Saying Yes to No

Living Well Spending Less™...reminds me of Chip Ingram's quote, "Busyness is satan's tool for a barren life."I’m so tired of the anthem, “I’m so busy.” Everything that’s on your plate is there because you said yes to it.

Recently Lululemon released this little gem of a video about giving presence this holiday season (something we should give everyday?). This quote came from the wildly brilliant Danielle LaPorte. I LOVE this quote. When my friends broke up with their boyfriends earlier this year, I thought and talked to them a lot about space (or time if you will). When someone leaves our lives there is a gap, a space opens up. How do you fill the void of time you spent with them? So when I think of it in that way, I also realize that we are constantly determining how to fill our space. We are deciding how we spend our time. Who is there. Where we go. What we do. How do you fill up your space? No one else is responsible for it but you. What are you creating? What are you saying yes to? What are you saying no to?

I agree with Danielle that we often glorify and applaud busyness. Especially this time of year, we are so busy getting ready for the Holiday, are we truly celebrating and enjoying it? Why? Why fill up our lives with a bunch of mindless check points? What if we did fewer things with more intention? With more mindfulness? What if we did things we are passionate about? What if we made space for people who fill us up? Who energize us? Who inspire us?

I type all of this because it is something I have to work on myself. I have this nasty little habit of writing out these long list. Okay I may be getting a lot done, but how do I feel? For that is something else LaPorte teaches. Creating goals based on how you want to feel. Are the things I’m writing down, bringing me closer to my dreams? To they satisfy my soul? Do they make me happy? Do they make me a better person? Am I doing things I am passionate about?

Cut. Cut back. Trim your list. Make space for the life you want. Because the state of your life right now, this very moment, are a reflection of your state of mind and what you’ve made space for. So make space for your passions. Time to hike. Definitely make room for your friends and family. Time for love. My nephews basketball games. Dinners and nights in the kitchen with my roomies. Date nights. Leave time to be in the kitchen. Time to create. Time to write. Most importantly, when I am doing something, do it wholeheartedly. Do it with presence. This word: PRESENCE, has been running and running around in my head lately. When I think of my core desire feelings, I want to feel FREE, ALIVE, and PRESENT. And lastly leave space for the magic. The unpredictability and uncertainty that life brings. Leave space for the unknown.

It’s funny that today I decided to go through quotes I’d saved and this was the first one that popped up, because I ran across this sweet little piece on Jared Leto and practicing the power of no. It goes so in line with LaPorte, what are you saying yes to? What are you saying no to? I think Leto makes some great points on presence as well. When we listen to music, we are often doing twenty other things. When I watch movies with my friends, they are also absorbed in their phones. When we get rid of the glory of busy, we allow ourselves to focus and give 100% to what we are doing. When I trained kettlebells, we had guidelines to lifting heavy weights, one of them was: do fewer things better. Hmm…that’s nice. Don’t you think? Here are some of my favorite things that Leto had to say:

“I never wanted to make the most movies, to make the most albums,” he explains. “So I like to employ the power of no. We all want to say yes, because with yes comes so much opportunity, but with the power of no comes focus and engagement.”

“I am an artist. I make things and I share things with the world, and hopefully that adds to the quality of people’s lives.” His decisions as an entrepreneur, he says, “come from the same place. I don’t compartmentalize. What you’re doing, you should be passionate about, and if not, then say no.”

“In my youth, listening to music was the dominant activity, in terms of consuming content. It captured my attention. Sometimes there was the smoking of a joint, but it was about listening intently, active participation. Today music can be secondary, it’s background, a lubricant to other experiences. It’s all because our ability to access music is now mobile. Music can be more a part of our lives, but in a more transient way. The same is true for movies. People will watch TV or movies, and they’ve got their phones out, texting, not solely engaged.”

But I would never say no to you, Jared.

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