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Today I was given a gift in a few simple words.  The gift was the acknowledgment of the power of ‘showing up’.

I am currently out in Ontario, visiting a man, in the hopes of figuring out if it can work as a long distance relationship.  Some friends celebrated my gumption in going and giving it a try, others thought I was crazy to waste my time even considering it.  Neither perspective, nor outcome matter because it is simply about ‘showing up’.

I was feeling a little stir crazy because the said man, has to work during the day and I was using the time to catch up on my, existent in intention only, yoga and meditation practice. I did some school work and some preparation for my upcoming foray into podcasting but mostly fought boredom.  Today however I decided to take him up on his offer to borrow his car and explore.

Being in Ontario in the first place was ‘showing up’ number one but borrowing his car was showing up number two.  He takes his cars very seriously.  They are his pride and joy.  I could sense his hesitation in lending it to me.  He was quite worried about whether or not I could drive a standard.  I reassured him emphatically that I did, as my first car was a standard and at one point, I even drove a VW bus. In all honesty there was a part of me that was nervous about it and almost didn’t do it.  The thought that staying in all day for another day would drive me to madness, made me show up.  For the record, I had no problems driving the vehicle and it was returned safe and sound. 

The first place I went was to a tiny local lake.  It was small, maybe even man made, and right beside the highway. I could have complained about that but instead I was there.  I had ‘shown up’ so I was going to make the best of it.  I rented a Kayak and started to paddle.  About half an hour into the journey around the lake, the skies opened up and it poured.  Not just little rain drops, but a downpour.  Within seconds I was soaked and it was beautiful!  The rain was refreshing because it was so hot, it was beautiful as it bounced off the surface of the water, completely changing the scenery.  Again, I could have complained, “Just my luck, the rain ruins everything” kind of thing.  But instead I showed up and celebrated the moment.  I actually found myself laughing out loud in celebration. The rain eventually stopped and I came in at the normal time I was allowed.

I wasn’t quite ready to go back to the quiet of the house yet, so thanks to google, I found another nature reserve nearby.  I took his precious car and decided to explore further.  The trail was very beautiful.  It was only about an hour hike but the dense forest after a warm rain was so fragrant and glorious, it was easy to lose myself in that moment.  I saw giant, beautiful butterflies, and gorgeous ferns.  On numerous occasions I wished that I had brought my phone so that I could take photos.   I had for some reason, which later became clear, decided to leave my phone in the car.  I told myself at the time that it was because of the rain and I didn’t want to wreck my phone, but I think it had more to do with being genuinely present.  As it was, I was surprised how often I worded my experiences in my head as a Facebook status.

As I walked, I was thinking about my next steps.  What I wanted to really do with my life.  I have always wanted to be an inspirational speaker.  Whether through teaching, consulting, tea leaf reading, or performing with Vibe Tribe, I have wanted to make my life mission to inspire and empower others.  I was asking for guidance as to what my next steps should be.

I got to the top of this very tiny but beautiful waterfall.  It was small and unassuming but had an almost sacredness to its more ordinary demeanor.  There was beautiful mossy rocks, shimmering sunlit water, happy, jumping frogs.  It was humid and warm and the brook leading to the little falls sounded like it was sharing its wisdom for anyone to hear.

I sat on a fallen log and immersed myself in that experience. I showed up.  I decided to try to meditate and that went like most of my attempts to meditate. People came and went, a photographer, a family, a couple and a First Nation’s man.  I thought he seemed first nations for some reason and later that was confirmed.  We never had any type of interaction, didn’t even make eye contact, but I did notice him because he seemed to have the same reverence for the place that I was experiencing.

He also left like the others, and I am not even sure when.  Then a few minutes later, he came back and called out to me.  “Hey,” he said, “Thanks for being here.” Then he left.

At first I was startled, what an odd thing to say.  I awkwardly called back “thank you.”

Somehow that statement lifted my heart tremendously.  Thank you for being here.  Those words permeated my being.  Thank you for being here.

I began to thank the waterfall for being there and then myself for deciding to come there.  I was thankful to the man for saying those words.  As I walked the trail back I realized that here was my topic.  It is all about showing up!

We need to show up for our lives.  The good, the bad, the opportunities, the risks, we need to show up for it all and truly live.  Too often we are overshadowed by the day to day, the what makes sense, the shoulds and shouldn’ts and we don’t show up.  When I look back on my life the most amazing experiences from the magical to the mundane happened because I showed up. Life has given me lots of knocks but each time I show up and face it.  It has given me true gifts and again I show up and accept them.  When my life is not what I want it to be, it is always because I am not showing up.

I have no idea who I am even writing this for but whoever is reading it, I encourage you to show up.  Show up and really experience what is being offered to you no matter what it is.  Whether it is a difficult life lesson to learn from or moments of bliss, truly show up and live it.

I am glad you are here.

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