“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” – commonly attributed to the Buddha
A resounding YES is a mighty, magical thing.
Commitment to a decision shoots positive vibrations throughout the body and buzzes in the heart. This wild energy of YES creates change, but change—even a small change—can be scary, exhausting and triggering. Even when we want positive and new experiences in our lives, most of us still fear change. Ultimately, it’s a fear of death that keeps us saying no; the fear that we’ll never again have what we’re leaving, even though what we say yes to may possibly bring happiness and new energy to our life. We’re more afraid of loss than we are of gain.
A frightening yes and a safe no
Four years ago, I stood shuddering on the divide between a frightening YES and a safe NO. One of my dreams was to open a healing centre and retail boutique. I’d thought about doing this for over 15 years. But the fear in my mind had always won the internal war as I spat out a stream of endless NOs.
NO! I don’t have the money to spare.
NO! I don’t have a perfectly clear business plan (as there was no market for this industry).
NO! I don’t want to fail.
But there was a twitch in my gut that wouldn’t settle down. This feeling told me to go deeper and explore the root issues that were at play. What did NO really mean to me? After time and reflection, I realized that resisting my dreams was really me staying stuck in my low self-esteem. If I didn’t take the risk, I wouldn’t have to face the failure or prove myself wrong with success.
I decided I needed to spend some time thinking about what YES might bring—how saying yes might change my life, as well as the way I relate to and value myself. In this meditative space, I dreamed about the possibilities.
Did the community want this and also need this? YES.
Would I survive as a person if the business failed? YES.
Do I trust myself to work hard and give it my best? YES.
The healing centre opened in the fall of 2014. It has sustained itself financially since day one and has provided myself and the city with a strong sense of community and connection. I’ve never regretted the decision.
Tune in to the solar plexus
The conflicting energies of YES and NO can be felt, known and separated. Absorb your focus into the body between the collar and pubic bones. This is the core energy centre of the Solar Plexus Chakra. It’s the energy centre from where our self-esteem, identity and self-value comes. It’s the place from which we build trust in ourselves and exert our healthy ego.
Imagine being asked an important question and answering with a strong, loud YES. Now imagine responding with an equally strong NO.
Feel the difference in your body? In your energy and emotion?
An honest YES feels fantastic and kinetic. A true and resounding YES feels like forward movement. You may even feel a tug in your heart or gut. A NO can feel heavy, perhaps a feeling of withdrawal as the energy shrivels and then stops the flow. As a response to fear, NO is a protective intuition, but unchecked, it scares us away from following dreams, taking on challenges and opening our hearts.
Is that NO a rational alarm protecting you from real peril? Or an irrational fear keeping you from enhancing your life?
Practice listening to your intuition
Practice distinguishing between your mind and your core identity, your intuition. If you’re someone who says “I think” in response to questions, you may be too much in your head. Instead answer with “I feel” and watch what happens. Connect with what your higher self knows instead of the fear-based story your mind wants you to believe.
Connect with what your higher self knows instead of the fear-based story your mind wants you to believe.
The more we practice listening to ourselves and following our gut, our intuition and our dreams, the more we strengthen our willpower and determination. Strength grows by applying strength. Courage is what shepherds us into new possibilities and happiness.
YES demands a leap outside the pampered comfort zone. It asks you to put your fears and your past regrets aside just long enough for you to reach out and embrace the unbridled (and perhaps unfamiliar) possibility of joy. Fear paralyzes you in a space that’s easy, but lifeless. To move beyond this stifling, suffocating fear is to go deep into your body and silence the trepidation and worry. We can achieve this with mindful presence.
Showing up to your fears and difficult emotions is as simple as sitting down and being quiet. Stillness allows time and space for the often suppressed emotions to come forward. As thoughts and emotions surface, we don’t need to chase them away, but instead give them a safe place to just be. This space allows us to trust ourselves and own our authentic feelings, as well as learn how to listen and tame the chatter of the mind.
When was the last time you said YES to something you were excited about? A YES teeming with sparkle and spirit? A YES that moved you forward?
That last YES you shouted still holds healing, happiness and growth. Draw from it now as you sit and be present, as you listen for guidance and stay open to possibilities.
Use your own judgment
You don’t have to say YES to everything. NO is a reasonable answer to something not right for you. But realize that NO doesn’t resolve personal issues such as time management, self-care or deeper intimacy in relationships. NO can be an excuse to cover fear. It’s up to you to discern if the next move is one that deserves action or a pass.
Ask yourself why you’re slamming on the brakes. Is it a rational reason? Or are you afraid of change?
Next time you’re faced with a difficult or exciting decision, pause before you answer and investigate what YES might inspire. Take a mindful moment to explore your emotions and intuition. Listen for the answer deep inside your body, not just in your mind.
YES energizes and motivates. YES green-lights a move forward to find joy and connectedness. Could this be the season of YES for you?