How many times in your day do you find that you say yes to life? Maybe you get invited to lunch with a friend or it's a beautiful day out, perfect for a walk on the beach. Is your response a resounding yes? I hope so. I know for me sometimes I say yes and sometimes I don't. And there may be a reason why I'm not saying yes. These are some of my personal selections. Do any of these sound familiar? "I don't have time. Today's my chore day. I have to work. Maybe another time." Or my absolute favorite, "I don't feel like it." (Usually this one is reserved for me and I come up with a more lofty excuse to say out loud.)
Life is always offering us opportunities to expand and to grow. To reach out of our comfort zone or complacency and connect more deeply be it with one another, with nature and even with ourselves. Invariably when we do this, what happens? We feel more fulfilled and engaged. So why is it that we don't always do it?
Sometimes we simply can't because we do legitimately have prior commitments. I have appointments to keep, deadlines to meet, tasks to complete. We all do. And yet it's important to remain vigilant to our own choices - how we may or may not be limiting ourselves. It can be insidious. Work and "busy" can take over pretty fast.
Lately I've been watching my pattern of saying yes to life or saying no. And here is what I am observing. In general, when I say yes and then do it (have a meeting, teach a class, complete my to do list, go birdwatching, work out, play...) I feel great! I truly do feel more engaged and present in my life. I feel alive and happy. When I say no because I don't think I have time or maybe feel too stressed or simply don't want to, here's how I usually feel - worse.
This got me thinking about my life in general and it seems to me that essentially, in each moment, we are being asked to open, open to life, open to love, open to the moment. Feel the sun on my face, hear the sounds of the lawnmowers in the distance, smile at the cashier at the bank. Or not. It is always my choice, to open to what is happening right now or to close off, hunker down, disconnect.
That is my practice for right now, to recognize that in EACH moment, I am being asked to open. And then to become the witness as much as the actor and simultaneously open to possibility as well as observe my choice.
Ultimately our lives are filled with the choices we make in each moment - to open or close. All of us know people on both sides of that spectrum. People who say yes and lots of people who say no. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Yet we all know that when we do open, it feels natural. We are connecting to who we truly are. We just seem to need a moment to moment reminder.