Last week a group of women and I got together every morning at 6am. The theme of the week was Feed Your Self and was meant to connect women back to their bodies so they are able to naturally feel better about themselves, their bodies, and the food that they eat.
Early mornings are such a powerful time to not only awaken but to intentionally come together to create changes in our lives. This particularly cold and dark week kept many others in bed - the streets were silent and the rawness of the early morning held an eerie and quiet crispness. It felt so secretive. The world was not yet buzzing with so many minds in a deep sleep.
Anyone who was awake at that time had a reason to be.
Eleven women from around the city - walked, cycled and drove to the City Studio and arrived at the side door of the building - eyes still heavy with lingering sleepiness and greeted me with a slow and quiet "g'morn...".
The cold, darkness outside challenged each of us to stay in bed longer. "Just sleep in," "No one will notice you're not there," but most days our souls won the inner battle and brought us all together.
What does it mean to show up? This was one of my many lessons through the process of creating and leading the week for these women. Showing up for me meant not cancelling a program at last minute for fear of it not meeting expectations. Showing up for me meant 4:30am alarms (either from my baby or the clock beside me). Showing up meant taking care of myself throughout the day - napping when I needed to and declining tea dates. Showing up meant being vulnerable; sharing my experience of struggles with food and life in a way I hadn't in the past. Showing up meant trusting the power of simply holding space. It meant to listen and to realize that this both is and isn't about me.
It was all about connection to ourselves and each other.
When we wake up before the sun, we make a strong statement to ourselves and the universe. We are saying: Yup, all I want to do is sleep right now. But what I want more is to feel good in my body and in my life. I am willing to care of myself and my body to heal areas of my life that are not working. I want to clean up my energy and my vibration so I can feel more free throughout the day. I want to connect to my soul and my feelings so I can make more confident decisions in my life and in every moment. I am willing to by-pass the negative comments inside my head and do what I know is best for me.
In my experience, and as a reminder in what I saw this week, the universe responds to those efforts. Many women began to have more energy throughout the day. They experienced a sense of clarity and groundedness they felt was missing. They benefited from listening to and connecting with the other women in the circle. They began to unravel patterns and developed a stronger appreciation for themselves and their bodies.
'Showing up' might not mean a 6am wake up for everyone, but asking the question, 'What does it mean for me to show up?', 'What would that look like?', 'How might showing up change the way I live?', 'What would change around me if I showed up?'
Sometimes a small act of showing up can expand in powerful ways.