Let's talk about showing up because it's a layered subject AND I've learned a lot about it this last decade. For most of us, 2020 has been an epic lesson in showing up whether we like the lesson or not.
There's been a lot of virtual buzz to show up publicly for important causes in the political, social, and economic spheres. Yes, this work is important and it requires that courageous, hear centered folk are willing to step out and speak up. I'm grateful for the leaders who make this work their daily focus with integrity and skill.
I also think that being bombarded with steady calls to action- and the general noisiness of the virtual world- can cause paralysis for those of us who need to be focused on showing up for ourselves in this season.
You can't give from an empty cup. Mental and emotional health are fluid. Health, in general, is an ongoing practice.
Many of us (myself included) get so caught up in wanting to make a difference 'out there' that we begin to lose sight of (or never take the time to find in the first place) what it means to truly show up IN and for ourselves.
I was guilty of this with my students and clients. For years, I put the education of youth and the satisfaction of my clients ahead of my own creative development. I thought I was doing the right thing: being of service. I've learned repeatedly that by neglecting myself, I could never serve in the way I'd aimed to.
It doesn't matter how much we want to or think we are making a difference out there in the world if we are neglecting our own core needs. Let's also be real that our own core needs take some time and effort to understand because we're complex meaning needing humans.
This season (or rather this giant turning point of a year in all of our lives) has forced me to show up for myself in new ways both creatively and professionally, while also humbly accepting the reality that I have much more showing up to do in myself so that I can better serve my community.
The sheer scope of what we want to do versus where we are can be overwhelming. So, I'll offer this: showing up for ourselves looks different each day.
Some days it may look like buckling down on a deadline or tackling the dreaded to-do task you've been dragging out, but other days it's a 20 minute nap. It's really about attunement with ourselves and carving out space both internally (through whatever spiritual practice you have) and learning to make space for yourself in your day.
Showing up looks like believing that you are capable of doing new, challenging things, but also having the grace to forgive yourself when you screw up (because you will).
So, how can you show up for yourself today?
You can start by taking a moment to ask yourself. Your answer just might surprise or perhaps delight you. At the very least, I hope that the willingness to ask brings you some relief.