How to Live Beautifully, According to Author and Motivational Speaker Pamay Bassey
Bassey shares what living beautifully means to her and the importance of resilience.
At Livingly, our goal is to help women live more beautifully every day — inside and out. We know beauty is deeper than a flawless wardrobe and makeup routine, it's also about inspiring women to be healthy, well-traveled, and to nurture their careers and relationships. So we're creating fun, engaging content to motivate readers to look and feel good too.
To celebrate the Livingly launch, we asked six inspiring women a series of five questions about what living beautifully means to them. Here's what we learned from Pamay Bassey, a Chicago-based global learning and development executive, author, speaker, and facilitator.
SOME PEOPLE GET depressed after going through a hard time. Others throw themselves into work. In 2009, Pamay Bassey lost her father to cancer, her grandmother passed away unexpectedly, and a serious relationship ended, and she decided to heal through something completely different. She opted to work through her "personally challenging" year by visiting a different place of worship every week in 2010.
"At the end of the year I thought, well, what the heck am I going to do to heal from all of that? I decided I was just going to use spirituality as a way to kind of come back to myself," Bassey told us.
By the end of 2010, she'd been to 61 different places of worship. Bassey visited temples, mosques, shuls, synagogues, and more in the USA, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and South Africa. She wrote the book My 52 Weeks of Worship about her journey.
Five years later, Bassey, who's president of an e-learning design and strategy company, still makes it a point to visit new places of worship around the globe. It's her "passion project."
"It's become this thing that allows me to indulge in my interests in learning about different communities, different cultures, different religions, and helped me grow as a person," Bassey said.
Bassey also shared what living beautifully means to her and the importance of resilience and being kind to yourself.
What does living beautifully mean to you?
Right now I'm very focused on the idea of resilience. That is, being able to walk through your life and handle whatever comes at you, be it good or bad or ugly. I think living beautifully means you know yourself and you know what you need to do to make sure you're okay no matter what happens.
If I have a great day, great. If I have a terrible day, what am I going to do so I'm okay? And living beautifully is having that level of self-knowledge and being resilient in the face of whatever life throws you.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
I like to make sure I spend some time in nature. I live in Chicago so I've taken to walking by the lake, even if it's 10-15 minutes every day. My friendships make me feel beautiful. I feel beautiful when I take care of myself in terms of eating right and exercising. And I love pretty dresses and pretty shoes — very basic beauty — I feel good when I look good.
What makes me feel beautiful is making sure every day contains something that lifts my spirits and makes me remember that there's some good things about life.
When it comes to your accomplishments, what at are you most proud of?
One is the fact that I'm still standing — no matter what has happened in my past and however difficult it was. I get up in the morning, I'm still smiling, I'm still able to face the world and keep moving.
And the second thing is I'm a comedian, by nature and by training. And one of my greatest accomplishments was finishing my studies at Second City, in improv. I went through the conservatory program, it took two years, and I've done some performing and I've done some stand-up. And the first time that I was on a stage making people laugh, I realized this was something I would never forget.
Also, writing My 52 Weeks of Worship about my global, spiritual, interfaith journey.
Describe one moment that changed your life forever.
I went to Stanford undergrad. I had dreamed about it since I was 10 or 11 (I was a little dork). I thought, "If could just make it to California." When I got my acceptance letter, it was just magic.
Give us a piece of advice you wish someone had told you earlier.
"You're doing fine, just hang in there, just keep swimming."
I'm a ruminator, I'm always like, "Am I doing the right thing?" I'm always asking that question and I wish that someone had just told me, "You're doing fine. You'll be fine. Just keep doing what you're doing and be kind to yourself."
Be kind to yourself, you're doing fine — just trust that.