I’ve got it!! I’ve finally got it!! After all my searching and asking and experimenting, I have discovered the most important practice in the universe: Showing Up.
That’s it. It’s really that simple.
Okay, I didn’t say it was easy. Not at all. Far from it, but it is simple.
Just. Show. Up.
Showing Up has been a theme for me of late.
I became acutely aware of Showing Up when I committed to a daily meditation practice, which was difficult and confusing and scarey because I was like, “Who am I to do this when I don’t know what I’m doing?” Then I had life-changing experiences and began to share what I discovered and was like, “Who am I to tell others about this? What do I know?”
And some people loved it and some people didn’t but it didn’t really matter because while I thought I was helping others what I was really doing was helping myself. I was showing up for myself, and as a result, I’ve become more myself than I ever have been.
In truth, I’ve been showing up for a while. The first time I ever Showed Up was my first recovery meeting. Before that I had always hid from myself and the world in some sort of substance or form of pretending.
Showing Up that day completely altered the trajectory of my life. Showing Up full of shame and confusion meant I would be one day be writing to you about it which I would never have believed if you’d told me.
And that’s why I continue to show up, because something magical happens to me when I do.
When I go to a meeting, I am there for myself. I am showing up to pay respect to the disease which killed my father and almost killed me and has destroyed so many lives in my family. I’m not hiding from it or denying it or pretending it doesn’t exist. And in that process of showing up for me I get to show up for others too, offering myself and my experiences to them.
It helps me because it helps them and it makes sense out of my suffering and my father’s suffering and Tyrhone’s suffering and the suffering of all the people who never made it. To me, it makes sense of it all, because it is for something.
My suffering heals people, including me!!! It’s nothing short of a miracle.
I practice showing up for this blog, the book I am struggling to write and a new project I’m working on which scares and excites me in equal measure.
I could use more practice with Showing Up in my relationships (and I just realised that). Because Showing Up without expectations of people is the greatest service you can ever do for them, and I have a long way to go with that.
So I am re-committing to the most important spiritual practice in the universe: Showing Up. I encourage you to also.
Show Up with your doubts, your fears and your faults. Show Up in spite of the voice in your head which tells you you’re not good enough, not deserving, not talented enough, well connected enough, together enough.
Show Up for that new class, the job interview, the therapy appointment, the recovery meeting, the date, the dinner.
Show up for the things you are most scared of. In my experience these are the things which will alter the fabric of your life for the better.
When you show up, you change your future.
You are sending a message to the universe that you are here and that you are taking action toward an idea or a dream, and it cannot help but listen.
I cannot promise that you will succeed immediately or that things will go the way you planned. I cannot promise everyone will like you or support you or understand you. But I can promise that if you Show Up, you will learn something about yourself which will carry you to the next step, and the next.
You will be fortified by the experiences you encounter, especially the tough ones.
You will grow. You will transform. You will serve the world. And by doing that, you will discover that your whole purpose for being here is Showing Up as yourself so that you may encourage others to do the same.
Speaking of showing up for scarey things, I recently showed up for an interview with Uma Girish, author of ‘Losing Amma, Finding Home,’ a memoir of love and loss published by Hay House.
I had never done a live voice interview before and I was terrified. I almost said no, because, what do I know about grief? What could I possibly offer? Surely there would be a thousand more qualified people than me. But I showed up, full of fear and doubt.
It was actually a very healing and cathartic experience thanks to Uma’s well crafted, interesting questions. Sure, I forgot my own train of thought once and got cut off by the Mexican Telco, but I Showed Up as myself and shared my truth.
I talk about authenticity, recovery, grief and healing and you can listen below.