Show Up, Be Open

Photograph © 2018 Peggy Kornegger
At times we approach our lives with reluctance, dragging our feet. Attached to the past, apprehensive about the future, we are not fully present to what is happening now. Fear or regret keep us trapped in a repetitive pattern of non-acceptance and non-alignment with the events of life. From the outside, we may look like we’re here, but in truth we are absent. We’ve closed the door to possibility and locked it tightly, believing we are protecting ourselves from disappointment or disaster. However, in shutting down, we lose connection to the threads that tie everything together so perfectly in life’s tapestry. We feel lost and alone. Is it possible to get our bearings and experience connection once again? Absolutely.

In my own life, I find more and more that if I’m willing to be open to whatever is unfolding, that openness transforms my experience in completely unexpected ways. There is a magic that occurs when you just show up in life moment to moment without an agenda, a to-do list, or any preconceptions. In the stillness of Nature, this is easy, but recently I experienced it in one of the most crowded, noisy places imaginable: New York City.

My partner, Anne, and I were celebrating our 35th anniversary, and we had matinee tickets for Dear Evan Hansen. In the back of our heads, however, we also wanted to see Hamilton, even though tickets are hard to get and extremely expensive. We wondered what would happen if we went by the theater to see if anything was available for that night’s show. So we did. There were, of course, no seats, but they told us we could stand in the cancellations line in case something opened up. We decided to come back at 5 after our matinee.

Dear Evan Hansen was amazing and deeply moving, and we left tearfully uplifted, in a daze of emotion. The Hamilton theater was right around the corner, and the cancellations line already had several people in it. We joined them. No expectations, just for the adventure of seeing what would unfold. We spent the next three hours having a great time talking with other people in line from all over the world. The suspense grew as curtain time drew closer.

Then at 10 minutes before 8, someone from the box office came and said to us, “Follow me.” Within 5 minutes, we had tickets (not scalped and thus less expensive) and were ushered to seventh-row-center orchestra seats!! We were so thrilled we were speechless, and we watched the show (one of the best theater experiences ever) practically levitating with excitement. What an incredible anniversary gift!

I feel certain we would have been just fine if no seats had become available since we already were in such an appreciative happy mood. Perhaps it was just that state of being that opened the doors of possibility to even more joy and abundance. The key, it seems, is to appreciate every moment no matter what occurs. The greater wisdom is to be open to all experiences, not just the “good” ones. To realize that all of life is a blessing, even the perceived challenges. We can live our lives like this all the time, trusting, welcoming it all. We don’t have to wait for a “perfect” day or event. Every day, every moment, is perfect for opening your heart and feeling a connection to the magical energy of life flowing through you.


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