I’ve often wondered what being unstoppable in today’s society is truly like.
Like many memes and slogans being bandied about the internet, unstoppable is often linked right up there with being a “wolf woman,” to borrow a phrase from the bible of women’s empowerment, Women Who Run with the Wolves. Like everything else chancing across my awareness this afternoon, I have to pause and ask:
What does that even mean?
Being unstoppable is a tall order, especially with seven billion and counting people on the planet. It begs the question, how is there ever any room for any one of us?
In the interest of supporting the mosaic of empowered femininity and our sisterhood in general, here is my take on being unstoppable—perhaps you will find traces of yourself resonating:
>> Above all, being unstoppable means having a level of determination that will outlast every obstacle, problem, crisis, or any energy discouraging you otherwise. It means above, beyond, and through. Determination to follow through—not at all costs, Wendy Byrde from “Ozark” style—but to keep going well after the setbacks. It is the one force that will keep fuel in your tank when the engine starts to sputter or the motorcycle you’re riding is stopped for the Bridge Ahead sign. It’s part of a commitment that’s seated in a deeper knowingness, once you’ve found your path in life.
>> Being unstoppable means cultivating self-love, self-compassion, and self-awareness. It means being able to love yourself when everyone you’ve yet met in your life has said “No, thank you!” to the intrinsic being of who you are. It means loving yourself anyway for being sensitive, unique, out-of-the-norm, flawed, crippled, diseased, injured, afflicted, or anything that takes you out of that oh-so-pretty-life that everyone else seems to be living. It means to actively dialogue with yourself every moment of every day. Asking yourself, “How can I be my own best friend in this moment?” when everyone else has told you that you’re overly sensitive, dramatic, uneducated, too poor, too old, too-too…oh, just too anything.
>> Being unstoppable means cultivating resilience. When you have work in life to which your soul is committed—and you’re in it for the long-term—you need a strong sense of knowing that some days require allowing yourself to simply fall down. It might take a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, even a few months to get back up and try again. It might take refocusing and refining, revisioning or replenishing. It may take a complete break from what you believed to be your soul’s deepest calling. When you’re in it for the long haul, resilience is the one aspect of yourself that gives flexibility to a broken soul and song to a fractured spirit.
>> Being unstoppable means reaching out and simply saying, “I just don’t know.” Think, Shunryo Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. We start out on our soul’s work—let’s say, in my own case, it’s writing on behalf of animals in need—with an unwavering degree of certainty, a continent’s worth of commitment, and an endless horizon of passion. We create maps and outlines, spreadsheets and notes. We sign up for online seminars on this or try new-online-that, create social media accounts and websites we hope we can drive traffic to (Oh, can we learn enough about SEO already, or have we moved on from hashtags?), or connect with yet another alleged supporter we think will lead us on to the next step. We find those beautifully ethereal, inspirational, goddess-like human potential leaders/speakers. We enroll in a year’s worth of MasterClass teachings. We show up for life coaching/self-actualization courses.
You get the picture.
We invest in our resources because we’re invested in our soul’s longing, our mind’s dream. We heard the wolves howling on our vision quest, and we had the spiritual awakening calling us forward alone and naked into our new and brutal reality without so much as a cloak to protect ourselves. We’ve wandered and we’ve tried, we’ve succeeded some but just not quite as much as we had hoped.
We go forth, anyhow, with the innocence and inspiration born of a child newly set free in an amusement park with an unlimited all-day pass to ride all those spectacular roller coasters.
And then, it happens. If it hasn’t yet, it will—and don’t worry when it does—because it happens to any one of us who cares enough to pursue what matters deepest in our soul. We live in a world, in a time where the soul’s longings are as mismatched to the pragmatic, topside quotidian life as a bad date from our time on Tinder.
When that happens, we just have to lie down on our bamboo floor in an empty loft out in a grassy field under a Charlie Brown clouded sky, or wherever else your mind can feel a gentle breeze caressing your face and the warmth of the autumn sun holding your heart, and say:
I just don’t know.
Then we get up when we’re ready—trusting the resilience is accumulated sufficiently to build the foundation of who we are becoming—and stroll gently back to our work space, where we’ll create a new plan to begin again.