Showing Up

I am afraid.

I want to quit.

I don’t know how to do this.

I am in over my head.

Will what I’m doing really make any difference?

These thoughts have visited me over last five years. Some are very recent. Birthing the documentary has been magical, fun, and hard. Sharing my self-doubts at this moment may seem strange. The premiere date is set: Saturday October 15th at the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove.

Celebration plans are forming.

There is a growing sense of accomplishment.

So why share my struggles?

Once upon a time, I believed others didn’t face inner conflicts as their dream became a reality. It was easy for them. They looked so confident. I thought: “How do they do it? I’d be a nervous wreck.” But I was comparing the inside of me to the outside of them.

Now I know the process is the same for all of us. No matter what we are creating. No matter who we are. We must step into the unknown to bring forth what we are envisioning. That place of uncertainty is where our mind steps in with its loud warnings.

Believing that others don’t face inner turmoil has consequences.

It keeps us from…

• believing in ourselves.

• living the life, we want to live.

• trusting that we too can accomplish our dream.

Self-doubts do not discriminate. Whether you are accomplished or a beginner they will find you. Below is a quote from John Steinbeck‘s journal as he worked on The Grapes of Wrath. Ultimately, he earned the Pulitzer Prize for it and eventually a Nobel Prize for his work.

“I’m not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people. I wish I were. No one else knows my lack of ability the way I do. I am pushing against it all the time.”

And yet he persisted. Steinbeck kept showing up. Did he know what I have discovered? Self-doubt is not a reason to stop. It indicates that we’re moving into an area of self-discovery. We are out beyond our known world.

This is how the dictionary defines showing up.

1. Clearly seen

2. Making an appearance

3. Revealed

So, showing up means to be clearly visible.

Moments that are exciting and easy are part of the process. Challenges that are impossibly difficult are also part of it. At the core of showing up is our willingness to stay with discomfort. It means being present to whatever our path reveals.

Not only to be present to the disturbances, but actually to push into them. Disturbances are doorways. From my book Unfolding: “Growth happens during disruptive times precisely because we are forced to examine what we believe.” Wouldn’t you agree, during difficult times you learned a great deal about life and yourself?

Let this blog be your invitation to stay with whatever showing up means to you. You may have already found that it includes delights and disturbances. To be loyal to our own being is at the heart of showing up. This realization calls for difficult choices about how we spend our energy, time and money. Ultimately, we have to take a stand for what we cherish.

It takes courage.

I also hope you will attend the premiere of Showing Up: Dare to Live from Your Heart on October 15th at the Tivoli. It will be a grand celebration. Tickets will go on sale soon. If you do join us, please soak up all the joy as we celebrate this accomplishment. Know this path included breakdowns and breakthroughs. Maya Angelou said it best: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

I have grown while creating this documentary. I dare say, everybody on the team has grown. Surely more challenges will come.

But for now…

Chrysalis abandoned.

Wings unfolded.

Colors shining forth.

Clearly visible.

Self-doubts quiet…for now!


                                                     Photo Credit Nancy Hill: Butterfly in my garden.

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