The title of this post may be familiar to you, since it is in fact a rather famous quote from Woody Allen. Perhaps I was slow on the uptake, but I first came across this quote the other day whilst watching a rather interesting YouTube video (and gathering vlog inspiration actually!). And as most things do, it got me thinking…
Is life really just about showing up? Well, obviously it is not quite that simple, but I think there is a great deal of wisdom in this little quote. In my experience I have found that often the hardest part of achieving anything is showing up, and then once you are there things just seem to happen naturally.
Take exercise for example. If, like me, you don’t absolutely love exercising all the time, then showing up to a gym/yoga/PT/Pilates class might be a little challenging. Your mind is probably throwing up millions of excuses (“reasons”) why you can’t/shouldn’t/don’t need to go to that class, or go for a walk/run or whatever. But I seem to find that if I just push those thoughts aside for a moment, get my butt wherever it needs to be, then I will do the exercise without too many more complaints. I just have to show up.
This happened to me yesterday when I almost skipped the HIIT run I had planned. I had woken up a little tired, done my yoga and then it was time for HIIT. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it is hard with a capital H. But I also love HIIT workouts, they are quick, efficient and metabolically magical. So I sucked it up, got on the treadmill, cranked up the tunes and got going. Fifteen minutes later I was a sweaty, but much happier and more energised, mess. After a shower I felt like I was ready to take on the world! See, all I had to do was show up (on the treadmill).
Likewise, from my yoga students (and my own experience too) I know that the hardest part of any yoga class is just getting onto your mat, especially if you are rising for the early-morning class. But once you are there, you never, ever regret it. You leave class floating on your post-Savasana cloud and wonder why you ever considered staying in bed when yoga makes you feel SO DAMN AMAZING. Once again, it is just a matter of showing up.
I think this little rule of thumb applies perfectly to meditation as well. I would say that at least 80% of the practice is showing up to your meditation each day and just sitting, committing and being still. Some days it is the hardest thing you’ll have to do, but it is oh so worth it. So just show up.
This practice of showing up can also be taken beyond physical practices and into our social lives. How many times in your life has someone’s presence been enough to completely change how you were feeling in that moment? Maybe you have a friend or family member with whom you are simply happier. Likewise, when you are trying to help others through tricky times, or even celebrating the great times, I would say a large part of that is simply being there – showing up. By showing up and being present, you are acknowledging them and their importance in your life, whilst also showing them how much you care. The simple act of being there for someone who you care for can be transformational, for the both of you.
So after reflecting on this quote I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of truth in it and its applicability to our daily lives in bountiful. Showing up really does amount for a great deal in life, especially when your fears, doubts and anxiety try to keep you stuck at home or in any other place other than where you are meant to be.
Take a moment to gather your thoughts on this. How has showing up allowed you to take part in life more?