Our culture is inundated with “just say no” campaigns, whether to drugs, over-committing our time or resources, or just playing it safe by limiting our exposure to the risks that life throws our way. Lock your doors, protect your pass codes, your heart, your health. Double down on your security and trust only those closest to you. And be leery even of them, as you never know who will betray you!
Yikes! It is no wonder so many among us struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression!
Certainly, we need to take proper precautions in life, however, at what cost is this double-downing on areas of our lives causing us to lose our joie-de-vivre- our joy of living?
Earlier this month I made a choice, a radical one considered by many, to listen to my inner voice shouting “yes!” and decided to pull up my stake in Newburyport indefinitely for a self-discovery journey. I packed what was essential, clothes for varying weather, books and journals, a variety of sporting gear, and hopped in my car and headed west. I was surprised how little I packed and how free I felt as I drove into the unknown.
My decision to leave behind my family and friends, my work and my many activities was confusing to many. “Where are you going?” (I am not really sure) “When will you be back?” (Not sure on that either.) They were surprised, excited, some even admitted feeling jealousy. (“Do you have room for me too?”)
What I did know with full certainty was this was the right and perfect time to listen to the call of the “yes!” within, despite the judgement of others. What I was saying “yes!” to was my internal calling to free myself from the constraints of the life I knew so well in Newburyport and explore the outer edges of not only this beautiful country, but also my desire to expand myself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Certainly exciting, and of course a bit scary, and yet, even so, I have not experienced one moment of regret, despite a blown-out tire and some pretty seedy hotel stays.
And of course, I wouldn’t be feeling quite as healthy and robust without my Black Card from Planet Fitness! I have hit at least 12 different locations along the way! As many of you know, fitness is and will remain a definite non-negotiable in my life!
We can all say yes! to many more things than we realize. We can accept ourselves for who we are, instead of who we think we should be or who others want us to be. We can seek out a natural world of incredible wonder, and connect with others fully and honestly rather than with reservations. We can stick our necks out rather than stick to tried-and-true routines that limit the vividness of our lives and may no longer work for us. When in doubt, we can say yes!
Now, I understand that you may not have the ability or interest to get in your car and hit the road, however, I do want to share with you a few ways you can add way more “yes!” moments in your life starting today. By living in a powerful “yes!” to even small changes in your life, I am certain that new opportunities and possibilities will present themselves to you in ways you could have only previously dreamed of.
As a coach, much of my work with clients is on how we can use strategies to activate their unfulfilled yearnings and desires. So many people do want more. Often times, they just don’t know how to break out of old patterns of being.
Below is a list of questions that will help you tap into the “yes” in your heart. Small action starting today is the best strategy to get you there. Be bold in living your life- you deserve it!
1. Say “Yes!” to try something you have never done before. (Take a class, go out on a date, start writing a book, look for a job in a totally different field. The possibilities are endless…)
2. Say “Yes!” to a new and different adventure. (Book a trip, take a hike, drive a different way to work, join a meet-up group)
3. Say “Yes!” to breaking old habits and adopting new and healthy ones. (good-bye cigarettes, hello walking; good-bye late night tv, hello meditation morning; good-bye silent treatment, hello healthy communication)
4. Say “Yes!” to new friendships and even connecting with strangers! (saying “hello” first, checking out a new church or organization in your community, volunteering)
5. Say “Yes!” to strange coincidences that could lead to unexpected surprises. (Pay attention to things out of the ordinary, tune into your dreams, notice the world around you with a new pair of eyes and ears)