“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ~ Woody Allen
Do you make a habit out of giving the gift of presence? Do you understand what it means to show up somewhere just for the sake of showing up? Have you ever had that feeling that told you to go ahead and be somewhere just in case?
Like Woody Allen says in the quote above, so much of what it takes to succeed in life derives from simply being on the scene. From making it to class on time when we were students to demonstrating the ability to be prompt and prepared for job interviews, showing up in the right place at the right time makes all the difference.
Invitations are another powerful exchange of energy not to be taken lightly. I’m not talking about the dozens of ‘invites’ undoubtedly sitting in your Facebook notifications tab, but rather the kind of personal invitations that come with a phone call from a friend or a card in the mail. If you’re anything like me, there’s times when your dance card gets too full and you have to pick and choose carefully.
Sometimes we have to really sit with our options and make careful decisions based on our highest good. And sometimes that means lovingly giving ‘good no’ and letting people know that it’s nothing personal, but that we must respectfully decline. It’s when we let our shadow talk us out of showing up somewhere for no good reason that we get into trouble.
This used to happen to me a lot more often in my younger days, and as I’ve put my attention on it I’ve gotten much more careful over the years. I noticed that whenever I would talk myself out of showing up somewhere for some trivial excuse, (my couch is too comfy, I’d rather just stay home and read, I don’t have the right outfit, etc…) then the next day I would feel lousy about myself and regret my choice to be lazy.
On the other hand, whenever I would overcome resistance and make the effort to rally to the occasion, I would feel happy and grateful later, freshly stocked with good vibes and positivity from the connections I’d cultivated. If you’re like me, you’re way more likely to feel better for making the effort.
And sometimes the ninja move is to show up unannounced, and simply let your presence be the surprise. How often have you heard someone tell you “not to bother”, “please don’t go out of your way”, “really, you shouldn’t”, yet when you listen between the lines something tells you to just go ahead and go?
That was the case for me last week when I found out that my 90-year-old Dad had spent the day in the Emergency Room at his local hospital in Coos Bay Oregon. I kept checking in by phone every few hours, and wasn’t able to find out much information, other that they had sent him home, even though he would have preferred to stay in overnight.
He had an appointment to see his regular doctor the next day, and I knew that if I told him I was on my way it would just stress him out more protesting against me making the effort. His lady friend who had called me initially had even hinted to him that I was thinking about coming up and he was already telling me that he was going to be OK and not to worry about him. I just told him not to worry about me, and that I’d keep checking in with him.
So me and Teresa were on the road exactly two hours after getting home from Boulder, and by driving most of the night with just a short stop for a nap we were able to arrive at his house just 10 minutes before he was going to try to get up and drive himself to the doctor.
As I walked into his house and surprised him, the first words out of his mouth were “What the hell are you doing here?” and then within moments as I was helping him get up out of his chair and steady him on his feet he was saying “Well, I’m sure glad you came.”
He hadn’t eaten any solid food in two days, and was fairly exhausted from his hospital visit, so having us there to drive him to his doctors appointment was a huge help. The doctor helped him a lot, and adjusted his medication, so by mid-afternoon he was eating and drinking again and we left him to rest.
By dinnertime he was looking much better, and by the next morning it was obvious that he was well on his way to being back in his groove. He has regular meals and a support staff at his retirement center, but he’s still totally independent in his little cottage with his trusty dog and his car in the garage.
The value of ‘moral support’ in situations like this is inestimable. We stayed for two days, and just kept him company, making sure we were confident that he was getting back to his usual quiet and simple routine. When you’re 90, it seems like you want life to be as predictable as a metronome, no news is good news as far as he’s concerned.
Dad’s sister, my Aunt Mickey is 95, and she just keeps ticking along too, fortunately my cousin Becky lives with her so she’s got constant support. I’m Dad’s next-of-kin and nearest relative, so with a ten hour drive between us I have to be ready to jump at the drop of a hat.
Mainly I just wanted him to know that I’d show up, invited or not. There’s no telling how long he’ll last, and I keep teasing him about making it into triple digit territory. Mentally he’s sharp as a tack, and a constant inspiration to both of my daughters.
I called him the afternoon we left on the way home and asked him how he was doing and he replied, “Fine, everything’s back to normal” in his typical curmudgeonly tone, which let me know that all is well with old George.
I really appreciate the outpouring of kind words and support from you readers of my weekly news. I know I’ve veered more into my personal life than usual, but I trust that by putting it in the context of larger lessons that can serve your highest good is useful.
You’ll find your own value in showing up in whatever way is appropriate in your own life, and I hope that the gift of presence brings joy to your world in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
Much love and Happy Monday! See you next week!
Dance First Member Spotlight: Debbie Rosas and The Awakening Project
Today’s spotlight shines on someone who need little introduction in most movement circles. Debbie Rosas, the driving force behind The Nia Technique, has been a guiding light and respected pioneer of the conscious dance and holistic fitness world for many years.
One of the most universally well-loved leaders in the field, Debbie has built a solid foundation and a body of work based upon her core value of contribution. Giving herself tirelessly and continually innovating on better ways to bring embodiment to the world has established her reputation as one of the foremost figures in the field of movement.
Her latest venture takes the idea of contribution and transformation to the next level. The Awakening Project is a 13-month online course available to everyone, no matter what your financial situation is. The idea began in 1992 after she watched three different movies: The Goddess Remembered, The Burning Times and Full Circle. These films inspired in her the exploration of her feminine spirit and initially resulted in 27 paintings, poetry and a course called, Awakening the New Feminine Spirit.
While originally designed for women, three years ago she was inspired by her husband and a highly respected colleague and friend to share this work with everyone, and not limit it to women only.
Once you register, you’ll receive a beautifully illustrated guidebook each month filled with poetry, symbols, sacred geometry, poetic voices, art projects, energy exercises, Debbie’s honest and deeply personal awakening stories, and journaling questions to help you awaken your Feminine Spirit.
You’ll also receive monthly audiotaped guided meditations, an agenda and the month’s videotaped workshop. The Awakening Project is designed for individuals to work alone or in groups. Participants will also receive a monthly invitation to join the Facebook LIVE event. At the end of the 13-month journey you will co-create the first ever, Awakening the New Feminine Spirit community-based Global Art Show, curated from the art of the participants.
While this course is designed for you to work alone or in a group, Debbie strongly recommends that you seek out others to join you on your journey. The Awakening Project will have its own unique online presence where you can join and easily interact, co-create and find individuals and/or communities to enhance your experience.
I’m so excited to share this unique offering with my readers, and highly recommend signing up right away and joining in this groundbreaking opportunity to co-create and transform with one of today’s foremost leaders. Be sure to tell your friends and forward this info to anyone who you think is a good fit and who will resonate with this journey. And remember, this course is open to all, regardless of financial situation.
Here’s what Debbie has to tell you about this special project and invitation: “If you know anything about me, you know that I love the body, I love life, and I love creating the kind of change that benefits people and makes the world a better place. It’s all a part of me doing what I tell everyone else to do. I am walking my talk!”
Thank you Debbie for all you do! Your contributions to the movement culture are enormous and valuable. May your work continue to grow and prosper and transform lives far and wide!
Join Debbie Rosas and The Awakening Project today!