Showing Up

Showing Up

Finding the “yoyu” to be more visible – what (or who!) helped me show up fully to write and share my writing more with others.

When I saw her there in the middle of the web, I yelped with joy. I am in love with a spider. She was gone for weeks, and suddenly she was back.

You’re thinking it couldn’t be the same spider. I knew it was. She was quite large and had built her web on my balcony every night for months. During the day, she rested in a crevice under the eaves.

Then, one day she was gone. I was quietly devastated and empowered.

Let me back up. Spider is one of my Animal Spirit Guides. She has consistently shown up in remarkable ways and no one close to me can deny it.

Many people assume that I welcome Spider as a guide because I love building websites. It’s not true. Years ago, when Spider first started showing up, I didn’t notice the connection between spider “webs” and “web” design until my sister pointed it out.

For me, Spider shows up when it’s time to write. Spider calls me back to the page.

Last October, a large Spider showed up on my balcony. Every night she built her web, and every morning I was reminded that it was time to write. But I didn’t. I ignored my latest draft. I didn’t want to edit it. People asked me how my book was coming along, and I lied.

In mid-January, I got over myself and decided to show up. I took steps to clear my schedule and make room to write. By the end of January, I was ready.

During a support call, I proudly told my writing friends how Spider had taken up residence months earlier. I told them how much it meant to me to see Spider showing up every day. I told them how she held the space for me even though I didn’t write. I shared how I finally got it that she was trying to teach me to take up residence, too. Spider was there to remind me to take up residence – to be the resident writer.

After the call, I went out on the balcony and took pictures to share with my writing friends. My friends are so caring and supportive. Nobody doubted me, and everyone cheered me on.

The next morning, I made my coffee and opened the curtains to greet Spider. She was gone. I was shocked. I could see bits of her web fluttering with the breeze, but she was not up in the crevice under the eaves as usual. The timing was unbelievable.

I didn’t say anything to anyone. I knew what it meant. It was up to me to write. I had finally taken on the role of the resident writer. Spider knew it and her work was done. She moved on.

After a few weeks, she suddenly showed up again one morning, and I yelped for joy. This time, she had built her web right in front of the sliding glass door. There was no way to open it without destroying her web.

Unlike before, Spider spent the whole day in the middle of her web. I kept wondering why she would show up so fully in broad daylight and expose herself. She could easily end up being a tasty morsel for any bird flying by.

I kept the curtains open and worked in the living room that day. I looked up at her often and wondered again where she had been for the last few weeks. And, what did it mean now that she was back?

Well, she wasn’t back to stay. The next morning she was gone again, along with her web. I think that surprised me more than anything. Every bit of her web was gone. If I had not taken pictures the day before, you would never know she had been there.

This time I felt sad. It felt like she had come back to say goodbye. But why? Why come back for one day only? Why did she show up like that? Why did she show up in a way that I couldn’t miss seeing her?

It didn’t take long before I caught it. Showing up. It was about showing up. Showing up to the page and writing consistently is one thing. Showing up so others can see you is something different altogether.

These days, I am still showing up to the page. I am showing up for myself and allowing myself the space in my day to write.

I’m also showing up for others to see. I’m sharing my writing via blog posts and on social media. It is not always comfortable. My stomach clenches, my shoulders hunch over, and my breathing is shallow.

You have to write this way. You have to share it that way. You have to do this on Facebook. You have to do that on Instagram. These rules. Somehow I had convinced myself that showing up means following these rules.

What if I can’t do it well? What if it looks terrible? What if it is not enough? What if my grammar sucks? What if people think I’m foolish. What if I’m wasting my time?

Well, hang on a second. What if showing up meant being me? What if all I had to do was be me? What if I could simply show up?

So, here I am. Showing up. And you know what? My stomach is calm. My shoulders are straight, and I’m breathing deeply. It’s a lot easier just being me.

It’s been months now since that big orb-weaving Spider disappeared. It was about this time last year when she first arrived. Every morning I make coffee and pull back the curtains to check. Has another spider taken up residence on my balcony? Then, I sit down to write.

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. I have a dedicated spiritual practice, enjoy studying alternative-healing modalities, cooking a whole-foods flexitarian diet, and exploring Japan, where I've lived for 30 years. Learn more about my workbooks for kids, and journals for adults. Also, look for my upcoming memoir Otosan, which chronicles the five years I cared for my father-in-law, a WWII Japanese war veteran, as he navigates Alzheimer’s.