It’s my firm belief (and it’s based on a decade of experience of helping myself and countless others), that our ability to create the change we desire in our life is directly related to the extent to which we can be a ‘yes’ to ourselves.
What on earth do I mean by that?
Well, for years I’d tried ‘just about everything’, or so I thought, to create the changes in life I believed I desired. I’d been on numerous diets and tried myriad exercise regimes to achieve the body I knew must be within reach. I’d had my fair share of relationships that ended in drama and misunderstanding, and I’d hit an impasse in securing the next promotion in my otherwise successful career. I’d found myself Mum to two young children, in a relationship that wasn’t serving either of us, living in a house too small for our growing family and struggling to work out how I was going to continue to earn a decent income whilst being a present mother.
On top of all of this I was completely exhausted, overwhelmed and confused. How had I ended up here and more importantly how the heck was I going to get out of this mess? Why weren’t the strategies I’d successfully used before not working anymore? Why did every tiny little thing seem like such a huge struggle? Why did my partner constantly misconstrue everything I said and why was everyone looking at me like I was stark raving mad when I tried to explain how I felt?
To an outsider looking in I don’t suppose my life looked to be too disastrous; after all, I had three properties in my name, a ton of qualifications, a senior management role in the education sector and two healthy children to name just a few of my blessings. So why did it all feel like nothing was working? Why did I find myself going to sleep at night asking myself ‘is this all there is?’ and why was my waking thought each morning ‘Oh god, I’m still fat’.
I look back at all of this now and realise that all of my discontent was actually the voice of my inner knowing; my inner wisdom if you will. It that was telling me ‘not this way’, ‘not like this’. My wise girlfriend knew I was on the wrong track. My social conditioning and all the societal norms were telling me ‘everything is ok; what on earth do you have to be unhappy about?’ I felt so confused and increasingly desperate. These counter pulls from inside us and external to us create dissonance within us that is difficult to pinpoint if we don’t know what we’re looking for and what the signs are. I thought I was going crazy. As it transpired, I’d never been saner, but I didn’t know anything about my inner wisdom, let alone how to hear it.
I wonder if you too are you second guessing yourself?
I bet it doesn’t feel like a blessing right now, but really; it is!
I invite you to surrender all the punitive voices in your head that are telling you that you’ve got it all wrong and that you are misguided and irresponsible (or whatever other poison your poor, terrified ego is spitting your way) and instead be calm and still and hear your ‘yes’ to yourself. I promise you, she’s there if you will just take a moment to listen. She is fierce and compassionate, unconditionally loving and wise.
Do you hear her?
Do you hear your ‘yes’? Can you hear that calm, sweet, completely sure voice that speaks just once and is telling you ‘Yes, I’m here and I’m waiting for you. I’ll wait forever if I have to.’
I invite you with so much compassion, conviction and so much love to be prepared to do whatever it takes to change what’s not working for you. Because here is what I’ve learned about the paradox of personal transformation; the more we change, the more we become who we really are. And the world needs who you really are; more than you can possibly know.
I don’t mind admitting that before I became an unequivocal ‘yes’ to myself, I was well and truly stuck. Habituated by continuing to do the things that weren’t working for me and that were making me deeply unhappy (and extremely tired and resentful), I couldn’t see any other way. I wonder if you can relate?
It was all getting too much.
‘OK, I’m listening, tell me what I need to know; what am I not getting?’ I begged of whatever higher power would listen to me when I was clean out of ideas. ‘I don’t get it; I’ve done everything right, I’ve been such a good girl, I’ve played by all the rules, what am I not seeing?’
Sometimes we simply have to surrender.
I did so reluctantly.
I was rather fond of my self-appointed role as General Manager of The Universe and for a very long time I had believed myself to be very good at the job.
It felt weak to ask for help.
I was scared that I couldn’t sort things out for myself; to admit that I didn’t have the all answers. I felt vulnerable and as a the confident, capable, independent woman I saw myself to be, it wasn’t a feeling I was especially comfortable with.
They say that when the student is ready the teacher appears. And so began a long line of relationships with teachers, all of whom required me to be a ‘yes’ to myself to a level that I had never before dared to be. Coaches, mentors, teachers and healers who showed up over the following decade (and continue to do so), invited me time and time again to hear my ‘yes’ to myself and to put my trust, money, focus, time and effort where my mouth was.
Once I connected to my own ‘yes’ I was hooked. She rose like a sleeping goddess from deep within my sick soul. Like a girl power genie released from a bottle, suddenly there she was, right by my side; she quite took me by surprise. I didn’t know my exhausted, disillusioned, confused self could muster such energy, clarity and depth of commitment to me. This was my ‘yes’.
I wonder what yours will feel like?
I felt her power deep in the pit of my stomach; I was present to the wave of unconditional commitment to myself that surged through my veins. I feel it now as I write. She’s back whenever I step towards a thought or choice that won’t serve me; my own personal kick-ass and take names fairy godmother. I still don’t have all the answers, but I know that doesn’t matter; I just knew in that moment that I was onto something good and that she was here to stay.
Things were going to change around here.
Life was about to get exciting in ways I could never have imagined. I didn’t know it at the time, but in the coming months and years ahead my ‘yes’ would challenge me to answer questions such as:
Did I mean enough to myself to warrant the sometimes eye-watering financial investment? Was I prepared to invest time and effort with no guarantee of success other than the feeling in my bones that this was the path I wanted to follow next?
Was I brave enough to see that what was needed was not another qualification, but a deep dive into myself; a journey to discover ever increasing depths of self-awareness?
Could I love myself enough to be an unequivocal ‘yes’ to me, even when the going gets tough? (and, oh my goodness is certainly did!)
Could I stand firm in unconditional love for myself and others even when it made me and people feel uncomfortable, triggered and defensive?
Could I stand by myself even when those I loved and cared for disapproved?
Could I take a stand for myself, even when I was unsure?
Was I there for myself no matter what?
Was I going to continue to sell out on myself at the very first sign of difficulty or would I fight for the still calm voice inside me gently telling me she was unhappy?
Was I prepared to accept over and over again all the gifts of insights, grace, ease, joy and abundance that would follow when I remained a ‘yes’ to myself, (or would I temporarily hit my limits of receiving and be reminded again what the bitter taste of my ‘no’ to myself felt like?)
And this is the key to successful change in your life; the key the kind of change you desire; the changes that represents what’s important and essential to you and how you want to feel in your body, mind and soul. I can’t tell you what that is, I barely knew what it was for myself until I started to listen. But you can’t hear yourself until you are a ‘yes’ to yourself. Whilst you are still selling out on yourself, telling yourself ‘no’ and ignoring the signs telling you ‘not this way’ you will never be truly present to hear your own wisdom. And that’s such a shame.
The journey ahead with your ‘yes’ to yourself close by your side is sweet, powerful, magical and liberating, but it’s not what you think it will be. It is far more exciting and liberating than that! At times it will challenge you to the core of your soul; it’s not always easy, but it is always worthwhile.
Throughout your journey with your ‘yes’ to yourself, you may question your wisdom, your sanity and your motivation a hundred times a day. You will need to get good at blocking out the news, social media, your friends’ opinions and every societal suggestion tempting you to believe that still calm voice within you is mad, sad or bad. She is not.
She is wise.
Do you choose her, or do you want to hitch your wagon to the bittersweet, instant-hit whims of commercialisation, drama, politics and ego-based decision making?
How has that worked out for you so far?
It certainly wasn’t working for me.
I had to become an unequivocal ‘yes’ to myself to stop all the madness.
Can you be an unequivocal yes to yourself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.