Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Showing Up

Happy New Year friends! Can you believe another year has come and gone? For some of us, we could not wait to say goodbye to 2018 and ring in the New Year. For others, maybe we were trying to hold on to this past year, not ready to let go quite yet. Whichever end of the pendulum you may be on, whether holding on tightly or running forward, I invite you to slowly come back to the middle. Slowly release your grip of this past year or gradually come to a pause from your running. You are not called to live in the past and you are not called to live in the future. Dear friends, you are called to live in the present and it is time to show up.

For me, this past year was an overall wonderful year. Yes, there were some definite lows, moments of loss, grief, stress, and questioning of what’s next. There were also some definite highs as well filled with joy, excitement, newness, and answers to prayers. If I were to choose to hold on to any of these moments with a tight grip, I wouldn’t be able to grow and change. On the other hand, if I were to run ahead, never looking back, I also wouldn’t be able to reflect, take note, and respond.

With 2018, I neither find myself with that tight grip nor with running shoes on, but rather I stand somewhere in the middle. I have taken time to reflect on 2018 and I am excited for what is to come in 2019. It is in this middle space where I invite you to join me. Let go of whatever you are holding on to so tightly, put those running shoes down for a moment, and come to this space where we are invited to show up, to slow down, and to be present.

I challenge you in this New Year to be even more attentive and present. Be available to the people around you. Be present to your friends, your family, your students, and your coworkers. Show up to what you have been called to do right here, right now, in this present moment. When we are not showing up, we are not fully giving of ourselves to this beautiful adventure and gift we call life. When we are not present, whether in our classrooms or with our families, we may miss a moment of great worth, a moment that we can only experience if we show up.

Life is filled with these moments, and in 2019 my hope is that we would all be even more present in them. Whether these moments are filed with joy, sadness, bliss, frustration, or confusion, slow down and be present to what is happening around you. Reflect and respond to what has happened in the past, stop running ahead to the future, and rest in the present. For you have been called to show up and be present, right where you are in this moment, in your neighborhood, in your classroom, in your home, and in your family.

When we are able to accept the invitation of showing up to the present moment, we are able to be fully attentive to those around us. We are more attentive to our surroundings and the beauty in our midst and we are more attentive to others’ views, opinions, and feelings. When we show up in our classroom, we make ourselves available to truly connect with our students and we are able to give our full self to the little humans that fill our classroom. When we show up with our families and really take time to listen, we are able to better connect with the people we love. When we show up and are present to our surroundings, we are able to notice things we may not have if we are keeping a tight grip or running ahead. We notice more beauty, we see more goodness in the world, and we slow down for a moment and rest.

Dear friends, as you start your New Year, may you find yourself more and more in the middle space of the pendulum, being present to those around you and showing up.
Show up to the present moment in which we are called to live and to rest.
Show up to this beautiful adventure that we are all invited to, inside and outside of the classroom.  

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