I've always loved that first rule of thumb for living courageously and meeting change:
just Show Up.
|Fearless Painting exercise, week 1|
Even when it's hard and you don't want to go, not sure if you'll fit in, or if there's anything you'll get out of it – whatever it is – if a part of you feels it might be for you,
or * knows * this could be the step you need for growth, for help, or more Joy, or better wellbeing, or just to kick back:
Just go. Show Up.
That's the most important first step you can ever take.
Opportunities rarely will come knockin' on your door.
You've got to get out there.
It makes perfect sense.
But, then what?
So you go, and you're sitting there, observing, maybe learning, maybe even enjoying...
or maybe you're just present, and that's it.
Maybe it took a whole lot of courage just to get there, and now you find you're up against a bigger fear mongrel, a more daunting mountain...
how to Participate. (eeeeek!)
Because there is a point when showing up isn't enough anymore.
In fact, sometimes you can fade into the background so much it's as if you had stayed home – some people are really good chameleons like that.
It's safe. It's like saying to yourself, “See, I showed up, here I am, it's made no difference in the outcome of this, I've had no influence here.”
And so nothing much changes for you.
Even though you showed up.
And you still feel this ache inside...
But the old rule is true: You Get what You Give.
See, there's a second part to living in a fearless way that is actually much more important than just showing up.
In fact, the other day I even saw it on a bracelet on etsy that has had my mind revisiting this lesson.
Show Up. Let Go.
Show up, first. And then –
(and this is where the true courage, and the deep work, comes in)–
Of yourself. Of your expectations. Of the busyness of your overbearing mind.
Of what other people might think.
Breathe and relax into the environment and then, regardless of how effective that breathing trick is, just dive in. You'll swim just fine - you will survive.
Speak. Participate. Dance.
Smile and laugh and share You.
Even if it's hard, really hard – give yourself to it, knowing that you are much more radiant than you ever give yourself credit for, that you have something truly unique to offer to the place and the beings there with you -
just by taking part in whatever small or large way you can, from exactly where you are inside of yourself -
and the whole experience will be richer for everyone.
Trust me on this one – it's true.
Be There in action and intention, not just taking up physical space.
|Fearless Painting exercise, week 1|
Now, don't get me wrong.
Sometimes, showing up IS the best we can do. And your best is always enough. Sometimes we so desperately need to just be there, to feed our curiosities, to have even just the quiet fulfillment of being present for something outside of ourselves. If that's truly where you are, continue to feed that, continue to Show Up in every way you can, and continue to be gentle with yourself.
But I challenge you, as I am challenging myself, to pay attention to the fine line, to notice when something in you has shifted, and to not just show up for these events or experiences, but to Show Up to your own Truth, as well... and that means following through and stepping out of your comfort zone.
When the time is right, you will know, it will be like someone who won't stop tapping on your shoulder, a flutter of eager excitement in your belly, like something bubbling up inside ready to pour out.
If you just show up, you'll hold it back, you'll stop yourself from speaking up, or getting on that dancefloor – and then the chance will pass, and a little part of you will be disappointed because your deep self was telling you to get out there.
Or maybe you'll surprise yourself,
and you'll show up and choose a fearless approach to your presence,
even when you feel the butterfly jitters about it,
and you'll participate as fully as you can,
showing the guts of your very existence in an intentional effort.
Leaving your thinking pot on the step outside while you follow the wisdom of your intuition, your Feeling guide.
It might not be beautiful. Or perfect. Or graceful. Or easy.
It might even be a little ugly from time to time.
But it will be Real.
And that's what this world needs a lot more of.
People showing up, letting go, and being Real.
And it will be what you need to be closer to what you're seeking,
closer to You, closer to Others.
It will be magic.