These days ‘showing up’ is an often bandied about buzzword which although slightly vague and ambiguous, can nevertheless be a remarkably powerful phrase when utilized positively.
So what does it actually mean?
That you show up somewhere physically?
You know, like show up to work or to help someone out or participate in an event or maybe turning up at a party when you said you would?
We can all manage that, right?
I guess it can be defined as all of the above, but to me it means a little bit more.
To me ‘showing up’ means being your whole self, bringing everything you are to the table in every situation, and taking personal responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
It’s not about blame or being the tiny scared version of who you are, the ‘mini me’ afraid of your own shadow, not willing to voice your opinions for fear of what other people will think.
It’s about our real self, being the person who does more than poke their head above the parapet on rare occasions, it’s about expressing our own true thoughts and sticking to our principles.
The person who is not afraid to fully ‘be’.
Of course this is no easy task.
We are all conditioned from an early age to fit in and confirm to, if not societal norms, then those of our family or ‘tribe’.
Fitting in to societal norms isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, if you think about it, our ancestors knew well that to keep their community safe from harm this behaviour was in fact a vital survival mechanism.
This may be why in today’s modern age, with all the many ‘identity’ options available to us of who we are supposed to be and what we could be, it can make us feel a bit uncomfortable and confused about ‘showing up’ or bringing our whole spontaneous real self to the table.
It is paradoxical that in an attempt to make ourselves more free and ‘open minded’ as a society, we have been given so much choice that we often find ourselves stuck in a confusing molasses of ‘indecision gridlock‘ and social pressure.
We try to find our own true North by looking to others for direction.
And that’s when we get fearful.
What if my whole self doesn’t like sequins, rock and roll and purple haze?
What if my whole real self is something I think nobody will love?
What if my real self does not see the world from the same perspective as all my friends, family and peers?
I know its a tough call, but being your true self is the right call.
The important thing about ‘showing up’ is not being who you think people would like you to be or behaving how you think you are supposed to, relative to some old clichéd stereotype.
Showing up is defining yourself by your own actions and personal code of values.
I mean, when showing up you have really got to come out. I don’t necessarily mean re your sexuality or gender, this is only a part of who you are and certainly does not define you as a specific wonderful unique individual human being.
Showing up means being true to yourself and to others. No more hiding.
The process itself is not so much a melody of mindfulness but a galvanized call to action; an expression of the universal creator, or divine being within if you like. The creative power which undoubtedly flows through you which is bursting to get out and connect you with your true natural compass.
Your unique path in this universe.
The crazy thing is, we don’t need to ask anyone for permission to connect with who we really are, and for that power to be creatively expressed in the cosmos.
We don’t need to feel shame or guilt or unwarranted embarrassment.
It doesn’t need to be a great big fanfare either.
You don’t have to throw a party.
Perhaps tomorrow you might just go for that walk in the park you keep promising yourself, or not put the ‘trendy’ savoury ice cream and seaweed popcorn in your shopping trolley because actually they are not cool and to your mind taste disgusting; you see – expressing your true self is about the small stuff which makes up the bigger whole.
It’s not about one gigantic ‘whole’, being defined by one thing or the other.
Once you start putting together the pieces, you will be simply amazed at what tomorrow has to bring.
But you’ve got to start today.
As Jim Elliot said – Wherever you are, be all there.