Simply show up

March 22, 2017

Do you ever wonder how many people think about making the most of their life? Of living fully and completely, in every sense of the word? Some seem to do this naturally, while others struggle.

At school the other day, I had an epiphany. Our mentor and I were getting coffee in the school kitchen and he said, “You know, Carol, here’s the thing about you. You show up. You show up and you wrestle with it, whatever it is. And that’s all that anyone can ask of another.”

His comment took me aback. What does it mean to “show up”? I wondered.

I think he was talking about being present in every moment of our lives. Of feeling every emotion: joy, fear, pain, grief–and working it. Even if it’s hard. Or painful. Figuring out what it means to our life, how it can be used for our life’s highest and best purpose. For personal growth. Or for our happiness. And actually, for our success.

In my life that’s sometimes looked a bit like drama-queen stuff. I see now, though, that it wasn’t just that. It was wrestling with stuff.

One of my closest friends for many years was a flatliner, someone uncomfortable with the ups and downs of life. She went out of her way to keep herself above discomfort and even above joy. She ran under the radar and she manipulated every situation so that it was to her advantage, but not necessarily for her growth.

Me thinks she had some stuff to work through and probably still does. Because she was terrified of showing up for her life. So she didn’t.

But that’s really what we’re supposed to do with the gift of life we’ve been given. Show up.

Life is about showing up in everything we do. In everything that happens to us. Showing up fully and completely. Feeling it. Working it. And finally, understanding it so we can use it to create a more fulfilling, worthwhile and even rewarding life.

So, pull up a chair. Show up. That’s all it takes.












32 comments on “Simply show up
  1. ryderziebarth says:

    This is such a significant post, I copied it and printed it out. I have been labeled a drama queen many times, as I verbally wrestle through my emotions, which I bring into life’s arena every day. And as you say, theses issues help me learn, whether they sometimes pin me to the mat, or not. It is frustrating for me to try to interact with people who let life lay them flat, simple because it’s easier. Get up and fight the good fight! It’s the only way to become a winner, and if you are the loser, well, then you have something to work toward and only more to gain.
    GREAT post, Carol. I’m going to slip it into a few pockets today.

  2. robin masshole mommy says:

    Sometimes I feel like a zombie just going through the motions. I need to show up a lot more than I do.

  3. This post has great timing for me, thank you! I’ve been showing up in a big way on some passion projects recently, but not so much in my day to day life and I think it’s starting to show. I need to spread my showing up around better.

  4. Jessica Taylor says:

    This post really speaks to me. I live life going through the motions, and never really feel like i “show up”.

  5. Shari Broder says:

    Wow, this is exactly what I coach so many of my clients about! If you avoid your emotions (and mine do it by eating regardless of hunger), it’s never a good thing, yet so many people are raised to do this. Nice piece about why we should all show up if we are really alive.

  6. Andrea Bates says:

    Right now I’m trying really damned hard to do just that. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Katja says:

    Preach, sister! I keep telling my friends this all the time – all it takes is to show up. Things tend to start snowballing from there but it won’t happen to you unless you’re there!
    Katja xxx

  8. Milton GOh says:

    This is something so important yet so easily missed out! We are always so bombarded by many thing to do that we forget that we need to be present in each and every thing we do. This is a great reminder. Thanks!

  9. Sapana V says:

    Nobody is perfect and everyone is tackling their share of issues. It’s just some show it while some are good actors as they hide the issues from others.

  10. I think this is a wonderful reminder to us. I know as a parent, I take “show up” as meaning things don’t have to be perfect but we need to be there for our kids.

  11. Amy says:

    I loved this post. I am stuck in the midfle, I think. I feel every emotion to the fullest and am told I worry too much, analyze too much, etc. But I also think I am still afraid to fully grab life and hold on tight and take that wonderful, wild rid, wherever it leads me. I’m improving, but still have some work to do.

  12. Kim says:

    Ah so very true!! Though it may be challenging at times, I try to be present in the moment to feel everything.

  13. I’m either dead or I’m alive. I’m never automated.

  14. Megan says:

    It’s such a great reminder. It’s a constant struggle to make sure you are present and engaged!

  15. Sondra Barker says:

    Yes, this is something that I have been learning for myself is being in the moment and feeling your emotions in that time. Even specific events I put my phone away so many of us are consumed with social media and trying to take a photo or video, that they don’t enjoy the full experience in the time being.

  16. It definitely makes a huge difference when you take the time and make the effort to show up authentically in your own life. Just being present to deal with what’s going on – even if it isn’t always good – changes your life in beautiful ways.

  17. So true. Like Woody Allen said (although I do hate to quote him), “80% of life is just showing up.”

  18. Sa cre says:

    I love this! I am a firm believer that does that show up go up! Thank you for the reminder of taking action and showing up

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    Thanks for saying that out loud. We’re often occupied with what the future brings that we end up preparing for it too much and not being in the present. We forget what it’s like to live and experience every day that comes.

  20. Krysten says:

    I really never thought of it that way. I am not sure that I show up in everything that I do. I feel like I’m not there most of the time. Im going to start trying to show up.

  21. Otilia says:

    Such a beautiful post! Thank you ao much

  22. Emily Farren says:

    First of all – that is probably THE nicest compliment that anyone could ever give to another person – I love it! And yes!!! Yes to all of this. People who truly “show up” are the only kind of people for me. I loved this post!

  23. This post has really got me thinking, I haven’t considered this before even though I do practice mindfulness – just a different slant on that really!I hope I do show up. x

  24. Very different and interesting article. I never really thought of “showing up” in the means you presented. Has me thinking 🙂

  25. That’s so true! I understand what you’re saying. Despite the ups and downs, I always try to Show up for any occasion.

  26. Divya says:

    I love that. It’s the first step. And, typically, after that, the rest will follow. I think about this often when I try to get myself to go to the gym in the morning. The hurdle is not the gym. The hurdle is getting out of bed to get there. I just have to show up. The rest will come after.

  27. I did a mindfulness course a few years back that brought this back into perspective. It makes things much more enjoyable.

  28. Nay says:

    Great post. I really need to read
    This at the moment. I’m having a doccult time and need to remember that just by ‘showing up’ I doing a great job.

  29. I love this post! Such a good read and it’s also inspiring! I mainly think of showing up in parenting for my kids but I can see how this could apply to all aspects of life! A perspective that I never really thought of before!

  30. Yes, you certainly got me thinking do I show up? Or do I just complain when things don’t go my way. To I actually recognize that the up’s and downs are part of the process of growth. Maybe sometimes, but you got me thinking why not always? Great post.

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