When showing up is the only option (even when you don’t have to)

blog photoI’ve recently started watching Marianne Williamson’s Monday night lectures. She shows up at a Los Angeles theatre week in, week out and says her piece. Every week. Apparently without fail. And now thanks to the magic of live streaming, I can tune in and watch here in the UK.

And I love the content a crazy amount. Which is absolutely another blog post for another day. But what I also love, and admire, and aspire to, is the showing up part. The turning up and doing it, over and over again.

Because Marianne Williamson is convinced that what she has to say matters (which it does). And people come and see her speak every week. And people like me tune in every week and listen to her.

And there’s something so generous, but also so beautifully unapologetic about her choice to keep showing up.

To keep doing her thing.

To keep practicing.

And guess what the result of all her practice is?

That she is a remarkable teacher. An inspiring and engaging speaker. That she speaks fluently, fearlessly and articulately. That she is able to say her piece with impact and clarity.

And sure, part of that is her unique gift. But part of that is also because she keeps on doing it. She keeps turning up, and speaking. And answering the questions she’s asked. And articulating her thoughts and what she knows to matter and to be true.

And I admire that a ridiculous amount.

Because showing up over and over again, and practicing whatever it is you you’re called to practice is a heck of a brave choice.

To commit in that way, to anything, is not the easy choice.

In my own life, parenting has required (no demanded) that of me. That I keep showing up. Even when I’m tired, impatient and depleted. Even when it’s the last day of the school holidays, it’s pouring with rain, and we’re all a little bit over each other. Even when I’ve wanted to run screaming from the room (and may actually have done on a few occasions) there’s been no option but to get back in the arena with the small people and keep showing up. With them and for them. And practice being their parent. Practice breathing in the face of extreme provocation. Practice loving them even when it’s super hard to remember why I might want to do that.

But without all the provocation, and the super hard bits (as well as the occasional beautiful bits) I would never have learnt all that I have. I would never have been required to dig quite as deeply as they have required me to dig. I would never have accessed the patience that I have.

But what I’m starting to realise is that there are other bits of my life that don’t require me to keep showing up in the same way that my kids do.

Where I have options about whether or not I show up or not.

Like this blog.

This blog is not going to come and wake me up by puking on my bed. This blog is not going to say “Mummy” over and over and over until I stop what I’m doing and attend to it. It’s not going to tap me repeatedly on the arm until I acknowledge its there.

Instead it’s going to sit silently on the internet, and wait to see whether or not I’m going to show up and do something with it. And choosing to show up for something that matters to you when you’re not being forced to, is another ball game altogether. And requires me to pay attention in a very different way.

To employ a quieter kind of awareness, and listen to what’s going on in my heart.

And when I do that, I realise that this blog is actually needling away at me all the time. Even when I’m not writing it. In fact, even more so when I’m not writing it. As persistent and determined as a 5 year old who wants a snack.

And I’ll bet that if you stop, get very still and listen, you’ll find there’s an apparently ‘optional extra’ in your life nudging you persistently in the ribs.

And the reason it keeps on nudging?

Because it matters to you. Because it represents something fundamental about how you want to show up in the world.

Join me (even if it’s with a bit of a frustrated sigh, because the nudging is getting kind of annoying).

Show up and attend to it.

You’ll feel better.

I know I do.

Like what you just read? Feel a bit better about the world? Want to pay it forward? Share this post!

Did this resonate with you? Are you interested in applying the perspectives here to your own life? Work with me, and we can really get into it. I love talking about this stuff even more than I love writing about it (and that’s a lot).

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