"Show Up" Events - A Counterpoint

This started as a reply to Andrew Baines in the Enneagram 5 Discussion Group but I thought it more broadly applicable to many “show up” events that I have not been able to attend. With that context, here it is:

Hi Andrew, and I guess Corey as well, this is a reply to the new “show up” style of events that has become popular at Integral Life and elsewhere. It is in this thread because I have been hoping the Enneagram 5 recordings were available for viewing. So forgive the less than direct answer.

But yes, “showing up” does resonate with me. But as a 5, I happily spread wide over many things. I enjoy scaling across concepts, contexts, and free-flowing up and down high-level abstractions to concrete levels of detail, across polarities, categories, constantly weaving my own internal knowledge web in my synapses. And I enjoy what comes out of that mixed up cauldron as insight, uncertainty, and humor. I love acquiring new skills and knowledge with an AQAL lens to choose learnings in each of the quadrants. And of course the Enneagram events, particularly the Enneagram 5, I value as it helps me understand myself and others and how to work across them all.

But also, as a recent retiree, and still 5-centric, I enjoy bringing my “5” breadth, depth, and relation-awareness skills to “show up” in the world - where they can make a difference.

While I love dipping in and out of multiple courses, offerings, and events, I usually find I have conflicts and can’t “show up” easily. I like the option to “show up” but I also like the option to “not show up” and watch a video of a session as well. Some things are just useful and interesting but not really important enough to adjust tight schedules or adapt to unpredictable events in busy lives.

I do not derive pleasure from “largish” groups, with implied yet unattainable participation and sharing, like we have mastered this year with Zoom. I like the high level conversations of wise and knowledgable people, ideally long time friends and their evocative, dense, and integrated explanations in any topic - and not just in the air between their talking heads but in drawings, diagrams, real-time whiteboarding, and well crafted rhetoric, poetry and prose. I like good questions and answers. But if it is not captured, like we can do now in modern times, and made available, it is like it did not happen for the majority of people who would like to learn from it. Each conversation is valuable to Integral Life and its members. I am sure are the lucky few who can make the sessions are better for it. But watching the session is also valuable.

Most of us have primary commitments elsewhere. For me, pandemic parenting, re-firing a business, and participating heavily over in the New Republic of the Heart community aiming at whole systems change through their social experiment and its “co-creative” outer work groups. In my heart, this is important to me for my kids. And as a 5, once something feels important, it becomes a soul purpose with complete commitment, making everything else a hobby, albeit ones that inform the rest.

I love Integral Life but visit it only periodically, and less so every time there is something that is a “show up” and I can’t make it, and know that I won’t get to view the session afterwards. It is just disappointing.

That said, my exploratory curiosity, my 5’ness, really enjoys the content and conversations among the interesting people involved in Integral Life. I gladly pay my annual subscription just to have that access when I can - for the opportunity. And I am disappointed when something I want to learn is a “show up only” opportunity.

Integral Life is not life for me, juggling my kids, friends, work commitments, explorations, pods, dyads, sessions, natural history, hiking, eating, and swimming in natural waters - is life. It is easy however to fit the exploring in between - including “show up” videos I did “not show up” for.

And if a session is really good and the stars align, I even pay extra for, and may even, just “show up” for a full course.

So, I hope I am wrong about the “show up” events not being recorded and made available. This is entirely possible and I expect you will tell me how to find them. If not, I’d like to suggest you consider making available recordings of events for those of us who simply can’t make it.

Thank you.

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