The very least we can do is to show up for life and learn from it
In sports speak it’s called suiting up. Climbing out of the stands, taking the field and getting in the game.
In general it’s about being a participant in our own lives. Willingly. Actively. Positively. Effectively.
Now there’s a quite interesting word. FRUITFULLY. Its an adverb. The root is Fruitful — producing good or helpful results. Relating to how we should live our lives. In a way that produces fruit — Results. Good. Helpful.
What this suggests is that just showing up is the bare minimum. The very basic. The least. What this demands is that we do more than just show up. That we actively and effectively participate. Fully. To bear fruit.
How do we do that? Well, let’s explore that a bit.
What We Want
I think most of us want happiness. Joy. More specifically we want fulfillment. Happiness comes and goes. Fulfillment typically hangs around longer. It has more staying power.
Some of us want riches. Not necessarily money, although not many of us will turn it down. But wealth and riches often come dressed in many different costumes of many colors.
I’m a husband, father, grandfather and son. I’ve been blessed with the riches of family. Loving spouse, children, parents, grandchildren. I’m wealthy.
Then there are those that want to be somebody. Notoriety. Recognition.
Fame. They want to BE someone special.
Practically all of us want affection. To be cared for and loved. Nurtured.
Those are some of the things we want. And desire. Perhaps there are more things that you want. But those to me seem like the Basic 4.
So what do we do to get what we want?
What We Do to Get What We Want
To get what we want, are we willing to at least just show up for life? Suit up? Participate? Get in the game? Or is this more like what some of us do?
- Check out
- Go through the motions
- Sit in the stands, cold one in hand
- Mindlessly watch. Daydream. Of things that could be but aren’t
- Of things that were but aren’t
- Wish. Hope
- Gaze at stars and think about all the things we want and desire
- Unwilling to take the field
Thinking about the future. Living in the past.
Perhaps willing to do something. Anything. Maybe just unable. Paralyzed by something. Or someone. Not able to even show up.
Do we know people like that? I think we all know people like that. In fact, I bet as I have at times, we’ve all been like that at one point in our lives.
It happens. For some it might be happening right now. Hoping. Except as the famous saying goes, hoping and wishing is not a plan.
What We Should Do
Everyone is different. We all have our own situations to deal with. Complications to manage. Life to live according to our own circumstances. As the 1948 movie tells us, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City.”
But we must all address the most basic question that all of the paralysis and the sitting in the stands brings on.
How do you show up? How do you start with the very basic?
Those of you that read what I often write about on Medium know that I am into Simplicity. So I’ll keep it simple here as well. This is how we start:
We must practice mindfulness. We must yank ourselves back into the present from either remembrances of the past or the daydreams of the future.
The way to live and to produce a fruitful life, and to acquire any and all of those things we listed above is to get out of the stands, get on to the field and play the game. Present. Here. Now. Mindful.
I know life’s tough. I know this is a simplistic way to look at things and that it may be a lot harder for you than for someone else. I really empathize with that. I do. But I think we need to state the way out as simply as we can.
I as much as anyone else, have been shoved, knocked and beaten into the stands. Wishing that what happened in my past had happened differently. Hoping that the future would come and deliver me from my plight.
I soon realized that it wasn’t going to work that way. If I had not come to that realization, I’d still be paralyzed. Sitting in the stands. Remembering the past. Daydreaming about the future. Mindless. Going nowhere.
Waiting for the skies to open up and for a miracle to change my life.
So, I ask you:
Where are you?
What are you?
Who are you?
And the most important question of all — WHY are you?
Stay in the stands for a little while longer (but not much longer, please!) and answer these questions.
For a free workbook to assist you in answering the WHY question, step down out of the stands, off the sideline, and get Mindful, into the game of life —
The Workbook is called Stepping Into the Present-Discovering Your WHY
Climb down out of the stands. Suit up. Play the game. Fruitfully. Here. Now. In the present. Mindful.
Mindfulness sucked at first. But for me, it was the only way out.
And for you?
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