The Practice of Showing Up

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to “Show Up” this week because this gremlins in my head urging me to bail have been having a field day. Things I totally want to do, things I definitely don’t want to do, things that scare me, exciting stuff … it doesn’t matter. My inner gremlins, the ones rooted in fear and shame, have been oh-so-busy feeding me lines like:

Eek, scary, don’t go there!
Stay home, you’re not wanted.
Why try if you know that you’ll fail?
You’re not worth it.

Maybe your gremlins sing a similar tune?

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But here’s the thing: There’s something to be said for just Showing Up. Choosing to arrive and be physically and mentally present. On the good days, on the difficult days, and on the days in between.

Showing Up is not always pretty. But then again, life isn’t always pretty. Yet Showing Up doesn’t always have to be difficult. (Heck, sometimes it might even be fun!)

Sometimes you will Show Up for other people — friends, family, co-workers, complete strangers. Other times you will Show Up for yourself — tuning in and taking care of numero uno. Both are important.

At times Showing Up will be easy. You’ll feel inspired, excited. On those days you will not merely show up, but you will arrive with a fanfare, arms outstretched, ready to embrace the moment with gusto. Other times every fiber of your being will scream, “let me hide, I don’t want to be seen!” And sometimes you will listen because it’s only natural.

But even though sometimes you will no-show, and you’ll have moments where it seems as though you failed to show up one too many times, there will always be another opportunity. Another chance to Show Up is always waiting in the wings. Look for it and it will be there.

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What did showing up look like for me this week? 

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Showing Up is not always the easy option. Like any other practice (yoga, meditation, teaching, medicine, law…) it takes strength, tenacity, and courage to choose to Show Up again and again. And I can’t promise that just because you Show Up, things will be awesome, in fact, sometimes it will be the opposite. But nonetheless, what I can promise you is that sometimes the best answer is “F*CK IT, I’M JUST GONNA SHOW UP ANYWAY!

So with that in mind, I’m curious: how will you show up this week?

12 comments

  1. It’s the little things, isn’t it? My gremlins used to be my only voice–and then, after a particularly horrific period in life–the kind & gentle voice appeared. I like it much better–and it helps me show up no matter what. If you didn’t grow up with one, it takes a while–but finding it is worth it.

    1. Yes, it most definitely *is* the little things. Love the possibility of a consistent kind and gentle voice… definitely worth tapping into. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! Xo

  2. Robert Webster · · Reply

    Nice post! Something I try to remember is the “real” heroes are those who show up day after day, month after month, year after year. It takes commitment and dedication and sometimes you don’t even think about the effort it takes. Other times, mostly when you haven’t been taking care of “you” it’s one of those days you’d prefer to pull the covers over your head!

    You’re right about showing up for others. And showing up for yourself. I’d add that sometimes I show up because I want to be in the company of the others I know will be there. I feel best with their energy surrounding me and giving me the boost I need to take care of myself. The effort of showing up is soooo worth the opportunity to dive into that collective energy!

    1. Robert, YES! That showing up for community/collective good energy is a huge one too! I definitely find myself flocking to IAY for that exact reason- to soak up some good juju, which of course makes the other types of Showing Up that more do-able! xoxo

  3. Showing up by letting the shame gremlins be there, and practicing resilience this time around! Oh, and not withdrawing my application to graduate school before I’ve even completed it. LOVE your blog!!!

    1. Yes!!! Go friend!!! It’s all about the resilience…. gremlins be damned! xoxoxo

  4. empresssodivine · · Reply

    I’ve been battling these gremlins for a long time! But recently with some help, I’ve been able to establish which voices are gremlins, and which voices actually want the best for me! I’ve been showing up a lot this week. Signing up for the online course, that the gremlin voices keep telling me I won’t finish, as well as remaining committed to appointments with friends and daily meditation and writing!

    1. That’s a wonderful list of things to Show Up for! Love!!

      And always appreciate hearing from other people who are doing the hard work to battle those inner gremlins- I’m right there with you. xo

  5. empresssodivine · · Reply

    Reblogged this on reflection…noitcelfer and commented:
    I loved this! I think you will, too!

  6. The thing that makes me ‘show up’ is knowing how much better I’ll feel about it after and how rubbish I’ll feel about myself if I just turn around and go home.
    Loved this blog :)

    1. Thanks for sharing from all the way across the pond!

      And yes, taking the long view is always helpful on my end as well. =)

  7. Beka, I keep thinking that you are in my mind and heart lately, I admire you for sharing reflecting so openly. This really makes me feel less vulnerable and a bit less scary. Many blessings, much gratitude

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