The Power of Showing Up

That buzz. Have you felt it?

That feeling of being inspired, curious, joyful? Being so drawn towards what is going on around you that you can’t help but smile? And, even better, having your body feel so great that it can keep up with that feeling of mental glee?

Have you allowed yourself to experience a day in your everyday life like this lately?

This week I have had the unique experience of getting to live out a dream that I have had since I was a teenager soaking up Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson in English class: to spend a week in solitude up at my family’s condo at Lake Huntington in the Sierra Nevadas.

It’s been a wonderful and unique experience for me so far and I have found myself savoring every single moment, determined not to miss a single opportunity to feel inspired by my surroundings.

When planning this trip, I viewed it not so much as a vacation so much as a work retreat for myself – an opportunity to focus on me and my business and feeling good where I am right here and now.

I’ve been able to blend a full schedule of coaching calls, writing for my blog, and recipe testing with personal time spent cooking delicious and healthy meals for myself, taking runs along lakeside trails, enjoying some hot tub time, and reading for fun.

I have stopped to examine the wildflowers and learn their names.

I watched baby trout swim about in a small stream trickling into the lakebed.

I climbed a giant rock (that is usually an island in the lake in non-drought years) because it was there to be conquered.

I have also been reaping the benefits of the extra-mindful self-care I have been engaging in this week as I notice my body thinning out and buzzing with good energy and minimal sugar cravings.

I have been here. I have been present. I have been keeping my eyes wide open.

I have been feeling the buzz. Hardcore.

…All while getting work done and completing my normal weekly ‘to do’ list.

While my time here in the mountains has been wonderful and brimming with life lessons for me, as I sat down to think about what I wanted to write to you yesterday, I found myself a little stuck.

There was so much I wanted to share with you about how great it feels to be in nature, to take expert care of yourself and eat beautiful, healthy food, but I also had a sneaking suspicion that all of that might fall a little bit flat if being read from behind a computer screen in the middle of a long workweek.

I know this because I have so been the person in the seat: sitting at my desk, reading about someone else’s lifestyle and adventures, growing increasingly discontent with my own life, and pondering how good things would be and how thin I might be “If only…”

*Commence mountain retreat daydream*

*Commence disengagement in my own life*

While escaping it all and taking yourself on a week-long retreat is truly wonderful (and I HIGHLY recommend you create such time for yourself if at all possible), I also understand that for most people, skipping a week of work and leaving family behind might not be very realistic.

Which got me thinking, what has actually made this week turn on the inspiration lightbulb for me? Is it the mountains? The solitude? The sunshine? Did I really need a solo mountain retreat to get my mind and body in sync in such a profound way?

While there is no denying the powerful force that nature has on the body, mind, and spirit, I have to argue that my experience of seeing the world this week through a mindset where being healthy and being joyful have been so interwoven came from feeling inspired to show up and take notice of my life right now in my best possible form.

Before I left, I had a clear vision of what I wanted this week to look like: focused, inspired, creative, curious, healthy, active, spontaneous. I knew I wanted to be alive and take notice of the world around me. I wanted to be filled with gratitude and appreciation for life. To keep my eyes and my ears and my heart open.

On a physical level, I wanted to feel strong, athletic, awake, limber and energetic.

I wanted to show up in my life 100%

I wanted to pay attention!

But did I really need the mountains to get such a vibrant feeling back in my body and mind? I don’t necessarily think so.

See, we can all show up for our lives this way absolutely anywhere. By being aware of how we want to feel and why we want to feel that way. By letting inspiration pull us forward, rather than letting negative thoughts pull us backward. By allowing ourselves to stay connected to those things that light us up that are already part of our lives. Because they are there, I promise.

So let’s bring this back to weight loss.

I wish I could tell you that the reason I feel thinner today came simply from gallivanting around the forest and being in touch with myself and nature and being present, but that would not be exactly true.

Losing weight in a healthy way more often than not requires attention and mindfulness and an effort to create a healthy environment for ourselves. What is true is that by being so completely clear on how I wanted to be and feel this week, I was inspired to show up and do the ‘work’ to make that feeling happen i.e. planning recipes and shopping lists, work projects, physical activity…

But I would also say that it would be incorrect that just “being prepared” logistically with food prep etc. was the only component in my ability to feel so great this week.

The real key has been to take notice of what is present and what feels good.

Because when you are feeling connected to a sense of purpose and love and engagement in your life, weight loss and healthy living really can feel like a pleasure.

It can make the buzz feel that much better.

And I’d like to think that this same pleasure can be found not only on a mountain retreat but during also a normal weekend at home, the 9-5 work week, or even just an afternoon walk if we choose to pay attention and be here and show up.

So, with that, I turn it to you. What inspires you in your day-to-day life to be your best self, living out your best life, in a body that feels good to you? What makes you feel giddy in your soul? And, how can you bring that feeling into your life today?

If you are not sure, that’s okay!

Just make sure you give yourself some time to look for it and take notice.

I bet it is already there for you, just waiting to be remembered.

xx jen

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