Be Present Enough to Say YES! to Life
I was sitting in my kitchen eating lunch, trying to be present with my food, when I noticed a huge part of me wanted so badly to bring it back to my desk and eat while I worked. I actually grabbed my bowl and proceeded to get up until I caught myself. I stopped, sat down, put my food back on the table, and thought, “Whoa, what was that? My computer and phone can wait! I’m going to eat my lunch and be with my food now.”
So I took a few bites, tried to focus on the taste and chewing, but it felt really hard to stay put. Everything in me wanted to get work done while I ate. Everything! I even giggled a little because I couldn’t believe I felt that out of control. Why in the world couldn’t I just sit there for ten minutes and enjoy my meal? What was so pressing? The answer is nothing. But my mind didn’t think so. I realized, at that moment, by staying put I was saying “no” to say “yes” to myself—saying “yes” to being more present, as hard as it felt at that moment.
I’ve been thinking about saying yes more to life in ways that I haven’t been, such as being present with my food when I eat. This made me think about an event I attended back in the fall. It was Kris Carr’s new book launch, where she talked all about saying yes to life. It was an amazing event, and I was so excited I finally got to meet her because she is my biggest role model! It was her and two other incredible ladies, Gabrielle Bernstein and Marie Forleo, who changed my life. (If you are unfamiliar with these three inspirational women, I urge you to Google them.)
Kris opened up the night by sharing an “Aha!” moment she had. She was working on the new book and was feeling uninspired and exhausted. While venting to her husband, he said, “Let’s just go do something fun. Let’s get out of here.” Kris did something she wouldn’t normally do when she has a deadline; she went with him for a bike ride in the woods. As she was riding, she stopped to look up, feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the beauty—the colorful trees, birds singing, various sounds of plant and animal life, etc.—and said she found herself sitting in mother nature thinking, “YES!” She felt invigorated at that moment and thought about how beautiful and amazing life is. Right then, she was inspired and felt open to everything.
Kris jokes about saying no all the time and how she likes to be at home all comfy in her pajamas, so the next time she received an invitation to a party, she said yes—all because of her experience in the woods that day. She went and ended up meeting someone who invited her to an event where he was giving a talk. Again, she would normally have said no, but she felt compelled to say yes, and as she walked into this event, she noticed a poster for it that stated the topic of the talk, which was “Saying Yes to Life.”
Something on that bike ride told her to say yes to life, and she heard it loud and clear. She was amazed at how the universe spoke to and guided her toward more happiness and fulfillment. She wanted to share this story to remind us to listen and say yes more.
Do you ever find yourself having one of those moments where you feel so damn inspired and excited and scared (a good scared)? Maybe something wonderful just happened in your job, or you met someone, or maybe you are just going for a run or a bike ride, like Kris, and feel something great inside of you for no reason. Maybe something is just reminding you of how beautiful and perfect you are, and you feel it throughout your entire body. I think we all have these awesome moments. They might feel rare, but they come more often when you are open for them. I try my best to be present so that, when they come, I’m ready, willing, and able to say yes to them.
Synchronicity is what happened to Kris when she went for that ride in the woods, and she was present enough to hear and feel it. My teacher, Joshua Rosenthal, at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, says that once we develop a knack for noticing and welcoming synchronicity, life becomes more interesting and rewarding. We start to meet the right people at the right time to lead us to the next station in life.
I try my best to be present enough to read the signs and feel the direction my life wants to go. This reminds me of birds when they fly together. I have recently gotten into watching and admiring the synchronicity of them as they fly overhead in big waves, and not one is out of alignment. I think it’s the coolest thing! To me, it’s a huge sign that there is something bigger happening here beyond just us.
One morning, I was standing on the train platform with a ton of other commuters, waiting for our train to arrive. I was watching in awe as the birds circled above our heads. I swear they knew I was watching and were saying something to me! Maybe they were saying good morning! So I said (to myself), “Morning, birdies!”
I glanced over at the pack of people huddled where the train doors usually stop. No one was looking at the birds. Not one person. Instead, they were all looking down and appeared quite tired, cranky and unhappy. I looked at all these people all around me, and then back up at the large flock of birds circling so gracefully over our heads, round and round. The birds just didn’t stop, and it was so obvious they were trying to get our attention! I was mesmerized, and couldn’t believe no one else was even looking. They were going to miss them completely in thirty seconds! I wanted to shout, “Wake up, people!”
Many of us miss the beauty of the everyday. That used to be me. I was so busy, consumed by my job, working countless hours, caring too much what others thought, and covering up my skin, that I missed all the beauty around me. It took a while, but I have finally arrived and am the most awake I’ve ever been. I love this beautiful life! I love that I have this skin disease, because it has changed my world for the better and woke my ass up! I love that it helped teach me to become more present than I’ve ever been my whole life.
When we are present, we are saying YES! to life. Next time you are outside, look for the birds. They will appear. And when they do, I bet you’ll never miss them again.
Back in my kitchen, I wrote this blog in my mind as I ate my lunch. Then I heard my phone beeping. Someone was texting me! I smiled, wanting so badly to see who it was. Instead, I sat there and finished my lunch.
I hope you all also have the most beautiful, synchronistic moments in the New Year!