Just Say Yes


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It’s been an interesting day of juggling between the things I had to say “yes” to and the things I had to say “no” to in order to accomplish what needed to happen in my world on this particular day.
I told myself at the beginning of this year there were certain ideas I refused to entertain anymore because they really didn’t serve me.  One was the notion that I never have enough time or space to do all the things I really want to do. 
Taking on the writing challenge has forced me to look at how I spend my time and what I need to give up in order to do what matters.  I must say, I have definitely felt the impact of an additional two hours of writing each day.

I’ve also felt a laser like clarity about how a project comes together, a book gets written,  and a goal gets realized.  This morning I organized all the cards with my essay titles and themes into a workable outline.  I also played with a visual way to represent these themes that I’ll share with you tomorrow, if I can figure out how to post it here.

I didn’t write this morning even though I was booked all afternoon and evening.  But I did feel like I got a little ahead of what I’m doing here and conceived of a plan of attack for how to proceed at the end of the 31 day challenge.

I also remembered that I have a lot of material I’ve written before that I can breathe new life into and share with you. 

Before blogs there were ezines.  I used to publish one called Everyday Alchemy.  Here’s an essay I wrote when I was living in Santa Fe with a few updates on references and links to the places, people, and sounds these ideas evoke.
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Last weekend I drove to Boulder, Colorado, to attend a workshop at Naropa University called The Alchemy of Abundance with Rick Jarow.  It wasn’t a short drive or a small investment. 
I can’t tell you how many times I questioned this decision prior to going. I had just started a creativity coaching program and my funds for furthering my education were tapped out.  I waffled, whined, and worried. 
But my unexpected experience seeing the Dalai Lama reinforced the adage, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  It also made me realize when a master teacher appears, ready or not – the student better get with the program. Who knows if the opportunity will present itself again? 
There will always be legitimate excuses not to go for what we really want.  We can convince ourselves that “someday” the planets will align, we’ll hold the winning Powerball number, and the Cubs will get to the World Series.
But too often “someday” never comes and we waste opportunities to infuse our life with meaning and purpose because we’re too busy defending what we’re not that thrilled about to begin with.  We insist upon waiting for the “perfect” moment to launch our leap while all the other moments pass us by.
Many would say the answer to this challenge is to just say no.  In her book, Improv Wisdom, Patricia Ryan Madson advocates the opposite.  Say yes to everything.  Accept all offers.  Go along with the plan.  Support someone else’s dream.  Cultivate all the ways you can imagine to express affirmation.  Yes expands your world.”
As I look back on what I’ve said yes to this year, I realize I’ve reinvented my life in a relatively short time.  And I’ve done so by saying yes even when the safer, easier answer would have been no.
Some of the questions Rick posed to the group over the weekend were, “What is flirting with your attention?  What is attracting your attention?  What is demanding your attention?”  Then he asked us how we might invite what’s knocking at our door into our lives in a positive way.
Sometimes “the lights are on, but no one’s home.”  Or you may be home and say, “I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in. 
Could there be a yes lurking somewhere in your field of attention?  If so, why not invite it in for a cup of tea and conversation?  It might just lead to a love affair with your life.

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