Show up. Sweat. Meditate.
The intention I set in 2018.
After being bowled over by life I was determined to find my legs again.
To get up each morning to show up in my life, sweat to nourish my soul and meditate to clear away the muck and uncover my soul.
It occurred to me today that that mantra is more important now more than ever.
What can we do in the time of COVID-19?
How do we stave off the boredom of shutter in place?
How do we control our fear, our anger, our righteous indignation? How do we face the unknown?
Commit each morning to show up.
Show up for yourself, your neighbors and your community.
Sweat to keep yourself sane and healthy.
Meditate to connect with who you are.
Those three little actions are all we need to make a big impact on global health.
I used my mantra of Show Up, Sweat, Meditate, later in 2018, to give a speech for my dad who was being honored by his local Chamber of Commerce for his commitment to his community.
When I wrote this speech I had to do a bit of a deep dive into my past.
I had to look past the stories we tell ourselves.
I found that amid the anger, the crazy and the dysfunction that shrouded my family’s past there was so much love.
Love had raised us, love allowed us to find our footing again and love was the way forward.
The groundwork had been laid and even when our family broke, I realized that love was there all along. We just had to activate it to find it again.
As I wrote this speech and committed to my three principles of show up, sweat and meditate I found forgiveness and gratitude.
So if I were to set my intention for 2020 and life in the time of COVID- 19.
It would have three addendums.
Show up. Sweat. Meditate. Love. Forgive. Find Gratitude in all things.
Below is an excerpt from the speech I wrote for my dad.
If you look closely you’ll see it’s a love letter to both my parents and a thank you for laying a foundation of love that remains unshakeable.
I just had to clear away the muck to find it.
Show up. You can’t achieve much of anything if you don’t bother to show up. Being there, being in it, being fully present is the first step to doing anything in life. The reason we are here tonight is to honor a man who shows up and who reminds us through his words and actions the importance of showing up for others and the importance of showing up in our own lives. A few years ago my husband and I started two businesses at the same time with two children under the age of 4, and no banks that wanted to loan us money. During this time fear crept in and I wanted to check out, stick my head in the sand and not show up for any of it. I opened the mail one day and among all the bills and bank rejection letters was a letter from my dad (yes, an actual letter, dad doesn’t e-mail) This is what it said. Rachel, I love you as only a father can and I smile when I think of you. I am proud amazed and many other words when I see what a mother, wife, businesswoman, friend, daughter that you are being. Kind of a real-life wonder woman. Thank you for your love for me- it means more than you will ever know. Love, Dad. At that moment I dared to show back up and live my life. My dad inspires people to show up in so many different ways. He’s probably best known for his work with athletes and his ability to motivate and excite them on and off the field. However, I think his most important work is that he shows up for people who sometimes have no one else willing or able to show up for them. Sometimes the people who most need someone to show up for them don’t wear jerseys or red jackets. My dad taught us to have a heart, to tap into our true self which is filled with empathy and love and to offer it to others. He did this simply by showing up and loving us as we are. Far from perfect but perfectly imperfect as far as he was concerned.
Sweat. My dad likes to sweat. In the Harris world, everything worth doing involves at least a little sweat. From the age of three, my dad had us out running football drills. I used to wear a bucket on my head as a helmet and when you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer was always a Georgia Football player. We grew up in the south Georgia heat, playing football, riding bikes and sweating. Sweating is good for the soul it's synonymous with my childhood and it is the language of our family. My dad taught us to show up and he also taught us when you show up be prepared to put your back into it and break a sweat.
Meditate. Meditation or prayer as it was called in our family was quite a casual and relaxed conversation with god. My dad encouraged prayer from us quite young and I imagine God must have had a good chuckle anytime James prayed as it was an endless litany of thanks for Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo, the ninja turtles not the painters. In our household prayer was a direct conversation with God, it was a time to be quiet and settled and we were encouraged to be personal and make the conversation our own. It was a time to quiet ourselves, give thanks and find god. I’m so grateful that we were taught prayer was personal and unique to us. I’m so glad our house was full of thanks for ninja turtles and professional wrestlers. That it was not an endless recitation of religious jargon that we could not connect with. The freedom to talk to god anyway we wanted has helped me reconnect and show up in the present moment over and over again. I often joke I’m a failed meditator as sitting still with myself doesn’t come easy. However, knowing that there is no wrong or right way to talk to god is an invaluable lesson that I’ve taken with me through the years. I’m grateful that God in his infinite wisdom gave me two brothers who constantly pushed the boundaries and encouraged us all to give thanks for both the mundane and the extraordinary.
If I had one more word to put on that t-shirt it would be Gratitude. I’m grateful I was born into this family, with my perfectly imperfect parents, my heart and soul Caleb and James and our sweet additions Mary Campbell and Debra. I’m grateful this family taught me how to have my own family. My children and my husband are my reason for showing up and they’ve taught me to love and laugh with abandon and my whole heart. The legacy that my dad leaves is he taught us to show up, sweat, meditate and give thanks. He taught us it doesn’t matter how you show up and that often when we are at our most broken and bruised is when we show up with an open heart and a grateful spirit. Thank you, Dad, for showing up for all of us here tonight in so many different ways, for putting a little muscle into all you do, for teaching us to connect with God and for extending your grace and gratitude to us all no matter what state we show up in. You are a real-life superman. I love you.