If you take a look at my archives (don’t you do that on a regular basis?) you will note that there is a big drop off in my posting frequency starting in June. I mean 6 entries in August? 3 in September? 3 in October (so far)? What the heck? Did I run out of things to say? Hardly.
It was June 7 (ah-ha, the first slow posting month) when @mattsingley posted a quote on Twitter that came through my feed.
I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.– Brian Tracy
It was the “show up more often” part that gave me a *PING* moment. And I decided to give it a try.
Because I had an epiphany:
I like hiding. I use my family, my distance from the city, my introversion, lack of money, non-professional artist status, as my default reasons for not showing up. And sometimes those are legitimate reasons, particularly my family. But lots of times, these are excuses. Because often the truth is I don’t show up because of the great unknown of what ifs–what if I don’t know anybody, what if no one wants to talk to me, what if I can’t think of anything interesting to say, what if the cool kids won’t let me sit with them, what if my idea isn’t good enough, and a thousand and one variations on the what if theme.
So that’s what I’ve been doing since then…showing up more often. Being afraid. Having my excuses and showing up anyway. Recognizing that my right people are there if I would allow myself to be there too. Letting myself step outside of “Here I am again, in the place of stuck that I always come back to.” I’ve had many a negotiation with myself. “Just go for five minutes, just say hello, just say thank-you, just pop your head in, just stick your hand out, just pick up the pen. That’s all I’m asking of myself, and then I can go back to something cosy.”
Sometimes, I’ve really only done that bare minimum and I pat myself on the back for doing that. And other times, I’ve gone way past the bare minimum with no further negotiations required. I’ve been going places I might have found a reason not to go to. I’ve been talking to people that I might not have talked to. I’ve fessed up out loud to having ideas. I’ve been showing up in my studio instead of the computer. And as the quote predicts, lucky things have been happening. It’s been like…well…magic. Suddenly I can see I’m in a different place relative to my dreams. Instead of spending my energy pining after what I don’t have, I can spend my energy thinking of next steps.
I’ve been establising an offline presence in the words of the always mildly brilliant Ken Roberts.
And part of showing up other places was showing up here less.
I also decided it was time to declutter my online world. My Google Reader was becoming a huge burden. I’d subscribed to so many wonderful, funny, thoughtful, well written blogs that I was spending far too much of my free time just reading other people’s stuff and never getting to my own.
So, in a surprisingly painful exercise, I deep-breathed my way through unsubscribing to fully half the blogs I was subscribed to. Half.
Would you like to know what I kept?
Of course, my family, friends, and any blog that’s been kind enough to link back to me.
Havi of The Fluent Self because she’s changing my life with every posting. She’s woo-woo without the ‘ew.’
Ken Roberts of Mildly Creative because his creative ideas and rhthym synch up marvellously with my own.
The Woman Who Talked Too Much — Marie Phillips. Because damn she’s a good writer, and I love her total commitment to her obsessions be it David Tennant, the guy who heads up The Choir, or Strictly Dancing.
The Woman In Black. Humour from the dark side. When I’m feeling all rainbows and big-eyed kittens, she’s a great antidote. AND she left me a damn fine limerick on my birthday.
Okay, Fine, Dammit. Because oh my goodness can this woman write. The images, the lyrical turns of phrase, the startling insight woven into her prose, which is more like poetry. Just. Beautiful.
Pearl, Why You Little. Because I have a huge crush on Pearl’s writing. She delights me.
Dilbert. Because the Scott Adams brain is a weird and wonderful place to peer into.
On the Brain. The makers of Fast ForWord. Need I say more?
Dream Garden Coaching. My accountability coach.
and a couple of others that have kind of gone silent, but I’m still hoping for a resurrection.
It’s been SO freeing. Now, I follow people on Twitter to test drive them and occasionally check out what’s going on on their blog, but I don’t feel obligated to read EVERY SINGLE WORD published on the internet everyday. I go days without even opening up my Google Reader…or tweeting…or updating my Facebook status…and apparently without posting anything here.
But at least now you know why.
The power of showing up, in person, in real time — don’t underestimate it. Even if it’s showing up in your studio, or at your lap desk.
Be afraid, show up anyway, and see what happens.
I’ll keep you posted. Sporadically anyway.
Waaaah! But I just found you!
And you are totally right about showing up – and I know I need to do it more.
Also I totally get it – and can only wish you the best of luck with future endeavors.
I’m going to be trolling the archives ;)
Oh, I’m not signing off completely Bullwinkle. And I do think that this is one of places to show up. I just am posting less than I did in the past.
And I’m not saying that anyone else including you *needs* to do anything. That wasn’t my intent to make anyone feel guilty. If you want to show up but don’t, I would give you a Havi-ism — allow yourself to not want to show up too.
Oh, wow. Wow.
I don’t know what to say!
I’m very, very honored.
But I also think it’s really healthy, what you’ve decided to do. I even envy it a bit. So, if you ever feel like you need to turn down my noise too, I promise I won’t be mad. :)
Really, thank you for this. You made my day.
How sweet of you to drop by Maggie. Yours is a very good noise so I have no intention of turning you down. I love making people’s days.
And ohmygod “woo woo without the ew” should be my new tagline. That’s hysterical.
I’m also a huge fan of Maggie, dammit (yay) and second everything she said.
@Havi Oh my goodness. What a pick-me-up after suffering from a nasty stomach bug to find your comment here! I’m ecstatic you like the tag line. (I actually think I excel in tagline creation, she says humbly) And actually, if memory serves I think it was one of your Item! lists that had me discover Maggie. So thanks, thanks, and thanks again.
BTW: Have been very much enjoying Dissolving Procrastination and listening to your teleclasses. It’s been a tremendous mind-shift for me.
I have just discovered your photos of Iolanthe on your blog from 2008. What amazing fairy costumes! What company did this show and is it possible to purchase a DVD? email@example.com
It was the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society (in British Columbia, Canada) that did Iolanthe back in 2008. There was a DVD, but I’m not sure if there are any remaining for sale. I will enquire and get back you. Thanks for your comment. I loved my costume. Gosh, now that you’ve said it, I’m feeling all nostalgic about that show.