Anyone who knows me knows that when I attend functions I have a tendency to sit in the back of the room. It’s been my way of being anonymous and yet I have been known to be a bit noisy in the back of the room, trying not to be anonymous. It’s a seesaw kind of relationship and I know that many face the same challenges when they are deciding how they want to show up in the world.
This past weekend I attended the Sacred Activism Conference in Tulsa, OK. The first day I sat in the middle of the audience, but always on the end so I can make a quick escape if necessary. On day two and then day three I moved up to the front of the auditorium. I sat in the second row (first row was reserved for members of the panel). When they got up to do their thing I was now in the front row of the audience. It felt great because I was more engaged.
What I began to realize is that when I am not sitting front and center it means that I am not connected to the event, talk, meeting, etc. Being able to be present made it easier to approach the presenters following the sessions. It made me feel more a part of the community that inclusion was what this conference was about. I knew that my self-inclusion had to go hand-in-hand with the group’s inclusion of me.
As I look at those facing the challenges of illness use your personal level of self-inclusivity as a barometer for the importance you give to an event. Notice what gets your attention! Notice what you want to be a part of ! Notice how being more present lessens your feelings of isolation and anonymity.
I’m certain going to be more aware of how I show up…won’t you show up with me?