“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.” –Thomas Merton
You are all that you need.
(Saying something like this scares me. When I say it, even I am not sure I entirely believe it. But here’s why I think I do.)
I believe that what you want most isn’t to “pursue” happiness–we don’t aspire most to “live” our passions, or to find our purpose, or to quit our jobs and jet off to Hawaii.
These dreams and romantic notions are all pointing us towards one goal, one wish, one singular dream that embodies all dreams.
I believe that what we want the most is to be ourselves–fully and unapologetically–because some part of us already knows that being the entirety of who we are by our nature is our highest ambition.
Some sliver of you knows that you are everything that you need. More than you can imagine.
I believe that happiness and joy dawn from self-acceptance; that passion is how our inner truth manifests itself in the world and with people; that our purpose is to be the entirety of who we are, wholly and without apology; that we wish to quit our jobs and set off to a tropical paradise because, in the end, we know that wherever we are today is not truly and fully honoring all that we are capable of becoming.
Maybe nothing is wrong in your life these days, but nothing feels quite “right.” Not aligned. Not integrated.
You feel like you’re at 60%, 70%, 80%.
You want more–because you want “whole.”
Anything less than that simply will not do.
What does it mean to live The Unapologetic Life?
That’s the question I discussed live on the phone with three dozen callers last Monday night to kick off my latest project, The U Crew.
The U Crew is a support group for my readers that features a private Facebook group and a monthly group coaching call with yours truly–it’s a simple, affordable ($25/month), easily accessible online community that you can tap into for support, guidance and connection as you strive to live a life that’s “Unapologetically You.”
Which brings me back to the kick-off call that I hosted last week.
Over 75 minutes, we explored some key fundamentals of what it means to be “Unapologetically You,” dissecting aspects of the philosophy and ideals of being “whole” and “complete” within yourself.
Stream the entire call right here:
What does it mean to be Unapologetically You? How can we get there?
In this call, I set up some principles and big ideas–they’re listed and explained below. Click play, take a listen, and as you listen read through my notes. I want you to ask yourself: what does being “Unapologetically You” mean to you? What would it feel like? How would it begin to change your life, everyday?
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The Unapologetic Life, In Theory…
- Start where you are.
- Just be you. (Know Thyself)
- Know that “Who you are” will always be changing.
- Be honest to your changes and evolutions.
- Kindly reintroduce your “new” self to others, whenever you feel called to.
When we’re talking about the “pursuit” of anything–a goal, a dream, an idea, a story, a book, a new business–you can only start from where you are. Even if that goal is becoming “more you.”
Oftentimes, we wait.
We wait until the end of a conversation to say something meaningful. We forget that “the show” we witness from a performer on stage isn’t this performer’s beginning point–it’s one example of the culmination of thousands of hours of starting points and practice, done over and over again. We might sooner discount how much we’re capable of doing, giving, or sharing right now, choosing instead to wait for some future place when we “have more” to give.
Wherever you are, begin.
This is only starting point you have. Right here. Right now. Who you are. In this moment. Today.
Whenever you begin, understand that as you change and grow and evolve and shift, who you are will change, too. Nothing about us as human beings is as sure and certain as we like to think. We’re always changing. And that’s a good thing. Because it means anything and everything is infinitely possible.
Nothing is stuck. Static. Stagnant.
We are fluid and in flow with this dance called life. Start here.
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The Unapologetic Life, In Practice…
“I don’t think I felt at home on Earth as a human until I walked into a comedy club.” –Jerry Seinfeld
- Start with self-awareness.
- Practice things that make you feel “more you.” Alive. Awake.
- Repeat those practices routinely–whether daily, almost-daily, or weekly.
What are practices? A practice is a teacher of self, within itself.
A practice is an ongoing, never-ending activity–a study, a philosophy, a passion or pastime like writing or yoga, dance or music, playing with your kids or spending your time in nature. Practices are everywhere.
What is so special about a practice?
A practice is a source of “self” that you can tap at any time. A practice gives us the opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror. You’ll learn something about where you are in this moment, how you’re feeling, what you need and where you’re at, every single time.
That’s the magic of our personal practices, passions, hobbies and pastimes–when we engage in them, they bring us to a state of presence and reflect back to us a greater understanding and awareness for where we are in this moment.
As you get better at your practices–better at yoga, better at writing, better at skiing or knitting, your passion or profession–you gradually learn how to more fluidly maneuver with ease and lightness, in spite of the fact that physical or emotional effort is always required.
One of my yoga mentors, Coral Brown, often says that a practice teaches you to “find the ease within the effort.”
In yoga or any physical activity, the more we practice asana (physical poses), the more we develop muscle memory and familiarity that helps our bodies automate the skill, the posture, the pose.
When we practice things that make us feel more “ourselves,” we develop a similar “mental-emotional” muscle memory: a familiarity that helps us navigate without the amount of effort and energy it once took when we were novices.
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The Unapologetic Life, In the Lives of Others…
- Be a force for giving.
- Use love as your currency.
- The effects of the love you give are not always visible, or rewarded.
- Remember to receive just as much as you give.
To start this piece, I wrote, “You are all that you need.”
That statement is only half true.
It’s a starting point. It’s where you have to begin. With you.
To start, to begin, to commence this personal commitment of transformation from incompleteness to becoming more and more “Unapologetically You,” you are all that you need. That’s where it starts. But that’s only half of the equation.
That other half is your life amongst others.
With people. Among people. Connected to people. With friends, in conversations, cultivating human-to-human bonds through your work, what you create, how you lead your life.
This is, ultimately, “the point” of why you’re so determined to become “Unapologetically You.” We all long for a deeper purpose beyond just existing. We all long for “wholeness” within ourselves, and to feel “whole” and complete in our connections to others.
We’ll never feel “whole” as human beings if our lives do not, in some ways, help and serve, lead and give, love and share and allow us to simply be present with others.
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Which starting point speaks most loudly to you?
What is calling you?
If there were no right or wrong answers on where or how to begin being “Unapologetically You,” what one simple step would you take today to start, restart or ignite your journey?
P.S. — I’ll be in Austin, Texas this Wednesday (3/19) to lead a great workshop called “How to Write Your ‘Unapologetically You’ About Page,” and I want to see you there! I’ll be helping you integrate “spiritual alignment” into your writing, storytelling and About Me page. Tickets start at $85, and spaces are limited but we’ll also be hosting virtual attendees, live! Find details and ticket information at BettyJeanBell.com »
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