Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just show up . . .




"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."

- Charles Richards


If you have read my blog Picking Poppies, or seen a few of my posts here, it won't be much of a secret that since moving to the Gulf Coast I now have a love affair with the beach, and the ocean and of watching the sun rise. When we first moved here I told my husband that I thought people were, well nuts, to want to live on the water...just to have a hurricane wash everything away. He thought it would be nice someday - I was adamant that it would certainly be crazy! And as time has passed, I have eaten those words.

Even having seen first hand the utter destruction a hurricane can cause, I still hold to someday wanting to live by the water as I fully understand the draw it can have on ones soul. But for now, and if it never happens, I will be content to get up at 5:40, get in my car at 6:00 and drive my 8 1/2 miles which takes me approximately 25 minutes so that I can witness this amazing spectacle.

And if the sunrise has taught me anything, it is that time does not stand still. When you watch the sun rise over that horizon, when you go with your tripod and camera, you know that you have a very short window in which to capture it . . . but first you have to show up. And I almost didn't show up to the one above, as it was completely overcast at my house when I left...I'm glad I showed up anyway!





 I want to share a quote with you that prompted me to show up, to start my journey in blogging:

"Too many of us wait to do the perfect thing, with the result we do nothing. The way to get ahead is to start now. While many of us are waiting until conditions are "just right" before we go ahead, others are stumbling along, fortunately ignorant of the dangers that beset them. By the time we are, in our superior wisdom, decided to make a start, we discover that those who have gone fearlessly on before, have, in their blundering way, traveled a considerable distance. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don't know now, and that you will not know next year, if you wait."   

- The William Feather Magazine (care of Steve Pavlina)

That quote, prompted my first blog post that day, on my blog that I had set up 8 months prior and never did anything with. It was powerful, it still is. In fact, I think I will plaster this to my bathroom mirror as there are things I want to accomplish and have let my lack of "just right" get in the way. It has a way of creeping back in you know? What about you? The just showing up thing, not feeling quite prepared is kind of scary for me. I'm a lot less of a perfectionist than I used to be and I'm really okay with that, but the not feeling fully prepared...yeah, that will usually stop me in my tracks every time. But the rational side of me asks, is anyone ever fully prepared? Were they fearless, or did their desire to show up just out way the fear in their stumbling?




Life is short, too short, and sometimes we don't get second chances to say or do things. I think I can say that I am better at showing up than I used to be, but I still have a long way to go. And even if what I do is imperfect, and I don't feel quite prepared,  I must listen to that inner voice. It's a lot scary to say to myself, let alone out loud, here, that I want to write an inspirational pocket book...with photos, and somehow incorporate my photos into my jewelry, and sell them. Wow, I really said that out loud! 

And speaking of life, sometimes we get a reminder of just how delicate it is. On Sunday night, after eating cabbage I had a severe allergic reaction. My throat and esophagus swelled up, swallowing and talking became difficult . . . 911 was called. It was scary, and it was a reminder. Life is short, and sometimes fleeting, and we all teeter on the edge of it.

It was a reminder, not to forget to show up, even if I am blundering, stumbling, and feel unprepared.

Because in the act of showing up, we open ourselves to possibilities!!

We would love for you to share your thoughts with us here! What happened when you showed up? You just might inspire someone else . . . 

And don't forget to add your photos to our Flickr group of your traditions.






21 comments:

Peggy said...

Absolutely loved your sunrise pictures. Well worth getting up for. And I loved the quote. I also had what could have been the end for me when I tipped my car over sideways on a slippery road. When I think that it could have been over for me I realize I have to live every day and be thankful I have it. Showing up and participating is mandatory. Peggy from PA

Carol said...

This is such a meaningful post and just what I needed to hear today. There's the easy way and then there is the right way to do things. The rewards are many for doing the right thing. This post is beautifully written and sincere and I'm glad that good people like you are present in every way.

Dotti said...

Oh, Kim!!! This post is inspiring, yet down to earth. It should be mandatory reading for everybody but particularly those of us who call ourselves "creative". And I can hear you giving this as a post at a high school commencement.

Yes ... We all need to hear it again ... and again.

gina said...

What a beautiful post, Kim! Your writing and images are just wonderful! I am a water person too -- and happily just moved close to the SF bay. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes it's enough to just show up!

terriporter said...

Oh, my! I expected to come here this morning and, because of your recent ordeal with the cabbage, see one beautiful sunrise photo and a few words. Little did I know I would be reading words that speak to me so greatly. If ever there was somebody who held back because things weren't planned or they might not turn out perfectly -- well, that's me for sure. But you and your quote have spoken to me today and I am going to try put the fear aside and show up more often. I love the water too and live in the middle of the desert but there is so much beauty here to be captured -- I just need to show up and do it! Thank you, my friend, and I hope you are well on the road to recovery.

Kim Stevens said...

Peggy, thank you so much for sharing! "Showing up and participating is mandatory", yes, I love this!! That had to be a really scary experience, and so glad you were okay!

Kim Stevens said...

Carol, I'm so glad it was good timing for you - but,I also don't believe in coincidences. We all need to help each other show up...because maybe in the helping of someone else we show up by osmosis? Hmmm...and thank you for your kind words!! xo

Kim Stevens said...

Hi Gina, and thank you so much! The water is just so peaceful, and tranquil and inspiring for me. Oh, I've never been to SF, I hear it's so beautiful...be sure to share some of that beauty with us in flickr!

Emilee Smith said...

Kim, once again your words spoke right to my soul! Your words paint pictures in my mind that are so beautiful. Your photos add to those paintings. Such beautiful and meaningful words. I tend to not show up because of fear of the result. Your posts, especially this one, have inspired me to get off my couch and go face my fears. I've been so blessed to know you for so many years and admire your willingness to open your heart and soul so the entire world can see what a loving, caring soul that I know you to be. Thanks for posting this now; its just the push I needed. xo --Em

Kim Stevens said...

Well, you're not the only one! haha And I'm sure I rival you in the holding back, I'm my own worst enemy, but I'm getting better. My camera has really been the instrument in my understanding what it means to show up, and not just show up, but to be fully present...in the moment. If I can only relate that to the everything else I hope to do, oh the possibilities! I've never been to the desert, but I hear you have beautiful sunsets . . . I can't wait to see your!! Thank you Terri, and today I can actually talk a lot better, but I've only had 3 hours of sleep! UGH! I hate steroids...but on the up side, maybe I will get some decorations put up?! xo

Olivia Fulmer said...

Just what I needed to hear today! Lovely post; lovely images.

Kim Stevens said...

Oh Em, can I just say how much it means to me that you left this message...and just as much as my words have inspired you, please know how much this allows me to have the courage to keep sharing and being vulnerable in the deepest places. Much love to you my friend!! xo

Kim Stevens said...

I'm so glad, thank you Olivia!

kelly said...

well first i'd like to say i'm glad you're ok kim! what an ordeal. and secondly, i am the poster child for perfectionism getting in the way of me doing things i'd like to do more of. it feels soooo good though when i take a leap or do something anyway. trying to focus on that feeling more these days instead of the fear.

i just love your quote. it feels like i have blundered along a considerable distance. and sometimes when i look back at all the imperfect things i've put out there (early blog photos, etc.) it makes me want to cringe. but when i look at it differently, it's really just proof at how far i've come. and it makes me kinda proud - blunders and all.

thank you so much for sharing your insights and beautiful photos. you pretty much made my day. love, kelly

Cathy said...

oh my gosh, your words and your photos are just so perfect. thank you so for the reminder. and i am so glad you are okay. we do need to show up for our life and i forget that at times. again those photos are amazing. xxoo

Kim Stevens said...

Ummm, Kelly, I'm right there with ya on the blog photos when I started, but isn't it nice to know that we've been traveling in a forward motion?!! And thank you, because you too made my day! xo

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you so much Cathy, I'm feeling much better!! :)

Kim Stevens said...

Hmmm, I am almost sure I left you a note here, but it seems to be missing? Yep, I'm really going to paste this quote to my mirror to just keep reminding myself. I also have to remind myself that when I do show up, the world doesn't come to an end. Remember the football game that I felt so aprehensive about shooting, with a lens I had never used before. I had so many reasons why I shouldn't do it, but before I could think I said sure. The fear set in ... but I'm so glad I showed up. I even had him asking me how I was getting some of the shots I got, and he had me fill in for him a few more times! xo

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

This post is probably one of my all time favorites ever posted here. What a truth you have spoken. How powerful!

Its our choice how we react to every situation and not blame life for what life "hands us." I choose to SHOW up and with your encouragement I will show up stronger and every day...not just now and then!

Wow. Wonderful in every way. Always inspiring but I feel it from your heart!

Hugs my darling friend, so glad your cabbage issue is now identified and you will be able to do well and avoid the stuff LOL :)

C

Kim Stevens said...

Oh thank you Claudia, you put a big smile on my face! And unfortunately I now have a very long list of things, fruits and veggies to watch out for...sigh!

heyjudephotography said...

You got me started on the right foot today with this inspirational post. Been feeling very creative and productive today, and began a project that I've been putting off because " all the planets hadn't aligned..." :) Today I showed up, today I started. Thanks Kim. :)

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