June 2009

First Things First



I couldn’t get away from the hand-scrawled sign in this picture. Its message is simple, and it captivated me. I stared at it hanging in the kitchen at a week-long yoga retreat I attended a few years ago, and at the end of the retreat I took a picture of it, took it home and memorized it.

“Just show up” became something like a mantra for me. Nothing can really happen until I do. There are often obstacles (both internal and external) that keep me from moving forward. Many times I am stymied by them.  But the one thing I almost always have control over is showing up.

Showing up looks unique for each person and varies from day to day. Some days, showing up means getting out of bed. It can mean requiring ourselves to go somewhere we don’t feel like going — like for dental work or driver’s license renewal. For other times, showing up means listening to someone else’s point of view.  Showing up to the yoga mat when I don’t feel like it yields greater results in my yoga practice than the days when I am super-motivated.

Sounds simple, huh? The most important things in life are often very clear. Yet it’s not enough to know what’s important. We have to take action. We have to show up. Nothing happens unless we do. Everyone has access to stress relief and relaxation. It is not enough to know this. You have to do something.

Start where you are with what you’ve got. Start with the body you have. Don’t wait until you have enough time. If you wait until it is easy to start taking care of yourself, you never will. Set aside the time, then show up and see what happens.

Namaste.  Leah