Dave Ursillo teaches self-reliance and personal leadership through writing, yoga and storytelling. He believes that by mastering the self, anybody can become a leader in their everyday life. After a career in public service ended up in the game of politics, he decided to quit his job and live a more authentic life.
As a teacher of writing, yoga, and self-expression, he helps students cultivate a sense of wholeness through creative experiences. He’s written over 400 pieces on his namesake website, DaveUrsillo.com, including advice on changing the story of your life, writing and expressing oneself, and more.
What led you to the unique combination of writing, yoga, and self-expression as your subjects of choice as a teacher?
In short, I didn’t choose it! At least, not to begin with. I became a teacher of what I needed to learn, myself. That’s the case for all of us. We possess great talents to teach, lead, give and serve from a place of what we have needed to learn the most, ourselves.
When I quit my job in politics and public service in 2009, I knew I had to rely upon my writing to help me start a new career. I never thought I’d become a teacher of writing. When I self-published my first book, Lead Without Followers, in 2011, I began to travel and found my way into my first ever yoga class. I fell in love with the practice of embodiment and physical self-expression. Years later, now I use these two practices to help everyday yogis and creative self-starters express themselves.
Why is it so powerful for people to write about their lives and put their own stories into words?
We’re the authors of our stories. The ego assumes that who we are and what we are has already been dictated to us by our pasts and circumstances. The heart and soul know that the future is entirely ours to write, period. I believe that writing is coming into communion with the True Self – and that, by writing our dreams, goals, visions and deepest beliefs, we start to live the story we want to be telling.
Writing your story means living your life to your fullest ability. The story you tell means taking ownership of your life.
How can people use social media as a means of building encouragement, rather than envy or fantasy?
Use social media and the digital world to open your heart and very vulnerably express your truth in writing. The stories you share are a simple way to step into a role of true leadership: heart-centered leadership, which is simply to be who you are and to lead by example.
Lifestyle design is BS Open up and tell me your muck ups, failures and how you’ve become better for them. Tell the stories with poise, grace and confidence – no need to be mopey or woe-is-me. But if you can relate those missteps into moments of genuine sharing and giving, you’l no doubt help someone who’s in the same, or a similar, position.
What are some ways that the solo act of writing can become the catalyst for interacting meaningfully with other people?
By writing for yourself, like journaling, you come into communion with your truth and experience a sense of wholeness within – it’s yoga, or yoking, into oneness.
The act of self-expression in written form is not only cathartic, but revealing of what you’re experiencing in any given moment. To better understand and reflect on the experiences you’re having as a human being is to stand over them more powerfully – versus them controlling you. The more whole and at peace you are within yourself, the better a human you can be for others around you.
Do you think that regular participation in creative/artistic practices leads to a greater sense of productivity in all aspects of people’s lives?
Without a doubt – creative and expressive practices train your brain to be imaginative, innovation, expanded and aware. Any simple, personal creative practice can become hugely beneficial to one’s work, career, relationships and mental-emotional well-being.
All I have is my life – and the lives of my clients, writers’ group members and readers – to cite, but to me, there’s no better medicine, religion or philosophy for living well than being your highest version of yourself. Writing can and will show you the way.