Yes.

We all have things we want to change in life. It is why so many individuals decide to make New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes that means that some need to add more adventures in their lives, and others might need to cut back to make room for space in their lives.

Last week I finished reading: “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes. At first I did not want to read it. While I watch all of Rhimes television shows, I do not know much about her as a person, and sometimes books that come from the Hollywood bore me. I was happily surprised. Shonda Rhimes is a badass.

She talks you through her experience from no shows to having 3 shows on Thursday night at once and what it is like to be so successful, have a family, and be a black woman in Hollywood. And yet, want to hide from it all. Year of Yes is her year to start saying yes to life, yes to what comes her way, and quit hiding from the world. We could all probably use a bit of “yes” in our life. On discussing the 100 pounds she lost (from saying yes to how she approached food):

“Did I not just say it was never going to be easy? Never going to be quick, would there be anyone left out there who talked about struggling with their weight? Now, I’m betting all of these big-time programs you see advertised and recommended by your doctor work. But only if you decide that YOU are going to do the work to make the programs work. Meaning, nothing works if you don’t actually decide that you are really and truly ready to do it.” Page 157

The key is “decide that you are really and truly ready to do it.” Applicable to so many decisions in life. Making the choice to really be in your marriage, to be the parent you want to be, to give your job your all, to stay fit and healthy. Decide to do it. It is that easy. Yes.

Possibility contagious

I love being around people who have a fire inside and want to be in the world. Whether that is in the smallest of ways of impacting those around them, or in the largest of ways of wanting to change the world. Maybe that is through small acts of kindness, politics, your child’s school, at work, it does not matter. The positive energy inside that exudes into the world is what I love seeing come forth. I recently came across this quote from Marianne Williamson and thought, ah so true:

“When a woman rises up in glory, her energy is magnetic and her sense of possibility contagious.”

This can happen every day, every moment. Each time we do not get pulled down by the crap that surrounds us — the nay-sayers, the ones trying to push us down, we are contagious. In a good way.

I have posted blogs quite a few times about how I want to suck the life out of every day. I like to do everything I possibly can each day. Find the opportunities and go into each moment knowing that almost anything is possible. So often we get sucked into the energy around us (and yes it happens to me too). Someone can be complaining about their day, their weekend, or their life and so easily we get pulled into that toxic energy. Instead of getting sucked in, we need to change our thought and keep it focused on energy that allows us to thrive and shift the thought of others. Just maybe your energy will bring those toxic people into the world of possibility.

Here is to having contagious energy and an openness that makes others know anything is possible.

Seize openness

Yesterday morning I had this strong intuition to be open. I went to bed late and set my alarm to wake up early so I could go for a run. When my alarm went off the last thing I wanted to do was to strap on my running shoes. When 6 am rolled around somehow I was awake enough for my brain to start to think about things. When the brain starts going through items of the day it is hard to stop it, and hard to then roll over and go back for a small snooze.

So I got up.

As I slowly dressed for my run, I kept trying to talk myself out of it. “Don’t go. You will be too tired later. You did not get much sleep last night. Stay here, get some work done. Be slow.” The thing is I was mostly dressed and by then when you basically only have to put on your running shoes, why turn back? I went and it felt great. As I was running I had such a strong sense of urgency that I needed to be “open.” While I have hindsight to look back on, there was not some amazing revelation from my day, but there was a freeness I felt. Uninhibited.

I tried some new foods today. I got to know some work colleagues more. I did not go about my normal routine. I was open for what happened, and I seized the opportunities. I still have no idea why I had that strong intuition, but know that it will stay strong with me. I will think about it so that whatever opportunity comes before me today I will look at it differently. It is freeing really. Say yes to life. Be open to the opportunities. Jump on the adventures. In tiny, small, and big ways.

Hopefully you and I can both be more open today, tomorrow, and the day after that.

Being Open

I am as transparent as they come. I have mentioned before that a colleague calls me “TMI” instead of Tami. Well jokingly at least. If you know me you know that I have few filters and I have no problem telling you what is on my mind. It might mean I offend folks at times, but honestly at least you know where you stand with me. Right? Part of being transparent means you have to be open. The funny thing is that is not always the easiest thing for me.

Why? I am a planner. I like to think things through, have backup plans, and ensure that I will be prepared for whatever might occur. My childhood of disconnected utilities, no food on the table, and no money in the bank probably made me overzealous about ensuring that I would never have to worry about the lack of electricity, food on the table, and to make sure my family never lacked the basic necessities. Those moments were integral to my development and extremely poignant as to who and how I am today.

So when I found this Daily Om: “Softening and Expanding” it resonated with me. I think often about being open and how Chris and I talk about it extensively, but that does not make it easy to do in our day-to-day life. Whether you believe in God, a higher power, or the universe, I do believe that there is something at play in our daily life that directs our thoughts. Being open allows us to let go of what we really want, and gives us the space to ask, “How can I best bless? What do I need to do today to be present and listen for which conversations to take part in, and when should I speak up?” I truly believe there is something (whatever you may call it) guiding us for what we need to know. Here is the excerpt I wanted to share from the Daily Om:

“In order to get what we want in life, we have to be willing to receive it when it appears, and in order to do that we have to be open. Often we go through life with defenses we developed early on in order to protect ourselves. These defenses act as barriers, walls we needed at one time to feel safe, but that now serve to shut out desired influences, like intimacy or love. So an essential part of being receptive to what we want is to soften these barriers enough to let those things in when they show up.”

How do you react or allow yourself to be open? Are you receptive to the voices that tell us not to react, not to respond, or to jump for joy at an opportunity?

Vulnerable

Vulnerability is the new black. Thanks to Brene Brown, more people are talking about vulnerability. I love the word in ways I never would have a few years ago. Why? Because it is making us more real. I dislike the dictionary definitions I found for vulnerable. Once you read Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” you may just agree that we need to revise the definition. Most definitions talk about “being vulnerable to attack or harm.” Not too encouraging.

How about something about opening oneself up to the rawness and realness of life, to feel, act, and speak with openness? Ah, what would life be like if we said exactly what was on our mind all the time? We might know each other better, feel deeper, wonder what others think less. Would that be refreshing? I think so. So what holds us back from being vulnerable? Are we afraid of what others will think of us, or that we will offend another, or that we will put ourselves out there and it will not be reciprocated? All valid points, but are they enough to not make us just lay it all out there? Do we have too much to lose?

I am not going to say that it was ever easy to put my thoughts out there blunt and uncensored, but the more I have the easier it gets. Sometimes it can be messy. I can have an amazing evening with Chris and another couple and walk away thinking, “Did I say too much?” I often get a funny feeling inside that makes me revisit a conversation and I wonder what is making me circle through different moments of the night. Maybe I did say too much and maybe it was just right. Regardless, I was me in all my rawness. There is a bravery, an innocence, a transparency that comes with vulnerability. I will take that from someone any day. It means I am truly getting to see that other person. In happiness, tears, fear, you get to witness them for who they are in that moment.

By being vulnerable, we feel deeper, we form stronger connections, and we are all changed in the end. It is a risk, but I think it is worth it. Are you willing to take that risk and start being more vulnerable?