The Ponder Effect | Am I showing up for my life?
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-621,single-format-standard,qode-social-login-1.0,qode-restaurant-1.0,woocommerce-no-js,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-4.6,fs-menu-animation-underline,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.6,vc_responsive

Am I showing up for my life?


No one wants to think they are sleepwalking. No one wants to be on autopilot.

In our society we tend to assume that if we are striving, then we are awake. We all have voices in our heads that tell us we need to be more, do more—to the point that it’s almost overwhelming. At times, I have completely shut down out of a perceived need to fix myself. Years ago my dear friend Susan shared with me an insight that she had. “It’s not about what you do, it’s about how you show up.” At the time, I loved the idea cognitively, but couldn’t quite grasp it on a cellular level.

All that changed when three years ago, I encountered one of my toughest challenges. While holding the suffering that each day brought, I began to learn how to show up for myself with kindness. And because I have been doing that work within myself, it has extended out to those around me. For me, showing up isn’t about what I do externally. It’s about how I show up in each moment. If my kids come into the kitchen while I’m cooking, do I stop and make eye contact or talk to them while I’m not looking at them? It’s not perfect, but at least the voice is there now, encouraging me to show up.

How do we reconfigure the voices in our heads? How do we teach them to ask of us not to do or be more but to show up more fully? It’s ultimately about choice. It’s about the choice to be vulnerable when I can, even when it’s really uncomfortable. It’s about the choice to be appreciative of myself for all that I’ve done today and over the past ten years. It’s about showing up enough to witness the thoughts so they don’t run the show.

Showing up is an ongoing practice of, and movement toward, self-love. I think of self-love as holding myself with the tenderness that I would hold my child. When I can hold myself with tenderness, I can show up for my life. And when I can show up for my life, I can hold myself with tenderness. The two ultimately become one.


About our guest: A Nurse Practitioner specializing in Integrative Medicine and a Certified Aromatherapist with over 18 years of clinical experience, Blaire Morriss is the owner of the Nashville-based aromatic apothecary, The Oil Jar. She is passionate about providing certified organic, ethically farmed or wildcrafted essential oils and empowering others with the knowledge of how to use them. To learn more, visit her at

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

5 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    September 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    My husband and I were just talking yesterday about the ease with which we so often take on a mindset of “getting through” life instead of living it out fully. I, too, get caught up in the notion that unless we are striving and doing, we are falling short. Unless I can name my concrete areas of productivity, my day was not a successful one. How limiting is that? Thanks for sharing this vital reminder that choosing to show up (and to prioritize being present over being productive) is key to finding joy in an otherwise mundane cycle of moving without really living.

  • Anonymous

    October 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I do not want to live a life “getting through,” I want a present life. Present over perfect. I choose to SHOW UP to everything. Showing up to me means taking your time to be present with the people around you. To Show Up is so have no plans, to let the moments come as they will and enjoying them just like that.

  • Varina Willse

    October 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    This morning I saw a teacher who was on her first day back from maternity leave. I gave her a big hug and applauded her for making it. I told her that was all she really needed to do. She laughed and said, “I showed up!”

    That’s always the first step, isn’t it? To show up physically—to work, to class, at the hospital, at the end of the day. Sometimes that’s easier than others. The next step is to show up emotionally and mentally. The example the writer shared about how she responds when the kids walk into the kitchen really struck me. It inspires me to stay more present in any given moment. This question taps into the highest demand we can make of our selves and yet it is so simple. Pondering it often really does pave the way for transformational change.

  • Anonymous

    October 4, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Beautifully articulated. This is who I want to be rather than the person I’m striving to be in the distance. I want to put down the dishes and get on the floor with my daughter to play. I want to let go of the duties I feel bound to complete (but let’s be honest, never get there) and focus on the living creatures in front of my eyes. Nourish them and nourish myself.

    We often say life is moving too fast. These years are flying by. But I don’t think that’s true. I think we’re moving too fast. We’re too focused on the next move, the next goal, the next chapter that we forget to be present in the “what is now.” To stop and smell the roses. Because winter will inevitably come. But those roses are full with heady fragrance right now. Breathe them in.

  • Anonymous

    October 7, 2018 at 11:46 am

    It took me a while to respond to this one because my initial response was to reject the question. As a parent in this day and age, “showing up” is what nags at me day after day. If I slip into something comfortable, I berate myself. If I show up, but in the wrong way, I never let myself hear the end of it. My children don’t hold me to this standard; I do.

    This week, I had to get a new phone, and little did I know that this new phone was keeping track of my screen time for me. Today, I received a notification that I’d lost an entire day of my life to my online interfaces this week. I can justify some of it – emails and texts have to be answered, of course … that’s “showing up,” too – but the time I spent filling my brain with Twitter and Instagram was somewhat shocking. I show up on Twitter because it helps me stay socially and politically engaged. I show up on Instagram because it connects me with friends and with moments of beauty. But is this really HOW I want to show up? Is it really how I want to use 24 hours each week? 24 hours!!


    My online time isn’t exactly mind numbing – I’m quite engaged with the news I read, for example. It doesn’t make me feel like I’m not showing up. If anything, I feel it arms me with information that HELPS me show up.

    But it does beg the question of WHERE I’m showing up, and whether it’s life-giving, and what I could replace it with that would leave room for better self-care, better family and friend-care, more spirituality and creativity and beauty and action.