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The Art of Showing Up…

March’s Encouragement of the Month post is all about, The Art of Showing Up, and why showing up scared is better than not showing up at all.

A few weeks ago, I stepped way out of my comfort zone and asked you to join me on a Zoom call. I had no idea if anyone would even be interested much less show up.

But on Monday, Donna and Mary heeded the call and it was an absolute pleasure to speak with them both.


What I never told you about that invitation was I had been praying for a deeper way to connect and serve The Crowned Goat community outside of social media, DIYs, painting, organizing, decorating, and seasonal posts for MONTHS.

I just didn’t know how or in what capacity it should be in.  

As an introvert who struggles with anxiety so intense, I’ve yet to be able to be around crowds big or small without sweaty hands and feet, the idea seemed overwhelming.


So late last year, I started practicing.

First with my friend Cindy of County Road 407 and then with my friend Michelle of Thistle Key Lane via Zoom.

After that, I started practicing with my sisters.

I practiced going to the grocery store, then dinner, and before I knew it, I was going on short day trips and feeling more normal in public.

It truly felt like I was on a roll!

By the time we got home from my Mom’s birthday party in Savannah, an event that changed me in more ways than I can articulate, I found myself regressing though.

So, instead of showing up and embracing imperfect progress, I chose the safest route I could find.

I threw all my efforts into getting back on track at home and in business and put the TCG Community Zoom Call on my Q2 goals list.

I’ll be honest, it felt like a setback.

Then two of the ladies in our blog group, Paula, and Michelle, died days apart in completely unrelated events, and their passings shook me up all over again.

Paula’s because of the way she continued to inspire by showing up even when her cancer treatments were incredibly difficult.

Michelle because her death was utterly unexpected.


Couple that with 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and war looming in Ukraine and things started to feel extremely heavy.

It felt weird to talk about home décor and DIY when so many people were hurting, exhausted, and weary.

Again, I felt an overwhelming need to check-in and connect in a deeper way, but I had no idea how, if anyone would show up or if I could work through my anxieties enough to follow through.


A few days later, I was gently reminded while reading my morning devotion we’re taught to be faithful in the small things because as the demands of life, our circle of influence and our integrity grows, we’re expected to be equally as faithful when entrusted with the big things.

Truthfully, showing up on camera and speaking in front of others always *feels* like a big thing, but I knew it didn’t have to be.

So that morning, I opened my laptop, stepped out of my comfort zone, and extended the invitation.

The weekend before the Zoom call, I unexpectedly found myself back at Bliss Barracks helping my Mom create a bistro-style brick patio complete with a set of flower beds she’s been dreaming about for years.

I knew my Dad, middle sister, brother-in-law, and nephews would all be there to pitch in.

But I was completely caught off guard in the best possible way, when I opened the door from the lanai to the backyard, chocolate donut in hand, and saw my sweet aunt who’s been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for almost a year now, down on the ground helping my Mom dig holes for her beloved petunias.

What struck me about that moment was how ordinary it all seemed.

My Dad, uncle, and brother-in-law pounding away laying the bricks for the patio. The littles planting tomatoes, finding worms, and chasing the dog. My sister chipping away bit by bit at the hole for a new tree.

A random Saturday that brought extraordinary joy, and with it, tiny lessons in integrity and the art of showing up.

It’s really easy to fool ourselves into thinking it’s only worth showing up for the big things. The big birthdays, the big trips, big promotions, product launches, book deals, the big new house, new car, the big game, a life-changing diagnosis, or other big life events.

But the truth is, it’s the little things we’re faithful in – those seemingly small and mundane integrity tests we’re tasked with daily – that bring golden nuggets of goodness, joy, and harmony to our lives.

They can unexpectedly make someone’s day, bring peace to a broken heart, wisdom to a difficult situation, or speak life, encouragement, and hope in a dark season.

The opportunity to embrace the art of showing up happens minute to minute, hour to hour, and day to day whether you realize it or not.

It takes place in the choices we make and the actions we take where we choose to do the right thing whether one person sees it, or no one does.

We can show up with sweaty hands and feet, healthy, with an illness, curious, weary, purpose-filled, grateful, faithful, scared, or hopeful.

That’s the true beauty of showing up, we get to choose how we heed the call.

As we enter a new season, my prayer is that we’re able to show up in big ways and little ways. Not only for ourselves but for the people who have been placed on our paths as well.

After all, there’s no better reminder of faithfulness than spring flowers in bloom.

Cheering you on as you choose to show up this season and always,

CoCo

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47 Comments

  1. Lonna Berridge says:

    Hi Coco,
    Wonderful inspiring post- thank you. It goes for parenting too. The hardest part is just showing up every day with love.
    And great efforts on your journey in getting out of your comfort zone. I’m sure your Zoom call was wonderful!
    Lonna

    1. You are so welcome, Lonna! Thank you for sharing that parenting is hard sometimes and showing up with love is not always easy but the effort is always worth it. It’s such an important and relatable message! I never had the opportunity to have kids myself but I’ve been lucky enough to encourage lots of parents over the years. I’ve seen their strengths and their struggles and I remind them their best will always be better than perfect. Big hugs, CoCo

    1. You are very welcome, Elle. I hope your week has been all that you’ve needed it to be. Big hugs, CoCo

  2. This post has just shown me once again why I look forward to your writing, somehow, you always manage to make me feel better, make me look at something or somene in a different manner, above all else, you cheer me on. Its hard to imagine you being scared of anything, you come across so well, but so glad you tell it how it is for all our sakes, it makes me for one, feel better about myself to know I m not alone with so many things. Thankyou, its not much but thankyou so much for your extremely thoughtful ways, your kind words and all you try to pass onto us, bless you. I am grateful for you Coco.
    Take care and be brave.xxx

    1. I appreciate your sweet and thoughtful words, Janette, they mean so much to me! It’s definitely not easy to put yourself out there sometimes but I truly believe we can all learn from each other and support each other even when things feel tough. I probably read and re-read that post 100s before finally having the guts to press publish. Finally, I decided we’re all probably more alike than we are different and if it helps just one person – it’s worth it. Sending you hugs and thank yous for all your sweet support. I’ll be cheering you on today and every day, CoCo

  3. Mary Smart says:

    Thank you Coco for this post. I think it is something that all of us are feeling at this time. My friend and I went shopping last week together and we both thought here we are worrying about Spring decorating while so many people in Ukraine have lost their lives, loved ones and everything they own. My friend said she feels so hopeless and I said we can make donations and PRAY for things to have a better outcome. War is never easy and unfortunately, it seems to be going on somewhere all the time. I think it is important for all of us to keep ourselves in a good spirit and embrace the good things that God has done for us no matter how big or how small, while doing what we can about the bad things going on in our world.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Mary. And I love the advice you gave your friend too! I’m frequently reminded there will be seasons in life when we’re able to give help and other seasons where we need help. In some ways, it’s one of the beautiful parts of life, the continual gift of giving and receiving. I love that you’re decorating your home for spring all while appreciating your blessings, donating to causes you care about and praying. It’s so important to do things that lift your spirit so you can help lift the spirits of others. Thank you again for your kind words. I hope your spring season is all that you need it to be, CoCo

  4. Coco,
    I, as well as many of your followers I’m sure, noticed that something must be troubling you. I’ve missed your regular messages.
    I doubt that you have any idea how you touch so many of us with your heartfelt words. I applaud your efforts to overcome your anxiety and share the very real pain it can cause.
    You are very brave and help make us brave, too. Keep up your good work.

    1. I really appreciate all your kind and thoughtful words, Jo, thank you so much. It’s definitely been a journey. Most days I feel ok but there are certainly days I have to stop, give myself lots of extra grace, and a heavy dose of TLC. I used to “power through it” because I thought it was important to keep going but I’m realizing more and more that is a recipe for burnout. While I’m disappointed I’ve regressed a bit since our Savannah trip, I know every step forwards or backward is important. Sending you hugs for a peace-filled weekend and thank yous for all your sweet support, CoCo

  5. Oh CoCo..I LOVE THIS!!! I connect with you so well, I think, because of the way you write things that literally speak to my soul. You have such a beautiful way of writing, coupled with your amazing photographs, that is incredibly touching. I am thankful that you are here! Hope you have a lovely day!!

    1. I appreciate your sweet and thoughtful words, Rachel, thank you so much. I’ve learned over the years that both writing and photography are a skill you can pick up and learn at any time. It definitely takes practice (especially, where photography is concerned) but the effort is always worth it. Thankfully, I’m learning the same thing about putting yourself out there ❤ Hope your week is filled with all good things. Thanks so much for all your support on this post and all the posts that resonate with you. Big hugs, CoCo

  6. Wow CoCo! I love this post. You left me touched and inspired. Every word is true . We cannot control the state of affairs of the world but we can show up every day and be the best version of ourselves. Thank you for the reminder and the support. Have. blessed day my friend. XO- MaryJo

    1. I really appreciate it, MaryJo, and I couldn’t agree with you more! Every day we’re able to show up as the best version of ourselves is another day we’re able to love, care, support, and encourage others. It’s definitely something the world needs more of right now. Especially, after everything we’ve been through these past few years. Sending you hugs for joy and peace-filled weekend, CoCo

  7. Coco,
    I loved reading your heartfelt post. I didn’t realize your struggle and I’m so glad you are showing up. I enjoy your posts so much.

    1. I really appreciate it, Rachel, thank you so much. It’s definitely not always easy to do but I know it’s so important – especially after everything we’ve been through these past few years. Big hugs and thanks you for all your sweet support, CoCo

  8. I’ve never used Zoom, but I wish I’d been able to chat with you.

    1. Aww thank you, Joyce, Zoom is pretty easy so the minute you learn how let me know – I could definitely use the practice! Sending you hugs and thank yous for all your sweet support, CoCo

  9. Thanks for sharing this post. When people see your blog it looks like life is perfect and it is brave and generous of you to share your struggles with anxiety. I too struggle with social anxiety and most people are surprised to learn this about me. Your message of being there for the small things touched me and I will make a greater effort to do the same. The most important moments are often the every day small moments of being with those we love most.

    1. You are so welcome, Loretta! I can completely relate when you say people are surprised to learn you struggle with social anxiety. I’m not really sure what a person who struggles with anxiety is supposed to look like but when you grow up in a large family full of extroverts you learn how to mask certain things so you can fit in very quickly (or at least that was the case for me). One of my favorite podcasters reminds us we can be “introverts who wear an extrovert’s cape” when we need to which is something else you might be able to relate to. My life is far from perfect so I hope it never looks like I have it all together because I definitely have my fair share of struggles too. But I also know we can learn a lot from each other and it always helps to know you’re not alone no matter what season of life you find yourself in. I’m not sure if you’ve read it or not but the book The Powerful Purpose of Introverts by Holley Gerth is a great book. It’s faith-based but I finally felt seen after reading that book and I’ve been on the journey to accepting being an introvert who struggles with anxiety ever since. Sometimes hanging on to the small moments is what gets me through the day…a pink sunset, the wet kiss of our rescue Piper, the way my Mom laughs, eating off of vintage china… It seems so simple, but it always helps. Cheering you on as you embrace the gifts of small moments and small group activities too. Big hugs, CoCo

  10. Beautifully said CoCo! I so admire your bravery – both in stepping out of your comfort zone, and for telling us about it. I wish I’d been able to join you on the Zoom call and meet you more in person than just through our comments. (Which, though, I love and wouldn’t trade for anything!) You touch this community more than you know.
    Keep keeping the faith my friend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Barbara! I would have loved to have you on the Zoom call, it would have been so much fun. Maybe next time we can make it happen! Sending you hugs and thank yous for your sweet support, CoCo

  11. CoCo you have such a good heart, have the most engaging personality and you’re an awesome writer. You know how to say all the things I’m thinking, but can never put into words. We need another zoom call so I can laugh and giggle for an hour!! Hugs!

    1. You are so sweet, Michelle, thank you! I honestly don’t know that I would have even had the courage to speak up about this struggle much less host a Zoom call had you not helped give me the confidence. Even on the days I regress a bit, I know you’ve helped change me for the better. I’ll always be grateful for your support and kindness. I’m up for a Zoom call any time you’re ready! Sending you big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

  12. I just wanted you to know that I really loved this piece you wrote. It hit home for me. I try to show up for what the occasion. It doesn’t matter big or little, just to be there to help or sit an listen.
    Thanks again,
    Sheila

    1. Thank you so much, Sheila. I’m happy this post resonated with you. It’s such a blessing you show up for the big things and the little things no matter what the occasion. Taking time to be there to help or to listen is such a gift! Hope your weekend is filled with all good things, CoCo

  13. valerie mason says:

    Thank you. Just THANK YOU

    1. You are so welcome, Valerie! Cheering you on and hoping your week is filled with all good things, CoCo

  14. CoCo, you have such a way with words! Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share your thoughts and feelings! I always feel so blessed after I read your posts! Keep putting yourself out there! Can’t wait to see what God has in store for the future! Blessings, Donna

    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Donna, I appreciate them so much. I’m still on cloud 9 after meeting you on our call and I can’t tell you what it meant to me to have your support. Sending you tons of hugs and thank yous for all your support in words and in actions, CoCo

  15. beautiful post! I really enjoyed reading this and all the lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I really appreciate your sweet and kind words, Meagan, thank you so much! Hugs, CoCo

  16. I seriously want to take part. I am getting an infusion tomorrow and the doctor is giving me something to stop the inflammation COVID has caused

    Once I got blood tests and everything done and all is perfect.

    He said that’s the

    I’d love being in Zoom with you

    1. That is so sweet of you, Cindy, thank you! I could definitely use the practice. Let me know when things start to settle down a bit and we can set something up. In the meantime, take extra good care of yourself. Staying healthy is so important! Hugs, CoCo

  17. What an absolutely wonderful post CoCo. I had no idea you had the anxiety you do. I too have huge anxiety. It took me years and years to get through my anxiety of speaking in front of groups of people. I had to do it for a living and it affected me physically. I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before. I would end up in the bathroom an hour before “showtime” throwing up. But little by little, I stepped out of my comfort zone. It’s still not my favorite thing to do though. I’m so proud of you for stepping out of YOUR comfort zone. It’s a big deal. Sounds like you had an incredible time with your family, especially your aunt, and made a lot of memories.

    1. I can so relate to this bathroom scene and the sleepless nights, Kim! I think a lot of people think having an anxiety disorder is like having a case of “bad nerves” but it can truly be debilitating. There have been seasons I’ve felt really well and other seasons that I’ve struggled to do daily tasks. As you say, it’s a journey and something you don’t work through overnight. Little bit little I know I’m making progress again. Sending you tons of hugs and thank yous for sharing your story. It gives me hope, CoCo

  18. Oh CoCo, I would have come to the Zoom call had I known! You are incredibly brave and talented. And you give inspiration to so many people. I teared up to read your words about showing up. There’s someone in my family I need to show up for and it’s been hard — but I will do it. Because you are right. Here’s to an even more outgoing and joyful future for you – you deserve it! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

    1. That’s so sweet of you to say, Kathleen, thank you! I know it’s not always easy to show up for ourselves or others. Especially, when the situation or the person is difficult. Always remember you don’t have to show up and be or do everything. Showing up in whatever capacity that honors yourself and your boundaries is still showing up as the best version of yourself and that’s what the world needs most right now. I’ve reminded myself so many times this week that every step no matter if it’s forwards or backward is still an important step because of the lessons we’re learning along the way. Stay strong and do your best – I promise, it is enough. Big hugs, CoCo PS: If you ever want to Zoom, hit me up. I could definitely use the extra practice.

  19. Shelley Humpal says:

    Coco: This story really moved me. I call these things the demons in my head. I think we all have them I know I do. I saw your call for a zoom meeting and I wanted to show up but didn’t. I love your blog and your style and if you have another zoom meeting I would love to show up just like you show up in my inbox. We too were just in Savanah in October and loved it. I too am a blogger. A baby blogger but a blogger. I am a designer by trade but I love my antiques and would rather have something cruddy and old any day than something shiny and new. You might enjoy my blog fortheloveofold.net I invite you to give it a try. I would love to show up for your next zoom call.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful words, Shelley, I really appreciate it. I think there were a lot of people that didn’t show up but wanted to which I totally get – it can be super scary to put yourself out there. I’m so excited you guys had a wonderful time in Savannah. It was a trip that rocked my world in the best possible way and even 3 months later has stuck with me. I’m totally with you on the cruddy and chippy pieces – there is just something so special about them. Blogging is so much more work than people even realize yet it’s also one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to watch blog grow. Heading over there now and thanks so much for all your sweet support. Big hugs, CoCo PS: I’m up for a Zoom call any time just let me know when you are ready!

  20. Colleen Meese says:

    Hi CoCo,
    Thank you for another beautiful post. The art of showing up for the small things is so important. Not to take away from the big things in life, but they are usually moments that happen only once in awhile aren’t they? The small things or moments are happening every day and if we don’t pay attention, they’ll be gone. Showing up helps us to see what’s truly important is this life no matter how we choose to do it. I think it makes life a little bit sweeter and makes one a little bit more grateful. Thank you once again for your reminder about being human and being the best version of yourself. You always give me something to really think about. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Colleen Meese

    P.S. Unfortunately I was not available for the Zoom call when you had it. Maybe you will plan to do another and hopefully I will be able to attend. Kudos to you for showing up with courage!!

    1. YES to everything you said, Colleen! The big moments definitely seem to come once in a while as opposed to the small thing we get to enjoy every day. I’ve been using the 5-minute journal since January and it’s been such a game-changer because every day you have to list 3 good things that happened. I used to look for things that were considered big or significant. But now I write down the smallest things like taking time to enjoy a rainbow or getting the first ice cream cone for the season or waking up at Bliss Barracks because I know my Dad has been practicing making lattes for us. He has the personality of Rambo so it’s a huge step for him! The big things might make for the most exciting memories but the little things will make us the best versions of ourselves. Thank you so much for all your sweet support and kind words. They speak to my heart! Big hugs and thank you, CoCo PS: Any time you’re ready to Zoom just let me know. I could definitely use the practice!

  21. You are always such an inspiration and touch me and others with only your smile but when you put into words your feelings and encourage us, it puts us over the moon. I’m glad I could help and I know all of your future zooms will be a blessing to all who show up. You are the sweetest most genuine person I know. Big big hug!

    1. You’re making me weepy on a Wednesday, sweet friend, gah-thank you so much for speaking life into me today. A million times over I don’t think I would have had the courage to even try a Zoom call had you not helped me from the beginning. Thank you for your kindness and for supporting me through all the struggles. It means the world! Big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

  22. Sending you an enormous hug for having the courage to share your story. I too suffer from, at times, debilitating anxiety. Mine comes in several forms, including social anxiety. Over the years people have taken my fear of large or even intimate gatherings as being snobbish or anti-social, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of us try different ways of channeling those fears, including blogging, and I’ve often thought I should share that part of myself on my blog. But, sadly, I haven’t been able to find the words. Thank you for giving my heart a voice. Big hugs!

    1. You are so welcome, sweet friend, thank you for sharing your story as well. There are so many people who suffer in silence which can feel totally isolating and take you further down the rabbit hole. I used to think I had to fit into an extrovert’s world but I realize now my best gifts are gifts that have been specifically given to introverts and a lot of introverts struggle with anxiety. While it can be debilitating and hard at times, it’s so important to keep going, trying different things and techniques to keep us healthy, active, and engaged. We have so much to offer! Sending you hugs for your journey, CoCo

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