Lately I’ve been noticing I’m saying ‘yes’ more often. What I mean by this is that I have specifically been saying yes to more physical activities lately. Last week was a good example. My kids initiated two different outings, both of which had the potential to be exhausting –though also satisfying. My initial knee-jerk reaction was to say, no, I don’t feel like going. Now, my kids are all adults, and they probably don’t care much at all whether I go places with them or not. It was nice of them to invite me, and convenient that I could give them a ride, but either way, they were going.
When I heard myself begin to decline the invitation, I realized that I have not quite shifted my thinking in relation to my wellness. A few short years ago, a trip to the beach or a day walking around the city would have been beyond exhausting, even painful. And the next day would have been worse. For many years I stayed home unless there was a very compelling reason to go. But things have changed. I’ve changed. I’ve made some major changes in my life, and now I have more energy and less pain. So, why do I still initially react as if the activity will end in suffering?
While I am always looking for new ways to help my clients, deepening my understanding of pain, illness, healing and wellness, I try to use my own process and experience as a test case. Over the years, I’ve noticed certain thought patterns have changed because I have brought them to awareness and made conscious changes. In other areas, such as my physical endurance, change has come more slowly. I don’t yet know why. Maybe this is some leftover from my childhood, or a learned response from years of pain and illness. I’m not sure the ‘why’ is important. The question I am choosing to focus on is HOW. How am I going to choose “yes” more often, without first anticipating a negative result?
You could say that at this point it doesn’t matter. If I’ve already said “yes,” is it important to delve further into the process? I went to the beach, had a great day, and there were no negative consequences. Given that result, it would seem logical that eventually I will stop thinking “no” and go directly to “yes.” I hope that is the case. For now, I plan to observe the process and try to learn from it.