Say Yes to Everything
For a week.
Of course, put some boundaries around it.
(My boundaries were: no travel required, no going with strangers in dark allies & no messing with my son's schedule)
Say YES to every request or ask.
Of course, do not tell anyone you are doing this.
Just do it.
There are so many articles out there about saying NO, so I wondered how it would feel to embrace the chaos of YES.
It was total chaos and bliss.
It took me to places I value.
I threw me off of my 'to do' list and into the present moment.
YES is the new NO. or is it KNOW.
"Get over it."
"Whatever you do, please, do not have an emotion I do not feel like having right now."
I find this curious. About humans. What most of us yearn for is real moments with people we care about. Yet, we often shun, distance and turn people away at the moments that are perfect for deeper connection.
Grief. Anger. Bitterness. Imperfection. All those yucky feelings we all have.
One of the cruelest things we can do to another person is shun them. We do this in a fashion when we distance ourselves from people when they are in a feeling.
I watch my son be told (by people who love him) not to cry if something hurts. "Toughen up champ."
I watch CEOs, who desperately need to confront reality sooner in their business, push the truth away because of the emotional package it is coming in.
I wonder sometimes if teenagers stop talking to their parents because their parents have taught them for years that when they are having an emotion they will be calmed down, repositioned and not listened to.
Perhaps if humans physiologically understood that emotions are temporary and they are often part of a process that gets people closer to their genius. When we disallow emotions we shortcut the beauty of being human. The best of us is often on the other side of some intense feelings.
The next time a kid, a co-worker, a spouse, a sibling, a friend is having an emotion you do not feel like having in the moment - sit in it with them. Be curious without trying to solve the issue. Get them talking more and feeling more.
I believe empathy shows love and personal strength. Empathy is simply the ability to feel the feelings of another person without becoming it. To be with someone. To allow imperfection so we move closer to perfection. (although perfect isn't and doesn't actually exist)
If what we really want is for someone to stop feeling bad, sometimes the fastest path is through it rather than around it.
I haven't posted in a while. I found all of these saved drafts in my blog that I never made live.
Here is an imperfect unfinished post that is perfectly timed for me- based on something from over a year ago.
My sister sends me stuff all the time. She is brilliant. I use her brain way too much as I do what I do in the world.
There is this video of a coach in a press conference. He is having an emotional moment honoring the loss of a team member and his memory. Someone in the room answers a phone call, rudely, in the middle of the moment.
He handles it beautifully in my view. He didn't coddle or gently tell the dude how offensive the action was. He DISRUPTED that guy pretty harshly.
My sister said today, "Sometimes the person being mean to you is trying to do what a true friend does: tell you when you are being an ass." Okay, it shouldn't be in quotes cuz that is the gist of what she said... I didn't capture it perfectly.
Are we okay being caught in our behavior and hearing it? Can we then forgive ourselves for what we have done? Can we forgive others for maybe the yucky way they tried to bring it to our attention? Humans have ways of justifying our behavior and distancing ourselves from our true beauty.
We often can't hear it. We grade how people tell us instead of just trying to hear what it is they are trying to say. Huge learning gets lost in our ease in getting offended.
Shut up. Message received. I doubt that person will ever disrespect a room that way again.
I'm not advocating for more people to be rude to each other. I do think we can listen to intent rather than actions.
Humans are way too focused these days on 'HOW THE PERSON SAID IT TO ME" rather than "OH CRAP, I DID MESS UP?"
Perhaps the recoil we feel is just our inability to accept that we will just never be perfect...
I worry that all of our communicating classes are teaching us that emotions are bad. That we must coddle and calm each other instead of just telling someone they have spinach in their teeth.
Being nice means I won't embarrass you by telling you that you have spinach in your teeth: KIND means I won't let you walk around with it all day. Sometimes, I may say it in a way that does make you feel embarrassed. If we just accept that sometimes we will be OPEN and sometimes we will be CLOSED. Well, what happens then?
After watching that segment again, I wonder if that young man learned the lesson I got from the coach that day. We are not invisible. If we are in a room- BE IN IT.