I know, for someone who says you need to say “no” in life a lot this title probably comes as a shocking surprise.  Don’t be confused – I still think that you need to say “no” to the things that don’t fulfill you, align with you or simply the things you just don’t want to do that will otherwise lead to a “busy” life.

One evening a year my husband makes his way to the Oshawa Centre to do his Christmas shopping (as in, for me – because lets be honest everything else has been purchased, wrapped and is anxiously waiting under the tree – but I digress), typically on the 24th just so he can really get into the holiday spirit.  But I have to say – he always does well in terms of winning the stocking stuffer category.  One of the things that always nestles it’s way into my stocking is a book which we have an on-going joke about that he feels pretty good about himself asking for help finding a book for his wife in the “self help” section……I mean, Chapters – if you are listening can we seriously come up with a more empowering and inspiring category.  This year was no different, with his obsession for all things Shondraland (if you don’t know what I am talking about these are all of the shows that create the Thursday night lineup including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to get Away with Murder) when he came across the book written by Shondra Rhimes – the creator of our shameless Thursday night addiction – called “Year of Yes”, he bought it (he claims for “me”).

I don’t know about you but I always find books to be well timed.  You take away the messages that you need (like desperately in that exact moment) and you leave behind the ones that you don’t.  This book was no different.  I had decided to take the month of December to somewhat “pause” – to figure out what I want to focus on and how I am going to do it.  Was this “pause” a bit of an excuse to drag my heels? absolutely, but I think we are all entitled every once and awhile.  If you read my latest post An Unpublished Life you will realize that a theme is starting to rear it’s ugly head at this time of the year.  It comes in the form of “I’m just going to pause while I take some time to figure things out – otherwise known as the pause before a huge gigantic leap……like what feels like off a cliff”.  So it was not a coincidence that this book the “Year of Yes” landed in my lap.  It was the nudge I needed……more like huge gigantic push.

The message is this.  Say yes to the things that scare the crap out of you, make you feel uncomfortable and push you out of your comfort zone.  That is where real growth happens.  We have been raised from a young age to have fear as a mechanism to protect ourselves – usually from a hot stove, burning water or in my case keeping my 2-year old in tact on a day-to-day basis.  The problem is that as we transition into adults we carry that fear with us and instead of using it to protect us from “physical harm” we use it to protect us from everything from emotions, to failure, to embarrassment and the list of shame goes on and on.  As soon as we sense it, we turn our back and run like hell away from it convincing ourselves that we did the right thing.  Problem is, you’re not 2 anymore.

So this year I am saying “yes” – to all of the things that scare the crap out of me and that push me out of my comfort zone.  In other words, this year is going to be like living on the side of a cliff (clearly I am going to need a new pair of shoes).  Saying yes will create new paths, new opportunities and ultimately lead you to living a full life.

What are you going to start saying “yes” to?