Showing Up

Hello. Doctor Anita Johnston, here. I am in Kailua Beach in Hawaii, and I rushed on down to the beach because it looked as though there was rain coming.

And so who runs to the beach if you think it’s going to rain? Well, I knew I had a little bit of chance and there was a little bit of time, and so I thought I would go for it. I knew that this would be the perfect time to walk the beach, because I had checked the tide chart. And the tide was nice and low.

And it got me thinking about, well, the storms in life. What happens when it looks like things are going to be a little stormy? Do we run away and hide from the storms, or do we take a look at them and pay attention to see how much time we have, to notice what our reaction is?

And so I started thinking more and more about the storms of life, and where we really have some choice in how we respond to them.

Angeles Arrien always said that a good guide for dealing with life and those storms is fourfold. One, show up. Two, pay attention. Three, tell the truth. And four, don’t get attached to the results.

So what does that mean, to show up? Well in my mind, showing up means being fully present. To not numb out, not distract, not avoid, but to fully, completely show up.

And the number two, to pay attention. To pay attention not to just what’s going on outside of yourself, but also inside of yourself. To tune in, as well. Pay attention.

Tell the truth, that means speak your truth in the kindest way possible. Assertively identify, accept, and express what you are feeling, and speak it in a way that is respectful towards your experience and the experience of others.

And then the final, the hardest, don’t get attached to the results. Because you see, the results are not yours. I’m not in control of whether or not it rains. I am in control of how I’m going to respond to it, how I’m going to react to it.

So to not get attached to the results, especially when life misbehaves itself and doesn’t do what we think it ought to do, is an important part to weathering the storm.

We can’t get attached to the results because the results are not yours. There are certain things that in life, we are not in control of.

But what we can do is we can be fully present to life. We can show up. And we can pay attention to what’s going on outside and inside. And we can tell the truth in the kindest way possible.

But getting attached to the results is what creates stress. Say to yourself, “It shouldn’t be raining,” is stressful, which is quite different from saying, “Well, it may rain. It may not. It is what it is.”

Because when you can accept that which you are not in charge of, then it’s not stressful. And not only that, there’s plenty to work with as it is. Showing up can be really hard. Paying attention can require a lot of us. Telling the truth, whoa. Speaking assertively, that requires some practice to get that skill.

So we’ve got our hands full with showing up, paying attention, and telling the truth. Leaving the last piece, and letting go of being attached to the results, can be really hard also.

I think of that saying, “Let go or be dragged.” Because life will have its way. Let go or be dragged. Your choice. That, you have a choice about.

So I showed up, paid attention, told the truth, and didn’t get attached to the results.

I invite you to practice this. Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don’t get attached to the results. And so, from the Light of the Moon Café in Kailua Beach in Hawaii, I hope to see you next time.

Till next time,