#truelove #allowing #dating
That may have sounded a little like a bitch fest but the truth of the matter is, yes should mean yes, and I’m ready to know what that truly means for me. I believe it takes a lot of energy and life force out of a person (that person being me) to hold an image that isn’t true to oneself. It would be like driving 3,000 miles from L.A. to New York, only to get there and realize I didn’t really want to go. I would be tired, frustrated and honestly pretty mad at myself, not to mention, wasting a lot of gas!
In Anita Moorjani’s mind-expanding book, Dying To Be Me, she states, I knew that what was really the only purpose of life: to be our self, live our truth, and be the love that we are. Her story tells the tale of how she miraculously healed from a coma brought on by her cancer, and how a part of her (her soul, consciousness, whatever you would like to call it) was aware of what she was going through the entire time. Not only did Anita know what was happening in places her body wasn’t, she also had the experience of communicating with her father who had passed away years ago. In her book she talks about how before her coma she realized she had been living a life only to please others, and to do what was “right,” regardless of how she truly felt. After her “out of the body” journey, she found a deep peace she had never known before, and the awareness that her true healing and freedom would come from completely accepting who she was. Anita realized it was completely safe to be her true self, and that it was what she was put on earth to do. It was what we were all here to do. To know, love, be and express who we truly are.
This book touched me deeply and inspired me to look at where I wasn’t accepting myself, who was I still trying to please, and what was my truth? Even though I had come a long way transforming and growing in these areas of my life, I found that there was another layer to uncover and another level of self acceptance to reach. I discovered new parts of myself to know, love, be and express.
So how I do I begin? How do I really learn to say no? And what’s a good way to discern what is really important to me? I think one answer is to clarify what’s a real yes.
Cheryl Richardson, author and life coach, is one of my favorite teachers on this subject. She talks about only saying yes to her “absolute yes” list. She encourages us to make self-care our top priority, by saying no unless it’s an absolute yes. The goal is to spend our time and energy primarily on those things that bring us joy and make decisions based on what we want instead of what others want. When we don’t set boundaries and take care of ourselves, our health and well-being are at stake.
Another way I can begin is by focusing on what I often encourage my coaching clients to do, to start with what I do know. I don’t have to have all the answers to begin. I can begin with what is clear to me in this moment. To support me in clarifying my absolute yes list, I’ve decided to also create my no list.
So here are my lists:
What I say no to:
Watching TV programs that don’t really interest me
Too much Facebook
Too much other social media
Taking what other people say too personally
Over-indulging in unhealthy foods
Doing things out of obligation
What I say yes to:
Expressing myself honestly in a considerate way
Listening to music I love
Meditation (even if I only have five minutes)
Taking deep breaths
Going to bed earlier, waking up earlier
Focusing on being grateful
Sharing my joy
Seeing the good in others and myself
Letting go of things I don’t need or use
My next step? Keep my lists handy to review often to see how I’m doing. What I want to change or add to my lists. This will assist me in knowing what I can change, add or take away in my life. It will support me saying no to what I don’t want, and yes to what I do want. Seems so simple. Yet at times it’s so easy to get off track by making a few choices that don’t support doing what is true for me.
I also need to remember that growth is a process, and I need to be patient and kind to myself as I move forward with making these changes. I may have days I find it easy to say no to what I don’t want, and other days I may be saying yes all over the place. So I say no to self-judgment, and yes to patience and compassion for my self and my journey.
So what do you want to say yes to and no to? Take a couple of minutes to write down a few of yours. Start with what you know and it will grow from there. You may find that it’s a first step in living more true to what is in your heart, and discovering what will support you in creating a life you love to live.
I love what Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor says, “We’re all going to die, but how many of us will truly live?”
I think I’m really living when I’m saying yes to what is true for me, by honoring what is in my heart to express. It’s like a muscle that I can train and strengthen. The more I’m authentically saying yes, the easier it will be to keep doing it. So maybe that’s what it takes to learn how to say no. Fill up my life with more of what is on my “absolute yes” list so there really isn’t room for any of my no’s.
So what does learning to say no really mean? It means committing to living a more authentic and conscious life. A life that I create based on honoring myself, accepting myself, and saying yes to the truth of my heart.
Instead, the ancestors brought light.
This is what they showed me:
There is an antidote to loneliness, disconnection, disaffection and disappointment. It comes from within. And we invoke its healing power with only two words.
If we say thank you, we cannot be lonely, for we are automatically in relationship — fruitful relationship. We recognize that we have received and benefited.
We grant ourselves this relationship. Through it, we have power to transcend divisions, walls, impossibilities and doubts. Through it, we can mend things broken.
Say thank you — say it about anything, big or small. Say it to your neighbor, your friend, your mother, yourself, God. Say it about the rain, the stars, a daffodil, laughter, a fresh cup of coffee, the soft skin of someone you love.
Gratefulness anoints all with grace and opens us to the grace in all.
We say thank you and we dispel confusion. We say thank you and achieve immediate connection.
In this life, we can make a jail cell from fear, or we can say thank you and make a new cell in the great whole of creation.
Think of this story:
We are cups. Love is the liquid that fills the cups. Is your cup empty? Did you know you hold the tap? The tap is called gratefulness. Say thank you and let love flow.
The limited married to the limitless knows no boundary, no isolation, no flaw.
Joseph Campbell says deliverance comes from within.
So does a sense of shared experience and belonging.
Thank you for reading this. Blessings to everyone.
P.S. Check out Brother David Steindl-Rast on TED.
Since I moved, many have joked and jibed that I’ll probably end up getting Seasonal Affective Disorder (and if that had been the case, I wouldn’t be alone — in some form or another, it affects approximately 14 percent of Americans yearly). But while this has been “an exceptionally terrible winter” (a direct quote from my sympathetic New York friends), this is still my first winter. Even if it had been more mild, it’d still affect me more than most. It’s cold. It’s bitter. It’s miserable.
But more than anything, it has been the most incredible season of my life.
I’ve learned more about life — and myself — this winter than any other time in my young adulthood. The lessons I’ve gleaned from this Polar Vortex will have an impact on me into the remaining three seasons and beyond, and I am forever thankful for that. Here are 10 things that the winter has taught me:
1. There’s value in the small pleasures. Without the bitter cold, there wouldn’t be an opportunity to appreciate the warmth on your skin — whether it’s the fireplace in your living room or the random, blissfully “warm” Saturday in the middle of February. Before now, I never craved summers because I never had the opportunity to crave them. This season has made me endlessly grateful for the little things: a good weather day, the chance to get outside and even the small victory of coming across an open street corner with no snow or slush.
2. The sun will always reappear. In Florida, we had sunshine more days of the year than not, whereas up north you’re dealing with more clouds and — unfortunately — snow. But even though the winter storms seemed unbearable and it felt like the sun was never going to come back, it always did. When there’s despair, worry or stress, there’s always a ray of light just around the corner.
3. If you fall, get back up. Nobody wants to slip on ice in a skirt and tights (three times in a row), but the point is you stand back up and take the next wobbly steps toward the subway. The same thing goes for anything in life, whether it’s in your personal relationships or at work. You aren’t going to sit firmly planted in the snow — you’re going to keep going.
4. Never pass up the opportunity to find some calm. This goes for a quiet (yet cold) walk in Central Park or booking a weekend trip in Florida. Sometimes we all just need an escape.
5. Give yourself a break. It’s okay to get frustrated every once in a while (who wouldn’t be after their umbrella has flipped inside out for the fourth time?) but don’t let your immediate stress have any effect on you. And on the other side of the coin, don’t be angry with yourself for being angry with the circumstances. You’re allowed a moment of no emotional control.
6. Be open to flexibility. This goes for the weather and your work. If you have the opportunity to work from home during a blizzard, chances are you should take it. It takes a lot more than mental stamina to schlep through four inches of snow (like coordination and a good pair of snow boots), so instead of spending your energy trying to make it to the A train, save it so you don’t become exhausted before you even start the day.
7. Don’t rush. Don’t speed through the snow (see lesson No. 3), the season or through life. Make slowness a priority — it’ll help you appreciate what’s right in front of you because you have the time to notice that it’s there.
8. Being mindful is always in season (but particularly this season). Stepping away from my screen, while more difficult because winter has me hiding in my apartment, has been more important than ever. There’s an overwhelming urge to remain plugged in, scrolling through Facebook and binge-watching TV shows. That being said, this season has also taught me that being mindful with technology (and everything else that I do) is something that I should strive to incorporate into my life daily. While this winter may have been the start of the “Mindful Revolution,” it isn’t the only time of the year that’s acceptable to practice presence.
9. Embrace new adventures. Yes, even if they scare you. During my first winter, I tried ice skating outside (and yes, I fell), looked into ski trips (with another guarantee that I’ll be sitting in the snow more than standing upright) and had a random snowball fight in the park. Opening yourself up to new things — even if it’s something simple as an outdoor activity — allows you to expand your comfort zone and push yourself in ways you never thought you could.
And, lastly, 10. Make the season an important memory. This lesson is a little personal but the statement bears some meaning. This winter will always be the season that I really became a New Yorker. I bought my first coat. I accomplished my goals. I was able to give a tourist subway directions. It’s the season that created my new life — and the season that gave me the chance to celebrate living it.
Today’s meditation features an interpretive dance by Chinese dance artist Yang Liping. For decades Ying traveled throughout the Yunnan province of China studying ethnic folk music and dance styles. In this composition, “Moon,” Ying evokes the “holiness of moonlight” as demonstrated through the female form.