Subject: Tip Six: Show Up
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Wednesday, September 5, 2001
Issue #68


1. Welcome Notes
2. Tip Six: Show Up and…
3. Coaching: What One Step Can You Take Today?
5. Celebrating Out Loud: A Teenager’s Wisdom
6. Reading for the Journey
7. Resources for the Journey: Turn Those Books into
8. Humor: More English Paradoxes
1. Welcome Notes

Ah, home again! I am in my office this morning,
watching the silhouette of a hummingbird dancing
against the shade which keeps the early morning sun
from blinding me completely. What a joy!

My three-week vacation was, quite simply, divine. Thank
you to Meg, Becky, Kelly, Kathy, Dave, and the entire gang
at Red Mountain Spa for the joy, relaxation, laughter, and

The Red Mountain Adventure Spa is one of the best
getaways I’ve had in a long while. I’ve already made my
reservations to return in March! Inexpensive, low key,
gorgeous surroundings, great hiking, superb food, lots of
classes, delightful staff – it has it all. They have a variety of
accommodations, and a much higher percentage of male
guests than I’ve seen at any other spa. This isn’t the place
to send your lady while you watch football. It’s a place for
the two of you to relax and take great care of yourselves.
Or go with a friend or a relative. I highly recommend it!

Their website is Take a
look at all they have to offer! When you call to make a
reservation, ask for Hope and tell her I referred you.
You’ll get a discount on your vacation!

Creating the life we REALLY want requires that we “get
away from it all” from time to time. This is a fabulous way
to do it!

I want to remind you that sharing the celebrations of our
lives geometrically increases the joy and fulfillment in
them. Email us with your celebrations – big and small –
and we’ll share them with our readers. Sharing your wins
and birthdays and anniversaries and small steps is not an
egotistical thing; it is a gift for us all to hear of the joy in
the lives of others. Add your joy to the pile by emailing
your celebration to

If you missed the CTJ which gave the Top Ten Tips for
Having the Life You REALLY Want which is the
foundation for this issue and the next four, you can find
it on my website at

For a formatted, color, hard copy version of the Top Ten
Tips e-mail your snail mail address (where you get your
regular mail) to

2. Show Up …

and Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing
up.” I heartily agree with him. And to take it one step
further, 90 percent of living the life you REALLY want is
showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.

As an addict, alcoholic and compulsive overeater, I spent
many years of my life not showing up for much of
anything. Often I wasn’t able to show up at work or with
my friends or to play tennis or even to go to a party. I
broke commitments, invented illnesses and crises as
excuses, and had pretty much given up on any dreams I
might have had.

When I got into recovery, one of the first things I heard
was, “Just show up.” It didn’t matter how I looked or felt,
whether I was afraid or not, whether I thought I could do
whatever was in front of me or not. The point was to just
show up. The context then was about getting to recovery
group meetings.

When I started climbing, the concept of showing up grew
and became, “Just show up and put one foot in front of
the other.” Many times on a mountain I felt completely
exhausted and had no idea how I was going to get to the
summit or to camp or even to the next rest spot. But I
knew I could put one foot in front of the other. Just take
one step in the direction in which I was headed. That’s all,
just one step. That’s all I had to do: show up and put one
foot in front of the other. The context then was about
climbing mountains.

The context now is about everyday life. I learned about
showing up and putting one foot in front of the other in
early recovery and on very big mountains. The concepts
serve us all in everyday life. If we don’t show up for life
and put one foot in front of the other, even on those days
when we want to just stay in bed and turn the electric
blanket up to Mother, we have no chance at having the
life we really want.

But what if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if they
don’t like me? What if I don’t do a good job? What if…
What if… What if… We can “what if” ourselves right out
of our lives. All those things are possible. We might fail
or look stupid or not be liked. If we don’t show up and put
one foot in front of the other the best we can, it’s true that
we avoid the risk of failing or looking foolish. We also
eliminate any opportunity for success or joy or growth.

I invite you to choose the possibilities of what can be in
your life over the fear of what might be. Dare to have the
life you REALLY want rather than settling for one that’s
just okay.

3. Coaching: What One Step Can You Take Today?

In what ways are you not showing up in your life?
What project are you putting off?
Which friend or loved one are you growing apart
from because of an ignored issue?
What ongoing problem are you blaming on
someone else so you don’t have to deal with it?
What dream do you have that you’re not moving
What toleration are you griping about and not
doing anything about?

In what way can you show up for that piece of your life
today? What single step can you take toward resolving the
problem, renewing the friendship, handling the
toleration, living your dream?

Life is not a risk free undertaking. Sometimes it’s scary;
sometimes it feels overwhelming; sometimes it doesn’t
look like we think it’s supposed to; sometimes we feel like
we can’t do it. Nike says, “Just Do It.” I say, “Just show up
and put one foot in front of the other.”

What “one step” can you take today toward a goal or
dream that seems impossible if you look at the whole
journey? And yes, small steps do count! Even tiny steps
count. The size of the step is not the point. The point is to
take it.

Show up to ask and answer that question each day then
take that one step. Do that one day at a time, and you will
discover that you are living the life of which you have


Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.
Ben Franklin

The closer we get to giving our dream to the world, the
fiercer the struggle becomes to bring it forth. Why?
Because we will be inexorably changed. Of course we’re
scared; we wouldn’t be sane if we weren’t.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just
show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
– Anne Lamott

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without
vision is a nightmare.
Japanese Proverb

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is
regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
Sydney J. Harris

5. Celebrating Out Loud: A Teenager’s Wisdom

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more
there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

After reading the issue of CTJ on Dreaming Big, Terri
wrote the following email. I find it a wonderful

celebration. Terri and Amie are available at

After reading your article in today’s CTJ, I recalled a
conversation with my teenaged daughter. As we came
home one day, we began saying: “If I could have anything
I wanted…” “If I could do anything I wanted…”. As we
talked about our dreams, I recall editing my versions
down, “Oh that would be too expensive…” “But I might be
too old…” Amie in her quiet wisdom looked at me,
finally, in complete exasperation. “Will you please stop?!
These are DREAMS and we can and should make them as
big as we want! They don’t cost us anything but the
pleasure of dreaming them!”

Sometimes, as parents, we are reminded that it’s a mutual
bit of growing and learning that goes on between parents
and children, and not exclusive to the parents to teach.

Know someone who’s celebrating a great occasion? Or a
small one? What better gift than to forward them a copy
of Celebrating the Journey with a celebratory wish in it.
Let’s spread the joy!

6. Reading for the Journey

Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams

Written 10 years ago, this book continues to be one of my
all time favorites. In his easy, humorous style Peter
McWilliams addresses how our fear of getting outside our
comfort zones keeps us from fulfilling our hearts’ desires.
He asks the question, “Do we honor our comfort zones or
do we honor our dream?”

Clearly the choice is ours, and it is all too common to stay
comfortable. McWilliams gives us down home wisdom,
his and others, wrapped in the wonderful colors of
humor, about how to make a different choice: the choice
to change and follow the dreams we have talked about for
so long.

This is a must-have book for all who want to discover and
pursue their dream, who are willing to expand their
comfort zone, and who wouldn’t mind having some fun
along the way. Get Off Your But and add it to your library!

This is a true classic for anyone in the process of creating
the life you REALLY want. It’s available for only $14.00 at

To the Summit: A Woman’s Journey into the Mountains
to Find Her Soul by Margo Chisholm

This is the story of my journey toward my own impossible
dreams. I had some very big dreams, and some equally big
doubts and fears. My story is a clear example of the
miracles that happen when we take that first step, and
then the next, and then the next, in the direction of our
dreams. We ordinary people can do extraordinary things,
and it all happens one step at a time.

This book is out of print, and I have a few copies available
for sale for $23 including shipping and handling. E-mail for ordering

To The Summit is also available in German and
Norwegian for the same price.

7. Resources for the Journey: Turn Those Books into Cash

What do you do with all the books you bought and never
read? Or read once and haven’t looked at in 5 years? The
ones that are in the boxes in the garage or on the top shelf
with a half-inch layer of dust on them.

The library is always a great landing place for books I am
finished with. But what about the ones they already have
or ones which they are not interested in?

I am in the process of cleaning out my house, all parts of
it, one room at a time. In a cabinet in my garage I have
stored for the entire 3 1/2 years I’ve lived here a huge
collection of Psychology textbooks which I no longer use.
Part of why they were still there was I didn’t know what to
do with them. Ebay was just a bit too much trouble.

Then I discovered This is a
fabulous resource for selling and buying books and some
other stuff as well. It’s very user friendly, there’s no
bidding process, and the customer service is great. And for
all you students and parents of students, they have a huge
stock of expensive, hard-to-find textbooks.

I listed 45 books on Saturday, and 7 have already sold. I
also found discounted copies of some massage textbooks
I’ve been looking for. Check this site out for clearing out
your bookshelves as well as finding new stuff to fill them

8. Humor: More English Paradoxes

As a writer, I am aware of many of the absurdities of this
language that we call English. I love being reminded of
how confusing it really is. Thanks to Dana Brown for
these head-shaking paradoxes.

Let’s face it–English is a crazy language. There is no egg in
eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine
in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in
England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies
while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its
paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing
rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea
nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers
don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth
beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One
index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make
amends but not one amend, that you comb through
annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a
bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn’t
preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what
does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what
language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that
run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat
chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are
opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites,
while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the
weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only
when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful
carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero
or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into
someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly, or
peccable? And where are all those people who ARE
spring chickens or would ACTUALLY HURT a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in
which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which
you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm
goes off by going on. English ws invented by people, not
computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race
(which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when
the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are
out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my
watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

Give yourself the gift of showing up and putting one foot
in front of the other this week.

Namaste, Margo

Hiring a Life Coach is a great way be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to

If you received this copy of Celebrating the Journey from
a friend and would like to subscribe, visit or send an e-mail to
and in the body of the text include
subscribe tothesummit-list youre-mailaddress.
To stop receiving CTJ include
unsubscribe tothesummit-list youre-mailaddress.

My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your e-mails at

Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, by Margo

I invite you to share Celebrating the Journey with your
mailing list, friends, and associates. We ask only that the
entire e-mail with copyright and credits be included. The
author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
her at (970) 704-9336 or at

“At every moment of our life we have an
opportunity to choose joy.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen

Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346


Celebrating The Journey is a free, weekly
email newsletter, full of resources and
quotes, humor and coaching to support you
in having the life you REALLY want. Visit to subscribe.