When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to you – Paulo Coehlo
Once upon a time, I was the YES girl to most everything and everyone! It didn’t matter what hat I was wearing at the time, if someone needed something I was your girl; the mom, teacher, boss, coworker, wife, sister, daughter, volunteer, neighbor, and friend. So let’s flip this, there are only so many hours in a day, how many hours within that day are you saying YES to yourself? These YES’s should feel like a cup full of gratitude, energize you both physically and mentally, ground you to what and where you are, and keep you connected to that inner amazing self.
Pondering this, I realized it was only when I was literally sick and tired, ready to blow my lid (if I hadn’t already) that saying YES to myself should have been priority months before that. At that point, I needed WAY more than just a walk, a book, a bath, some yoga and hiding in a closet wasn’t going to make it better. I needed an intervention of the self, to the self, to regain the self. After repeatedly feeling this uncomfortable place of dis-ease, I woke up one day recognizing the exhaustion and feeling of being claustrophobic within was astronomical. The beginning of self-intervention, or let’s call it inward-vention, was no longer deniable. It was hard to breathe, think, and my body was tense everywhere. This was the day I knew time, patience, and dedication needed to happen to delve deep into saying YES to me, because life was closing in fast in the most destructive way. My inner fire, light, sparkle was dim, maybe lost but not forgotten.
It was a messy process recognizing that I created this space or lack of space to breathe, feel, and honor my truest self. No one held my hand into this dark feeling of being alone. Within this awakening and re-acquaintance process, I found the greatest work and relationship AND it continues to evolve. I am 44, married to my BFF, have two beautiful teenage girls, and I am a piece of work! Aren’t we all? I believe we are all master pieces, uniquely created, and everyday are changing with our experiences and reactions within life. FIRST forgive yourself. Then what?
Begin to have patience, compassion, and dedicate some time for you. This is our daily work to keep our hearts and eyes open to being in a good space. I didn’t say awesome or amazing – that is a 2-week vacation! This necessary time is taking in a deep breath without interruption and feeling that breath cleanse and clear every part of you. It’s going outside to get your hands in the dirt, feel the sun hitting your shoulders, and hearing the birds singing without being interrupted. It’s getting lost writing or reading something that lifts you up, holds space for you, or allows you to let go of what no longer serves you. It’s having that morning tea or coffee without multitasking the world around you…it is you sipping, pausing, to be one with that really good cup of coffee. Life will interrupt these moments, because life finds a way. When it does, notice where you are in your heart and mind. Give gratitude for the 5-15 minutes of uninterrupted check in and then begin to engage in life outside of you.
Say YES to the things that don’t scatter you, deplete you, exhaust you. Heck – say MAYBE if you aren’t sure. Walk away, put on the task that has been asked of you, if it doesn’t feel good say NO. If your waiting for every YES to feel great – check in with your expectations. I am a realist, a mom, a business owner, a wife…a 2-week vacation will happen in September and that will be GREAT! However, Good is not less than – it is being in a place that doesn’t cause residue or cleaning up after within your mental, physical, and emotional body. I wish for every YES we may engage freely in a space of being content.
Part 2 The Process…