Showing Up by Beth-Marie Gardner

the future is female Feb 23, 2018

It’s a radical act to be in the here and now. It’s a radical act to put down your phone and hold eye contact. The noise, the static, is constant. The mindfulness industry is blowing up. We ache to take a walk in the woods, to catch up around the dinner table with friends, to live like this is our one precious life.

Why do we not practice what we preach? What keeps us from unrolling our yoga mat, walking to the studio or barn, opening the journal, putting down the phone? We can have the best of intentions but one ounce less then we need. Self discipline is all well and good but what about the lingering brace inside of us. Is it self sabotage? Is it laziness? What’s that little hump that stops us from moving towards progress? Why do we resist our juiciest possible life?

I struggle with transitions. I struggle with the start. As soon as I have a rope in my hand and a horse in my vision, time stops. Once I start I can do this forever. Once I start.


My mama cowgirl brain is divided into so many conflicting responsibilities.. when are the taxes due, is that the nurse calling from school or the principle, who is in trouble, what’s for dinner, have I ordered the seeds, why can't I stay in bed and eat chocolate, the laundry machine is broken, the sap buckets are overflowing, the cows in heat, I have to call the artificial inseminater!!? These are all important tasks but I need to learn to shelve them to be present with my creative work. I need to set solid boundaries with the busyness of life. I also need to learn to trust myself that the work will be done and take the brace out of completing them. I don’t want to be a spastic squirrel run over while gathering nuts.

I eliminate external excuses and complications. Then I only have to got to war with the internal excuses. And I do. Everyday.

The main tactic I use to pursue my work is my calendar. On Sunday I have a calendar meeting with the family. I schedule my workouts with girlfriends. I will show up for them more easily than for myself. I move every day. I need to sweat to have focus. I schedule connection time with my man. I ask my family what foods they are craving for the week menu plan, it might shift day to day but it gives us options and the kids agency in their food choices. I make sure everything is written down.  I schedule in all my horse training and lessons six months to a year in advance. I commit to my teacher and I always show up regardless of weather. I do chores at sunrise and sundown. I need to block myself in to a place in which I have no excuses. Otherwise the bullshit excuses that I can come up with would win a creativity award.

I make appointments with my goals. I have partners, mentors and friends that hold me accountable. I prepay. I eliminate exit routes. Daily, I battle internal resistance but externally I have already committed. If I don’t schedule, I won’t show up for my life. My spiritual nature is spontaneous, whimsical but I can’t give myself the luxury of a good life and follow through unless it is premeditated. Everyday, every week doesn’t work out. Sometimes everything goes wrong and the plans go out the window. But my intention is clear and my plan is thought out. I always have the next Sunday to make a better plan. I fail, I learn. I fail worse, I see it, I learn, adjust.

Observe, Remember, Compare.

Alexander Graham Bell

If I rely on the muse of creativity to strike me I will never create. I need to step into the arena, create a space for the opportunity of magic to happen. I need to set her place at the table. In the morning I drink my coffee, put my hair in their braids and my knife on my belt. I'm determined to be ahead of my internal resistance.


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