Wellness Wednesday - Unapologetically Show Up!

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of introducing Colony of Queens, an Oakland women's support group, to bellydance. A theme that kept coming up was how dance makes us visible, to ourselves and to others. As we shimmied, we came upon a mantra, “Unapologetically Show Up!”

In life we encounter events, people, and/or social conventions that discourage us from stepping forward into being our fullest self. One of the aspects of my dance classes are the gems of wisdom that we stumble across during learning. Little lessons that have a big ripple effect when applied to life outside the dance studio. In dance classes we can safely explore themes and patterns that occur in daily life.

To "unapologetically show up" in your life, means that you are sharing all of your qualities with yourself and others, without excusing it away. It goes beyond just the positive, showing up includes the less than enjoyable experiences that go with being human. Showing up can also mean being vulnerable, being joyful, being angry, being helpful, or knowing that you aren’t able to give something all of your energy. Showing up is something you do for yourself before you do for others. It’s like the oxygen mask in the airplane, if you don’t put it on your own face you can’t help anyone else.

Showing Up

When learning something new, like bellydance, just showing up and giving it your best effort is enough. It is a way for you to realize your courage, willingness, and successes. Engaging in this practice may shift you out of a mindset of “I can’t” to one of “oh, hey I just did that thing that was really hard”. Showing up can be a doorway to compassion and empathy for yourself and for others. It’s pretty neat to see how something like a shimmy and a veil might encourage you to step into your life and let yourself shine.

What sorts of experiences have you had that you realized could help you in daily life? How do you practice “unapologetically showing up”?