I’m starting to learn something tricky about the word yes.
I say it a lot.
Sometimes, this a good thing. I say yes to the adventure that is my life. I say yes to a chili cheese dog with french fries. I say yes to giving my body the time and space it needs to meditate when there’s a lot going on.
But there’s also the other kind of yes that gets you into trouble.
You say yes to a morning of mimosas when there’s work to be done at home. You say yes to entertaining people you don’t like. You say yes to a project you know you don’t have the time for.
In my last post I talked about waiting things out, about letting them pass and seeing how you feel later on. Well I’m now applying that to the things I decide to spend my time on. Every time I’m put in a position where someone requires a yes from me, I’ll wait it out a few minutes and think, is this a whole body yes?
It was Kris Carr who taught me about the ‘whole body’ yes. She actually calls it the ‘full body’ yes, but I prefer ‘whole body’ cause I like the way it sounds.
I’ve mentioned her in the past in my blog post on easy ways to love yourself, but she’s a wellness activist and cancer survivor, as well as the author of the Crazy Sexy book series.
In her interview at the Hay House World Summit, she talked about a lot of great stuff, including building your life around joy, and building a purpose around the things that bring us joy. But the ‘whole body’ yes was what really got me. Here’s a bit of her explaining how she used to be a people pleaser like me, until she changed her ways.
“I was a people pleaser, I was a kiss-ass in a lot of ways. And it wasn’t until pleasure woke me up to actually listening to what would make my body happy that I started to change. And then when that happened, what happens for all of us, we just create more room in our lives.”
More room! Yes! Isn’t that all what we’d like? A whole body yes is something that you say yes to not only in your mind, but physically and spiritually. It’s something you feel within your whole self.
Short example. I was recently asked by a magazine editor if I could contribute 5 articles a month. As of right now with my current work and blog schedule, in addition to trying to find other freelance work, I’m struggling writing 3 articles a month as it is. I started out saying yes to the editor, because I knew they needed content. But I stopped before I hit ‘send’. I had to wait it out for a minute before I made this decision. I came back to Kris Carr and thought, is this a whole body yes? Can I really contribute 5 articles a month to this magazine right now?
I knew for a fact this wasn’t a whole body yes, and that my answer was no. I had to stop putting what other people wanted before my own wants, and tell the truth.
Dr. Robert Holden said in this same Hay House interview that unless we get really good at our yeses, we will be awful at saying no. We must distinguish what we feel yeses for, so that when it’s time to say no, it’s a no-brainer, and it’s nicely done.
I’ve lived my entire twenties being somewhat of a people pleaser. I smile when I don’t agree, and I agree to help people out when they need it most, even if it means sacrificing my own time. For some reason, I’ve always thought this was the right path, and to always put other people’s needs before my own.
But maybe that saying’s all kaput. Maybe the people who wrote that quote meant put your children’s needs before yours. Or your family’s needs, and not everyone’s needs, which is sometimes what I do.
It’s time to start recognizing my own ‘whole body’ yeses, and showing up for those more without guilt. A few of them include Adam, meditation, writing, reading, green juice, yoga, and this nice little rose quartz stone I got for free at a metaphysical shop in Santa Monica. (Wow that little thing is magical!)
Maybe being grown up is really just all about pausing here and there, and reflecting on what’s right for your soul. And not being ashamed to say no to things that aren’t a good fit. What are some of your whole body yeses?
*Note, clearly I mean semi-big decisions when I talk about whole body yeses. I don’t think scrubbing the toilet will ever be a whole body yes, but it still has to be done.
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