In a world that seems to be constantly telling you to become something you’re not, I believe in everything that you already are.
unapologetically you: embracing the lifestyle, work, relationships and play that make you the “youest” you that you possibly can be.
I believe that being “unapologetically you” is your ultimate freedom. Where lifelong joy is found. Where your love is sown.
But to discover this place–where the lives we live become beautiful expressions of our inner selves and our dreams and desires–you need to go through some serious breaking.
Those moments, days, weeks or even years of breaking that have befallen you. Times of heartbreak. When you’ve questioned everything you’ve ever worked towards. Periods of stumbling and struggling. When you say, “I have no idea what I’m doing this for.”
But through all the doubting and suffering and breaking, some glimmering slice of truth starts to shine through the broken shell.
I believe that that glimmering slice of truth–call it your soul, your unabashed love, your unfettered wishes and dreams that have long been nestled in your heart but remained hidden for fear or hesitation or procrastination–is where you have to live from.
I believe that your greatest work of art is the life that you’re living.
As a lifelong writer, nine-time published author and teacher of vinyasa yoga, I use writing, artistry and creative entrepreneurship (which is a fancy term for “working for myself”) to teach you how to shape your life and work into rewarding journeys within themselves.
I believe that writing and creative self-expression are wonderful vehicles through which we can begin to really challenge everything that we think we know about ourselves–and our world.
Through creative practices and expressing ourselves, we give ourselves the gift of deeply exploring the vast worlds of emotion and thought, dreaming and ideas that are contained within our magnificent minds.
Self-expression is a hammer and chisel that we can choose to wield to break through the fog of unknowing. We can shatter the questions that we haven’t yet seemed to be able to answer. We cut the raw block of stone that is our potential and shape what freedom, truth and joy actually mean to us.
Authentic self-expression is an outpouring of truth that’s long been nestled in the deepest, darkest caverns of our soul. As we pour, and pour, and pour, we begin to discover this internal source of love, presence and joy.
That source is something we can tap into throughout our lives.
What’s more, I believe that the stories we tell ourselves become the realities we live. I believe that the words we use with others are the threads that knit a truly happy, healthy life–that each word, sentence and paragraph is it’s own audacious act of giving, faith and love.
Growing up, I had always struggled to understand what was going on in my head. My emotions ran rampant during tough times. I felt like a slave to my own thoughts. A victim to feeling.
That’s when I discovered the power of writing.
Writing helped me see what I was thinking–and inspired me to choose my thoughts.
I’ve always been an emotional guy–acutely attuned to feeling, compassion and empathy.
If you’re the same, you know what it means to have felt like a “victim” to your natural, instinctive source of feeling. I think it’s more a soul-quality than something of upbringing–though, for me, you might be able to chalk part of it up to my Irish-Italian ancestry (what I’ve always joked is a genetic “Molotov cocktail” of passion, attitude and emotion).
Writing helped me changed that.
The more that I self-expressed onto paper, I began to see physical representations of the seemingly chaotic thoughts and emotions and ideas that ran rampant in my head. After I saw it on paper and in physical form, the chaos seemed less chaotic. Less unbridled and unwieldy.
As I wrote, I began to realize that, no different than choosing what to express onto paper, I was actually choosing what thoughts and emotions and feelings I was experiencing in my head and heart.
I wasn’t a victim of my thoughts; I was never a slave to my emotions. I was their owner–their creator.
I had never before realized that I was always–even subconsciously–choosing my own thoughts, emotions and ideas.
That’s how writing empowered me to choose what to think, say, do and believe.
Writing became my source of understanding, self-awareness and inner peace. I even pulled myself out of depression at the age of 23 through the art of writing–a hard-fought, long, uphill climb that I chose after defiantly flushing the prescription drugs down the toilet. I outgrew anxiety. I went from an unemployed 23-year-old to a fully self-employed entrepreneur by 27.
These few years later, my life’s work is all about teaching the curious arts of written word, spoken word and creative self-expression as profoundly accessible methods by which we are infinitely capable of becoming more self-aware of who we already are, and what we deeply desire, and everything that we’re always capable of.
It’s about discovering your wholeness within yourself–the audacious reality that your truth is dying to be realized; the calling we each have to simply be whole and real within ourselves; the unabashed human desire we possess to love and be loved.
It’s about being unapologetic about who you are and what you dream.
You might not guess that I come from a short-lived career in politics.
Born and raised in the great state of Rhode Island, from 2001 to 2009 I invested my young life into the world of politics and public service with the devout belief that wholesome leadership and serving others was the greatest way that I could become a part of positive change in our world.
(Yeah, I’m one hell of a doe-eyed idealist.)
But the reason that I sought a career path in public service for all those years was to validate a natural calling that I felt since I was a child to help people.
So I journeyed. Searched. Tested, tried, succeeded, failed, quit.
I spent four years in student government, captained a championship lacrosse team in high school, joined the United States Army ROTC program, became editor-in-chief of my collegiate student newspaper and worked in five state and federal offices including The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
In 2009, just one year out of the gates of my college education, I quickly fell into a serious depression and a deep crisis of identity. Suddenly, I was in the throes of a young and (seemingly) promising career but felt like I was dying on the inside. I was empty. My life felt completely meaningless. Like I could disappear and no one would notice.
With my self-belief giving out on me–and, still believing that I could do more with my life, even if it was on my own–I chose to quit my job in the middle of a 100-year recession. That decision to abandon my career path altogether was one I knew I could never go back on.
I committed myself at 23-years-old to become an author–somehow–and start my own business–somehow.
I believed then that I was already capable of leading based upon how I lived my life. I looked around the political world and saw a graveyard of men and women who wished once like I did to do good, to lead and to serve. Somewhere, they compromised. Somewhere, they began to think that they needed to wait 10, 20, or 30 years to start doing good.
Somewhere along the line, they began to believe that you could only lead from job title and wealth, expertise and power, with fans and followers–I believed, I could start to lead without them.
Today I know it’s true: by leading by example and devoutly serving the world, we can each begin to forge lasting legacies of love.
The journey in life is the greatest reward. Let’s start walking together.
In addition to running my online writers’ group The Literati Writers, I’m always working on a book (or two) and a big project (or three) behind the scenes.
I’m on a mission to help writers and artists make their creative journeys more rewarding. Regardless of title or profession or “creative ability,” I believe that we can each harness the power of words, communication and expression to tap into our inner selves, discover our needs and more fluidly move towards our goals and dreams in life.
I’m big into collaboration, guest-teaching and traveling to lead workshops for great groups of people. I prefer an intimate setting to the big stage, but accept sparse speaking gigs if the cause is right.
If you’re planning an event, conference, workshop or run your own creative space or yoga studio, I invite you to explore my various workshop offerings and in-person experiences–all of which are designed to be highly accessible and highly engaging for men and women of all backgrounds and interest–and inquire if I’d be interested in teaching.
Whether on this blog, through my books, alongside The Literati Writers or at an in-person workshop, I’m here to help you harness creative self-expression as the means to become more unapologetically you.
In gratitude for you being you,