Are You Showing Up?
Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Writing this article for the Global Achievers Magazine’s July 2020 issue, I am currently in my home office and filming studio located in the Southern California area. Yes, like others, I have been here every day for months. We have had “stay at home” orders throughout the world due to the declared worldwide pandemic known as the Novel Coronavirus Disease; COVID-19 since the spring of 2020.
We all know that the world is changing or has indeed already changed. The unknown of what tomorrow is going to bring is a concern for many internationally. Will our lives ever look like they did before? How are we going to get back into the swing of things? What is next?
All great questions, however, we are not going to explore those answers in this article. There is another question I’d like to ask, “How are you showing up to your life today?”
A few weeks ago, I woke up ready to show up! Ready to re-engage in an area I have been ignoring – my self-care and exercising. With my favorite workout hat on, completely not caring what anyone would think, I got my phone, turned it on, and pushed the button: I was Live walking and talking.
Since that day, a group of friends and buddies; leaders, have been showing up for themselves and each other as I continue to push that button. Every morning around 5:30 am PDT it is “time to move.” As we gathered together on the “Live Stream” while I was huffing and puffing, a series of questions started to be asked by myself and others.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius.
July 7, 2020, was the first day I went live and since that day our Chemo Buddies for Life Community and many others have joined me and engaged. To my surprise, almost immediately I started getting calls, texts, messengers, and emails thanking me for inspiring them. Many started sharing stories of what is happening, how they are doing or not doing through the pandemic, how much they needed someone to show up, anyone and I was the one that did. I continue to hear the need they have to get up, get going, and re-engage in life.
All this attention alerted me to the needs of so many. Too many are feeling stuck. Stuck for a variety of reasons, yet stuck. The idea that so many seem to be stuck and under a dark cloud, we needed to change this… and now! So, we started to have some FUN! Yes, fun. Do you remember that word?
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney
We started to look at ourselves as “Superheroes.” Each Superhero has a “Super Power,” what is theirs? Then, what is their Kryptonite or Achilles’ heel? Every Superhero has its theme song; you see where this is going. We have been real and raw too, exploring where we are and how we can get where we want to go. Yet, possibly the most important has become, “Have you made your bed?
Have I made my bed? How and why does that matter? The answer is, “If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed,” Naval Admiral Wm. H. McRaven.
In the 2014 Commencement Address given at the University of Texas at Austin by, Admiral William H. McRaven, he stated how important it is to make your bed in setting your day, your life, your mission for success. The Admiral went on to share the other components he found needed to change the world while training as a Navy Seal in Coronado, California, yet the top of his list was to make your bed.
We check in with each other during our “time to move.” In the short time since I started, we have people showing up live from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. There have been more countries represented in replay. We have been hearing how male and female, business owners and employees, buddies, and those who support them, students, teachers, and coaches, plus those searching for their next chapter in life are all moving, exploring, and having fun together.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
Many who have been joining us for our morning walks are from our Chemo Buddies for Life Community and Leadership. What is interesting is that our conversations have gotten extremely personal. No holding back. A gamble, yet needed. The authentic experience is allowing for our “Buddies” to be real and raw while finding a way to tie in laughter. Yes, you can open up and be real yet have fun; it is called life. Our community understands how critically important it is to live life!
For example, Sherry McQueen, one of our Senior Ambassadors, a Stage 4 Cancer Warrior shared with me, “I thought to myself, I need to get moving. I can’t keep sitting in my home most days, if I do my body is going to start to think this is normal and with having cancer? I will not allow that.” She then went on to tell me, “My Superpower is “Inspiring Others.” My Kryptonite is “Self-doubt.” And my theme song is split between, “Live Like Your Dying” by, Tim McGraw and Katie Perry’s, “Roar.”
Sherry does inspire! She shows up with a different fun wig and matching outfit every day with a smile that lights up all who see her. Our community is lucky to have such a Super Hero Ambassador Warrior in our midst.
Next, I heard from another one of the Senior Ambassadors within our CB4L.org Community, Carol Berzins. She shared with me that she went on a bike ride for the first time in a long while. “It took me 45 minutes to 50 minutes. I stopped a couple of times. I didn’t give up. I kept pushing myself until I got home.” I then witnessed in the Facebook Feed that she went Live just after she arrived home to celebrate her success. And in going Live, she was inspiring many more. The next layer of leadership encourages change.
Our Ambassador of the Chat, Helene Wilson, texted me, “I am feeling good about me, even though I am having to shave my head. I am showing up with humor looking for my purple pen.” An attitude of gratitude and fun is what Helene is sharing with our community and the world.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu
I have been sharing in this column about building a worldwide movement. The next layer of leadership is something that must happen or the movement will not take hold. We are building our leadership within our Chemo Buddies for Life Community. We have so many that are stepping up as volunteers and becoming the leaders who are inspiring the next ones to do the same. I just mentioned a few of them. There are so many more.
In our community, nearly every day we have new buddies joining us. The new buddies are getting to know our next layer of leaders such as Sherry, Carol, and Helene. Just last night we had one of our newer buddies share with Sherry and Carol how she was motivated by the “time to move” morning walks. Before cancer, she would have expected to walk at least an hour. She made it 30 minutes. The Buddies celebrated her success. We have a whole community that is striving to live and love their lives. Every day we are hearing about miracles of how those in our community are healing through connections.
At some point, my goal will be as Loa Tzu wrote, that our “Buddies” will be able to say that they joined our movement, our community, and it will become their community and in it becoming theirs they will become our next leaders.
The Leadership within Chemo Buddies for Life is proud to be building something extremely special. During this unique time of history, we at CB4L.org are also making history. We are changing the way cancer is done throughout the world with humor, hope, heart, hugs, and a whole lot of LOVE. We are building a worldwide movement, one buddy at a time. That one buddy, with the loving support of our community, will discover their own Superhero Super Powers, will understand their Kryptonite or Achilles’ heel, and then will grow into and become the next layer of leadership. This will continue on and on all because of one person showing up.
Someday in the future, when someone hears that they are facing cancer they will immediately know not to fear. That by showing up they will be supported by a loving, global community; the Chemo Buddies for Life.
If you or someone you know is facing cancer and needs a buddy, we are here for you. Our programs are free to all who need us. You can find us at CB4L.org. Our community also meets daily through Facebook in the Chemo Buddies 4Life Community Closed Group. You will need to ask to join.
Our 501c3 nonprofit is completely run 100% by volunteers and powered by donations. If you can find it in your heart to help us support those facing one of life’s scariest words; cancer, we are looking for volunteers, sponsors, affiliates and donations. To donate today go to CB4L.org or at Paypay.me/chemobuddies4life.