Showing up

“The work we do is a reflection of who we are. If we’re sloppy at it, it’s because we’re sloppy inside. If we’re late at it, it’s because we’re late inside. If we’re bored by it, it’s because we’re bored inside, with ourselves, not with the work. The most menial work can be a piece of art when done by an artist. So the job here is not outside of ourselves, but inside of ourselves. How we do our work becomes a mirror of how we are inside.”
― Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

I’ve used this title before, but this post is new.

Before I start, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s taken time to read and mention my blog over the past couple of weeks. It means a lot.

Showing up.

What does it mean?

Being visible?
Doing your sh*t?
Being alive to the moment? (Or, are you the moment?)
Being in touch with reality?
Doing what you least want to do.
Being present?

Yes, to all of these.

The trouble is, too often, we get caught in a swirling vortex of emotion — even the type that behoves persistence, determination and passion — and forget who we are, less still what we’re all about.

I’ve been there many times.

We think we’re making progress and then, as I said the other day, we hit a mental wall and that’s it.


The truth is — I think this one is pretty universal — we make our lives too complicated.

Simplify, simplify — a very Thoreau message — should be (but rarely is) writ large across all aspects of our lives, especially in the ‘need-to-do’ department. I mean what’s the point of doing something out of routine when it’s preventing you from doing the one thing that speaks loudest to your heart?

To my mind, this is another aspect of Resistance that I keep referring to. It’s a devious SOB, and showing up and doing stuff that’s not essential is just another form of procrastination. I’m not saying that the thing you most want to do but are not doing should be easy but then again, if you ask any aspiring writer, entrepreneur, or expectant mother nothing is going to stop them, no matter the risks, from realising their dream. That means they don’t show up to things that won’t help them unless they have to revert to survival mode.

Forgive me for saying this again, but over the years I’ve introduced way too many things into my life — and that includes material possessions, i.e. books — which I now see is another form of Resistance. What if I’d never bought a single one of the 1000s of books, nor read them and instead devoted all my time, and I mean all my time, to writing?

Seriously, though, the art of showing up, as best as I can describe it, is aliveness; it’s the particle and the form; the wave and the ocean. The distractions come at us but for that split second or hopefully longer, nothing is going to shake our belief that this one thing is going to happen. And that includes doing nothing — i.e. standing or sitting still and fully breathing in the moment.

Forgive me if this sounds hopelessly abstract and not altogether helpful, but what I’m inviting is for you to consider:

1. Do you need to show up to everything?
2. If not, then don’t.
3. How do you feel when you show up? Alive or semi-conscious?
4. What is the one thing if done now would make the biggest difference in your life? Never forget, in this very moment we can change our lives.
5. If you feel an equal and opposite force — i.e. Resistance — to the thing you most want to do, chances are it’s the thing you should be doing. If there’s no Resistance, then it probably isn’t.

Oh, one last point. Showing up shouldn’t be a crowd-pleasing exercise. Certainly, for those people trying to express themselves creatively, it’s probably as well to keep doing your work without the need to tell all and sundry.


There’s a real risk that an innocent comment may dent your confidence sufficient to stop you in your tracks.

Have a wonderful Sunday.




Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash