9-13-20 Saying Yes to Life

Saying YES to life

In improv acting classes, a fundamental rule of the exercises is to “agree.” Whatever is offered to you in a skit or piece of dialogue, you accept it and expand upon it. On the other hand, if you “disagree” or say no, the action stops. This can be a metaphor in life. Much of life is what happens, not necessary what we planned. 

The minute you fold your arms in front of you, and feel a resistance to what is actually happening because this was not YOUR plan, the action stops. The energy dissipates.

When you can deliberately move out of your discomfort zone, you realize you have hidden strengths and can rely on yourself to expand and return from what was a fearsome ledge. You find new hobbies, interests and even delights. You don’t isolate and so you make new friends. That’s likely because you included others in your optimistic experiments and have gotten that much closer to tender, shaky, unsure humanity in the process. New opportunities beckon further beyond the big door you just opened. And best yet for addicts, substances and behaviors that used to call to you in the past go quiet. They have been replaced with real life.

In the Big Book it says “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone.” So another benefit of saying “Yes” is that it opens your mind and reduces your prejudices. You don’t have all the answers. Maybe there’s a gray area that you hadn’t seen when you were saying “no” so readily. Now you see things from a more moderated point of view. Saying “yes” is to recognize the nuances of life. And that recognition plants you firmly in life’s bubbly stream. Not on the water’s bank, but right in the wet stuff. Say “yes” to the freedom of it, the movement of it, the flow.

“If life is to be made interesting and worth breath, we must look on ourselves as growing children, right up to the end of our days.”  —WH Davies

Notice your nos. Say yes to a few pre-conceived ‘no’-tions. Instead of giving a knee-jerk “I can’t,” think instead, “how might I?” Do you sometimes feel a dissatisfaction, an underlying sense of negativity that is discoloring all you see and do? Those are old negative behaviors of self-doubt that you CAN be aware of, accept, and then CHOOSE to not engage in by simply raising your positive energy and basking in the wonder of life. Instead of  walking around being afraid or resentful we can have the courage to enjoy and appreciate our lives. Yes, we can choose to accept that we deserve and are capable of so much more. That we are worthy of happiness instead of quiet desperation.  Life is short. Say “Yes” to it, over and over.

Our true nature is not based in fear and the need to stay where we are and protect what we have, repeatedly saying NO to life. Our true nature is open and accepting to what the world holds. Life is adventure. Our true nature accepts the element of fear or uncertainty when something new arises. We may be very used to avoiding being bold, or even being seen. We can say Yes to being unsure, but be willing to try. We can say Yes to making mistakes, being human and not demeaning ourselves.  Do you know ANYONE who is perfect? What is perfect? Forget perfection—there is only being wonderfully human, fallible, and reveling in our mistakes and blunders as we move forward  (actually doing most things well). 

WE are responsible for the life we experience. 

In the act of becoming, we are led into the pulsing heart of all things. We are led into a dynamic state of presence. We do feel the pains and the joys in life, while holding firmly to our inner being and knowing. Awareness, becoming and presence permeate every aspect of our lives. They are the main components of what we are doing and what we are inviting others to join us in.

We can use tools to remind us of our innate stability and strengths. We can use the breath as we do in meditation, to center and calm us anytime during the day. We may have a mantra or a few words that help us return to a place of acceptance and appreciation for life and our capacities to be a full part of it. It is sooo much more useful to be thrown off for a little bit and then to take the action of believing in ourselves, to right the boat, and to be able to have a sense of humor about it all, actively dispelling and rejecting any sense of dread or self pity. We can choose to step back into the flow of life as it’s occurring, which will bring a sense of belonging—not just trying to fit in. Train yourself to take positive action many times every day! 

None of this is possible if we hold ourselves back, restrict ourselves. If we say NO. We sometimes need to trust and take a large scary step, instead of standing still. We must also say yes to saying no when we were afraid to before… NO to our strangling addiction(s) and NO to others who weigh us down or want to take advantage of us. When we respect ourselves, we say Yes to the courage to say No to harmful things and people.

We may spend a lifetime searching for balance between spiritual and worldly things. But we are saying Yes to our search, to our lives, and to growth. If we are not searching and smiling we are probably sitting still, feeling sorry for ourselves. Say yes to never feeling sorry for yourself. Do not engineer smallness into your life. The universe does not feel sorry for you…it is patiently going about its business, ready to welcome you if you want to step into it. 

Do you realize you do have the capacity to be happy? Simply because you are alive, you have it.
You also have the capacity to be small…a victim…negative and unhappy. Which do you choose?

My addiction was restrictive, closed and judgmental. It was dark and fearful and I was moving only towards suffering and causing suffering. Our re-covery CAN begin to encompass the whole world and ALL that is in it—if we have the courage to say YES and open.

When we give up useless craving and learn to live one day at a time, enjoying without restless wanting the experiences that life offers us, and patiently enduring life’s challenges without fear, hatred and anger, we become happy and free. Then, and only then, do we begin to live fully. Because we are no longer obsessed with satisfying our own selfish wants, we find we have so much time to help others fulfill their wholesome needs, and take care of ourselves.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” —Anais Nin

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com