Saying YES – accepting things ‘just as they are’

Posted by Karen in mindfulness | Personal Development | Reflections | Self-compassion

When we are no longer in battle with life events, we can take on life for what it is.

Learning to say ‘yes’, can keep us more in the flow, bringing out our creativity, making life lighter, more fun and enjoyable. Worth a try isn’t it?

It’s not unusual to want to feel safe and to prefer certainty – knowing (or to think we know) what is going to happen next. Life, however, is full of uncertainty, it’s in a constant flux with so many parameters influencing the day to day.

Saying yes is about willingly accepting our experience as it is, the facts of our life as they are. It does not mean giving up. Acceptance is not a passive act.

Nor does saying yes to some part of our life mean we necessarily like a particular situation – an aspect of a relationship, our history, our upbringing or family, our personality or something that is going on in our mind. It is possible to say yes to pain, to sorrow, to things in our life that aren’t going well (personally or for significant others), and in doing so, we can achieve a sense of ease.

By relaxing into certain things as they are without needing to resist them or needing to change them, we might find ourselves no longer in battle with life, and able to stand fully in our life – to be present.

Meeting life in this way usually brings peace and perspective. It helps us to be creative in how we respond to events in life and to take more effective actions.

Here is how you can practice saying YES to your life:

Take a moment and say YES to something you like – some positive feedback, a friendly compliment. What does it feel like?

Now take a moment and say YES to something that is happening in your life that you don’t like. Can you do that too? What does it feel like? Notice the sensations in your body, notice how you are feeling.

As you do this, see if you can reconcile a sense of being fundamentally alright, even though what you dislike exists. Try to feel some acceptance in your YES; try to yield to the facts as they are, whether you like them or not.

Then, going forward, work hard to say YES to more things that are not your preference. Remember, by doing so you are not saying that you approve of them but you are meeting them as they are – for example: YES – it’s raining at my picnic, YES – I feel stuck in my job, YES – I am not getting on with my sibling, YES – to my body,  YES – to being in traffic, YES, to that’s simply the way it is right now..….

Notice the effect that saying YES more often has on you.

Personally, I have found this practice deeply freeing and energising. My recent YES’ include:

Saying yes to my tax bill, saying yes to my computer not working, saying yes to my absent father, saying yes to my grey hair, saying yes to people not replying to emails, saying yes to regrets, saying yes to rain and wind, saying yes to Brexit, saying yes to a cancellation, saying yes to a close friend being ill with cancer, saying yes to my age, saying yes to not having had children, saying yes to delayed trains (I had to do a lot of travelling for work this month), saying yes to waking early in the morning, saying yes to not living in the countryside, yes to my eye-sight getting weaker…

As always, I love to hear how you are getting on. If you need a little help, do email or call me to arrange a free initial coaching conversation while walking in Victoria Park, East London, or via phone or video call.

With warmest wishes,

Karen

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