This post was also published on elephant journal
I took a yoga class yesterday and the theme was simply "Yes, please." Showing up to class in so many ways is a big yes to life. It is saying, "YES" to look at our emotions, our fears, and thought patterns in order to move past them.
Over the last year I've realized many ways to show up and give life a big "YES," so I thought I'd compile some of my favorites:
1. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
I just finished reading the book, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. It's all about how to live as a "Wholehearted" person. Through Brene's research on shame and vulnerability as a social worker, she came to the conclusion vulnerability actually opens us to greater connection. It's so often we want to see vulnerability in others but are afraid to show it in ourselves, when it is really the key ingredient to leaning into life and feeling connected. Opening to vulnerability shows us our courage and human-ness. Vulnerability is the pathway to innovation, creativity, success and a Wholehearted life.
When I opened myself to vulnerability all I found was how much support was waiting for me on the other side. Vulnerability has shown me compassion in others, and the strong community I have supporting me.
2. Treat Yourself to Something Special
This is one of my homework assignments this week from The Artist's Way. Being luxurious and treating yourself does not have to be expensive. A new body butter or even a box of raspberries can go a long way in helping life feel luxurious. This week I went out and bought myself and a couple friends beautiful handwoven Mexican bracelets. They only cost $1 each and have brought me so much joy in such a small package. Try buying a small gift for your inner artist child and you'll be surprised what a difference a small investment can make.
3. Be Flexible
This has been a big one for me while travelling. You have to be open to your plans not working out, and be willing to act spontaneously, accept new offers that come your way.
One day this week, I wasn't wearing a watch on the beach, and was disappointed when I realized I was 15 minutes late to the yoga class I had been waiting to go to all day. I hate showing up late for class, so I let it go. I went to the main pavilion to check my email, when a girl came up to me and asked, "Did you do your yoga teacher training at Yandara in Baja?" Why yes, I did.
It happened to be a girl I met two years before in Mexico, and suddenly here we were again running into each other in Mexico. We caught up and she told me she was here on retreat with her yoga teacher from Massachusetts. I told her I missed my class that morning and she immediately replied, "Hold on, I'll go ask our teacher if you can join our retreat for the morning!" She came back and said it would be fine and I got to spend the morning practicing yoga with an old friend.
Sometimes our missed opportunities open the door for something so much better. We need to stay open to what the universe brings to us if our plans don't work out the way we wanted them to. When we shut the door to spontaneity and flexibility, we shut the door to miracles.
4. Share Your Needs
On my last night in Mexico, I was planning to go out to a nice dinner with my boyfriend. We only had enough pesos with us to pay for our room and cab ride the next day, so we went on a walk to the ATM to get a little extra cash for dinner. When we got there, we found it was out of service. We were told to go to another place, a 10 minute walk away, and boom, there, 2 more ATM's out of service.
There we were without enough money for dinner, and no actual way to get it on our last night. To say the least, I was feeling crabby. Michael suggested we walk back to the kitchen of the community where we were staying. When we got there we realized we had a couple eggs left on our shelf. Then Michael started speaking in Spanish to the people around, telling them the ATM's were broken and we didn't have enough money for dinner on our last night. People immediately started sharing their tortillas, tomatoes and avocados with us to fill out our last meal.
I realized we build up these stories, "I can't bother that person" or, "No one would want to help me," when actually, if we are willing to take the first step, be a little vulnerable and share our needs, people are generally happy and willing to help us.
5. Make Powerful Requests
This was a lesson I learned a couple months ago after reading Mathew and Terces Engelhart's book, Kindred Spirit. Making requests is empowering. We need to remind ourselves that the worst that can happen is we receive a "no." Receiving a "no" does not mean we will lose love! Try using the affirmation:
I make powerful requests as an exercise in worthiness and remember that “no” doesn’t mean anything. I build my self-worth by making powerful requests and get at least one “no” everyday.
Who knows, you might even receive a big powerful "YES," but you'll never know unless you ask!