When I think about unicorns, the image of a mythical one-horned creature dances before my eyes. It has the reputation of being a weaver of dreams, a magical being. Another association is that of being an outlier, a unique manifestion.
Freelance journalist, blogger, editor and author of Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, and Share Your Shine, Jenny Block is proud to consider herself a unicorn. She, like many quirky, out of the box kids, took a while to claim her own color and pizazz. From the onset, Block lets us in on a little secret, that her inner unicorn is named for her beloved grandfather. His name was Herbert and her four-legged friend wears the appellation proudly. Her father saw her for who she was, uniquely herself and encouraged her to be authentic. The unicorn in this book is a representation of a life well-lived.
In each chapter, with titles such as BTU when planning, playing, working and dating, Block offers 10 identifiers of what it means to be a unicorn. She shares wondrous wisdom from the perspective of a human-legendary creature hybrid as she encourages readers to live full out, which, as she expresses it, could mean going on all of the rides at the amusement park, rather than sitting on the sidelines. Knowing that our day to day is never perfect and that life gets lifey, we are encouraged to celebrate it all as we are able.
We get to explore the boundaries and stretch them like the rainbow-hued taffy they can be. And sometimes, they just aren’t. Sometimes, we face challenges that we never expected. Block proclaims, “That Unicorn knows that there are times when the universe—at least hers—comes terribly unglued, and the only way out is through. And so first, unicorns allow themselves to scream and cry and kick and bemoan the unfairness of it all. ”
Unicorns don’t have to go it alone. ” Life’s moments are often better when they are shared. It is almost as if you can experience
things more robustly when you experience them with someone else.”
She relates the idea that unicorns plan, “There is so much less to worry about when there is a road map in place. Even if things don’t go
as expected, even if all or much of that plan ends up being scrapped, that plan will still serve as a jumping-off point for whatever it is that needs to happen or get done.”
And in the midst of planning, it is important to remember, “Planning is a tool—nothing more, nothing less. Do as much or as little, in whatever manner, as suits you. That Unicorn never lets a plan stand in the way.”
When we don our unicorn personas at work, we are able to make the most of a challenging situation and juggle the various roles we play. “Unicorns also have a tendency to reinvent themselves. I’ve been an actress, a law student, a production assistant, a college professor, an artist’s model, a dance teacher, a camp activities director, a speaker, and, of course, an author and writer. ”
One of this Renaissance woman’s favorite topics to explore is that of Imposter Syndrome, which Block addresses brilliantly. “Here we are, finally, a college student or a mom or a Ph.D. candidate or a speaker at a conference or a CEO, and, all of a sudden, we wonder, “How did I get here? And when is someone going to figure out that I don’t belong here?”
Playing is another of a unicorn’s favorite activities. Using imagination feeds its heart and soul. Let your own magnificent magical creature dance and prance wildly.