I hated her voice! YES! I SAID HATED! Her legs stretched effortlessly into the Warrior pose in her size two workout gear with a smile and no hint of sweat on her forehead telling me, “Come on now! You can do it! You have ten more seconds! Give it to me! Torch those calories! Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…AND YOU DID IT!” Well, kind of. I had given it my all up to the count of eight (don’t judge me- doing yoga in a room set to 120 degrees is nothing you want to imagine), but by the time she got to seven, I was just moving from side to side hoping that it would give me the same results. I was tapped out, but at least I was moving. That was my rationale- until I looked at my profile in the mirror while I was getting dressed. I wanted a flat stomach. I wanted to lose some of those “hips” that everybody else told me were “Ooh, Clo cute”. I wanted my body to stop moving when I stopped walking. I was tired of the jello-jiggle effect. BUT what I didn’t want to do was the WORK. The fact was there was no one in that hot box to make me go on. Yeah, she was there telling me that she could see me through the screen, but come on (you should see the look on my face right now). It dawned on me that I really could have pushed through for those last seven, and the idea of me just “being there”moving and sweating was not going to get me where I wanted to be. It only hurt me-no one else- not push past the momentary pain and discomfort. My showing up was not good enough. I had to show up STRONG for ME.Society has fed some of us the bitter fallacy that “showing up” is good enough, and we have believed it. I hear it from my high school students all the time. They somehow think that “being present” or “showing up” is reason enough to get some kind of imaginary check mark in life. They think that “showing up” is showing effort, and effort should count for something, right? WRONG! Here is the reality check that they so often miss: you can “show up” all you want, but if your presence does not produce anything then just being there doesn’t count. It is like showing up to work but not doing your job or showing up in a relationship but not communicating, compromising or caring enough to get to know the person intimately. It is like showing up to your place of worship with no intention of applying the principles that you have been taught or showing up to a friend’s party without a gift, bottle of wine or a smile. Just “showing up” doesn’t matter if you don’t show ALL the way up as your BEST self and put in the work, even when it is not required and there is only you to hold yourself accountable.
We show ALL the way up when we are fully present in the moment with all of who we are- both the good and the bad. When we are fully present and ready to do whatever is necessary to make our mark, we show up STRONG. We show up knowing that we will make a difference in whatever arena we are in, and we will succeed even in the face of adversity and the inevitability that we will make mistakes on the journey to the great places that we are headed. I realized not too long ago that I was avoiding showing up STRONG because I did not want to come off as a “know-it-all” or like I had it all together. I did not want to intimidate people in my circle who may confuse my confidence for cockiness, and I did not want to startle people who were not strong enough to navigate through the reverberation of my zest for life. I knew that everybody would not be able to handle me showing up STRONG, but why was I making that my problem?
So there I found myself (No, I really did find myself). I was the living epitome of Marianne Williamson’s profound revelation that, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I was lurking in the shadows afraid to come out because of the possibility that other people would not “get me”. Their insecurities created mine- with my permission, of course. But it’s too cold in the shadows, and nothing worth keeping grows there so I dared to get out of my own way. I vowed not just “show up” but to show up STRONG because of the responsibility that I had to myself to do so. It would take moments of sacrifice and and standing toe to toe with fear and being willing to dismantle it or do “it” afraid.
What is your “it”? Where is the place that you have not shown up STRONG? What area in your life have you sold yourself short just because you were afraid of how you would be received? Williamson goes on to say that, “As we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” It is time to stop downplaying who you are and want you want. It is time to let your light shine so that others can see that it is OK, as a matter of fact, it is required if you want to live your BEST life, to show up STRONG. It is time to leave the land of mediocrity and enter the land of More Than Enough. WHY? Because you are more than enough, and everything that you have gone through and grown through in your life has prepared you to be who you are today- able to show up and show up STRONG. Do it and watch the greatness unfold IN you and FOR you. People are rooting for you to make it! Give them something to cheer about. Give them YOU.