What it means to Start Showing UP (part 1: being in the moment)

June 15, 2015

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

One of the tag lines for my business is…

Stop playing small. Start showing UP! tabithad.sg-host.com

If you’re wondering, I want to tell you what it means to start showing UP (part 1)!

The phrase really took on meaning to me around October 2013 when I was invited to a women’s retreat as their guest. I didn’t have to teach, I didn’t have to be a table leader, I didn’t have to lead a craft or facilitate a discussion…I just got to “show up.” What a gift!

Leading up to it, I kept thinking, “Wow, I just get to show up!” in delighted amazement.

Then this thought settled into my heart: “You also need to actually SHOW UP.” Besides going without being one of those serving,

I also needed to be present, fully invested and attentive.

If you know me, I’m the type who is a worker bee and who rarely attends anything as a guest. It’s hard for me to not work.

I’m also prone to being easily distracted because I’m

  • a people person
  • a visual person
  • a highly sensitive person
  • AND an idea person.

It’s hard for me to focus on a speaker and how their message applies to me without thinking of my friend who also needs to hear the message, how the stage could be set up differently, how I’m going to blog about the experience later and wishing the room were warmer.

Being able to experience all of that simultaneously is part of my genius but it can also result in that feeling akin to driving 20 miles and realizing you have no idea how you got there. I bet you can relate.

I resolved to try my best to turn those distractions off for the weekend.

If you’re like me and find it challenging to be present, I encourage you to just keep practicing. I still struggle but I’ve gotten better at showing up.

If an occasion arises and you need to SHOW UP, whether it’s a weekend retreat or lunch with a friend,

here are some hard-won tips that might help you:

1. Dress in a way that is authentic and comfortable so you have one less thing to worry about. If you want to avoid garnering attention, this is one of the rare times you’ll hear me recommend that you dress in dull colors and leave the statement pieces at home. If too much interaction overwhelms you, it’s OK to be a wallflower temporarily. 

2. Comfort yourself. Dress in layers, bring along a jacket, have a snack handy if your blood sugar spikes or do whatever you need to do to be comfortable. Sometimes just being prepared helps you enjoy the moment more, even if you don’t use any of it. But…

showing UP is difficult if your underwear is riding up or your stomach is rumbling.

3. If an idea pops into your head, write it down to ponder later so you can get refocused as quickly as possible. You don’t have to explore EVERY IDEA right now.

4. Have a mantra like, “This day is just for me,” so you don’t try to extend what you’re learning to everyone you’ve ever known or might ever know.

I tend to study topics with an eye on how to teach it later and once my husband reminded me, “It’s okay to learn something just for YOU.” Um…yup. It really is OK.

IF, however, you’re showing UP for a friend, your mantra might be, “This day is for HER. I’ll get my turn later.”

5. Remember that you don’t have to fix all the things or help all the people. 

I know it’s hard to turn that off, BELIEVE ME. 

Ultimately the best way that you can fix things or help people is by simply showing UP in THIS MOMENT.

Wild, isn’t it?

Showing UP will be a lifelong learning process.


Start Showing Up: Being Seen

What do you see as your biggest challenging to showing up? I’d love to know! Hop on over to the TabithaDumas.com Facebook page or Tweet to @tabithadumas

Stop playing small. Start showing UP. Tabitha Dumas, Image and Influence Strategist


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