Friday, August 22, 2014


I’ve found myself in a prickly situation recently – entrenched, but not in the position to untangle it.  In my more zen moments I can acknowledge that it is what it is and let it be.

I needed a bit of zen Tuesday night so I plopped down on my yoga mat – a place I haven’t found myself in quite sometime.  This isn’t a class with a soothsayer instructor (you know those yogis who whisper wisdom straight to your soul?), so I had tempered expectations.  My left hamstring has been tight since my long run on Saturday and I knew I could use a few deep breaths.

The instructor opened the class with this:  “You showed up for yourself tonight.

Sitting in lotus pose it hit me:  I’ve been waiting for a referee to show up and mediate this tricky situation – to apply the rules fairly and ultimately validate my position.  But, as my mother always said, “fair, my dear, is a term for the weather.”  And, good heavens, isn’t it exhausting seeking validation?  What a terribly useless pursuit.

I wrote recently about showing up – about the importance of presence and authenticity.  Last night I started thinking about how much easier it is to show up for a friend or an important cause than it is to show up for myself.  We sabotage ourselves with self-doubt, fear, judgment, comparison, the need for validation.  But, what if instead we showed up for ourselves like we (try to) show up for our friends:

  • Not to intervene, but to affirm.
  • Not to problem solve, but to be thoughtfully present.
  • Not in defense of, but on behalf of.
  • Not to judge, but to discern.
  • Not to untangle problems, but to generate space.
  • Not to point fingers, but to make peace.

The yoga instructor’s words stuck with me through the week.  When I didn’t feel like running on Wednesday night, they came to mind.  I went ahead and ran the miles, not because I had to or because I’d be disappointed with myself if I didn’t, but because I really want to run a great marathon this fall.  And showing up for myself meant lacing up and getting out the door.

Showing up for myself means having the wisdom to know where my energy is well spent and where it is not.  It is having the discernment to know when to intervene and when to let go, and the courage to believe that my position needs no outside validation or justification.  Showing up for myself means that the commitment I have to myself to do the best I can where I can with what I have is enough.

What might it mean for you?


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