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Saying Yes!

Have you ever been in the middle of an experience and thought, “I am in love with this moment”? At my spiritual direction training program in North Carolina this weekend, I had a moment just like that. It was 9:30 at night and 10-15 of us gathered at the labyrinth, blasted fun and funky music, and danced into its center under the star-lit sky. Then we laid together head to head encircling the center, stared up into the sky, and recited our favorite poems about life, about love, about God.

That’s when the feeling hit me. “I am in love with this moment!” I thought. I took a deep breath to take it all in. This thought comes to me from time to time. It always hits me when I am saying YES to my life, when I stop worrying what others think of me, what I am supposed to be doing, and instead follow the stirrings of my own soul. My spirit said, “Yes!” that night and I am grateful that I listened.

Over a year ago I attended a training based on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The trainer asked the question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I realized that at one time in my life I would be hard pressed to come up with an answer for that question. It was easier to do things that were safe, that were practical, that were conventional, that were comfortable, that didn’t cause waves or evoke judgment or criticism from others.

I was safe all right, safe from new experiences, safe from growth, safe from saying yes to my authentic life. This is a safety I can no longer afford. I may have 40 or 50 years left on this earth, and I want to spend them saying YES!

Your yes may have nothing to do with dancing a labyrinth under a star-filled sky. Your yes and my yes may look very different, but they come from the same source, a place deep inside of us where our true self resides, waiting and begging to come out.

Your yes could be finally making that appointment with a counselor, spiritual director or life coach, something you’ve wanted to do but kept putting off. It could be selling your big house for a smaller one so you can use the extra money to travel. It could be signing up for that pottery class or belly-dancing workshop, just because a little voice inside you tells you to try it. It could be letting go of something that no longer works for you, a job, a relationship, a role you play. Sometimes it can just be sitting around a fire with friends, laughing and sharing pieces of who you are with them.

Take time to ask yourself, “What is my YES?” Whatever it is, if you get quiet and listen, you will hear it guide you.

I pray you won’t let fear of looking silly or the size of your thighs or the fact that you’re a beginner or your belief that you don’t deserve it or your ideas about what’s practical stop you from living your yes. It was placed in you for a reason. It’s what you are meant to experience in this life.

We may have 10 minutes or 100 years left on this earth. I pray you will spend it saying yes to that authentic voice inside of you. I pray that you will not allow fear to stop you from letting your true self out. I pray you will have countless experiences where you can say, “I am in love with this moment!” And really really mean it. I pray you will take time to be still and listen to that deep voice inside you that guides you on your path of yes.

In the movie, Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts’ character said, “I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” I pray that your life will be a series of 30 minutes of wonderful, because you chose to say YES!

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