Friday, February 1, 2008

The Yes Man

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul.

"In order to experience joy, you must first say yes to it."--me

In the autobiography, "The Yes Man," by Danny Wallace, the story begins when Danny must take the bus home one day when the tube breaks down in London. He sits with a perfect stranger who asks him how he is. And for once, instead of the standard "Fine" he answers with the truth, that life is not good. He remarks how he has just been staying in every night, not going out when friends asks, not really bothering with food, watching the telly day in and day out, not really bothering with life. Or course there is a girl involved in the despair and the joy sucking events that leaves Danny at home, but the stranger challenges him anyway on saying no.

"So start saying yes " the stranger responds. So Danny does. The resulting true story will make you check the forward constantly to be sure the events really happened. Danny makes the mistake of telling one close friend only what is going on, that he will say yes to whatever comes his way, and of course, the friend constantly makes his buy the beer and pay for the dinner. But in the end, Danny finds joy in a new career, and a new girl. The resulting adventure will bring you much laughter and joy and the need to read the book right through to the end.

My youngest son Luke has the happiest disposition of anyone you will ever meet. He just is really joyful from the minute he gets out of bed, until he goes to sleep at night. And he will do anything for anyone, because he likes to make people feel good. I think a large part of his happiness is that he says Yes. While his siblings bemoan the fact that they missed this deadline or didn't bring that home so they can join something, Luke has himself signed up to play wrestling in the house league 2 nights a week, to play intramural floor hockey before school, and to play in a town floor hockey league on Saturday. The child who often forgets one folder or another, and is truly sad that he does, keeps all his social activities at the top of his brain. "Now tomorrow Mom you get to sleep in, because my team doesn't play until 1030 this week. You can even read awhile before you need to drive me there. "

In a family that just doesn't get sports, Luke is a wonder. He manages to find things that fit into our time and our limited budget. He finds his joy. He says Yes.

Often as adults, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. We do the same thing week after week, see the same people, eat the same meals, watch the same things on TV, and then we wonder where our lives are going. Why we feel so empty. Why things seem to bother us more. Where the joy disappeared to.

Somehow, we want the life to be the same, but be more joyful. Stability is nice, but coming to a stop so people wonder if you are still breathing, is not. Take a risk. Go for coffee with a friend. Take up that hobby you always wondered about. Give yourself one night a week for something fun you plan. So no to the TV, and yes to interaction with real people. If doing the same things, in the same job is sucking the life out of you, take a right turn and don't look back. Drive a new path, forge a new trail. Make a change. Read a new book. Listen to happy music. Watch some favorite movies and laugh. Plan a brunch with people you haven't seen for some time. Go to a new church. Change your hair. Change your underwear. Change you attitude. Say yes.

"Stability is nice, but coming to a stop so people wonder if you are still breathing is not."--me

If someone or something brings you joy, run to it. Make the time for it. Change your thinking on it, and you just might change you life. I have alway loved the saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I like to add, the journey begins, when you say yes.

Where might you be in 60 days if you said yes?

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