Have you ever dealt with feelings of not being ‘good enough’ or realizing that you’re driving yourself mad to live up to someone else’s standards?
I’ve been there too, we all have; and it is A. Silly to live your life up to someone else’s standards and B. Isn’t going to make you fulfilled until you live up to the thing that will truly make YOU happy.
When you’re always trying to be what you ‘think’ everyone wants you to be it is literally like running on a hamster wheel: getting tired AF, but really not getting anywhere in terms of actually being happy.
Next week, the girl who is taking over Good Morning Beautiful morning inspirations had built her WHOLE business showing women how to unapologetically be themselves, and showing women the power that you have when you start to think that way!
I’m so excited to get the opportunity to pick the brain of this super inspiring girl boss!
Hey Jess! So excited to have you on yes supply. Can you introduce yourself, and share what you do?
Hey! I’m Jess Davidson of Unapologize.com, and I’m a certified Life + Permission Coach. If we sort of boil it all down that really means I work with women who are just completely over the status quo and are feeling compelled to have greater permission in their lives to be and do and have the things that they really honest-to-god want for themselves. As for me, I’m a big believer in champagne, a fangirl of gluten, and a lifelong lover of just being contrary as often as possible. I live with my husband, Alex, in Denver, CO.
What is your blog?
I officially published the first post on Unapologize back in February 2014, although it had boiling up inside me for a long time by that point. I had graduated from college (as a Philosophy major) a couple years before and, being out in the “real world,” I felt so out of touch with what really mattered to me on a personal level. I was getting caught up in the Work-Eat-Sleep-Repeat cycle, where I was more and more concerned about just bringing home a paycheck, and I was frustrated that I didn’t have a space to be able to explore my own beliefs, my own philosophy and thoughts and worldview as a young adult.
Unapologize started off as my own outlet for that exploration. It originally fed off the premise and ideas of my undergraduate thesis, which is really to say that it was all about applying existentialism to our everyday lives. Back then in the beginning I wrote a lot about our generation, each of us as individuals, needing a “livable philosophy.”
Unapologize still reflects those early values, but in a less academic way now. My goal for Unapologize is that it should be a place for women to be provoked. I’m not all that interested in inspiring people (although if that happens, then that’s great). I would much rather provide a place for your buttons to be pressed and your assumptions challenged, to publish something the only appropriate response to which is to take a step back and really observe your own life and patterns.
The work I do in coaching with women is really based around the same end goal. About a year into blogging, I sought out coach training and certification because I wanted to be able to look someone in the eye and ask the uncomfortable questions that no one else in their life would do them the service of asking. The big questions. The hard questions. I have a natural tendency toward those uncomfortable questions and also being able to recognize where those things are within people, to just push the right point where everything can come out. Like a massage therapist who pushes on a knot in your back, and it’s painful at first until it’s released, and then that feeling afterward is like, “Oh, look. I forgot what it feels like not to be carrying this pain and this stiffness with me. And it’s so much better now.”
“Oh, look. I forgot what it feels like not to be carrying this pain and this stiffness with me. And it’s so much better now.”
What are your morning rituals?
I tend to be much more creative and productive later on in the day (and even late into the night sometimes), so my mornings are really my time to start off slow and build momentum into the late morning/early afternoon when things really get going for me.
When I first wake up, I almost always start by putting on a 10-minute guided meditation. I’m really loving how tranquil and soothing the meditations from the Rituals app are at the moment: they’re perfect for my groggy mind. After that, I’ll usually pull a tarot card, just simply asking what message I need to hear that day. This ritual has become one of my favorite tools for exploring who I am today and in this season of my life, what’s important to me, how I can better understand myself, etc. Whatever comes up serves almost like a daily prompt for reflection and inquiry.
After that, if the weather’s looking good, I’ll head out to the nature trail by our place and have a long walk. This is almost always the best time of the day for me to fit in some learning, so I usually listen to a podcast or audiobook. I’m currently listening to Adyashanti’s “The End of Your World” on Audible, and holy wow. I’ve had so many insights. But it’s usually like that … being out in nature, being in rhythm, and having some new input usually sparks things and it becomes a game to see if I’ll remember any of them by the time I get home! (And, man, I wish I could tell you I usually win, but no dice.)
After that is breakfast time and as I’m cooking, I’m usually making up my Be-Do-Have list, which is a new list every day (okay, okay … almost every day) of all the things I want to be, do, and have in this season of my life. It keeps me grounded and focused, while also giving me a little bit o’ inspiration before I get into the rest of my day!
How does starting your day the right way impact your whole day, week, and complete lifestyle?
Let me start off by saying: I am a procrastinator like WOAH. If I have a month to get something done, you can bet your ass I’m gonna be finishing it up on day 29. Ever since I really started playing with my morning routine, figuring out what works and feels good to me, and then making my morning routine a priority … I have been ludicrously, absurdly, insanely more productive in my days.
So as far as how starting my day the right way impacts my day, week, and lifestyle goes? All I can say is YES. It’s not about how it affects my life, it’s that it just does. It transforms the way I show up and who I am being during my days. And, you know what, starting every day off with things I like to do just generally makes me a happier, more interested person in life. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
What is your MISSION STATEMENT? How are you going to change the world/other people’s lives and make a positive impact?
Great question. Here, again, I think I would just say that I’m not interested in changing other people’s lives. But I am interested in empowering them to see that they already have everything they need within them to change their own lives.
At the end of the day, I know that I can’t necessarily control what impact I have on other people. If I am only going to be satisfied by inspiring someone or changing someone’s life, then I’m setting myself up for some big, deep feelings of inadequacy because guess what? Whether or not someone feels inspired or that their life has been changed is not within my control. I’m not responsible for how someone else feels.
My big mission for my work, what I hope to do and create myself (the things I do have control over), is to create a space for those big questions. To share my story and the questions that have impacted me, so that someone else can be affected by them if they want to be. My big mission is to do my best to live by example, to demonstrate that my own life has been infinitely improved by committing myself to my own personal livable philosophy.
It’s not about wanting to “convert” anyone to my philosophy. But, maybe, by demonstrating that I’m most myself when I stick to my own philosophy and values, then maybe someone else out there will see that all she needs to do to feel more like herself is to figure out her own philosophy and values, too, to ask herself the big questions, and to change her life if she wants to.
What are the steps it took you to get to where you are now?
More important than the steps, I think, has been the overall attitude I’ve had to have to get to where I am now. I was always the kid, the teen, the young adult who said, “Don’t tell me what to do.” I’ve had to commit myself to relentlessly following my own curiosities, my own unknowns, my own opportunities to know myself better … even (and especially) when that took me in directions that veered off the “normal” path.
Something I think a lot of people misunderstand about a word like “unapologetic” (and like Unapologize) is that they think it’s either about: being fearless —which they don’t think they are; or, being selfish — which they don’t want to be. But it’s really not about either of those things.
What it is about is owning, all the way down to your very atoms, the responsibility that is yours alone to experience this lifetime as YOU, with the unique gifts and talents and interests and quirks and foibles that you have here as you in this lifetime. Owning that responsibility in the face of fear and the possibility of being called selfish. (For the record, I think there’s an important distinction between selfishness and self-fullness.) Living an unapologetic life is about honouring the lifetime that you have here and now, and not squandering it or taking it for granted by trying to be someone or something you’re just not.
So, yes, I’ve had to make hard, difficult, terrifying choices that kept me on that path of honouring myself. But the steps I’ve taken to get to where I am are secondary to just trying — always, relentlessly, unapologetically — to be most myself. Always, always, always.
What is your YES! What kind of life do you want to live?
Right now, my YES looks a lot like just following my energy and my inspiration. I’ve been in a crazy creative/productive period this year, and right now the life I’m interested in living is really all about being open to whatever ideas and projects need to be created right now, and making that as easy as possible. Sometimes the fierceness and velocity of everything trying to come through me feels a bit manic and overwhelming, but I remind myself that this is the season I’m in and I have faith that this season is bringing me forward to greater things in the future that I can’t even imagine right now! It’s just about focusing on One Big Thing at a time and being as myself as I can in the process.
Where can we keep up with you?
I’m @unapologize pretty much everywhere! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even Tumblr ! And, of course, catch me over at Unapologize.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
I can’t wait to wake up to your morning inspirations next week, Jess!
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