Showing Up

Evidently Woody Allen is the one who said that "90% of success is just showing up." I was looking for the author of the quote on-line, and I found it on a blog that was highly critical of the idea in its turn. "That's not what we need to teach our children." was the response. "We need to expect far more of them than just showing up." I understand the respondent's frustration, but I don't know that he understands how hard it is to "just show up." If any of us could show up--and I mean really show up--on a consistent basis, our lives would be so much richer. What we'd have to offer the world would be so much deeper. In many ways, that's what the spirituality of mindfulness is about. It's about showing up. Thu Nguyen, a mindfulness teacher here in Fairfax County, once taught a small group of us at my church how to hug one another mindfully. (It's a practice he learned from Thich Nhat Hahn.) His point was that so often when we hug, we don't actually manage to show up for our hugs. It's a motion that we go through, but we aren't really there for the other in the hug. We aren't there ourselves, so we certainly can't be attentive to them whatever they are bringing to the hug. A mindful hug is hug where you actually pause in the midst of your life to show up for the hug. You see the other person and ask them to see you. You take them thoughtfully, so that you can hold them for as long as they would like to hold you. Again, you're present to them. Present to the hug. That's the point of the hug anyway, isn't it? Really, with the hug, 100% of success is showing up.

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