Wake up, stand up, show up — for yourself and for those you serve

How do you stand up today? How do you show up?

Like all good spiritual realizations, this one comes into my heart and mind from the bottom up, starting at my feet.

I’m a tai chi practitioner, in my fifth decade of studying tai chi. (Why yes, I was very young when I began.)

I learned tai chi in a playground on the upper east side in NYC, then my teacher (Patrick Watson, a senior student of Professor Cheng Man-Ching — I’m respectful of this lineage thing) began to bring his classes to our workplace. I learned. I practiced. I taught. After a couple of decades I moved away from my school and in California became a teacherless solo practitioner for a long time.

My practice was inconsistent after that. I’d teach every now and then. I’d practice in spurts. Until getting critically ill acted like a dope-slap reminder that tai chi is good for balance, health, and longevity. I’ve been a daily practitioner (again) for the last three or four years.

Each morning, my tai chi practice re-introduces me to mindfulness, to balance, to patience. I get to be present to these questions (if I’m not present I fall over):

  • Am I grounded? Do I feel my feet — all four corners of them — on the floor?
  • Am I moving from my center, suspended from heaven, roots going down into the earth?
  • Am I present to what’s going on? (In other words, am I balanced? Easy to tell in tai chi, because when I’m not I’m often falling over.)

I’m watching conscious business people struggle to find their balance in these new darker and hard-to-comprehend times.

There are many facets to this:

  • It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook in the face of the potential shitstorm that this month’s election is foreshadowing.
  • Business as usual is not longer usual — it’s time to get really serious (more than ever before) about your commitment and how you are of service.
  • Being a steady loving presence in the marketplace for your business is more important than ever, but untenable and ineffective unless and until you are a steady loving presence for yourself each and every day.

Wake up. Stand up. Show up.

Priestess Your Brand UnChallenge — show up for your businessFor yourself and for those you serve in your conscious business.

  • Find a way, a practice (or two, or three) that leaves you balanced, grounded, and centered. Because these are dark and stressful times. And you carry the light.
  • Go deeper. In your conscious business, as a solopreneur, your personality is critical. Take care of your brand, starting from your insides, because in a personality business your brand is you, sweetheart. You may need to grieve and mourn. You may need to occupy activism. You may need to contribute financially (three days after the election, and the after watching the movie Loving I found myself writing my first-ever check to a civil rights organization.)
  • Who you are, why you do what you do, and how you do it are more important than ever. The clarity you had about the Who, What, and Why of your business (your brand story) may no longer be enough. Now is not only a nice time to take a new and deeper look at your brand story, it is a critical time. The Priestess Your Brand UnChallenge starts Sunday 12/4. It’s free, and we’re going to dive deep into these essential brand questions. Join us.

What you do on the inside affects everything you do on the outside.

Microcosm – macrocosm, yo.

I recorded this video about how to show up when business is stressful and the lesson for me is that it’s more than just the stresses of business. It’s about showing up when stress happens. Period. Again: inside job.

Lastly, thank you Danielle LaPorte, for sending Guru Singh’s words into my inbox today:

These are the darkest of times where medicines for profit have more side effects than benefits; where banking is not financial security, but a chop-shop of money gangsters; where industry has stopped making life better on Earth and is destroying life on Earth. And government, sweet government, is now an accumulator of lawless characters housed in an institution of anarchy. Within this ridiculous riddle—in a world turned upside down—you’re on an assignment from Spirit, and have no choice.

At the threshold of human extinction, if you’re paying attention, your awareness is agony set in treachery—it’s experiencing disloyalty causing great misery, and with no place to hide or run… no free will… you’ve got to be willing.

Our prayer is that you experience this catastrophe and then resolve your honest mourning… it’s a natural response; that you then bring yourself to the threshold of deep breaths each morning; set yourself into outstanding mode every day, and stand out in the crowds of your life, with the best possible performance of your life, for life depends on it… and on you… this is real.

Either wake up, stand up, and show up, all the way up, or pack it up. — Guru Singh

I’d love to hear from you, tell me how this lands. Let’s talk in the comments, and let’s really dive in in the Priestess Your Brand UnChallenge.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Wow, Sue. I love this post! Wonderful timing and grand information. The statement, “What you do on the inside affects everything you do on the outside”, keeps appearing in vast ways.

    • Vast and universal, Cindy. I can apply this (and do often, it’s a life-saver) to pretty much any situation in my life.

      Blessed be. See you in the UnChallenge!

  2. I always look forward to reading your posts, Sue, but this one really speaks to me this week. Is it the global situation ? Maybe. We’re seeing changes in India too with the demonetization drive and one thing that I’ve learned over time is to stay focused and to go to source when events outside of our control impact our lives and businesses. Showing up in the best way possible and accepting that our business needs to adapt to continue serving those for whom we set it up . In the process we may just rediscover a new facet of ourselves and our brand.

    PS. I’ve been doing a lot of foot chakra exercises recently as well as nature meditation of late. I must explore Tai Chi too.

    • Vatsala, thanks so much for your insights. Going to source. Again and again. Sometimes it’s a luxurious choice, sometimes (like now) it feels more and more like a critical survival skill. I didn’t know you were in India (maybe I should read your About page!). I appreciate the deepening of our connection.

      Blessed be.

  3. Yep, those toes are still making me smile. 🙂 Wonderful post Sue and very important message. I think it is going to be more important than ever to be careful about the energy we allow into our minds and hearts. This morning I found myself in a temporary funk after reading the online news. I refuse to stick my head in the sand because it’s more important ever to know what’s going on and speak up, but that also means doubling down on the ways in which I center myself and retain a sense of inner peace. Thanks for your inspiration!

    • Yes, I hope I didn’t come across as advocating head-in-sand as the way to go, absolutely not. But like you said, before and after (and probably during, in my case!), drink your water, meditate, walk, do something kind, get grateful. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  4. Love those 3 questions, Sue. And love how they join the physical and non-physical. For me, that’s an essential part of showing up fully and engaging from a present, heart-centred place.

    • Dana, I think we have to find that intersection and occupy it as maybe never before (or in my case, having lived through the 60s and 70s, maybe not in a long time). It’s interesting, as I think my business has nothing to do with politics, but these days it seems like the lens has changed, and everything has to do with the stand you take. So, the intersection is critical: The way you stand up, the way you show up.

  5. You in my head- love the video- Restarted a Tai chi practise yesterday and as I prepare for my challenge and still have those emails to do. So wait for it- my back has been playing up and i have a pain in my left eye!. We all have to remember we are a work in progress and each day maybe we do move a step closer to eally standing up to be who we are meant to be . love Suzie xxx

  6. Sue, I love this reminder, especially about the grounding and centering practices — I find I need them more than ever. Also reconnecting with our who, why, and how — so important. Thank you for this, and for your comment on my post earlier! 🙂

  7. dear Sue, what an awesome blog post… speaks right to my heart.. I am especially moved by: “Who you are, why you do what you do, and how you do it are more important than ever. The clarity you had about the Who, What, and Why of your business (your brand story) may no longer be enough. Now is not only a nice time to take a new and deeper look at your brand story, it is a critical time.”

    I have been feeling this so strongly… that what I offer, is so needed now, more than ever… sensing that I need to find a “deeper place” from which to speak about what I do. I can hardly believe that here you are with this offer… feels in some way like I’ve somehow conjured you up.. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I don’t mean that literally of course, but am really feeling goosebumps about all this…

    • Rosa, welcome here. I don’t mean to push, but since today’s the last day you can join, I’d love to see you in the UnChallenge. You have a strong grasp of how necessary a powerful, transparent, unique, badass brand is. I hope you join in and contribute your voice to the conversation. I know you’ll learn a ton as well.

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