"Say yes and you'll figure it out afterwards."- Tina Fey
When you think of times you would use the word "yes", the first thing that comes to mind is that you are agreeing with someone or to something. Perhaps you are listening to a conversation and, liking what you hear, find yourself whispering "yes" as you nod in agreement. Maybe someone asks if you want to go somewhere or whether you like a certain food, and since the answer is obviously "yes" to both, you respond affirmatively. It's easy enough to understand why the word "yes" is appropriately used in these situations. But what may be less clear upon reflection is why the word would be used in any other context, and yet, often is. Take, for example, the times you say "yes", when your whole being means "no", or you say "no", when everything EXCEPT the fear in you wants to say "yes". These are the situations which, for our ultimate health and well-being, must be sorted out.
It's no secret to those who know me that I strongly believe in encouraging my children to challenge themselves. I am a believer in always seeking ways to accomplish goals and repeatedly set new ones. Some might mistake this for me only finding worth in them based on the latest thing they have done, but this is only slightly true. The main reason for teaching the importance of accomplishment is so they can understand firsthand that saying "yes" to new challenges is always saying "yes" to creating a reality that is full, fulfilled, and connected. A couple weeks ago, my son came home saying that he had been asked to be the announcer for the Varsity girls' softball team. As I squealed with delight, he immediately started to list reasons why he couldn't agree to the job. I quickly curbed my enthusiasm. Parents, don't ever forget this. Acting excited about an opportunity your kid has not decided to say "yes" to is a surefire way to get them to say "no." In fact, the more you act like you don't want them to do it, the better your chances they will side with you without knowing it. So you MUST play it cool. Unless they are really being ridiculous and you know the only reason they are saying "no" is because they are afraid. You MUST NOT allow that. Because really, are you trying to be the one that goes down in history teaching your kid that he should lose out on all the opportunity that may come from a single "yes"?- the chance to meet new people, develop new skills, gain self-confidence, perhaps discover a skill set that leads them to their lifelong passion? No. You don't. And if you do, I implore you to take some time to ponder the ways you are letting fear impose on potential opportunities to say "yes" to your own life.
"When you say yes to others,make sure you are not saying no to yourself."-
Then there are the "yes" times that really don't make sense- when we say the word but really don't mean it at all. Yet we continue to repeat the process out of fear(there's that word again) that someone will be disappointed in us, people will think less of us or that we will think less of ourselves if, for any reason we were unable to say "yes" to everything anyone asked of us ever. This is nothing short of self-sabotage, as this mentality is a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. It's unsustainable and unthinkable that we would actually set ourselves up for an existence sure to fail or, at the very least, be fraught with the misery of a striving that is never attainable or appreciated by others or even ourselves. Yes to the carpool. Yes to the PTA volunteer role. Yes to the committee meeting. Yes to the twelve loads of laundry and piles of dishes instead of teaching or asking someone else to do it. Yes to the expensive extracurricular activity that your kid could give a rip if he participates in or not. Yes to the demanding relative who takes and takes and never even says thank you. Yes to the fifth late night at the office this week. And on and on and on.
It's time to start using this tiny but mighty word for the life affirming power it was meant. When you get serious about the consistent practice of The Four Seeds of Self-Care, you begin to learn the importance of saying "yes" to yourself first for optimal health and wellness. When you are self-centered in balancing your meditation, sleep, exercise, and nutrition, you quit saying "yes" to FEAR, and preserve the word for only the people and circumstances that fortify you and deserve your attention. This is the true power and proper use of "YES"!!! Oh, and what do you think my son said when I asked how his first day went announcing for the Varsity softball game? "I was a beast", he joked. Then, "No, but seriously, I am glad I said yes." Nuff said.
With love and gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel