Tags: Enrichment, In This Issue, Parenting
Don't be afraid to say 'Yes'
July 01, 2011I recently was on an airplane by myself (which almost never happens) and had an opportunity to read a book (which also almost never happens). I decided to make the most of the strange, but wonderful opportunity and stopped at the airport store and bought a book entitled, "The Best Advice I Have Ever Gotten: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives".
To be honest, my first instinct was to buy a bunch of magazines and escape into "reality show drama", but as I looked at all the magazine covers, all the headlines were the same, "Desperate Housewives Marriage Broken" or "Heartbreak for Housewives".
Here I was with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some peace and quiet on a flight and I was considering buying depressing stories about drama. I decided to put my money to better use, and so I bought this book instead. I boarded the plane and felt empowered and excited to start reading it. I was hooked on the first page. Turns out, good leaders usually have good advice and I was thrilled to be soaking it all in over this two hour mini "vacation" in the air.
As a mom, I sometimes get in the rut of running my kids from game to game, practice to practice, and thinking of only how am I going to fix dinner and cram in a load of laundry before bed. What this book taught me is that although maintaining life is a reality for everyone, it is stepping out into the unknown that brings the most growth. That is, saying the simple word of "Yes" to an opportunity, situation or an experience that is not typically in our routine or normal daily chaos, usually can and will bring great personal growth. This got me thinking as a mom, my vocabulary seems to lean more to the "No" category than to the "Yes" category.
For instance, "No, you cannot ride your bike without a helmet" or "No, you may not cut your own hair" or "No more candy...you are going to make yourself sick!" You get the point.
Most times as moms, the "No" word is necessary to keep our kids safe and healthy. On the other hand, we have to start saying "Yes" to things outside of motherhood that can help us grow, evolve, have fun and help us keep our sanity in the midst of raising our children.
It can be finally saying yes to a new friend who has asked you out to lunch, but you always seem too busy to make it happen. It can be trying a new class, taking up a new hobby or even reading a new book that you would not normally pick up and consider reading. It sounds simple, but as creatures of habit, it can be harder than you think. Saying yes can be powerful and can lead you to amazing opportunities. Yes to a play date with a new friend, yes to catching up over a cup a coffee with an old one, yes to a new job, yes to trying something that is hard to do.
Yesterday was the past, tomorrow is the future and today is the present, so treat it like a gift.
Since finishing the book, I have tried to say "Yes" more than "No". I have to admit it is empowering. I feel invigorated and open to new things that I would not have otherwise given myself permission to do. After all, we all have extraordinary lives and we have to give ourselves the go ahead to live them to our fullest potential!
Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of "Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." Visit her Web site at www.Mommy-Magic.com.