Showing Up by Stratton Horres & Michala Perreault

Showing Up

RATING: 8/10…READ: July 1, 2012

Showing up is a an actionable personal growth book that features a series of in-depth, long (multi-day) exercises to make you question every aspect of your life–from your belief in God, personal beliefs about yourself, belief about others, etc. Based on the teachings and wisdom of ancients–From the Egyptians to Jesus–if you go through the exercises, you will have a new outlook on yourself and life.

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Used as a verb, “show” means to manifest, to reveal, to be visible. It also means “to arrive.” The preposition “up” describes movement from a lower to a higher point along a path or course ascending to the source or origin. Used as a noun, “up” means an upward course. Together, “showing up,” as we use it, means “to make visible that which has been hidden,” to “reveal our true selves” and to “manifest our origin” as we move from the lower to the higher self.

Showing up is a call to action, a path or service to others instead of to the individual. We see the community of unity that we are and recognize our responsibilities to others and our environment. Showing up does not tolerate injustice, inequality, fanaticism or extremism in any shape or form. In showing up, we transcend causal connections. In short, we act rather than react.

In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found all the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.

The search for the Grail brings to mind other mystical quests such as Rama’s quest for Sita; the seven voyages of Sinbad; the tale of Cupid and Psyche; the decade-long journey of Odysseus; Jason and the Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece. Each of these magnificent tales and adventures are allegories for our search for enlightenment, self-realization and self discover—for showing up.

THE 3 STEPS OF SHOWING UP

(1) Conquering the lower or outer self, the “I” of self-absorption and unfulfillable need

(2) Embracing the true self, our inner soul of the heart and emotion, or unconditional love, and

(3) Uniting with the higher self, our divine nature

THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

The only constant in life is change

Resistance to change causes pain and suffering

The source of this resistance originates in the ego

Acceptance of these cycles permeating all facets of life brings enlightenment

THE HA-PO, OR THE EIGHT-FOLD PATH

Right Understanding

Right Aspiration

Right Speech

Right Conduct

Right Livelihood

Right Effort

Right Mindfulness (or Intent)

Right Meditation

This dual nature of our existence, joy and suffering, characterizes our physical and emotional existence and in large part drives our lower self, motivating us to act as we do. We should acknowledge and accept this as our nature.

To deny the beauty and joys of the physical external world around us would be to deny part of our true nature and heritage. While we can enjoy our bodies, emotions and material things we acquire to aid us in our lives, we ought not to become imprisoned by them.

As an old Chinese proverb asks: “If you do not find the truth within, where are you going to find it?”

The best things cannot be told. That is to say, you can’t talk about that which lies beyond the reach of words. The second best are misunderstood, because they are your statements about which cannot be told. They are misunderstood because the vocabulary of symbols that you have to sue are thought to be references to historical events. The third best is conversation, political life, economics, and all that.

The mystery of mastering life is to be able to transmute fear into love: to become the spiritual alchemist and change the base metal we call fear into the precious gold that is pure love. Love is ever-present. If all fear is simply the absence of love, but love is ever-present, then there is no absence—fear is only an illusion, and love is all there is. It is only in our inability to see love that we ever perceive fear. Then all we need to do to be alchemists is to love, pure, and simple.

You are the product of the cumulative experiences in your life, many pleasant and many less so. Each experience, whether good or bad, has had a purpose in your life because it has helped to mold you into who you are today. Thought it may seem a series of random and unconnected events, life is purposeful. There are no coincidences. The truck is to understand this truth and learn the lessons that are intended. Once you accept and are comfortable with this, you can begin to progress.

Nations rise only to fall. Kings build mighty monuments only to have them crumble to dust. Glory flees like a shadow. All these things have the seeds of death in them. Only a thought can live. Only a great truth can grow and flourish, and a truth cannot be killed. It passes in secret from one man’s heart to another. It passes in a mother’s milk to her child….[my] questions were answered by a dying [pharaoh]….A man cannot be judged by the color of his skin, his clothes, by his jewels or his triumphs, but only by his heart. He who uses mercy is superior to he who uses violence….We have but one master, the God who made us all. Only his truth is immortal, and in his truth all men are equal. No man is alone.