Showing Up For Self

As it turns out I was still going through my backpack,
and as such, didn’t show up!

~ Tricia Reling

I chuckle every time I read this quote from Tricia. This is regarding a couple of Something to Contemplate newsletters I wrote.  One about what’s in your backpack and the other about showing up for yourself.

“What’s in your backpack” came from the movie Up in the Air starring George Clooney. He was a business man who traveled a lot and had no life outside of travel. He gave motivational talks about what you are carrying around in your backpack. His was empty; something I do not recommend. What I do suggest is taking a look in your proverbial backpack and asking how many people, activities, past events, and things you are carrying around day after day after day? How can you release some of the people in your life and allow them to take care of themselves? What activities are really necessary? How can you work through events from your past, finally release them and move forward with your life? How much stuff can you give away, throw away or donate?  As your backpack empties, you will find time to show up for yourself.

When I talk to my patients about healthy living I suggest just showing up. Taking care of ourselves is usually at the bottom of our to do list. We are too busy going through our backpack to show up. As you begin to show up, you begin to feel the benefits of taking care of the self, benefits all those people and things around you have been receiving. Is it easy to show up? Is it easy to make a commitment to yourself? Nope!  I will tell you it is imperative and you don’t have to do it with a happy face.  Just do it!

I saw a patient yesterday who is on E – empty. Taking care of everyone around her is affecting her health. We are running tests to make sure it is not a serious disease. My suspicion, and hers as we talked: the symptoms are related to her taking no time for herself. Giving from an empty mind, body, and soul is not good for those receiving and detrimental to the person giving. It is time to be selfish, defined as self-preservation, to fill yourself up and resolve health problems.

How do you begin to show up for yourself? The only way effective for me is by following my 5 Es.

Encouragement: Encouragement is the reason for making change and what, where, and when you are going to do the other four Es. The reason may be as simple as being tired of being miserable and ready to make changes.

Enlightenment: Where do you find peace? This can include praying or meditating daily, spiritual reading, lighting a candle, breathing, walking in nature.

Enjoyment: What do you do for fun? Most women have forgotten. Look back to your childhood to remember what you loved to do. You might begin by getting a coloring book and crayons and sitting down to color. Let your mind wander. Ask what it is you would like to do and be ready to follow-up on the crazy ideas that may pop into your head.

Exercise - Every Day: Begin with five-minute walks or dance to one song. Gradually increase your time. Look at different aspects of exercise – running, walking, biking, treadmill, stretching, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, taking a class, weight lifting. Show up every day.

Eat Healthy: Protein breakfast within one hour after getting up and BEFORE caffeine. This will balance your blood sugar for up to 12 hours and prevent the release of cortisol, which causes you to gain weight in the middle. Meat, eggs, nuts in moderation (1/4 to 1/3 cup), cheese is optional, berries and apples – 2 servings per day, lots of veggies. The more I read about insulin resistance and the detrimental effects of gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), the more I am moving people away from refined carbohydrates and the carbohydrates we have been told are good for us, such as wheat. I recently read an article on the book Wheat Belly, written by William Davis, MD. He has moved his patients away from gluten and reports on the amazing results he is getting in his practice and in his life. I see this in my practice and from other practitioners in the fellowship program with the Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. For more information on the Five Es see my website, You might also check out

We are heading toward the second month of 2012. How is your year going so far? How would you like your year to look? How can you begin to get your focus out of your back pack and make a commitment to yourself to show up?


  • Why are we so giving to others and so miserly in self-care?
  • How can I release the need to feel I must be in control of other’s lives and begin working on my life?
  • Whose voice is in my head giving me grief whenever I take time for myself?  How can I kick this person off my path in life and invite a more supportive voice into my head?
  • Is this how I want to feel and live?  What kind of model am I setting for those around me?
  • How can I begin to show up for myself a little bit each day?

‘Til next time ~ Mary

Mary’s Musings are a random thought. It may be a quote, a question, an idea, or something happening in the world. Enjoy a moment to yourself and contemplate this thought. Ask yourself how it feels and where it leads. Breathe . . . and see where her musings take you. To subscribe to Mary’s Musings and receive them in your email, please click here.



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