Is your life a YES? What would it take to make your life exuberant, ecstatic, orgasmic?
I like to play a game with myself; I see what it would take to say “yes” to all requests for my attention, time and energy. In the past, I automatically said “no.” Even when my mouth said “yes,” my heart was closed and remained a “not really.”
In the past, I have felt overwhelmed with stimulation, my body-brain stuck in sympathetic cortisol-flooding hyper-vigilant stress mode. Always on the subtle lookout for incoming threats in the form of boundary intrusions—authority figures, or people that I love yelling at me, striking out at me in anger, saying bizarre mean things, insulting me.
In the past, I remained contracted, shielding my heart from these daggers of toxicity and spite.
In the past, I took these experiences as proof that something was “wrong” with me.
In the past I assumed I was unlovable, flawed, worthless. I mistakenly mistook these interactions as a reflection of myself.
I could never have been so incorrect. Because much of my early life was spent with a well-meaning, but overwhelmed single mother, I took my emotional cues from her. During our early attachment time, I was one with her and her experience in life. However there was a key difference: she was an adult, with a far greater understanding of her situation and utilizing many coping skills, some healthy, like deep prayer, some less so, like denial. I was a tiny baby with no separation of self and just seeped in the juices of her stress and fear, no such helpful adult psychological defenses. This experience set up my nervous system and “taught” my brain to always be on alert for I had no protection from incoming danger other than hiding, running or defending.
These experiences showed up in later adolescence and early adulthood, as a habitual pattern of identifying with the projections of others. I also exhibited withdrawing, overly sensitive, and at times, controlling qualities. Additionally, as I now know, I was creating the situations that continued this out-picturing of my inner reality. I energetically “pulled” interactions that reinforced the trauma. I literally manifested over and over critical lectures from bosses and dramatic friendship breakups that I misunderstood as proof that I was flawed, unlovable and worthless.
After years of exquisitely well-attached psychotherapy, dedicated self-healing, extensive body work and committed spiritual practices, I have dropped the story of my unlovability.
Then I had a few years of getting to know myself without the overlay. Who am I?
Who are you?
A question I hold with my clients in for as long as it takes. It begins with simple sensory preferences: what appeals to your taste, touch, smell, sight and sound? Then we explore what kind of relating do you prefer?
All of these steps are key to getting to the place where you are able to BE authentic, with consciousness and no trauma overlay and KNOW what you like and want in your life.
To get to the yes, you must open up your heart to yourself, continuously asking yourself, “Is this right for me? Is this in alignment?”
Another step in getting to the yes, is listening to the small, still voice inside: deciphering the “yes” from the “no” or “not yet.”
In game of saying “yes” to all that crosses my path, I become a truth-detector. I radically have to navigate where each request falls within my body, to feel how it lands. And then intuit how I can honor both the request AND myself.
Many spiritual teachers have this amazing knack for always saying “YES,” to their students. Recently, I attended a talk featuring Baba Dez Nichols, a legend in the Tantric Sensuality movement. I watched him over and over field questions from the audience with yes’s. With his super-wide lens of unconditional love, he would trust his inner “knowing” of the heart of the question asked. Over and over he began his responses with “Yes! …”
To illustrate, a man in attendance asked if we would be seeing a demonstration of the sexual techniques that same evening. Basically the man was feeling the juicy energy of the group and wanted more visual stimulation!! Rather than speaking at that level and potentially shaming the man, Dez began with his, “Yes… You can see wonderful heart-centered Tantra techniques as we are describing demonstrated on YouTube. Please check them out, you won’t be disappointed!”
I like to play this Yes game with my clients. One of my clients, a wonderful father with five children under the age of seven, has received this intervention from me. I asked him to see what it would take to say “yes” to every request his kids made for one day. As you can imagine, this is practically a harrowing super-human task!
Basically instead of always saying no, he finds alternatives that are more connective and attachment-focused. His kids really crave his positivity and attention and respond with generosity and patience of their own. For example, he might say, “Yes…” followed by, “I can help you put that Lego set together in 10 minutes when I am done making this pot of chili. In the meantime, would you like to help me grate some cheese for the top?” Even though the child will have to wait to get his request met, he is able to feel his father’s presence and connection, which regulates emotions and settles the resonant field between father and son. Internally, the child will be feeling, “Ahhhhhh… My father is there for me, I can relax knowing that soon he will be helping me.”
Notice that I am not asking my client to override his own boundaries and needs. He needs to feed the entire family that pot of chili, so completing that task is important too! This father is practicing the skill of tuning into himself, while remaining in contact with his child. It’s an important step in self-regulation and the ability to say, “yes,” while maintaining integrity.
Are you intrigued to try this technique in your own life? To play with how this challenge feels as you creatively see where you can maintain connection to others while still caring for yourself?
Undergoing these experiments will give you confidence to say YES more often. They will enliven and invigorate you. You will create more vital life force through saying YES to the cosmic energy that is available for all.
There is an every expanding energy available to each one of us.
What will it take in your life to get to YES?
Contact me today for support in taking this positive step forward in your life today. You deserve a life of YES!