Not just show up and mill about on the sides of the dance hall trying to look cool and disinterested but come ready, with their dance shoes on and their requests for the dj and their packed lunch with them so they can nourish themselves on the long haul.
It requires couraging - my friend Marian was talking about that with me this morning - the practice of showing courage, over and over having the courage to see part of your work in the world to be brave. Building the muscle of courage by using it just like you have a personal trainer saying "yes take that risk with your art/or your parenting/or your relationship, and give me two more, dig it in work it!!!"
Even if what you do today which feels brave seems tiny compared to what someone else is doing. Compared with what you might do in 6 months (or what you did years ago when you were in a different phase).
Turning up with courage in your heart will mean that you will be one of those who breaks a part of the mold. Who tries something new. Makes a paradigm shift. Steers the boat on a slightly different course.
Makes a difference.
Part of what i have learned is that new and shift and different are like acid to some people. They burn and hurt.
It is hard for kind and empathetic people to see this and not to feel the hurt and the burn too. But is it cause to stop? No.
The way humans have done things on the planet in the overculture (beautiful word used by Dr Estes to describe the dominant cultural norms... it has such a looming sense of the ominous for me which makes it perfect) are hurting our planet. There is no way to describe it differently and still tell the truth. Those that feel hurt by change are often clinging to what they know (even when it is broken, or more especially when it is broken) and any push to change threatens their sense of safety... it can get scary being asked to try something unfamiliar.
When i worked in a horrible institution we came up against this a lot. I remember I worked really hard to build a sense of change as a gift for people in my job which involved staff training. I worked up a programme that engaged staff in the sense of possibility, was aimed at taking them out of their routine for 4 days and showing them why change was needed and how good it could be. I was selling water to dehydrated people in some cases and selling pneumonia to people with bronchitis in others... it was tricky... but I remember one man. In his early 60's. He had worked in the institution all his adult life and had learned to treat the people who lived there like they were a nuisance and a thing. The institution had encouraged this. But it was time to change. I really was nervous about having him there and had to draw on all my convictions and values and work pretty damned hard to keep him engaged but at the end of the course he told me that in all his years at work he had never thought of the clients as people. He had never had the chance to learn. He had always had staff training meted out as a punishment (make a mistake go to staff training kind of mentality) He felt like one of the toughest nuts to crack and yet when he got the chance to soak in it gently he could see. He could entertain the possibility that change might be for a good reason. And that he might even be able to come along for the ride.
So like that gentleman, we need to change what is considered right and valid and true. And the only way we can do that is when we turn up as who we are. In our truth. In a "here i am, this is what i have to offer" kind of a way.
And we get to choose what that will look like.
Do you want to wear blue pyjamas to do your world changing work. Well great - you get bonus points for that! The world needs a sense of fun and play to return to this business of being human.
Do you want to be able to cry when you feel moved to and not be shamed? Well cry. Show people your tears.
When we turn up fully as we are it gives others the people to turn up too.
And the world needs us to turn up in new ways.
What can you do? How can i support you? Do we need a community of couragers?