Who Am I Talking To?
I’m writing this post the day before my 49th birthday, which is (was) on October 3, 2017. As has become customary for me, I’ve spent several days reflecting on everything that has happened this past year. My reflections have put me through a whole range of emotions and I’ve been asking lots of questions; but the question that comes up most frequently is, “Who am I talking to?””
I had to think hard for an answer.
Before I get to that, I will first say that I’ve spoken to many audiences over the years. If there’s one theme that has connected all of them, it’s been a desire to not just talk about, but also to be an example of joyous living.
I don’t think I’ve ever publically defined what joyous living means because my definition is unique to me—as it is to every person on the planet. However, if I were to attempt a broad definition, I would say that joyous living is a commitment to acting on the decisions that are best for YOU.
I call that “joyous selfishness,” or “mindful selfishness” as a substitute.
To clarify, I see joyous living as a commitment to saying yes to you first, because by doing so, you’re freeing yourself to be the person you want to be. In the process of being authentically you, you can have an impact because you’re sharing the best aspects of who you are with the world.
Well, a big side benefit for me was that I was able to stop trying to please people whose criteria for being pleased was constantly shifting. Another benefit was that I stopped worrying about what other people thought about me. Along the way I found a level of authenticity and alignment that had eluded me most of my life.
Being aligned and authentic was especially important for me because I was a man who didn’t always fit into the mold of what a man should be.
Men in particular may think that they’re independent and tough and that they make their own decisions, but I’ve discovered that’s an illusion a lot of guys buy into. Men cannot be truly tough and independent if we have to hide our actual thoughts or interests because they may be perceived as not being manly enough.
And that brings up another question: How can men be independent and “tough” if we can’t speak openly about our emotions without fear of being ridiculed or worse, ostracized?
The emotional quandary men face is why I joined my friend Andy Grant as co-host of the Real Men Feel Show. Both of us felt it was important to create a space where men could be genuine, authentic, and themselves, but most of all, where they could simply feel. Since we started the show we’ve gotten involved with larger men’s movements such as The ManKind Project and The Good Men Project.
But that still doesn’t answer my question, who am I speaking to?
The answer surprised me.
I’m speaking to myself… but I’m including you in the conversation.
Men are part of the conversation, for sure. But so are women. And baby boomers. And gen x-ers. And millennials. And every other group with a label attached. I’m essentially including any human being who feels a desire to live joyously—no matter who you are or how you personally define joyous living.
I’m speaking to myself, but you are part of part of my conversation because you are part of my adventure.
Welcome. I’m glad you’re here.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He facilitates conversations with groups and individuals about how they can be authentic and experience community, connection, and alignment every day. Appio is also co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.