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Aliveness: Creating Your Dream Life with Candace Taylor

Three things we dive into in this episode:

  1. The value of your creativity and authenticity.

  2. How you can you lean into joy while also calling yourself out on your own bullshit.

  3. Why giving yourself space for messiness and exploration is so important for bringing your dreams to life.


  • Release restrictive dieting, break free from body shame, & create habits that help you live fully! Sign up for Caitie’s nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, & Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

  • Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

  • Light Up Your Life 💫 Book a discovery call with Candace to look at the roadblocks and challenges stopping you from creating your dream life!

  • Join the Dream Life Loading Residency 💫, a six-week connection with Candace where she coaches you to create the unique job, business opportunity, or lifestyle that you want!

  • When 'Sunday Service' meets mindfulness. Start your Sunday with Candace during this virtual mindfulness retreat & take some time to connect with yourself while resetting for the week!

  • Connect with Candace: LinkedIn | Instagram

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📌Episode Highlights

[05:38] I am Candace Taylor

  • Candace is a multi-talented woman. She is an entrepreneur, a performer, and an artist — a creative soul through and through.

  • Candace describes her profession as a dream doula: a visionary who believes in the importance of dreaming and creating something out of nothing.

  • She supports individuals who want their innate creativity to be the center of their lifestyle. She helps them bring this lifestyle into reality.

[10:59] Overcome Challenges

  • Candace’s time in New York in 2015 was one of the low points of her life.

  • She suffered physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially because she was stuck fulfilling the expectations of others.

  • Staying in the bullshit loop brings pain in all aspects of life. You need to stop faking and get real with yourself to get out of this destructive cycle.

  • Candace chose herself, got out of the funk, and finally started to grow.

[16:39] Being Kind and Fully Alive

  • Candace resonates with the Wild Unknown tarot deck, specifically with the Wheel of Fortune card.

  • Be discerning of all the pathways your life can take.

Candace: “One philosophy that I really grounded myself in is life is not designed to be clear-cut. Life is complex, and it’s intricate, and that’s one of the beauties of the human experience. We have the capacity to hold so much at once.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • By allowing herself to feel both the positive and negative experiences of life without judgment, Candace lives her life to the fullest.

[20:23] Making Space for Complexity and Creativity

  • Since she was younger, Candace always honored the creative spirit inside of her when making decisions.

  • Having the mind of a choreographer that physicalized movement, she wanted her life to reflect the same movement.

Caitie: “You allowed yourself to have the same creative spirit with your life that you’ve always had with your dance and with your art. And if we could be creative with art and with dancing and things like that, why not also be creative with our lives? Because that is what’s going to allow us to experience the full range of aliveness.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • We have the rare capacity as humans to be expressive, magical, and creative.

  • Candace sees it as her duty to help people honor their creative spirit as a dream doula.

[27:02] How to Not Get Overwhelmed with Complicated Emotions

  • Just like pregnancy and birth, creating something is a radical transformation of your life, body, mind, and heart.

  • You must expect to go through pain because you are paving a brand new road.

  • Having a deep connection and awareness of what you have and being intentional about the changes you will make takes the pain out of the experience and transforms it from suffering to an investment.

  • Having the right perspective makes the pain worthwhile.

[31:32] Ritualizing JOY

  • For Candace, joy is having contentment and gratitude in your existence.

  • Her ritual is to be in flow and have an authentic, honest space with herself.

  • Because she is in a transitional period in her life, Candace reaches out to her built communities and practices. She connects with friends and family, and she also meditates and journals.

[34:07] Pain and Challenges of a New Life

  • Candace struggled to find a balance in connecting with her creative spirit and in prioritizing what is necessary for her.

  • Breonna Taylor’s murder shook her to the core and made her re-assess what she wants her life to be.

  • She trusted her intuition and moved to San Diego. With the help of her partnership with the FP movement and living with a close friend, she was able to uproot her New York home and start living the life she wanted.

  • Candace had to start from the ground up. She needed to learn how to drive and navigate in this new space.

Candace: “There were a lot of lonely moments, a lot of dark moments. But because I was listening to myself, and I was honoring myself, and I was prioritizing that connection to me, it made every ounce of pain that led me to that space worth it.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[40:44] The World Needs YOUR Gifts

  • The tiny spaces on your foundation have the potential to grow into something bigger and brighter, but only if you listen to your desires.

Candace: “When we say no to ourselves, we compound the pain that we experience. And then when we say yes to ourselves, in this instant, we can actually illuminate the world far beyond what we ever imagined, what we ever expect.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • As humans, we are all unique. We can imagine and create our reality. This is the root of our innate creativity.

  • How you respond and create are unique and important. You have the power and the capacity to change people and the spaces around you just by choosing to be authentic.

  • You can create something new amid a crumbling social structure.

[48:15] Aliveness

  • You can be alive fully because you can create.

  • Being alive is constant, and no one can take it away from you because of a shift in society.

  • Aliveness is having the capacity to make a choice that will ripple beyond you and into endless possibilities.

  • We need to hold and honor every positive and negative emotion to experience our lives fully.

[53:40] Taking Care of the Soul

  • Candace enjoys expressing gratitude in a childlike and ridiculous way before starting her day.

  • Her end-of-day routine involves journaling and pouring her thoughts into paper.

  • Journaling prompt: Think about what could be different in your life or questions that pull out your desires. Challenging your preconceived notions is a great way to think out of the box.

  • You can also record your gratitude practice and listen to your voice later. There is something powerful about hearing our own voices express gratitude and our desires.

About Candace

Candace Taylor is a dream doula helping entrepreneurs and passionate individuals create their dream lives into strategy and action. She is a multi-talented artist and performer, and one of her many strengths is her unique creative voice. Her passions include helping bring out the inner creativity in her clients to pursue the reality they want in their lives. Candace is a ball of energy who will help you uncover your own creative voice!

Connect with Candace on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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Candace Taylor: I don't think joy is just happiness for happiness’ sake. I think it's contentment knowing that there's a level of gratitude that we ought to have for just existing.

Caitie Corradino:Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition.

But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full, & alive, right here, right now. Let's get into it.

It would mean the whole world if you could take a few steps today to help celebrate the launch of this podcast, and if you take these steps, you get a chance to join my nutrition coaching program and community called Whole, Full, & Alive for free. So for free, you'll get a one on one counseling session with me, ten live group calls and access to dozens of lectures from myself and amazing guest coaches to help you trade restriction, obsession and yo-yo dieting for delicious, energizing and nourishing routines that support your most aligned life. I know, pretty big deal.

Here's how you get to enter for a free spot in Whole, Full, & Alive. First step, listen to an episode. Step two, subscribe and follow the show. Step three, leave a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Step four, share the show on Instagram and tag me @full.soul.nutrition. Step five, once you've completed the four steps above, just send me a DM with the message podcast and you'll be entered into the giveaway. I am so, so, so thrilled to share the show with you, and I will email the winner of the giveaway in one week.

Hey, welcome to episode three of Whole, Full, & Alive. I am so excited that you came back. Thanks for being here for episode three, the third episode during launch week. So as I mentioned, the first three episodes of this show. I was aiming to outline why I called the show Whole, Full, & Alive. So in episode one I talked about wholeness. And in episode two, we explored fullness. And now here in episode three, se're going to be talking about aliveness. And I'm going to be doing it with my first guest.

I have my first guest on the show today to explore this theme of aliveness. My guest's name is Candace Taylor, and she is an amazing, multi-passionate, multi-talented human. I'm gonna tell the story in the interview of how Candace and I initially got connected but she is a choreographer, a fitness instructor, an artist, a creative entrepreneur, a dream doula —ell you what that means in a second. And just an overall ball of energy and aliveness when Candace walks into a room, you can feel it. She is so alive, she is so encouraging, and she makes people just feel so so good.

And in her own words, she is a dream doula who empowers creatives and undercover creatives to feel more joyful and fulfilled in their lives. So, in her business connecting creations, Candace serves as a guide and advocate and a cheerleader to support her client partners to feel free of emotional, chronic and mental and physical pain, so that they can not only enjoy their lived experiences, but also inspire and empower others, with their creativity with the things that they birthed into the world.

I'm so excited to dive into this conversation with Candace today. We're going to explore like I said, aliveness, what it means to be fully alive. How can you tolerate the good and the bad and the light and the dark? And hold space for many things to be true at the same time? How can you lean into joy while also calling yourself out on your own bullshit?

Our conversation was a lot of fun and went a lot of different places I wasn't exactly expecting to. By the end of it, I just felt so lit up and inspired and excited. I hope you feel that way, listening to it too. So let's get into it. Exploring aliveness today with my very first guest, Candice Taylor.

Hey, everybody, welcome back. I am so so so excited and grateful to be here with the first guest on my podcast, Candace Taylor, I am going to dive right into conversation with Candace. But first, I would like for you to introduce yourself, Candace, tell everybody who you are. And of course, I want to hear about everything you do. I want to hear about the Tony Awards. I want to hear about fitness instruction. I want to hear about being a doula. And I also want to know who are you underneath all of that? Tell us?

Candace: First of all, I'm stunned. I can't believe I'm the first guest on your podcast. I'm so honored. That struck me to my soul. So thank you so much for having me here. My name is Candace Taylor. I hail from the inner city of Boston. And I love this question. I've been thinking a lot more about how I want to answer this question as I get asked it.

What's coming to me right now is “I am.” I want to let like the abundance of that statement just like ring true in this moment. To give a little bit more, I guess, color to that statement. I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I am a performer, a performing artist, I am a creative through and through. I am a love0 — I love humans so much. I'm fascinated by humanity. And I'm a dream doula. That's the professional title I've given myself.

That means that I am a visionary that sees the importance of dreaming, sees the importance of creating and using our creative power to make things out of nothing and bring them into the world. And so I support individuals who want to have creativity be a fixture of their lives, and to design a lifestyle that supports physical, mental, emotional wellness at all times, and really honors the creative spirit that all of us innately have.

Caitie: Wow. Okay, so where do we even go from there. So many places, I actually want to share the story about the first time I encountered you because it was actually at a really pivotal moment in my life. So I was going through a horrendous breakup and I found 305 fitness. When I found 305, my soul like came back to life, I realized that dancing was like the essential piece of my soul that I had lost touch with, for way too long. My friend, Maria Maxey was like, “Oh, we're looking for flex instructors, you should audition to teach at the studio.” And I was like, “Okay, sounds good.”

I fell in love with this place that helped my soul come back to life, like, let me audition and I walked into the audition room. I was so nervous, because I actually really freaking wanted this so badly. And your energy, you were the person that was watching me audition, the only person who was watching me audition, your energy was the most warm and inviting and wonderful thing. And I had never been to a job interview or an audition process that was like that before I did my little flex yoga performance thing for you.

You were like, “Hey, I really see how much you love 305. And I can really see how much you love teaching.” And I was like, “What nice feedback you were like, your energy is just so palpable, like this is great. I'm so excited about you.” And there was no feedback about like, “Oh, your form was great. And your cues were awesome; your directions for great” It was just not technical. It was just so spiritual. I remember that moment so much because it was just the kind of feedback that I needed.

I really wanted that my first guest on this podcast to be someone who I get that feeling from, who I get that warm, inviting energy from, who inspires me and who reminds me that I'm more than my job title. And I'm more than what I do. I am who I am, and I am what I radiate. And you reminded me of that from the first time I met you. So I just really want to share that.

Candace: It's so funny. I was like, I hope it's the moment that I'm remembering. And I remember that moment very vividly — that dimly light room, and it was palpable. Glad you remember that story, because that is my legacy. That's what I'm desiring — to just paint the world with these moments where I just show people what I see with my eyes. Hopefully it's the depths of what they're trying to share with the world.

I think you were trying to share your passion and you were trying to showcase your deep desire, to share the skill sets and the talents that you have, but also share yourself and your humanity with other people. So I love that moment. It was really special and it was actually such a relief, because I feel like some of the other auditions that I was watching that day, I had to peel back the layers of performance. \Hey, we're just humans in a room together. It was so refreshing to be in that space with you. So thank you. I'm honored. And I'm so glad we have that memory together.

Caitie: Well, thank you. Thank you. And so yeah, how did you get there? How did you find that? That was the legacy you wanted to leave? What is a challenge that you've overcome in your life that led you to that personal mission, that personal desire?

Candace: Such a good question. Ironically enough, I think 305 really, for me was this illumination of that legacy. It had already been there, for sure. It's something that I carried sort of a small seed that I think was dormant, but planted, and I had hit a rock bottom moment in my life. I moved to New York City in 2015, after probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I was the recipient of a Fulbright research grant right out of college, and moved to Nicaragua and spent a year of my life researching, performing, creating art with the people of Nicaragua and learning their cultural history.

I would go out, interview people about their personal stories. And then I would make dance out of the stories, and I got to perform it on the national stage. And Nicaragua — traveled all over the country, it was incredible. I came back to the US sort of out of obligation, it felt like what I had to do, and it really sent me into probably a three year or four year long, dark place. New York was a setting that didn't allow me to run from that darkness. It didn't allow me to escape and kind of paint over it with, I don't know, the luxuries of life, right.

We tried to run away from those hardships that we have in the internal spaces. New York didn't let me do that. I really had to sit with myself. And I felt like it was financially difficult. It was hard to find. I didn't feel connected to the friends that I once had, even though they were still present in my life. I felt like a completely different person. I was tasked to be authentic and to be honest, and to say, I'm completely different.

I can go down the path of trying to squeeze myself back into the no image that I created for myself in the past the people pleaser, the high achiever, the perfectionist, I could be that again, I could try to numb myself and numb what I discovered about who I actually was, or I could recreate myself and actually be honest about what I wanted. Even when I tried to be the perfectionist, even when I tried to go back, I just kept hitting the wall of change that was waiting for me.

Had lost a job, had lost a bunch of friends, was so in debt when I moved to New York, and I gave up on trying to fake the funk. I got real with myself. I was like, “You can't stay in what I call the bullshit loop.” When I'm coaching my clients. I'm like, “You don't want to stay in this bullshit loop anymore. It's bringing you so much pain.” In all areas of my life, emotionally, I was a mess. Mentally, I was anxious and stressed all the time. Physically, I was losing so much weight, I was losing hair.

That was not the life that I knew that I was capable of living mostly because I looked back down the hallway of my life and I saw that I had already been living my dreams and these, you know, small increments, the small bursts of authenticity, of my truth. I'd seen them and experienced them. So I refuse to go back to that again and or I've refused to run away from that again, and I really got honest with myself when I was like “Alright, we're gonna dig; we're gonna go and we're going to do the transformation.”

I don't know if I even answered your question at this point. But I would say if I was to summarize it, all the hardship was being honest with myself and taking the self awareness that kept meeting me and putting me at a crossroads and saying, I'm going to choose myself. I'm going to choose myself finally.

Caitie: I mean, of course, you answered my question, Candace, I asked, “What's the challenge that you've overcome that made you who you are today?” And I think so many people can relate to having this like, mind blowing, expansive, eye opening experience, and then coming back to either the place they lived up before or whatever a place like New York City, and feeling like they don't fit into the life that they thought they wanted before.

You do come at a crossroads at that point, because you have to decide, and I found this earlier this year, too. Do I want to be comfortable? Or do I want to keep my soul? There is a life where you get to feel comfort and keep your soul at the same time. But you have to get really uncomfy first and get out of the bullshit loop like you're saying, and that's what I really love about you and the energy that you bring, especially to your business and your social media.

You're like, you have this beautiful, compassionate, yet firm and confident way of telling people to stop bullshitting themselves. And I love that. And I want to hear more about that. You know, what does it mean to you? Because the theme I'm trying to explore today is aliveness, right? What does it mean to you to be fully alive? And how do you find that balance of calling yourself out on your bullshit, while also being kind to yourself?

Candace: Such a great question. The first thing that actually came to mind for me, in tarot, there's the wild, unknown deck, some really beautiful depiction that the artist has created of the wheel of fortune card. And it's sort of this glow that has tree branches and ribbons of different colors, weaving throughout the whole thing. And that image always really resonates with me. Because I think that it's such a perfect depiction of what life actually is.

Life has darkness. But there are stars that illuminate the sky, life has tangled up ribbons and branches that cross each other and overlap. And also, there's these small pockets of clear pathways that we can go through. And we have to be discerning, we get to be discerning about how we're going to navigate that. And we also get to be excited by all the possibility, even within something that could look dangerous, that could look scary, that can look challenging. And so I think one philosophy that I really grounded myself in is life is not designed to be clear cut. Right?

Life is complex, and it's intricate, intricate, and that's one of the beauties of the human experience. We have the capacity to hold so much at once. Often the things that we're holding are juxtaposing, so I can be joyous, I can be happy, excited, carefree, and at the same time, I can carry pain, I can carry heartache, I can carry grief, I just allow myself to hold both of those things, with the same level of presence to both and without judging either one of them.

It's allowed me to live a really beautiful lifestyle where I can at the same time say “Candace, you're awesome. I'm proud of you. You're crushing it and like, you're full of shit.” Right? It's that duality and looking at life, always through the lens of, not even duality, of like multitude, of abundance, of knowing that in this one thing, this one facing that I'm looking at. There's also so many more that I get to explore. So I think the heart of curiosity that I have is what allows me to hold space for the love toughness that I think you're describing.

Caitie: Yeah. Ooh, love toughness. Love it. And yeah, it's being fully alive is being able to hold space for so many things to be true at the same time, being able to acknowledge that you're doing a great job and you're also full of shit, being able to acknowledge that there's a lot of devastation and hard things going on in the world right now.

There's also a lot of really beautiful things going on in the world right now. And I think you do such a good job of bringing balance to all of that and. Another way that I know you are really good at creating space for complexity is in the work that you do. So you are a multi passionate entrepreneur — you do so many different things. I think so many people in the world are so distressed by this idea of “I gotta decide what I'm going to do, what I'm going to go all in on.” I would love for you to talk about that for a moment.

You know, how did you arrive at this place where you were just like, “You know what, I'm going to be a dream doula.” What does that mean? And also, I'm going to be a choreographer, and also, I'm gonna be a fitness instructor. And also, fuck it. I'm gonna live in New York and San Diego, like, how, how does that happen, Candace?

Candace: It's so interesting, I do this regular practice of going back to the past in my own life experiences and analyzing what led me to where I am today. The most recent time I did this, I realized, this has always been my nature, I just have refused to decide, like, my mom's like, what do you want for dinner? I'm like, “Everything.” She’s like, “Well, you can't have everything today. But can you pick one thing?” So it's really, it's really beautiful to see that this has kind of been a thread throughout my entire life.

But something that I also noticed is, it's required a level of persistence to hold on to that part of my nature, because our society does try to get us to choose, and it says that you have to pick a path, and you have to drive down that path forever. That's never resonated with me. And I think it's because I have always had this creative nature.

I grew up dancing. I've been dancing since I was three years old. And when you have the mind of a performer, and in the mind of a choreographer, you see things that don't exist; you see the inner workings of our of our minds in the movies or the plays that are going on inside of our heads, and then you try to bring those things to life. And so having been exposed to that at a young age, I then just began to do that in every other area of my life possible.

I went from creating movement, physicalize movement expression, to creating a lifestyle that also reflected that same mode of working. That meant that I was going to leave the public school system and be like, “Alright, parents, I'm going to a private school, and I'm going to pick the private school.” And here's the one that I want to go to, and I want to be a boarding student, my parents went, “What?” I was an only child growing up. They couldn't understand but always supported that creativity. And so my creative spirit has always led me, it's the thing that I prioritize more than anything.

I try to honor the fact that we have this unique capacity to literally make things that do not exist, and bring them into the world. I think it's really easy to imagine that as like, what's the, you know, piece of furniture that I'm making? What's the piece of art that I'm making, but our lives are the same thing? They're actually made up out of the same material and made of the same atoms as the more tangible things that we that humans create. So why not explore life in that way where you can make something out of nothing?

Caitie: And so basically, what you're saying is that you allowed yourself to have the same creative spirit with your life that you've always had with your dance and with your art. And if we could be creative with art and with dancing and things like that, why not also be creative with our lives? Because that is what's going to allow us to experience the full range of aliveness.

Candace: Exactly. I think that is what being a human is all about. We're rare in this capacity. Right? Like other species cannot do what we do in that regard. And so I think it's actually this sacred honor and sacred duty in my mind that I discovered by way of creating art. I was like, “This is wild that we can like, I can move my arm and translate an emotion or translate a point of view.”

I thought that was just so fascinating. And then as I studied what we have the capacity to do, and I realized that we can do that in our lived experience as we navigate life, it almost became like this, this urgent duty in my own life. So I wanted to say, “How magical and expressive and abundant can I get in my own life? But then also how do I help people?”

This is where the dream doula comes in. How do I help people birth the unique things that they're capable of creating, because the way that I see the world is unique and one of a kind, and the way that you see the world is unique and one of a kind. And sometimes we can get distracted from that. And sometimes it's dangerous to do that. So sometimes we need advocacy and support and guidance and care to be able to birth those unique creations in.

Also factoring in the influence of a death doula, what are the things that we need to make peace with later rest with, say goodbye to in order to birth these new things? So kind of using the influence of another role or another occupation of like, Oh, I'm just so touched and moved by that job. And I've done that for myself, sort of, in this metaphorical way. Now, I want to do that for others as well.

Caitie: I love this so much. And I know my audience. And I know that one thing that's going to come up in their heads is like, “Okay, well, it sounds good to create the life that you want and create the jobs that you want. But it's so hard for me to do it. How do I do it?” I want to call attention back to what we discussed before, with holding the space for two things to be true at the same time; I think that is how you get through the blocks of creating your own life.

I think a lot of people who feel stuck, knowing what they want to birth into the world, knowing what their dreams are, but feeling like they can't take the actions to get there. Or the people that are having a really hard time holding space to be really devastated along the way. And then also being really happy, like almost on the same day at the same time.

That's what this journey of creating the life you want to live looks like. And so I would love to hear, you know, as you got to this arrival point where you now are truly a multi-passionate entrepreneur, doing all the things traveling and living in multiple places. You know, how did you make space for all those complicated emotions to be there and not overwhelm you and not take you down? And I know something that you do, because what I've seen on social media is like, make a ritual of joy.

So how do you make a ritual of joy without just wiping over the negative stuff without being like toxic positivity? So I know, I just went a lot of places with that. It was like, five statements in a question. But take that where you will, Candace.

Candace: Love it. You know I think the first thing — and I love to use this metaphor of birthing something, because it just makes it so crystal clear, right? If someone has a child, they typically don't have the expectation that it's going to be painless. You get that your body literally transforms, there's something that is growing within you, your lifestyle has to shift in order to accommodate that thing throughout the pregnancy, and then once a child is born, then that whole person's universe shifts.

They buy the things to take care of it and get a new apartment or a new home to be able to house it. It radically shifts your life. And that comes with a lot. It comes with grief. It comes with physical pain, it comes with discomfort. And there's an expectation of that, right. We might not know the extent to which before we experience something like that, but we come to it expecting some degree of transformation and not a painless one, right.

So I always remind myself and the folks that I work with: to create something is to experience pain, particularly when it's the most beautiful thing that you can imagine, particularly when there's no roadmap for it. How on earth could I expect something that's created out of nothing to be painless? That just, to me, it seems unfathomable to have to pave a road that doesn't exist, right?

I have to clear space for it. That’s cost, that's labor intensive, I have the expectation that it’s going to come with pain. But when I'm intentional about it, and when it's aligned with what I know nourishes me and nourishes my soul that takes out the suffering, right? Because I can trace the effort. I can trace the pain back to something that I had my heart, my mind, my soul in pursuit of and so I think if we have a deep connection with ourselves and a deep awareness of, “What is it that I desire? What is it that brings me joy? What is it that lights me up from the inside out?

We build strategy, when we build things rooted in that perspective, it makes the pain worthwhile, and it makes the pain, something that we don't have to suffer from, because it's the investment, if you will, for the dream.

I think that my definition of joy might be a little bit different than what's probably written in the dictionary. I don't think joy is just happiness for happiness’ sake. I think it's contentment, knowing that there's a level of gratitude that we ought to have for just existing, right? It's like, how the fuck am I here again?

Caitie: I felt that was my whole soul.

Candace: That happened that I'm here in this moment. And I can, I can literally repeat that endlessly. It just blows my mind that I'm here. It really does. And so I think my joy is really rooted in the fact that I am grateful that I have another moment to be here to say that I am and experience the fullness of whatever I am gets to me in this moment.

Caitie: Ah, so good. What is ritualizing that look like? What does that look like in action?

Candace: I think my ritual is to be in flow, and in an honest, authentic space with myself. So I allow myself to be creative about what that means. Today, it meant that I was on a plane this morning, and I'm shifting into another transition period of my life. And that meant that like I spiraled out a little bit, I was overwhelmed by all the change that I was experiencing.

But because I've built community and because I've built practices, it also meant that I journaled and meant that I listened to a meditation and meant that I went to to visit business kind of containers or communities that have access to to support the developments that I'm trying to have in my business, and meant that I reached out to my mother, and meant that I connected with a friend, right, it has all of these things of connection to myself and to others.

My everlasting ritual, if I had to distill it down to something, its connection to self and to others, but the way that I play with that creative expression, the tangible ways that that manifests will shift every single day.

Caitie: I really like that connection to myself and to others. So connecting to yourself can look like journaling, it can look like yoga can look like dancing, it can look like I don't know, taking a deep breath and flailing your arms around.

Then, connection to others can look a million different ways to and that is in action. Just feeling gratitude for being here. Taking all those steps is feeling gratitude for being here, despite everything else that might be going on. And I really want to make sure that we kind of like drive this point home of creating something is going to come with pain. I want to go back there for a second because I do think so many people that are listening to this podcast are trying to create a life that they love.

That is the mission of my podcast, actually, is to help people fall in love with their lives. And I watched you in the time that I've known you create a new life for yourself by moving from New York to San Diego. And I think that's a really tangible example of creating a new life. And so I'm curious, like, what pain and challenges came with that creation of that new life? And how did you hold on to the ritual of joy as you were creating that I feel like that's one good example.

Candace: Oh, wow, this is good. And I don't share about this a lot. So I'm excited that you brought this up. This started from pain. And I don't think many people know that. I remember very vividly being in my small New York apartment and I'd known for maybe two years that I wanted to leave New York City, but again, I was trying to be the people pleaser. I had developed a community that I loved. I had a job that I was really happy with and it didn't, I didn't feel ready to go for all of the other ways that I was trying to serve my community right.

I think when I was talking about the the balance of connection to self and connection to others, I've always been really good at connecting to others, I've always been really good at honoring the people around me, I have struggled and to create a balance of that connection to myself and priority, prioritizing what's necessary for me. But I remember very vividly being in my apartment in New York City. And we were in the, in the pandemic, in the lockdown mode, we were heading into the first winter, and I've navigated depression what feels like my entire life.

I know that being in New York City regularly during the winter months, it's really a dark time for me, let alone isolation and a pandemic, and fear and all of those other things. So I was nervous as all get out about it. And, you know, we're, it's still the summertime. So it's not, it's not imminent, but it's present in my mind. And then I remember reading about Breanna Taylor's murder, and I saw myself so much in her story. She was charismatic. She was giving compassionate, confident, I just felt like I knew her. And to have a story of someone like that die in her bed alone.

It shook me to my core. And I had to get real with myself. And I said, if that is the way that I die, that happens to me, because I'm no different from her. I'm not more special, I'm not worth more, am not more worthy of life than she is and was. That's my story. That's how I end my life today. Am I going to be okay with it? And I wasn't.

There were so many things that I was like, I, I need to experience. The lifestyle that I'm living is a fraction of what I know I desire. And it wasn't like, vying to create something that, you know, just because I was vying to create it, it was these things that were silent and quiet within me that I just kept silencing and suppressing.

I knew that I wanted to experience and live. But I experienced a new level of urgency as I reflected on my life, through the lens of something really tragic. So this whole journey started with pain, I was exhausted, I was burnt out, I was terrified in the pandemic. And I was looking at someone whose life was taken from them. And it compelled me to make a shift. So, you know, I got to California, I got really lucky and blessed in the transition.

I was able to do a corporate partnership with FP Movement, and that like, basically paid for me to move. So I was like, “Okay, great. The energy is working with me. I'm feeling good.” And then I got there. And it was hard. I was alone. A lot of the time, I had to move with a close friend of mine, but she was living her own life and navigating her own transitions.

I was away from my family, I'd never lived in California before, I was just like, “I'm gonna do it.” I'd never been to San Diego, ever. I just felt compelled in my soul to go there. And I trusted my intuition. And I was glad I did. But it wasn't easy. There was so much learning, I don't drive. So I had to learn how to drive and learn how to navigate this whole new space that I've never explored before. There were a lot of lonely moments, there were a lot of dark moments.

But because I was listening to myself and I was honoring myself, and I was prioritizing that connection to me, it made every ounce of pain that led me to that space or worth it.

Caitie: So, so many good nuggets in there. I thank you so much for sharing that in such a deep and authentic way. I know a lot of people are gonna benefit from hearing that.A lot of people are feeling like, yeah, my life is good enough the way it is. But there are tiny desires that I'm suppressing, tiny things that I know I really want, that if I went for them, everything could explode and magnetize and I could serve in a much better way I could show up as a better person.

I'm curious, something you discussed on another podcast that I listened to recently was this idea of when you're fully tapped into what you desire and what you enjoy doing and what your gifts are, you can create this sort of ripple effect that will serve other people whether or not you're trying directly to serve other people. I think this speaks to what you were saying about that people pleaser mentality within you, that kept you in New York.

Once you were able to tap into your desires, clearly your life exploded, and you were able to actually serve more people, when you started serving yourself and honoring that connection to yourself. And so I would love to hear you speak on that a little bit more; this idea that if you're angry and upset by what's going on in the world, and I actually heard you speak about this in such a beautiful way, after the Roe v. Wade decision dropped a few weeks months ago. If you're upset by what's going on in the world, you have to remember that the world needs your gifts. That is the best thing we can do. And yeah, I'm gonna let you take it away. I think you know what I'm getting at?

Candace: Yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna answer this in two parts. But the first, you kind of talked about the tiny spaces that we might be ignoring for the sake of the status quo for the sake of people-pleasing. And I wanted to circle, circle that and double click it again, because I think I was reading something recently. And it said, those tiny cracks, right, those things create pain within us. Those cracks in the foundation of our existence can be incredibly detrimental, right?

If you look at a building, or you know, the foundation of a home, there are cracks in the foundation of that home. And they keep building and keep building, keep building, those tiny things become a huge problem. But if we begin to shine light through those tiny things, I think it's really marvelous, you can have like a tiny sliver of space.

If light shines through it, it can illuminate the other side of that space so brightly, right. So I think sometimes we tell ourselves like it's so small, can't matter that much. It's so small. And if it's amassed with other things, it can become a huge thing. But it's so small, if you shine the right amount of light through it, you can actually, like, explode in terms of how much light the world gets to experience through you just taking this tiny amount of effort.

So I like to share that because I think it's really easy to minimize. But there's such a big impact in both directions. When we say no to ourselves, we compound the pain that we experience. And then when we say yes to ourselves, in this instant, we can actually illuminate the world far beyond what we ever imagined, what we ever expect.

On the other side of the question that you asked, I think, again, with the creative power that's innate in us, I'm just like, we got to be talking about this more because I think we forget that we are creators, every single one of us, and sometimes people fear creativity, because it means that you have to be a dancer, or you have to be an artist or you have to be a poet. That's not actually the root of creativity, it means that we understand that there's a unique power in our human or humaneness to imagine something and make it a reality.

That's it. We do it every day, we wake up and we form sentences, that's being a creator, we wake up and we go and we embrace someone and we pour love into them through touch — that's being a creator. And if more of us were connected, and had an awareness of that capacity, we could be more intentional about how we're shifting the world through the lens of that creative power. And so I always tell people, if they're able to point the finger, if you're able to have frustration with something, if you're able to get angry about it, if you're able to get sad or irritated, you have a capacity to shift it. If you're able to see it, you're able to create something that can shift it.

And it doesn't need to be that you end world hunger, right? You don't have to come up with the multinational solution to ending world hunger. But you can create empathy for someone who's hungry, which might create an essay that touches someone's heart and inspires them to make a doughnut right, like that ripple effect of, of our creative power is so important. So we have to begin to take responsibility to take action in the unique ways that we can.

I'll share one story and then I'll and then I'll pause but I'm not a fighter, like it just like fighting has, I've never been really in touch with my anger, fighting overwhelms me, it stresses me out. Before I physically fight or even verbally fight, I will shut down and cry. That's like, my go to. And for a long time, maybe because of where I grew up, maybe because like I grew up in a very urban setting, fighting was common. And there was the expectation that that was how you would respond to being angry or that was how you would be, you would respond to being slighted. And it never resonated with me.

So it took me a long time to develop an awareness of the fact that I didn't have to fight, I could actually just tap into what was natural to me, and I could cry. And I'll never forget the first time that I cried in front of someone who was expecting me to fight them. It allowed them to break too. And I had this awareness of that person was coming at me with anger and frustration and in a fighter’s mode, because they were holding on to pain. And by me turning in and being authentic and honest about how I naturally wanted to respond to this moment and crying, they were able to express their pain too, in a new way.

It shifted what would have otherwise happened if I tried to show up in the way that they did or if I tried to show up in a way that was expected or typical or status quo. And so I guess I'll wrap up this story by saying the unique ways that you create are important, or the unique ways that you express that are different from other people are important, and they're so necessary, and more of us need to hold on to that power to create in the unique ways that we do.

So many of us are relinquishing the power that we have. So many of us are saying they took our rights, we have no rights, you have every right. Something that was created, really fucked up structure that was created that's falling apart. Well, who you are, and your essence hasn't fallen apart. Everything that you have the capacity to be is still there. And so now's the opportunity for us to show up differently and create something new in the space of what's crumbling.

Caitie: You’re amazing. Love this — being authentic and honest about how you want to respond to the situation that's in front of you that just really struck me. That is aliveness. That is being alive, authentically responding in a way that feels true to you. Whether that is through creating art that allows

I love what you're sharing and you are still fully intact, even when things around you seem to crumble. That is like another major theme that I really hope to convey on this podcast, is that you are still intact. Even when you lose your job, you're still home, when you lose your job, you're still home, when you lose a relationship, you're still whole when you lose these things. And I think what you're expressing is that you still have the capacity to be alive fully, because you still have the capacity to create.

Candace: That's exactly it. Caitie, I think what I want to like, shake the world and get us all to understand. If you're here, you're still alive. You can still feel if you can still breathe, if you can still have the awareness that you're that you're walking this earth or you're present on this earth, you're still alive, that can't be taken from you because of a shift in society, or because of a shift in a setting or shift in the wind. And I have to remind myself of this all the time.

I think that's why I anchor myself in gratitude for the capacity to connect with myself and the capacity to connect with others because that really helps me to have that deep awareness of the fact that I'm still here. The fact that I still am I am with the ellipses that go on infinity and beyond. Yeah, like I just I want us all to realize that that's what aliveness is the capacity to make a choice to be, to do, that’s endless. That's what aliveness is.

Caitie: Yeah, Oh, the capacity to make a choice. Oh, so good. Oh, I'm getting Untethered Soul vibes right now too. I really love this. I feel like I could talk to you, honestly, forever. And maybe I will call you back sometime soon.

Candace: I was just thinking that, like, we should just keep talking on all these discussions on stuff.

Caitie: Let's keep it going. Yeah. And I think you really brought it full circle by first of all saying I am again, just like you did at the beginning of the episode, beautiful full circle there. And also, this idea of, yeah, we have to tolerate all the nuances of life, we might be really devastated by the things that are happening around us right now, in the United States. It is not a great place. Politically speaking, the landscape is terrible, and inflation is happening. And this post pandemic world that we're living in, is chaotic in so many ways.

And also, we're alive. And we have the capacity to create and I really appreciate the way again, like I said, at the beginning, you have this beautiful ability to show up and say, Hey, there's a lot of shit happening. Let's name it, this is happening. This is happening, this is happening. And you can still do this, this and this and not like, feel bad about it. I guess I feel like that's what I'm seeing a lot of dialogue about is like, you should feel bad for being alive because there's so much crap happening in the world. And you're I just think your dialogue is one of the few I've seen that does such a good job of holding that space for all of it to be true at the same time.

Candace: It's we just have to remember that the colorful ribbons are still there. Yeah. And in the darkness, that image that I have to find it and share it with you. Right? Yeah. But even in the darkness, those colorful ribbons are there. And even with the colorful ribbons, the darkness is there. How can we hold and honor all of that? How can we be like just flabbergasted or mind blown by it? It's, it's wild to me that we get to live in experiences. I have like touching my skin like, “Whoa, what is this?”

So just honoring that honoring how unique and special and what a gift that is you feel all those things so deeply, right? I think even as empaths it can feel so shameful at times that we feel so much or exhausting, not shameful, exhausting. We feel a lot. But it's special. And it's a gift of feel all of those things. I don't have to make it mean anything. Yeah, just is. But I get to hold space for it to be what it is.

Caitie: Yeah, I think so many people roll their eyes at this idea of they're still like, even in the dark. Well, don't forget the other side, there's still dark, even in the light. Like we've got to remember both sides. Both are true. And whichever way resonates with you more. Okay, pick that. And they're both true, and we still have the capacity to be to be fully alive. Okay, so I'm going to try to wrap this up, I'm going to ask you my wrap up questions, which are just a little more light and fun. And just because of my own personal curiosity, I love morning routines.

And I love evening routines. And I also love emphasizing that no one does their morning routine every day and no one does their evening routine every day doesn't happen. But on the days, Candice that you do get to have some sort of morning, get up and go warm up time and wine downtime in the evenings. What would you love to do to take care of yourself to preserve this, like beautiful soul that you have?

Candace: I love this question. My favorite morning routine is so tiny and so subtle. But I love to just express gratitude for the things around me while I'm in bed. So I'll sit in bed. I'm like, “Wow, sun, you're so amazing and bright and glamorous. Look at those gorgeous flowers, look at that tree blown in the wind.” And I just like to talk to myself and to the things around me and express gratitude. And I do it in a playful childlike way and it's just the perfect, perfect way to kickstart my day.

And then end of day. That's not as consistent, end of day, but I really do love journaling and kind of like pouring out my thoughts. I tend to get really heady. I'm like there's a big philosopher in my mind. And so the stream of consciousness journaling is really helpful. And I love to go back and be like, oh, yeah, I just wrote that really stupid sentence. It doesn't make any sense. And it reminds me that I'm a human and I don't have to be perfect or polished or cerebral and I can just be

Caitie: What's the journaling prompt that really resonates with you that you'd like to start your journaling practice with?

Candace: Oh, that's a good question. I kind of think I mean, Kelly, Kelly Moszer has so many good ones. But I like any question that like, just allows me to imagine and explore like, what might be or what could be if you if you didn't have to do this? What would you do if you could pick anywhere in the world, where would you live? Those kinds of questions, I think, are really fun because they challenge our preconceived notions of what our life should look like. And for someone who is a people pleaser and perfectionist in recovery, it's really good to shine the light on the ways that I'm like, building up what I think I should the should could woods I try to resist those as much as possible. And so any question that kind of pokes at that is really helpful for me,

Caitie: That like pokes out your desires, like where, what would you do if you know you didn't have to do ABC? Or if you release the desire to please these people? All right, well, at the end of every show, I love to leave everyone with an experiment like an action that they can experiment, with to try to cultivate their sense of wholeness, fullness, and aliveness.

And then also a journal prompt. So Candace, beautifully has just shared with us that an experiment you can run is when you wake up in the morning, do a gratitude practice in your head in a childlike and ridiculous way. Like Candace just called the sun glamorous, like sun is so glamorous today. And look at that tree blowing in the wind, can you look around? How often do we actually look around our bedrooms? I think I mentioned this in the first episode, too. It's like, you have all this stuff in your room?

How often do you actually take time to look at it and be like, “Wow, that crystal that my friend gave me for my birthday!” Or “Wow, that candle that I was able to afford at TJ Maxx that smells so good.

And wow, that lamp that I've had since I was five years old?” Like, can you just look and appreciate the things around you with a playful gratitude. I think that's such a good experiment. And then a journal prompt is, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Or if you could work any job? What would it be? Or if you could go on any trip right now? Where would you go and just access your desires, and maybe you can poke at those places where you might be depriving yourself of a wider life. I really liked that.

Candace: Yeah. And just to kind of additional layers to add to that, for that first one. I really encourage people to vocalize that. externalize it, if you can pull out your voice recorder while you're doing that, and then play it back to yourself. There's something really powerful about hearing our own voices, declare gratitude and declare the things that we want. So for both of those practices, like listen to yourself, share these things.

Listen to yourself, call the sun glamourous. And then for the second practice, invite- I feel like we don't do this often that's been invite yourself. Is there any desire that I'm not honoring? Is there anything that I know that I want, but I'm not giving myself permission to say I want nine times out of 10, there is something that we've suppressed that we've ignored that we boxed up. And all we need to do all of our all our, our beingness needs is permission to honor it. So I dare ya.

Caitie: Thanks so much for sharing that I've certainly had a very profound experience with that this year, just just letting go of what I thought I needed to do the desires I thought I needed to suppress and just kind of letting myself go for it. And so that really, that really resonates with me on a soul level. So I appreciate you saying that. And I feel like there's a reason why we were drawn together for this conversation today.

Can you just share where you would love for people to find you and connect with you. And if there's anything that you're doing right now or anything you're offering right now, please feel free to take it away and close us out with that.

Candace: Absolutely. Caitie, thank you again for having me. I'm so honored to be here and to be able to have just such a meaningful, fruitful, playful conversation. So thank you for facilitating this. I would love for folks to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm super active on LinkedIn. I love to actually develop one on one kind of ongoing relationships there. Candace Taylor. I'm also on Instagram @candeeshoppee. I love making content and reels and things there. And then lastly, I have a newsletter.

So if you had to either LinkedIn or to Instagram you'll find my newsletter. I send out weekly Joy drops on Monday evenings, inspiration, insights and info about how you can connect with me and the things that I'm trying to create in the world. And then in terms of what my current offerings are, I have a dream life loading creative residency, which is a six week connection with me, you get invited into my inner circle, and get kind of on the demand on demand live coaching with me as much as you need it.

With the desire to, one, birth that unique creation that's within you, birth that unique lifestyle or that unique job opportunity or business opportunity that you want, and also lay to rest some of the roadblocks and obstacles that might be in the way of you creating that. So that's my current offering. I'm in love with it. The clients that I'm working with in that not really container but orbit, I guess, have just been experiencing some tremendous breakthroughs and winds mostly in the connection with themselves, which it feels just so powerful to engage in. So I would love anyone who's curious, explore that hit me up.

Caitie: Yay. Thank you so much for offering that Candace and I, my friend Celine worked with you and had an incredible testimonial. And I will just say that being in your orbit being in your network in general, shows me just how much of a gift it has to be to work with you one on one. So I'm really excited for the people who are going to find you through this interview. And I will talk to you again soon.

Candace: I know Yes. Yes, for sure. 100%. Thank you so much.

Caitie: All right. Thank you so much, Candace. Take care.


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