On Showing Up

Point the camera and wonders appear.

Lynsey Addario in “Of Love and War”

Anxiety is nearly universal as a human trait. We care and fear, therefore we are anxious (at times). Anxiety flares when either we really really care or really really fear something, and a combination of the dynamic is the stuff of inner wars. I dislike all this war talk. So, I ask you to embrace your anxiety. Be kind and curious about it. Show up for your life, with it. Show up for your life – in spite of the sensations of anxiety.

Many of us do one of two things when we are anxious (aka, CARE or FEAR something): avoid or fuse. When we avoid – yeah, dude, I see you out there – we retreat rather than engage in something that might give us some discomfort. That discomfort, ironically, is the mechanism of growth in our beings that helps us move through and ultimately lessen the degree of anxiety we experience about any one thing. Go on, keep avoiding and I guarantee your anxiety about that thing will either stay the same or worsen. Think public speaking, think first day of school rather than fortieth, think start of the party rather than the middle, and think xenophobia – fearing based on the unfamiliar.

On the other hand, another common expression of anxiety is to fuse or fixate to any one stress trigger (as if we can think ourselves out of discomfort, if we obsessively prepare) or we fuse or fixate on any one thought, feelings or sensation (coded as the experiences of anxiety).

The anecdote to anxiety: show up. Show up to your life, as if you deserve to have been born. Good enough, just as you are. If you have breath, you have all the parts. Show up to each new moment, as if it’s an opportunity to learn a thing or two about you, others, and the world around us (even if there are a few discomforts). Show up, imperfectly. Show up – like with YOUR WHOLE BEING – which means you can’t possibly fixate on any one thought, feeling, or sensation in your body. Show up for this moment, with your whole being – and that is good enough. Showing up is your eternal ticket to movement forward toward the life you deserve to live (notice I said live, rather than avoid or fixate on planning, from the back corner of your dusty bed).

Deciding what you’re not before you decide what you are lets you stand strong in your own category…

Questlove in his “Creative Quest”

I still hear you in this old piano…just promise you won’t let it be just the keys that you touch…

Jack’s Mannequin in “Hammers and Strings”


Let’s grow our discomfort muscles together.

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