“The Art of Showing Up” How to Be There for Yourself and Your People by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

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A revolutionary guide to friendship and self-care for those who feel alone

When it comes to adult friendships, we’re woefully inept: We barely manage to show up for our own commitments, let alone maintain our relationships. What’s more, we’re living in an uncharted social landscape with new conventions on how to relate—one where actual phone calls are reserved for Mom (if anyone), “dropping in” is unheard-of, and “flaking out” is routine.

The Art of Showing Up offers a roadmap through this morass to true connection with your friends, your family, and yourself. Author Rachel Wilkerson Miller teaches that “showing up” means connecting with others in a way that makes them feel seen and supported. And that begins with showing up for yourself: recognizing your needs, understanding your physical and mental health, and practicing self-compassion. Only then can you better support other people; witness their joy, pain, and true selves; validate their experiences; and help ease their burden.

When “showing up” for others, it’s not the grandest gesture that matters most—it’s how close you come to meeting your loved ones where they really are.

Showing up is what turns the people you know into your people. It’s at the core of creating and maintaining strong, meaningful bonds with friends, family, coworkers, and internet pals. Showing up is the act of bearing witness to people’s joy, pain, and true selves; validating their experiences; easing their load, and communicating that they are not alone in this life.

If you’re having trouble connecting with those around you, know that you’re not the only one. Adult friendships are tricky!!! Part manifesto, part guide, The Art of Showing Up is soul medicine for our modern, tech-mediated age. Rachel Wilkerson Miller charts a course to kinder, more thoughtful, and more fulfilling relationships—and, crucially, she reminds us that “you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.” Learn to fearlessly . . .

  • define your needs, reclaim your time, and commit to self-care

  • ask for backup when times are tough—and take action when others are in crisis

  • meet and care for new friends, and gently end toxic friendships

  • help your people feel more seen (and more OK) overall!

My Review

I felt like this one was written just for me! I’ve been not showing up for a good part of my life for neither myself or friends and family. I’ve managed to focus my energy on my kids without looking inward or outward for anything.

To say this has been a problem for me would be an understatement! I’ve been called flakey at times from those who have mattered most and instead of taking their criticism and applying it, I allowed myself to feel the hurt instead.

What I’ve realized now through therapy and a lot of self-work that I had a lot to work out within first. I had to be good with myself in order to be good for others and I’m still working on it.

BUT…I’m a lot better!

I’ve learned to say “no” when I needed to the time, I’ve noticed triggers that set off anxiety, worked on my breathing, and most importantly made attempts to do better. I couldn’t even see the patterns when I was younger and internalized the feelings of unworthiness. It takes a while to let things go, especially when you’re aware of your shortcomings but still isn’t accepted.

This book was a huge reminder to take time to heal, focus on the good, and do the best I can when it comes to supporting others. Most of the time my anxiety got in the way. My worry about something not going right or being judged kept me from building lasting relationships that I now wish I fostered.

If you’re struggling with showing up, especially during this time, give yourself a break, take a deep breath and pick up this book! You will find solace.

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