"It is not until you have a burning YES inside of you about what is truly important that you can
say NO to all of that which is urgent, but not truly important.
Our deepest guilt comes from doing the opposite, implicitly saying no to the truly important and yes, yes, yes to the urgent that is NOT important. The more we are free from non-necessities, the more we are free to do the more meaningful actions of our lives."
Stephen Covey, Everyday Greatness
This message is resonating with me today. Just the other day I was approached by a parent who in the simple process of listing her daily activities unwittingly set off a chorus of internal voices within me.
This woman's resume of career achievements and volunteering prowess in combination with her children's extracurricular activities left my head spinning. A tiny, little competitive urge within me began to say..."you could do that too...you should be doing that too..."
But this time that little voice quickly went away. In its place came a strong, resounding, almost booming "that is not how I thrive."
Probably for the first time in my life I left that conversation with a feeling of satisfaction and confidence. It is true that I could do more. I could sign up for and volunteer for more. The change for me has been realizing the cost of such seemingly small decisions.
I enjoy spearheading, conquering, coordinating and rallying. I am learning how to enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing that I have enough and do enough. The pleasure of allowing someone else the opportunity to sign up and be in charge. Feeling the spirit of being a member of the team but not the captain or the one in charge. I have let go of needing to do and be all of this and that.
A few months ago I sat down and wrote out a list of the priorities in my life. The people and activities that I want to give my best to. These drive my choices and have become my short list of Burning YESes. I look forward to reviewing my list, revising and adjusting. These too may shift and change with time.
An unexpected clarity comes with knowing where my heart, intention and focus lie. A blissful reward for the burden that at times arrives with saying no.
Even when I feel the passion, enjoy the activity or agree with the cause.
No. Not now.
Even when I feel a certain sense of urgency to complete, answer, respond or react immediately.
Because while I come from a place of abundance and limitless possibility I believe that I THRIVE when I am able to focus my attention and my energy on my Burning Yeses. I thrive within my very own graceful pace. And my pace and my list may look completely different from yours or anyone else's. And that's enough.
One word can change everything. Now when I meet someone who has signed up for everything and wants to convince me to sign up too, I don't feel pressured. When I listen to the laundry list of activities, boards, organizations and committees that a colleague or friend is a part of I no longer feel like an unnecessary eagerness to compete. For the first time in a long time I feel confident and reassured.
I am thriving. We are thriving. I am grateful. That is more than enough.
Namaste. I bow to the light in each of us. I recognize the gift that is each choice that we make. Each choice that allows us an opportunity to thrive in the true knowledge of our own path. A path that serves us and allows us to thrive.
What helps you to thrive?