Lately, the thing that keeps coming back to me is the notion I can just be.
Just be in this moment.
Let go of everything else.
What if, what if – what if I show up in each moment and trust it to hold exactly what I need?
And what happens if I show up for each moment? Fully. Completely. Here and now. Breath by breath.
Show up at the kitchen sink. Show up as I flip the almond-flour pancake in the pan (just found the BEST recipe btw). Show up when you and I are talking. Show up when I bite into that strawberry and proceed to melt into the floor. Show up when I sit on the deck at 5:50 a.m. with Tucker the Cat next to me for our morning meditation. Yeah, baby. Show up.
Ironic how long it’s taken for those seeds to bloom in me. I’ve been staring at books with titles like Journey Without Goal and The Path is the Goal, both by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Of course I’ve questioned this idea. How do go through life without goals and expectations? I’m sure willing to try it out, because all the future-spinning I’ve done hasn’t done much more than make me a miserable grump too much of the time because I’ve been unhappy with what was going on so I daydreamed my life away. Lots and lots of years where I didn’t show up in my own life. I didn’t know how to be comfortable and happy because I bought in to somebody else’s vision. What a knucklehead! Or when the good times were good, I wanted to keep them, slow them down, make them last.
Future-making has been my specialty for most of my adult life. Instead of being right here, I was off in the future drafting a brilliant getaway plan. If they gave out doctorates for that, I’d be Andrea Mai, PhD of the Future.
What if I trusted this moment, this breath to guide me for what is needed?
How much time do I need to spend in advance of this moment to determine what I need to do in this moment? It’s a fine balance. I’m learning how to jot down a few notes – oh hey, I need to get almond milk and fill up my gas tank tonight. Beyond the day I’m leading, it’s getting easier to have a loose framework around time.
Does that make me a flake? I used to believe when a person couldn’t commit to things way in advance they were just being lazy. Now, I’m sorting it out. It’s a total paradigm shift. The key to it isn’t that I’m lazy, but that I’m allowing the energy of the day to guide me. Sure, there are things you have to plan in advance. Trips. Dentist appointments. But when it comes to having a busy social life, I’m done. I want to do what feels right for my energy and honor that my body and awareness know what’s good for the day. Synchronicity ala that old favorite of mine, The Celestine Prophecy. (Remember that book? Wayback-machine moment!) It seems the key to not being a flake is to not make promises or commitments I can’t keep. I’m still learning.
And then there’s the flip side of the coin. If I wish for this understanding from others, a moment of graciousness when I need to break a date, then I need to give that same leeway to others.
I’ll generally show up early because that’s who I am. But I’m learning I don’t have to stay till the nitty gritty end anymore. I can do things in a less time-consuming way and be there wholly, fully, completely. When the energy fades, take my leave.
The point of this post is about showing up. I went off on a tangent just now. But the deeper point I want to make is that when I do something and commit to something – whether it’s dinner with a friend or sitting on the meditation cushion or writing a book- is that I GET TO BE THERE with my curiosity, love, emotions, peacefulness, and wisdom in the fullest way I can. I don’t want to show up apathetically, just because I said I’d be there.
Isn’t it amazing to be present? And being okay with not always feeling okay? The brilliance of vulnerability, of being on the spot when I am in a tough frame of mind, is it challenges me to a bigger compassion. I see my hard edges and call myself out on that hardness. Personal growth comes from awareness. There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness, but it isn’t helpful if I don’t develop greater awareness around my attitudes and actions. Being present while my mouth is running means I see your body language, your response. I seek to understand better what is taking place. I’m aware when you laugh or yell, and how that makes me feel, and why that makes me feel. I peel back the onion. All of that from really showing up when we’re together.
I rarely have instant wisdom. It has to percolate like an old coffee pot on the burner. But it gets love, compassion, and understanding flowing. I can let go of what I expect from you and instead be intrigued by what is actually happening.
There’s this idea of having a life direction that is so much bigger than any expectation or goal I set. And expectations…well, they usually get in the way of everything, especially of just being here.
Last night, I was listening to my wife talk about something. I was so hung up on what I wanted her to say and do in a situation, I started telling her what she should’ve done. About two sentences in, I caught myself. I saw it was me wanting her pain to be less about it. All I could see after I caught myself in midstream was all the pain points of everyone in the situation. My shoulders dropped, my heart softened, and I apologized.
It was just one moment in the day, a beautiful day of showing up a little more and letting go of things coming out a certain way.
What’s your experience been of showing up? I’d love to hear about it.
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