I wish someone had told me that saying yes opens everything up. While it seems so obvious, it wasn’t so obvious to me. The year I turned 50 I made a commitment to say yes often, without giving much thought to what was on the other side.
I chose to free fall into the expansiveness of yes and trust.
I said yes to joining my parents on a birthday trip to Barcelona. I said yes to taking care of my friend’s dog for the month while she traveled. I said yes to flying across the country to San Diego to attend a Kabbalah Rosh Hashanah service with 4000 people, alone. I said yes to a persistent man, who reached out via every form of communication possible, and was ultimately where I wasn’t even looking for him, and joined him for a beautiful afternoon at a meditation garden overlooking the Pacific. I said yes to working with a spiritual coach after speaking with her for five minutes. I had no idea what her process was, or what we’d be doing together, but I knew she was the next person on my path.
She told me I have an unusual quality of free-falling into experiences. So simply said. So true. Something I’d never owned before.
Now with language to describe something I do easily, I feel open to doing it more. I like to free fall. I like the feeling of the unknown journey. I like that it’s my thing that I do, that others may or may not do easily.
My daughter doesn’t free fall easily but is weirdly fascinated by my ability to say yes. After connecting with a woman over the phone over a couple of weeks she asked me to play a big role in her company. I liked her, liked what she’s about, and the timing was right. I said yes. I did’t know exactly what she needed me to do. I didn’t know how much I’d be compensated. I don’t know where it would lead. But, I trusted. I trusted we’d work out those details and I felt excitement about where this free fall would lead.
My ex-husband used to think I was impulsive. Not so. What seems impetuous on the surface is possible because I’m solid in what I know about myself. Been that way since my early twenties.
Since watching Shonda Rhimes’ TED talk and taking in her wisdom of committing to say yes to her baby daughter when asked to play, I committed to say yes to my youngest son as often as I could. It’s easy to say no to his adventure requests. I’m tired. It’s late. It’s impractical. It’s cold outside. But as I said yes to his simple request the other night to go for a late night walk (which is me walking while he skateboards) he asked “what would you like to talk about tonight mom?”
My yes led to gold.
As parents we think we need to say no, as if that makes us better in that role. Stupid rule. The look on his face when I say yes to can we go climbing or can four friends sleep over, or can he teach me a new game is worth everything.
My quest for opportunities to say yes continues.