A few weeks ago, I shared my plan for showing up at family camp this year, and I promised I'd let you all know how it went. So here is my report.
First of all: I did it! I offered what I said I would offer, which was a daily early-morning gathering for people who wanted to get centered and connected to each other before launching into the day. I advertised it each night at dinner, and got up early to facilitate each morning.
I also showed up in other ways that were new for me. I participated in the annual ping pong challenge (which previously I'd avoided out of fear of embarrassment). I slid down the natural waterslide in the nearby river (which previously I'd avoided for the same reason). I made up this game for people to play with my connection cards. And I invited everyone to contribute memories of the week to a gratitude jar. It felt great!
It was interesting to me that the more I contributed to the group, the easier it was for me to see and appreciate the ways that *other* people were contributing. The people who led sing-a-longs on the porch, created entertaining posters to hang in the bathroom stalls, initiated really engaging conversations, and so so much more, each made the week richer and more enjoyable because they showed up.
All of those same people were there last year too, offering similar gifts and opportunities, but I was too busy feeling lonely and isolated to appreciate them. This year, I was one of them, and it made me feel connected and grateful.
Have you experienced this correlation in your own life, between your own willingness to "show up" with other people, and your appreciation of them? Or your enjoyment of an activity as a whole? Where, or with whom, do you show up most fully and consistently?
Conversely, what happens when you hide? When and where do you do it? What does it feel like? If it's unpleasant, what helps you remember that there could be other options?
Feel free to comment below, or send me a private message. I always love hearing from you.