Yes, or No?

I will admit to you that I have been feeling my life is way too full.

I have often said, and truthfully felt, that “it’s all good” and I do not mean to ever complain about the abundance in my life. Ever the optimist, I think our blessings need to be looked at as the blessings they are, and I do believe we need to get better at seeing the beauty in what may be around us.

That said, I have also found I all-too-quickly adopt the “learning to say no” philosophy in my more challenged moments, feeling the stretch of too much getting stuffed into small spaces. I know I do so within a sense of responsibility, a very strong personal value for me, for I loathe to be tasked with expectations I know I cannot fulfill exceptionally well. ‘Good enough’ is not a concept I have ever been comfortable with.

A few days ago, someone in our Ho‘ohana Community challenged me on that thinking, telling me about a humorous book written on the grand adventures a person can have when all they ever say is “yes!” From what I understand, the book (sorry, but the name of it escapes me now) is a comedic parody of the idea, but still, I can’t stop thinking about it.

If we say “yes” more often, and not to everything, but to all the things which sound like fabulously wonderful ideas at the time, versus, “I’d love to, really, but I just can’t right now,” would there be a natural selection which happens, one where we learn to focus on what the best of the best happens to be, or what we were meant to appreciate more than we do?

Hmmm” I wonder.


  1. says

    When my youngest son was about 4 we were talking about the line in the Lion King where Rafiki tells Simba (who is going through a leadership crisis) “you’ve got to know yourself.”
    I told my son that he should know himself and he quickly retorted, “Daddy, I don’t know myself, I YES myself.”
    I believe I can yes myself by saying “no” to certain things because that is giving more focus and energy to the important yeses in my work and life.
    I enjoyed the post, Thanks Rosa,

  2. Toni says

    I love your thoughts and questions. Your post reminds me of the question, “How can you know what you don’t know?”. I also think about how our value for this month is “Le‘ale‘a — Let’s Play!” and I am getting this idea…
    I say take off the autopilot and for this month say “Yes” to somethings you have never ever done and say “No” to some of the things you always do. Instead of having a nice dinner and a movie, go line-dancing or take a salsa class! Cook with Native American recipes instead of Italian. Eat your dinner as a picnic on your yard by candlelight instead of inside. Volunteer for one weekend instead of yardwork.
    I like the idea of “yes”. I know that “no” is important to allow us the space to focus on what we want (referring to your most recent post on productivity). Still, “yes” does open doors of possibilties instead of closing them.
    Mahalo for your thoughts and great posts Rosa. I am off now to search for a Native American meal made with chicken!

  3. says

    Love your story David, thank you for sharing it with us! It is so amazing how wise our children can be in their matter-of-fact answers for us.
    Wonderful suggestions Toni, and fabulous food for thought. I have a weekend coming up outside my normal comfort zone, and you’ve really got me thinking… I’ve loved our playfulness value this month so far, and the possibilities keep growing. I am discovering there is a magnificent abundance in Le‘ale‘a.