This week all you have to do is say ‘yes’. For everything asked of you and in every situation, start by saying ‘yes’.
Please could you wash the dishes? Yes.
Mom, can I sleep over at a friend tonight? Yes.
Could you drive me to the shops? Yes.
Would you like to try this new dish on our menu? Yes.
The first thing this will do is to make you aware of just how often you say ‘no’. ‘No’ not only strengthens the ego, but has also become the habitual answer to most questions for most people.
Chances are that this will be a rather difficult exercise to begin with. The ego will most likely fight you at every turn. Remember not to berate yourself if a ‘no’ slips out here and there. Simply notice it. Notice how often life calls for a ‘yes’ and you react with a ‘no’. Would it really have killed you to say ‘yes’? Would it not, in the long run, actually have been simpler?
[As a side note: If you are doing these exercises with a partner, this is a time when you need to respect each other. This is not an opportunity to take advantage of your partner by requesting things that you know they would normally abstain from.]
Obviously there are situations in which a ‘no’ is required:
Will you help me to murder the boss? No.
Dad, can I eat this poisonous berry? No.
Please could you lie to the court and tell them I was at your house when I was actually shooting my wife? No.
Hey vegetarian, wanna try a big piece of steak? No.
The point is, that there are very few instances that genuinely require a ‘no’. Learn to recognise them and then keep your answer to the basics. ‘No’. No explanation required.
On a more subtle level, we are all saying ‘no’ to the situations that arise in every moment. How do you know that you are saying ‘no’ to the moment? If you feel any stress or resistance to what is happening right now, that is a ‘no’. Start saying ‘yes’ to life as well this week. Whatever is happening, just say ‘yes’, this is happening, it is what it is, and allow it to be.
Wishing you a positively lovely week!