The Art of Living

October 2011

Rev. Carla McClellan

Carla McClellan speaks on faith, joy, daily affirmations, and courage

Rev. Carla McClellan is retreats manager at Unity Village and a certified life coach at Unity’s Life Coaching Center. Carla also hosts the weekly radio program Spiritual Coaching on Unity Online Radio.

At a certain point in our lives we realize we may be making life harder than it has to be. We notice an increased frustration, resentment or disappointment. Perhaps we lack joy in our daily lives or feel there is not enough time, money, love or creativity available to change our situation. We seem to have lost our ability to turn our dreams into reality.

In coaching, we look at life as a Hero’s Journey. The Hero is that part of us that remains constant and courageous, regardless of what is happening around us. It is our authentic self—the essence of who we are, apart from our personality traits or the drama that sometimes surrounds our lives. The Hero, a term used by the philosopher Joseph Campbell, is an archetype of what keeps us moving forward through life.


To rediscover the Hero within you and experience greater joy, fulfillment and satisfaction in your life, begin by simply asking yourself, Would it be alright if my life got easier? Asking yourself this question may even cause you to laugh. Laughter connects us with the Divine within. Asking certain questions allows us to begin our inward journey.

Next, ask yourself, Am I willing to be authentic? Find the qualities that have deepest meaning for you and affirm their importance in your life. An example might be: I am willing to be courageous and loving, creative and kind when I interact with people today.

Third, begin to observe rather than analyze your life. When we analyze, we remain engaged in the same conversation that stopped us from moving forward in the first place. But when we observe, we give ourselves the space to discern what is happening right before us and then to act from wisdom.

Fourth, be willing to say “yes” to what is, even those situations that are causing you discomfort. When you say “yes,” you are accepting the facts of the situation, but not its power over you. Acceptance opens us up to the field of possibilities, and we see there are many choices before us. Dag Hammarskjöld, former head of the United Nations, once said, “To everything that has been, I say, ‘Thank you.’ To everything before me, I say, ‘Yes!’” Yes changes the energy in our body and our courageous heart opens up to expressing something creative and different.

Through willingness, self-reflection, observation and acceptance, we are able to take authentic action and live lives filled with meaning, courage and possibilities.