Joseph Campbell tells us that, “Saying yes is a willingness to show up.” He talks about a ‘sacred yes’ which is about the big plan for our lives. What really resonates with me is that ‘it isn’t about ambition; it’s about purpose. It’s not about profit; it’s about passion. It’s not about self-gain; it’s about service.’ (Louise Hay & Robert Holden).
With all my many faults, the one thing I have never lacked is enthusiasm. Most of my life I have wanted to grab hold of every facet of life and shake the bones out of it, which hasn’t always worked in my favour. This has lead me to overuse my store of the word ‘YES’. “Could you attend this meeting?” Yes! “Could you fix this for me?” Yes! “Could you come and see me this Friday?” Yes! I even said yes to a couple of different marriage proposals which did not serve me. I fitted really well into Ado Annie’s song, “I’m just a girl who can’t say no!” Oh, not for the same reason – actually being brought up in a strict religious faith, I did say no a lot before I donned my first long, white dress.
I have been so busy saying YES for a great deal of my life, and have often run myself ragged. As I have matured – love that word – sounds like a good red wine – I have had to be more focused about when to say ‘YES’.
One of my grandsons once told me that I was “invincible”. I think at the time I believed him and whilst I had boundless energy I pursued the path of saying yes to many things. And the many times I said ‘yes’ only rarely gained me the outcome I desired.
It took me a long time to wake up that I was not always following my passion. So many times I dragged myself off to functions which had nothing to do with my passion. I always hoped that I would gain something but often came away with a feeling of emptiness.
These days, even though I have been blessed with more than my share of energy, I feel a need to be more selective and I have found that challenging as I receive so many invitations over the internet – all of which look enticing, often innovative, and organised by people I really admire, but they are not going to help me with my purpose or passion.
I probably would have spent the rest of my life saying yes if I hadn’t honed into what I really felt passionate about and focused more on my purpose. It has been such a gift at a very mature – that ripe word again- age to really be able to define what it is that makes my heart sing. I have always known I was born into this world to serve but that didn’t mean I should allow myself to be ‘used’ and thrown away like a worn out rag. It has been such a thrill to narrow down the field of where I can be most useful and within that field I am not afraid to say YES! Getting back to Joseph Campbell who suggests that saying yes is often an act of faith, when we are following what Joseph calls our ‘bliss’ “you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”
Amazing things begin happening when we open up to this concept. All of a sudden doors open and different people come into our lives. Fernando Flores tells us that “we live in a world of possibilities”. We have no idea what these possibilities might be. We can only be prepared to navigate these by being in a mood that allows us to embrace a more meaningful life. His mood framework absolutely changed my life and these days I pull myself up when I feel that I am slipping into the negative moods of fear, resignation and resentment. I find myself these days mostly living in a mood of wonder.
Whilst saying YES is such an important step – which often requires us to take a leap of faith, it has been a great learning experience for me to tune into my intuition so that when I might be tempted to say ‘YES” I find myself saying ‘NO”. I sometimes feel sorry that in doing this some former acquaintances fall out of my radar and I often miss them, but I am a great believer in that there are no coincidences, they have all had a place in my life.
I have just taken a big leap of faith and registered for the course Dr Brian Weiss is running in New York in May. I had no idea I was going to say yes when I went to his two day workshop in Melbourne but the old intuition kicked in and I heard a resounding YES – so off I will go. Life is so rich and exciting when we are able to say the YES for the right reasons – remembering ‘it isn’t about ambition; it’s about purpose. It’s not about profit; it’s about passion. It’s not about self-gain; it’s about service.’ (Louise Hay & Robert Holden).