As a reminder – my intention this year is to bring more roses into my life. You can see details about that means over on this earlier post, but the short version is that “roses” is my catchphrase for me to double-check whether I am being true to the causes and attitudes that are central to who I want to grow into being or if I am just avoiding the often-hard work that entails by being too busy with things and stuff that take up time, but hinder me from progressing towards my goals.
One of the most powerful methods I’ve come across for achieving “roses” is the simple word “yes.” Now, I’ve often pointed out that living an authentic life involves saying “no,” so this might seem like a radical shift.
Stay with me, here.
“Yes” has power if the word is used correctly. If we’re saying “yes” because we feel obligated to do something or take on a task we don’t really want to do, but we’re trying to live up to the expectations of others – well. That path leads only to stress, burnout, dissatisfaction, and All Things Undiva.
“Yes” is to be used to get out of our comfort zones. To take on challenges and experiences that we’re not entirely sure about. To travel where we haven’t been before. To meet and mingle and break bread with those whose experiences differ from our own. As Brene Brown would say, to be vulnerable.
It’s hard to give up the familiar, even if we don’t especially care for it. But it is absolutely crucial if we wish to grow beyond what we already are into what we wish to become.
I knew this was a good idea, but I wasn’t terribly sure how to proceed. Never underestimate the Divine’s willingness to help you.
Shortly after I decided on the “roses” path, I got an invitation from a cousin to join his annual “Burns Night Supper.” This celebration of all things Scottish centers on the poetry of Robert “Robbie” Burns, who most of us know from “Auld Lang Syne.” Burns’ poetry is, in turns, lush, earthy, clever, and melancholy. (Pretty much the Celts in a nutshell, one could argue.) My cousin does this night up right, with a table groaning from the weight of the delectable food placed upon it, with a house filled with friends and family, much talk, laughter, song, dancing, and poetry.
Yet I’d never attended.
You see, I was a bit intimidated. I’d have to drive hours and hours by myself (my Other Half had commitments he couldn’t break here at home) in the dark on unfamiliar roads after working all week. I’d need to prepare my part of the evening’s entertainment. I wouldn’t know anyone there, other than my cousin, who (honestly) I didn’t know as an adult. What if I wore the wrong tartan? What if people looked askance at me for not knowing the biography of Burns?
Sigh. Our heads, my darling Divas, are often very bad places in which to spend unsupervised time.
I took a deep breath and I said “yes.”
A dear college friend quickly offered her house to me and joined in as my “plus one” for the evening. My friend and I had a fantastic visit, prepped vegetables for the evening, and off we went. The event itself was so magical that I’m pretty sure my cousin has a couple of resident pixies. I re-connected with not one, but three, of my cousins (along with wives and children, so we got to practice the fine Southern art of cousin removal). There was poetry, bagpipes, singing, much sincere hugging, wonderful food (and yes, I tried haggis), short lessons about Burns, tartans, and Scotch, and unmitigated joy. All of us (including my Other Half) plan to attend next year and I will be wearing plaid instead of this year’s brown and cream. (Turns out I married into a branch of Clan MacFie, with the family surname being translated in at least one instance as “dark friend of the fairy folk,” which I quite like.) Plus, the drive home was a breeze.
Say “yes” to something new this week. Start small to build your “yes” confidence. Instead of your usual plain coffee, try a flavored latte. Instead of your usual walk around the neighborhood, try a yoga class. Instead of meat loaf on Monday, turn dinner into “New Menu Monday.”
Say “yes,” Divas.