Showing Up for Yourself

Written by Teresa Phelps Martin

On June 27, 2017

Showing up for…You! Yes, so many of us are pleasers and want everyone to be happy, satisfied and keep everything ‘groovy’. I know so many people that would rather sacrifice or give up their own needs for others because this is the way we show our love. Not sure how this became the norm. And it use to be my normal too. Actually let me confess, I still have to work at it on a regular basis. I am also realizing it is a strange way of remaining ‘in control’. If I am dong all I can do to keep the peace (libra rising sign for my astrology friends) then I am fooling myself into thinking that I am actually in charge. Perhaps I can be in charge of showing up for me and then when I show up for others, I can actually be genuine and a pleasure to be around. This in of itself will probably serve others better. Think about it, if I say yes to something but I have meltdowns, get in arguments, walk around disgruntled, and snap at anyone that crosses my path (all of which I am known to do) what’s the point?

As a yoga teacher I regularly come to my mat for peace and salvation. Literally to remind myself of my true and natural state. Sometime ago I would come to my mat to learn, to create a new sequence, to explore therapeutic expressions all to help and support those I encountered. This all worked amazingly well and I was rich with insight, knowledge and strength, all qualities that contribute to my gift as a yoga teacher. I was taught that teaching yoga is being of service. How amazing! Being in service though does not mean sabotaging my own self care. While I feel I always kept it together as a teacher and member of a studio, the rest of my life was a little bumpy. Then in graduate school I am in a crisis intervention course, and in bold print the entire section of the book was entitled – Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Impairment. As I read the details and severity of this I slowly awoken to my own engagement with all of them. It is almost addictive to help others and be of service. To be of service though doe not mean sacrifice your own wellbeing. The high one gets off of doing a good dead makes it easy to loose sight of one’s own self care and self love. Then the energy and quality of offering we bring is watered down, edgy and the authentic sincerity is deeply hidden.

You do not have to be a professional care giver to experience compassion fatigue, burnout or impairment, it is something any human engaging with the rest of the world can experience. It is just that those that please and provided loving care are more susceptible to it and tend to be educated on the early signs to prevent any challenge and pain regarding their profession. (Serious expressions impair people’s health and impact their relationships and financial stability). There are different ways to stay centered and aligned as we dance through life. The following four steps are things that I have found to be incredibly supportive.

AWARENESS of how I am engaging. How much I am saying yes to and how much energy or time or resources it is requiring for me to follow through. Does it really contribute to the bigger concept of what is most important to me or where I am heading in my life. Am I closed off to receiving support and help from other people? All of these questions start the conversation of reaming aware. The more aware we are the more we can self regulate.

ACCEPTANCE of what is discovered. We can tend to be defensive when we wake up to patterns and ways of engagement that are less than stellar. You know, quickly shut down what is really going to support, nourish and stabilize our radiance. What happens often is people blame others, that really does no good as it simply puts others in defense mode. Acceptance does not mean we allow others to walk all over our actions, it really is just accepting the situation you just observed and this allows us to take responsibility or ownership.

CARE because you have to take care of yourself! It is a basic survival skill but a little more complicated than that. Showing up for yourself is just that, seeing that how you are perceiving you life is in alignment with your wants and needs. If you are a caregiver this means you must put self care at the top of your list. Creating a lengthy self care list is something I guided clients to do so that when you are in a place of challenge or crisis or completely exhausted or overwhelmed, you have a list of resources. Self care can be a yoga class, a meditation, sitting outside enjoying nature or just stopping to watch the lavender dance in the wind.

CHOICE because this is how we make a change fast and for the best. The above steps are really just an opportunity to reflect and tend to the inner world and physical well being. Choosing to take action is essential if we are going to keep our hearts full. In street language, you work to make money so you can afford things like air conditioning, clean water, food, shelter and hopefully some fun. If you have ever run low on funds, it creates a messy and painful experience of life. Our ability to give and support others requires a deposit into our own personal account. Thus by showing up for yourself, you have resources that are authentic, genuine and what you bring forward holds so much more potency that people appreciate your offering that much more. To engage with the light and manifest more choices that turn you to your brilliance. When you can see, then you can be and this allows you to bring forward the passion, intention, and desires of your true self.

Now when I come to my mat or my meditation practice I show up for myself. It is all about me. Because in that 3-20 minute window I am making a deposit into an account for my children and family. When I show up to teach I also want to be certain I am present and provide value. When I work with clients one on one I require a level of emotional stability to hold space without judgement to foster positive growth. The way I am learning to live requires that I make myself a priority. There is no shame because I know what matters and what matters is what I bring and share with those I love.

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