Friday, April 30, 2010

Saying Yes

Saying yes is that magical state where we accept what is happening in any given moment without resistance.  Saying yes to the present moment is an even more vitalizing tool than acceptance, which is a very powerful tool in and of itself.  But saying yes can elevate our experience from acceptance to enthusiasm.

It is inherent in the dualistic nature of our existence that in our minds we label our experiences as good or bad, or the people we encounter as right or wrong; our thinking tends to be very black and white.  This is part of divine intelligence at work, and serves us in our coming to know ourselves.  But we tend to oppose the "bad" things, and the "wrong" things, and that opposition shuts down the joy of just being here, alive in this moment and open to all that is good and right.

Work has been very busy lately.  Yesterday I counseled 15 patients, which is alot for one day.  By yesterday afternoon I was starting to feel like "enough, already."  When I get into that kind of resistance, I'm just trying to get through, and not doing my best for myself or the patients.  I'm definitely not enjoying my moments.

By God's grace I remembered to change my mind, and say yes.  Yes, I am here in this moment.  Yes, I'm doing my best, and that is good enough.  Yes, this job that I have loved for many years makes me crazy sometimes.  Yes, I am an ongoing contradiction of wants and fears and perfect knowing and peace.  And yes, it is all here for me to express myself within.

I felt my body take a deep breath, expressing its own perfect knowing.  And in that second I smiled, as I was filled with gratitude for all of it.  I am repeatedly impressed by how instantaneously and completely changing my mind changes my experience.  Changing my mind is a prayer answered.

The best part is that I finished my work day feeling alot of enthusiasm about having the opportunity to be doing what I love, interacting with interesting people, and making a difference in my own way.  It really is amazing what happens when I stop fighting what is.

I love how Eckhart Tolle puts it in his book, Stillness Speaks.  "How often each day, if you were to verbalize your inner reality at that moment, would you have to say, 'I don't want to be where I am'? What does it feel like when you don't want to be where you are -- the traffic jam, your place of work, the airport lounge, the people you are with? . . . Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world."

We can't change what comes to us; people will do what they do and situations will come up as they must.  That really doesn't have anything to do with us.  But we can bring ourselves fully to where we are, and know that within everything is a seed of grace.

Here's to being here, and all that comes with it:  yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

May this tool be a blessing. . .


  1. Hi Sherry,
    Thank you for inviting me to your blog, how beautiful! I love how you mix words of wisdom with your travels and spiritual journey. Lovely reading! Blessings in Joy, Rev. Cynthia Warwick Seiler

  2. I like this post with the suggestion to say "yes" after acceptance. I have always used the term, "vote to have the experience you are having", but saying "yes" is short and too the point and much easier! :-) It is very Zen-like and I feel that I would like to share my experiences of acceptance...

    It is not always easy to say "yes", but that is always my challenge as a Zen practitioner. I have realized that if I refuse to embrace my discomfort, it just gets to hang around longer!

    When I first started practising zazen (Zen meditation) back in the 80s, I quickly experienced a satori, but I clinged to it - this was a mistake. I was not accepting that my satori was the beginning, not the end. What has followed is challenge after challenge with a little satori now and again. I slowly learned that it is the journey not the destination and as profound as a satori can be, it is just a transitory lesson. I find that the whole experience is a wonderful paradox - it's sort of like... I have to unpick my karma thread by thread..

    My 30 years is a drop in the ocean as time has nothing to do with it. Many Zen masters talk of many lifetimes or immediately, or somwhere in between. How frustrating this can be! But I wouldn't have it any other way. Those tiny moments of vision are worth every struggle that Zen has made me conscious of.

    My realization now is that my karma and pain is constantly being unmasked and acceptance and saying "yes" strongly supports manifesting its roots in order to experience transcendence and then seeing the struggle is just an illusion probably built up by many lifetimes - all illusion because the past is no more.

  3. I read your posts very often.
    A very helpful tool to give solace to a restless mind and lead a better life.
    It guides me in my spiritual quest.
    Thank you.