Be a Yes!

being of power

Be a Yes is the first practice in Baron Baptiste’s book Being of Power. It’s my second time reading it, and I’m amazed at how I pick up more tips from where I am now in my life. Being a yes doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that crosses your desk.

I have to admit, this has been a default of mine for my entire life. Part of it is because I have so much I want to accomplish and fulfill in this life. I’m inspired and excited about many possibilities. The problem though is that it can become different to be effective and finish what I start.

It means saying yes to what brings out your authentic self and not adding filters into your life. Baron writes, “It’s about being confident in your ability to turn difficult into possibility, upsets into positive energy, and breakdowns into breakthroughs.” (2)

Being a yes is how you view and react what is happening around and to you. There isn’t one person I know who hasn’t been touched by either illness, loss, tragedy, mental illness, or injury. It’s a part of our lives. There may be a time when we can’t do what we always use to do. Perhaps it’s because of age or illness or lack of time. We have the choice to ignore our truth, push through, and further damage ourselves or we can be with where we are.

When we can be with where we are, all of a sudden there is space for what we can be a yes to! Let me give you an example. I have severe food allergies as I have said before and obviously it plays a huge part in my life, because it always comes up!

I’m allergic to peanuts to the point of anaphylaxis so I carry an epipen and a ton of Children’s meltable Benadryl. I’m allergic to all other nuts, milk, tomatoes in the spring (don’t feed me tomatoes right now!), melon, cherries or anything connected to ragweed in the fall. I’m intolerant to gluten and all seafood. Not only do I have allergies, but I have chosen to only eat fish. So eating out with me is an experience!

Believe me. I have fought these food allergies all my life. I will try milk and wish that I would learn my lesson (never feed me key lime pie!) When I am being authentic and a Yes, I find recipes that incorporate all the foods I can eat. I have made some amazing gluten free, dairy free lasagna (at least I think it’s amazing!). I eat soy yogurt with a vegan granola. I enjoy spaghetti squash stuffed with lentils. There are so many incredibly delicious foods I can eat. I have turned a difficult situation into a possibility of exploration.

If I say yes to what I can eat, then as Baron writes, “…you’re also saying no to resignation, cynicism, and self-sabotage.” (3)

Self-sabotage is the opposite of this practice. It feeds on our self-doubt and negativity. It’s a practice, because we always have to work on it, but it’s worth it.

What are you a yes to? What difficulty are you having in your life that you can turn around into a possibility? Put that possibility into action and revel in the new experience.

Are you Listening?

Girl listening with her hand on an ear

Last night I had a dream that I was in a training. Everyone was sharing their journal entries after some very serious self-inquiry. My friend was sharing her entry with me, but there were so many distractions around me that I didn’t listen to what she had to say. It was obvious from her face that she was waiting for my reaction, and I felt bad that I hadn’t fully concentrated on her words as they meant so much to her.

Yes, it was a dream, but there have been many times in my life that this happened to me. Someone was talking to me, and I would wait for them to take a breath so I could get my opinion in. Or I’m on the phone with someone, but I also click through Facebook. I’m introduced to someone at an event, and I’m actually listening to the music, so I don’t remember their name. The worst was when my son, Stephen, brought it to my attention that I tuned him out when he spoke about his video games. Yes it was hard for me to understand some of what he was talking about, but it was important to him.

It’s hard to admit, but by doing so I became present to the fact that if I truly care about what people say to me, then I need to listen with my whole body, mind, and spirit. Of course it depends on the situation. A friend and I may be shooting the breeze and just gabbing to pass the time. We may be talking while walking or paddle boarding, so the multi-tasking is appropriate. However, when someone else’s body language is serious, tense, or upset, I now tune out the world and focus completely on them.

The alternative is like my dream. She feels bad that I didn’t hear her, and I feel bad that I didn’t take the time to listen. Journaling is about being honest. And being honest about when you aren’t completely authentic is tough to do. I don’t want to regret not taking the time to fully absorb what someone trusts enough to tell me. I want to be there 100%. Now I know that I’m listening.

Have there been times in your life that you tune out or don’t give someone 100% of your attention and it caused tension or upset them? Do you remember a time when you didn’t feel listened to? Write about how you can fully listen the next time you speak to this person or let them know that you need their full attention.