Sometimes the hardest thing to do is show up in our own lives. Many years ago I ready about the power to showing up before you are ready. That strong women show up and do stuff before they feel they are ready. Because really when are we ever ready?
I really took it to heart. The lesson is still unfolding in my life.
I was home with a bunch of little kids and I desperately needed something more meaningful to do than wipe bottoms.
(This is where I ‘should’ insert a disclaimer that caring for my babies were the best years of my life and the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done. But they weren’t. Helping shepherd my children to become mature adults is one of the most significant things in my life. But those infant and toddler years were, at times, shitty. Pun intended. So in between the 10% joy and 90% manual labor that was raising small children, I needed to do something else as well.)
My local women’s organization was always looking for volunteers. Because like most volunteer organizations the majority of the work is performed by a small band of committed individuals while everyone else sorts of helps out when they can.
I showed up. I volunteered. Like really got in deep. I didn’t just send over a potato salad on the day of the event. I hosted the event. Soon I was on the planning committee.
I just did things with time and energy I didn’t know I had until I committed myself to doing it.
Just showing up and praying that it would all work out, was comparatively easy for me when it came to volunteering. I had solid faith that the Divine would look kindly on my acts of giving and help arrange my life so that it would all work out.
In other areas it’s been harder to apply the same logic…. like work and the many creative projects I would like to be doing.
I just started Michael Neill’s book Creating the Impossible. It’s a 90 day program that promises that you can complete an impossible dream. Mine is daily blogging, working on my currently unstarted novel, building my business, and holding down my existing steady (part time) job.
He really surprised me by talking about showing up in the introduction to the 90 program. Showing up is an essential part of any creative endeavor. That seemed kinda obvious but his showing up was so simple that it was complicated.
Me paraphrasing Michael Neill
Don’t just show up and do stuff. Show up and do stuff without worrying/planning/caring about the outcome.
Michael Neill’s showing up is taking the first step towards you goal with a heart that is open and accepting that the goal might not be reached, only the first step is within our power.
This really resonated with me. Jewish philosophy says that only our efforts our within our control, not the outcome of those efforts. If you go to do a good deed and for some reason circumstances prevent you from doing it. Like the car breaks down on the way to visit your sick friend. Then you are still rewarded as if you had performed the good deed. (Praise be the opposite isn’t true.)
It is said that we only control our ‘fear of heaven,’ meaning the extent to which we trust the Divine. There is grace and a purpose to taking one step forward with trust that something will work out.
Michael Neill doesn’t talk in terms of God. He refers to a Universal Mind that animates all life. (I’m not going to split hairs with him, if he prefers to not say the G word then I’ll let him off. But it’s pretty clear what he’s talking about.)
We can’t ever control the future. If you ever thought that you could, then Corona came to prove you wrong anyway. Our choices are whether we take the first step, and how willingly we will give up the outcomes to a Higher Power. 12 Step says “Let go and let God.”
Michael Neill says:
Michael Neil, Creating the Impossible
“Whenever we show up and aim ourselves in a direction, the impersonal creative intelligence behind life shows up with us.”
Jewish philosophy says:
“Everything is in the hands of heaven, except for the fear of heaven.”
This is my goal for today. To show up, put my fingers to the keyboard, do my part and let Someone else take care of the outcomes.
I’ll let you know how it goes……