we have to, you know, do a ritual or search for the next infatuation. We can step into that space of love that has no agenda for ourselves or the other person, that's simply this space of... I'm here for your journey and you're here for mine. Let's see what happens.

Sylvia Bueno: 31:25
Yeah. I love the no agenda part. I think that's also a great phrase to put in a description of love is, is having no agenda. And I love that you, you mentioned open your heart because when I've been thinking about love, what kept coming up for me over and over is that love is opening your heart. It's not like there's a specific way to do that. I don't know, but I just know how it feels when you choose or when I choose to open my heart to someone. I think that's what creates that space and there is no agenda. You can't have an agenda. I don't think with love, because again, that's when it becomes selfish.

Candice Schutter: 32:13
Right. And yet, there's always that never always piece, right? I agree with that. And yet, what's also true is that there are times when we don't feel safe or when we're in a power dynamic where there's some sort of oppression going on, or when something just feels off to us, we tune into our hearts and there's this feeling of... eh, like, no. I don't want to open myself here. And I think that there's a way for us to be discerning about how we spend our energy while also opening our heart to love. We can love someone and say, I love you and no. They're not mutually exclusive.

Sylvia Bueno: 33:07
Right. So, yeah. I'm glad you're bringing this up. Yeah.

Candice Schutter: 33:11
Yeah. There's this sense of... I can love you and love me and trust that if it feels truly in my bones and my guts, that it does not serve me to engage with you, it is not not-love to turn and walk away. I can feel love, and also... I don't even want to use the word draw a boundary. It may not even be about boundary. It's just about, I can choose love and choose myself.

Sylvia Bueno: 33:45

Candice Schutter: 33:46
And trust that that will serve... and maybe, or maybe not, depending on your spiritual orientation, maybe you trust that if you choose yourself, it will work out for everyone in the end. Maybe you don't, maybe it doesn't matter. I don't know.

Sylvia Bueno: 33:58

Candice Schutter: 33:59
But just having this permission to say, I love you and no. This is where my practice has been the last few years... I was so, I'm like here and I'm all in and I'm love, or I'm fucking outta here. Right? Like, and it's not, it doesn't have to be that way. It's like when we grow in our ability to express ourselves, we're able to hold the love as constant and also not...

Sylvia Bueno: 34:28
Sacrifice. Or I love when Glennon Doyle talks about not abandoning oneself.

Candice Schutter: 34:35
Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Sylvia Bueno: 34:37
So you can love and not abandon yourself.

Candice Schutter: 34:42
And, if we can get clear on how we talk about love as maybe a space we occupy. I mean, that's kind of what I'm moving toward now, instead of trying to think of it as this thing I have in my tool belt that I pull out and use... that becomes really confusing. When do I use it? When do I not? And should I have it on at all times? And I see this a lot in, in certain circles where it's like, just be in love no, no matter what. And there's a lot of diminishment of people's pain and need for boundary when it's just all talk about using love all the time everywhere. What if it's a space that we occupy that isn't about our personality or persona, and it's just someplace we step into with people. How has your understanding of love changed over the years? Do you think?

Sylvia Bueno: 35:27

Candice Schutter: 35:29
Another way of framing the question would be: If you could tell your younger self something about love or life... what is it that, you know now, see now that has shifted?

Sylvia Bueno: 35:44
I would tell my younger self, this is something that I'm still working on, which is why I would tell my younger self so we could get a move on. It's like... Love yourself, no matter what. I think for me my own self-love is tied, unfortunately, so much to self doubt.

Candice Schutter: 36:14
Hmm. Say more.

Sylvia Bueno: 36:16
Growing up, I experienced the shutdown of my own self-expression. I feel like not being able to express myself and being shut down led to such deep self doubt. I look to others for, for wisdom, for insight, for what is right, for what is wrong. Unfortunately, because I question myself so much and look outside so much, I don't trust myself nor do I love myself as, as deeply and openly as I feel like I want to. So I would definitely tell my younger self probably first and foremost to speak up. No matter how hard it is. Just do it. And you'll be okay. And to trust myself, because I think that if I had grown up where my self-expression was nurtured and encouraged, and where I was trusted to make decisions for myself, I feel like that would have been such a great breeding ground for confidence, self-love, that I have lacked for so much of my adult life. Learning to love myself has been a rough road. I was a binge drinker for 32 years, and I feel like that was an abandoning because I don't know... I didn't, I don't trust myself. I'm getting there. I'm thinking more about my upbringing and my early adult life. Yeah, I would say love yourself, honey. Speak up. Trust yourself. It's okay. It's okay. If if so-and-so gets angry. It's okay if so-and-so doesn't agree. It's okay if so-and-so laughs. Speaking up for yourself and expressing yourself is the way that you learn who you are and is the way that you learn how to trust yourself and love yourself. It's so important because as an adult who doesn't trust herself or love herself, it's, it's a rough road. And, I feel like I'm definitely on that road now that I'm not drinking anymore. Now I'm learning all of those things where...

Candice Schutter: 38:50
Congratulations on a year!

Sylvia Bueno: 38:51
Thank you. Yeah. It's like 391 days or something. So yeah, now I'm learning to not abandon myself, and to show up, and to, to feel all the feelings and to express. So, you know, I feel like sure I'm going to trust it's all divine timing, and it would have been great if I could have told my younger self, you know, yeah... teach her how to love and express.

Candice Schutter: 39:23
You choosing over and over and over again, however many times it takes a day, sobriety is an act of courage because you are faced with the vulnerability that you would otherwise mask. You spoke about being an adult who doesn't love herself and doesn't trust herself and all of your actions, particularly in the last 391 days say otherwise. I mean, I run away, anesthetize and use my addictions to avoid being in that vulnerable space of, of all the feels. And we all do, and so what does it mean to trust ourselves to say, Hey, I am strong enough to hold this without covering it up. Damn, no wonder we just reach for the thing. I mean, it just shows so much trust in oneself. So I just, I celebrate your sobriety and mostly I celebrate your choice to love yourself over and over and over and over and over again.

Sylvia Bueno: 40:33
Thank you.

Candice Schutter: 40:34
To bring the love that you've brought into my life into your own heart in that way. It's just beautiful.

Sylvia Bueno: 40:41
Thank you. It's definitely a wild ride, but you know, it's interesting. Cause I start to see all the other ways I can escape, you know?

Candice Schutter: 40:52
Of course. Yeah. I know. Man, I'll tell ya. Hey, you know, one thing at a time.

Sylvia Bueno: 40:59
That's what I'm sayin.

Candice Schutter: 41:00
And also... that's another something I think we need to question is this idea we've been sold that there is such a thing as perfect human-ing. It's like every problem we have, because we live in a capitalist culture is met with the anti that-problem. It's like a pendulum we swing from not giving a fuck and not doing anything for ourselves to hyper vigilant, controlling of our humanity, which doesn't serve us either. It can be helpful in terms of a magnet that pulls us away from dysfunction, but then we have to be careful not to get stuck there. It's like we have to allow ourselves frivolity and diversion and the fact that sometimes, you know, in a world that we live in, we need distraction and we need to just sit down with like a Netflix show and just binge the shit out of it for a few hours. And it's okay. Like it's okay. Like if I could wish anything upon myself, it would be just the permission to just relax, honey. It's okay.

Sylvia Bueno: 42:06
Yeah, yeah. Our culture makes us feel crazy because a capitalist society is all about productivity, right? Just like, you know, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce. And so in order to do that, we abandon ourselves, our self care.

Candice Schutter: 42:31
Especially for women, it's not even just produce, produce, produce, produce. I feel like that's the, as we would describe it the 'masculine version' of the story and 'feminine version' of the story... the pressure is present, present, present, present, present, present. Present thyself in a certain way, in a certain light. Literally, I have lights pointing at me, right? Like present thyself. And we learned early on how to present ourselves properly. That's how we've been conditioned as women. So if we're not producing, which we want to move into that, of course, to take back power. I understand, I feel that ambition too, to move into that more masculine sphere and I've done my fair share of that. So there's this production pressure and simultaneously this presentation pressure. Then there's the women who, rightfully so, are tired of posturing and presenting, presenting, presenting, so they swing to the other extreme of just being, like, really in your face wild, which is beautiful too. And yet, you're still being controlled by the narrative because you're rebelling against it. You're not actually free. And I say this as somebody who does this. When I rebel against the narrative, I'm not free of the narrative. It's just controlling me in a different way. So, how do we create a new story together where we're not producing, producing, producing? We're not presenting, presenting, presenting. We're simply being as we are human wanting to grow and doing things to nourish our growth and sidestepping dysfunction, more and more, and also just being human. You're a few years ahead of me on the midlife track, but we're both in it in terms of when I say midlife, I mean the perimenopausal menopausal track is a huge initiation that we go through biologically, not by choice. And I want you to speak to this as you've been in it longer than me, just this sense of being like, I'm just not interested in the presentation anymore. I don't want to watch a presentation. I don't want to participate in a presentation. I just, I just am over it.

Sylvia Bueno: 44:49
It's exhausting. It's like, finally, you just don't have the energy for it anymore. Or the, the patience. It's like, I don't have time for that.

Candice Schutter: 45:01
Ain't nobody got time for that.

Sylvia Bueno: 45:02
Ain't nobody got time for that. But it's true. I don't feel like I want to use my life energy to uh, no, I don't know. To just generalize, I feel like for me in this time of, I just turned 50 and in the past few years, I've noticed my capacity for patience has diminished a little bit and I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that... help me here. You know what I'm trying to say? It's like...

Candice Schutter: 45:35
Well, maybe is patience even the right word? The word temperance comes to mind like the ability to temper oneself. And I remember talking with you when I came to Portland on a visit. It was the December after we moved, so it would have been 2019. You bought us tickets to see Trevor Noah, which was amazing. And we were having this dinner date, having a conversation about your work life. And you were sharing... I'm at work and people are getting on my last nerve, like you were sharing. Right? And it sounded to me like there was a dynamic that was sort of reinforcing an expectation around how you should behave. Does that sound right?

Sylvia Bueno: 46:13

Candice Schutter: 46:14
And you were having such a fiery response to it. You were sharing with me your experience and you were getting, as they say, fired up, 'heated', as a chef I used to work for used to say... I'm heated. You were getting heated. And in the moment just had this thought. I was like, Syvie, what if that's what menopause is? What if it's all the fire we never spent because we were taught to temper ourselves... just comin' out. It's just finally like, fuck it. I'm done. I'm done sucking it up. I'm done holding it in. I'm done putting a lid on it. I'm done sugarcoating it. Here it comes.

Sylvia Bueno: 47:02

Candice Schutter: 47:03
Hear her roar. So it's not so much about a lack of patience because I feel like you have a tremendous amount of patience. It's about finally getting to a point where the expectation no longer rules how you show up in the world. And it comes out fiery because when you've stifled a volcano long enough, it's going to explode.

Sylvia Bueno: 47:25
Yeah. Someone was questioning my, my tone.

Candice Schutter: 47:30

Sylvia Bueno: 47:32
Yeah. Don't even get started.

Candice Schutter: 47:36
Wait, wait, wait. Question. Was this particular individual male by chance?

Sylvia Bueno: 47:43
Duh. Okay. Yeah, it was, it was. Yeah. So, a male was questioning my tone. And, um, it was like... oh, no, I'm not going to hold back anymore. I'm not going to change my tone. I'm not going to be quieted anymore, shut down anymore. You know, all that stuff, like I was saying before. And like, you just... you know, we're done with that. We're done. We're going to show up.

Candice Schutter: 48:15

Sylvia Bueno: 48:16

Candice Schutter: 48:16
And it's that... I've I often have said to clients, this is a situation where you can conform or you can take the label. Those are your two options. And when I say take the label, I mean, you're stepping outside of the bounds of conditioning and what's supposedly appropriate and you're doing it because it's authentic to you. And you could bend over backwards trying to get the other person to understand, and most likely you're not going to be successful. Or you can just take the label, meaning they're going to call me a bitch. Who does she think she is? They're going to call me selfish. Selfish is the one that, that has been thrown at me a lot. And not to say that I haven't been selfish. Of course, I have. And it's been pinned onto me in moments when I'm simply standing for myself and defying authority, it's when I've, I've experienced it the most. Whatever the label is for a woman. It's either you take the label or you abandon yourself. Sometimes that's just the choice you have to make. And menopause is this point where you're like, oh, easy choice. Whatever.

Sylvia Bueno: 49:22

Candice Schutter: 49:23
No problem. Easy choice. Yeah?

Sylvia Bueno: 49:27

Candice Schutter: 49:28
Which is what's beautiful about it.

Sylvia Bueno: 49:30
Yeah. Oh, for sure.

Candice Schutter: 49:30
Headaches and hot flashes aside... If you think about the symptoms... pressing headaches and heat in the body. It's this sense of being contained no longer.

Sylvia Bueno: 49:47
A volcano.

Candice Schutter: 49:51
It must be how a volcano feels. We have figured out how a volcano feels before it erupts. Exactly, yes.

Sylvia Bueno: 49:57
It's about not holding back the eruption anymore. Just like let it go.

Candice Schutter: 50:02
Right. Yeah. And acknowledging the fact that, you know, I'll say to Chris sometimes I come at him like with all this energy and then I'll acknowledge in the middle of, or after the fact... that was way bigger than it needed to be. And so much of that wasn't yours, or you're getting yours and everyone else's. It's not about spewing our lava all over the world. We can still be conscientious and be in a space of love and also tell really deep, hard truths and say them in whatever fucking tone of voice we like. I can't think of an instance where a grown man is ever told to watch his tone.

Sylvia Bueno: 50:40
No, uh uh.

Candice Schutter: 50:43
No. And it's getting to this point of saying I can speak and behave in whatever manner I please. I have a right to take up space in the world.

Sylvia Bueno: 50:52
And won't be controlled.

Candice Schutter: 50:53

Sylvia Bueno: 50:54

Candice Schutter: 50:55
Exactly. Which brings us back to love... your attempt to possess my energy, to control my responses, or to change me... I see through it. That's not loving. That's not you having my best interest in mind. That's something else. And I'm not interested in that. And we can do that without getting fired up and combative. I'm not interested in... this thing that you want to do does not interest me. Here's what I'm interested in. And we can bring the force of love for ourselves and the other person forward without need to throw punches or blow up a relationship as a result of it. If I look at my own journey into mid-life, I'm finally learning that can be in relationship with people and be not only be comfortable in my own skin, but allow them their own skin. We don't need to agree, see eye to eye and conform to one another's expectations to be in relationship with each other. And my desire to change the people around me or to control their behavior was a function of me not loving myself. It was always about that... and it is, I should speak to the fact that it still happens. It is always about me learning how to accept myself. If I give myself permission to be who I am, then I've given them permission to be who they are. I think of Brene's Brown's definition of courage. There is no courage without vulnerability. And so as soon as you begin to feel comfortable... and in some ways, as soon as you rise into the 'high talk'... I am above it. I've transcended. Then that's when there's so much more, you just know there's so much more, and I'm saying this out loud to remind myself there's so much more that wants to come out and come through.

Sylvia Bueno: 52:46
Courageous self-expression.

Candice Schutter: 52:48
Yeah, yeah. We're on the ride together. The question becomes how to share about courageous self-expression with the world, without it appearing as though I know how to do it. Courageous self-expression is self-evident like love. It's not something you can write a manual on, or that you just know how to do. It's something you do and do and do and do and do and do. And as soon as you think you know how to do it, then you've lost the thread. Thank you so much for trusting me with your heart in our friendship and in our time we spent here together today. This is no small thing to put yourself out in front of people and to share so much about our intimate relationship and about your own journey and walk through life. And I just can't thank you enough for being willing to do this with me. I love you so much.

Sylvia Bueno: 54:06
I love you, too. Thanks for trusting me. This is fun and weird.

Candice Schutter: 54:14
And you trusted yourself!

Sylvia Bueno: 54:16
And I trusted it myself!

Candice Schutter: 54:19
All right, everybody. See you next time.

Sylvia Bueno: 54:22

Candice Schutter: 54:23

© The Deeper Pulse, Candice Schutter