As someone who struggled with acne, anxiety, depression, auto-immune and eating disorders, hiding from the world was a cherished past time for the last four years of my life. I hid in every aspect — canceling plans with friends, dating the wrong people, wearing baggy outfits to hide my body and hiding my face beneath my hair. I even took on odd jobs so I wouldn't have to follow my dreams and show up for them in the world.
But sometime last year, I realized that I couldn't go on living my life like this. A cousin of mine tragically took his short life and unfortunately, that was the catalyst I needed to change my perspective on the way I was living my own life.
By chance — or more accurately — by cosmic intervention, meditation came into my life at the moment I needed it the most. I was desperate for a new way of living, one that did not involve hiding away in my apartment. Within one month something, so subtle yet so powerful, began to shift within. In addition to many of my ailments dissolving, I noticed that I was slowly becoming more confident for the first time in my life.
Confidence was always the missing ingredient in my own personal recipe. I spent many years trying to figure out the why and how I came to be so self-conscious, but wound up with dead ends and thousands of dollars in therapists' pockets. But when I introduced meditation into my daily life I began to access a part of myself (by myself!), that was much stronger than the subconscious gossip that played the story, over and over of, "You're not good enough."
And with that growing strength came the natural, courageous progression to leave the hibernation cave and start doing things differently.
As I began to feel more alive than ever, I decided to see what the world had to offer: I made an agreement with myself to consciously choose to start saying "Yes" more. When I began to say "Yes" rather than, "No, I can't make it" or, "No, I'm not feeling well" and the killer, "No, you're not good enough for that/him/her/it," my whole life radically changed.
My worldview, which was once so narrow, opened up to possibilities and potentials in life. With new eyes I was able turn something like chronic acne into a passion project of creating a natural skincare line using all the healing ingredients that have helped me along the way.
It came as an idea in the shower one evening and my judgmental mind went, "Oh, no that will never be successful." But instead of following that thought, I stared at it right in the face and said, "Yes, it will."
When I launched my business and stayed on the path of continuing to cultivate that inner strength, it was profound to see how things unfolded. As long as I committed to saying "Yes" when opportunities arose, I was able to continue creating my dream life.
When we open ourselves up to the world and soften our stance, we allow things to magnetize towards us — money, partners, collaborations, the dream job, the perfect home, etc.
In the attempt to control our lives, our careers, our relationships and our health, we tighten up, shut down, and live in the shackles of fear. Everything we want eludes us and everything we don't want takes over. Making it a practice to let go and say, "Yes" opens space for endless possibilities to arise.
Here are three reasons why harnessing the power to choose yes will change your life radically:
1. It open the doorways to your dreams.
Most of us live in fear of following our dreams and passions. We brush them off as silly ideas or even as something too good to be true, and continue living life as is and wonder why we're so unhappy.
In her book The Game of Life and How to Play it, Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us of the wise teachings of Plato's Divine Design: "There is a place that you are to fill and no one else can fill, something you are to do, which no one else can do ... "
There is a perfect picture of this in the "super-conscious mind." It usually flashes across the conscious as an unattainable ideal —something too good to be true. Next time that idea pops into your head that seems too grand for your reach, let go of your fears and say YES to your Self, and let the universe work its magic.
2. You never know who you'll meet.
When I first said Yes to my own dream of launching a skincare line, I never imagined it would take off so quickly. I knew that in order to be successful I would constantly have to keep myself open to new experiences at all times. So when a friend invited me to work out of a coffee shop with him one morning when I was perfectly content at home, I went against my resistance and met up with him.
Lo and behold, it was a coffee shop with a design firm nestled in the back. I had been stressing over labels for my brand, considering everything was handwritten and preventing me from expanding. I couldn't find anyone to make labels for me after a month of searching. But because I said yes that morning, the talent of the design firm behind the coffee shop are now designing the most beautiful labels I ever could have dreamed of.
3. Your life will become more exciting and full of potential.
When you start opening up to the synchronicity of the universe, you literally open up to the idea that anything is possible.
I remember when I first brought this practice into my life, as I walked out of my apartment and into the sidewalk. I would look up at the vast, blue sky and say, "I am open to miracles. Show me what you've got." And with that small action, my life became full of possibilities.
Every day I was meeting new people, being guided to different books that would help me create formulas and being contacted by people who I admired, to do collaborations with. All it takes is a shift in perspective, a willingness to change and the courage to let go of our resistance, to allow the universe to support you.