So often we live our lives through the lens of No. What we can’t do. What won’t work. What will be too hard. What we need to push against and avoid and challenge and control and stop and protect. We so often live in a fear based, self protection mode of avoidance and managing and keeping bad things from happening. No. No. No.
And sure, we need boundaries and routines and we cant just say yes to everything that comes along because that would be chaos right?
But what if… we saw the world through the lens of yes. What if when our kid asked for ice cream for dinner instead of saying “NO!” (obviously no) we said “Oh that sounds like fun! Yes! Lets do that on Saturday for a special treat of dessert first dinner later!” What if instead of leading with no we started with yes.
What might open up if I said yes to opportunities? Yes to my own dreams. Yes to being playful. Yes to challenges. Yes to my children. Yes to myself.
It’s true I might fail. But then again, I might not.
Learning to find the yes is a skill. It doesn’t mean I don’t have boundaries or responsibilities. It doesnt mean Im not going to say no at times. What it means is that I start with what’s possible instead of what isn’t. I start with assuming the best instead of predicting the worst. I start with yes and sprinkle in no when it’s necessary instead of the other way around.
It means that the world is alot bigger. It means I’m more curious, open. It means I don’t know more often. It means I control less and experience more.
Try this: have a yes day. For one day see what happens if you say yes to “everything” that comes your way! If you cant give a full on yes, start with what’s possible. If a friend asks you to go to Greece, start with “I would love to! How fun! Let’s see what’s possible!” If a kid asks to go to Disneyland after dinner start with “Oh that would be amazing wouldn’t it! What would ride would you go on first! Lets dream about that!” Start to learn that yes is about your openness and attitude, not about actually agreeing to the thing. Obviously going to Disneyland on a Tuesday school night isn’t going to happen and I probably cant go to Greece today…but it sure can be fun to be open to these ideas. Experiment with how you can engage in conversations, dreaming, scheming and accepting without saying no. How does it feel? What do you notice.