The Principles of Yes

October 20, 2012

Going Slow means saying no.

But not always.

When we say “no” to certain opportunities, we are saying “yes” to the possibility of others. We are creating space for what is meant to come into our lives. But many of us fear that space, that moment of nothingness, that void in our hearts and souls that we feel compelled to fill with something, anything. Oftentimes we fill it with noise ~ whether it’s the TV, the radio or our own chatter.

Taking time to be quiet will give you the strength to get to “yes”.

The principles of “yes” do not mean you affirm everything everyone wants from you. Nor does it mean you are a yes man to anyone. It means you are standing firm in your power and in your belief in yourself. You are saying “yes” to the life you want to lead.

As I have often said, when we say “no” to someone or something, we are actually saying “yes” to ourselves. The first tenet in the principles of “yes” is to be clear about what is important to you.

Action items:

  • Name five things that have a priority in your life.
  • List an action for each one that you can undertake to support that belief.
  • If you can’t think of an action, reevaluate your list of priorities. Are you walking your talk or just paying lip service to those things? You may find you have entirely different priorities than you realized. Knowing this will help you get back into alignment with “yes”.

The second tenet of “yes” is to understand that even when we say “yes” to something, it may not turn out as we had planned. Maybe we say “yes” to a project that we think will be fulfilling, only to discover it wasn’t at all what it seemed. You may feel disappointed that things turned out that way, but in saying “yes,” you learned exactly what you needed to learn at that time. Trust that saying “yes” with conviction will lead you down the path you need to take, even if that path seems scary.

The third tenet of “yes” requires that you listen deeply to what you are affirming. Are you saying “yes” to the actual experience or are you saying “yes” to that pretty picture in your mind, painted with wild expectations? This tenet is based on the high involvement/low attachment idea. You are highly engaged in what you are doing without expectation that it will turn out at all.

Pretty Zen, huh?

The final tenet of “yes” is the contagion factor. When you smile out into the world with an aura of “yes”, others will notice and want to know where you got it. Glowing from the inside out, you can share your “yes” story with them.

Sharing your “yes” moments with others will make the world a better place. It will encourage them to do the same for themselves. Can you imagine a world in which we all dance to the rhythm of  our personal “yes”? Oh, yeeeeeesssss!

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Living a Day of ‘Yes’

April 23, 2010

On those occasions when I’ve been a tad too harsh with myself (or with the kids, for that matter), I institute a day of YES. It’s simple. I say ‘yes’ to those certain things I normally say ‘no’ to.

Such as Nutella for lunch. Say what? Listen. We have been on a non-Nutella diet going on three weeks here. My kids have been well-behaved. So yes, that’s what we’ll be having for lunch (along with homemade crepes, which my dad would fondly call a mere ‘sugar delivery system’).

Then there is the ‘should I not just take a day off from that project today?” Another resounding YES comes from deep within.

TV in the middle of the afternoon? Yes.

A brisk walk to the country store and back instead of a boring exercise class? Yes (I did not get a donut whilst there. I have my limits).

Homework put off until Saturday morning? I feel my yes muscle quiver. Well, alright…

Boundaries are the key to happiness. When they are sometimes extended, we get to enjoy greener pastures before returning to the familiar. Have you thought about how you’d live a day of ‘yes’? You might just find some of the things, such as a little time off, could be the very thing you need.

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