Nicolae Tanase: Rick, what is the meaning of life?
Rick Clemons: I’ve been asked numerous times, by many people, “What do you think the meaning of life is?” Rather than be flippant and answer back, “It’s all relative,” I’ve found that the best answer is “Living a fully self-expressed life and being fully in your .1ness!”
Ok. I bet you’re scratching your head and wondering, “What is .1ness?” I could be a jerk and leave you in the dark, but jerkiness is not part of my .1ness. My .1ness is full of love, compassion, and understanding. So, what is .1ness?
Science tells us that 99.9% of our DNA is identical as humans. Ok, I get that. All our cells, bones, liver, kidneys, etc. are pretty much the 99.9% that makes us all similar. Aw, but that .1% is our special sauce, our unique tastes, that different-ness that makes us all so very, very unique and individual.
You’re probably starting to get a little bit of the picture about this .1ness stuff, but what does it have to do with the meaning of life?
It’s actually quite simple, even though we could make it quite complicated if we wanted to, but let’s not. Deal?
The meaning of life, operating in our .1ness, starts with honoring our sameness. It’s about getting each other at a deep level and seeing we are more alike than different. Yet, that’s really, really, really hard for us as humans to do sometimes.
We equate sameness with the shackles of conformity. The two are not equal or on the same playing field. When we can’t get someone to “be the same and conform” we get bent out of shape, feel threatened, and become defensive when someone doesn’t live their life exactly as we’d like them to. Of course, often the reason we get bent out of shape is because allowing others to live their life, their way, makes us uncomfortable. “Conform, conform, conform,” we say, so that we don’t have to feel yucky about the others in our lives. Yet, if we just allowed our sameness to prevail, only to point that it makes doing day-to-day life stuff easy, and allow our differentness to step forward, the world might then become the peaceful, loving place where all can co-exist. But it starts with honoring our sameness but not demanding unconscious conformity.
Once the sameness energy is channeled in the proper manner then it’s time to dig our differentness. Embrace the awe and wonder of how different we are as humans. Let the goose bumps pop through the skin at the site of a breathtaking work of art, even if it is not your own personal style. Allow the voices of conformity to quiet in the presence of different points of view on race relations, world hunger, and teen suicide. Invite the uniqueness of someone to step forth so their gifts can be admired for all to see, even if their gift is nothing you have interest in.
By digging our own differentness begin to dig deeper into the beauty of digging others differentness. The more we admire and embrace differentness, the less likely we are to let differentness drive us apart, which in turn leads to the last pillar of .1ness – oneness.
Simple math tells us that 99.9 + .1 = 100. Correct? With this simple formula in mind, if you allow yourself to step away from the crowd of conformity, dig your differentness, and dive completely into the drawer of your .1ness and start bringing out the uniqueness of your self, you then are playing in the world and in life at 100% – 99.9 +.1 = 100!
As you wallow in the joy, peace, and serenity of being 100% your truest self, fully self-expressed, you’ll find that it is much easier to set aside judgments towards others and their differentness. Why? Simple. You’ve learned to accept and embrace yourself just as you are, so now that you’ve begun working that muscle, it is much easier for you to also accept and embrace others just as they are in their .1ness.
.1ness of self leads to acceptance of .1ness of others, which in turn leads to embracing one another just as we are. The more we are able to be just as we our with ourselves and others, the more we become a unified oneness of humanity, consciously accepting our sameness, digging our differentness, and embracing our oneness.
So you ask me what is the meaning of life? My answer is to fully step into living our .1ness so that as humans we fully embrace the sacredness of sameness, differentness, and oneness.
~Rick Clemons, The Gay Men’s Life Coach
Rick is an author, life strategist, speaker, podcaster, blogger, and host who, as Lemonodd says, “Takes you to the party, the pulpit, the wake and back to the party.” Learn more about Rick and .1 Project at PointOneProject.com
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