Awakening to Yes offers grounded, warm support for people who want more ease and connection.It invites you to experience how life supports you when it gets the chance. It's a path with many doors, but the starting place is always awareness of what is, right now.
Here are some of the ways it can look.
Waking up, five ways
It's dusk and you're outside walking, but though your feet are on the ground, you are not here.
Unexpectedly, the rustling of leaves catches your attention. Or perhaps it’s a feeling of sadness, the stir of wind across your face, or the weight of a child’s hand in yours that breaks your trance and beckons you back.
You could ignore the invitation - you often do. But something has nudged you awake and you're here, feeling more alive than you did. It feels good and you're curious, so you lean in.
You pay attention to what's happening around you and inside you. You listento the leaves rustling and feelthe sadness, the wind across your face, or the child's hand. You're more awake than you've felt all day.
And as you meet the moment more fully, your experience naturally expands. Your chest swells and opens and there's a feeling of greater well-being. You feel more alert, present and connected as your mind chatter quiets and stills.
Awareness has woken up, opening space between you and your habitual patterns. New possibilities have exploded into life. Who you are just got bigger!
As you hurry through your shopping after a long day of work, something catches your attention; a child is crying in another aisle. No longer on autopilot, you're suddenly more awake than you just were.
You choose to pause, take a breath and really take in where you are, what you’re doing and how you're feeling.
You're tired. You don't want to be here. Maybe you're irritated or frustrated with the child, or his parents. Or maybe your heart has swelled with compassion.
Whatever you notice, you silently affirm, "Yes, this too is allowed."
You you expand with every inclusion.
Waiting for enlightenment to start waiting for your pain to depart waiting for the rain to let up waiting for your joy to wake up.
Waiting for the sun to come out waiting for the tide to come in waiting for your health to improve waiting for this traffic to move.
Waiting for the week to end waiting for your heart to mend waiting for the day you are thin waiting for your life to begin.
Life will be so much better then.
What about now? What if life has been waiting on you to show up?
When you find yourself uncertain, impatient, powerless or shaky, stop, breath, and notice a tree.
Notice that its open-armed statement of Here I Am depends on steady footing.
Appreciate how deep roots nourish and create its openhearted Yes.
Feel into its solid grounding, it's supple acceptance its majestic presence.
Watch one sway, breathe and be.
What if anxiety (sadness, anger, fear, worry, frustration, boredom...) was an invitation to get free?
What if, instead of being the thing you battled, it was your salvation, a door to the presence, the key to taking your power back?
What if everything is an invitation to get free?
Pause here, often
Pause here often. Take frequent trips and tiny sips, now. Your reflection here is whole, drink it in!
Celebrate the perfection of this moment and know that even though things can and will change, you in this moment are whole and complete. Fill yourself with this unbroken experience! When you lean back into life, you'll do so having been nourished, embraced, loved and fulfilled.
If you’re anything like me, you'll sometimes show up here feeling shattered and weary. The world can be a hard place when not softened by presence.
But if you gather your shattered parts and offer them to the soft space of your allowing, you can find acceptance for who we are, right now. Acceptance softens sharp edges and makes them less frightening, and it allows you to see the wholeness reflected in all your broken bits. Acceptance is a portal to the wholeness that already exists, beyond stories of brokenness.
Your presence will naturally begin to soften rough edges as soon as you stop using these edges to inflict pain and inner violence.
Making space for letting go
Whatever you want to let go of, as awful as it may currently feel, let it be - just for now. Your trying to fix or force it into submission hasn’t worked, and it won't. Letting go isn’t something you do. It's something that happens when you find something else to do.
If something is holding you hostage, take a moment first to accept how it is right now. Resisting causes suffering and keeps things the same; acceptance softens and creates space for new possibilities.
So stop and lean in for a few moments. What you'll find is that woven into this current experience of contrast is the desire for something different, something more.
What is that? Can you gently turn from what you don't want towards what you do? What is the feeling this new thing invokes in you? Can you soar there for a bit - even if it's just for a few seconds?
You can’t let go of what's not serving if you’re still holding on - and making it wrong, trying to fix it, or attempting to force yourself to let go are all forms of holding on. Instead, embrace this new desire and your right-now experience of it. Not with your mind, but with the part of you that feels the joy of soaring into new possibilities.
Whatever you want to release falls away much more easily when you find something else to love instead. Stop pushing against what feels bad; love whatever helps you feel better, now. Fill yourself with that.
Going with the flow
Resistance is painful. More than what we're resisting, it's our resistance to it that causes the most pain. We think our resistance will protect us, but in the end it only turns against us, turning us upstream, against the natural flow of life. Essentially, it turns us against ourselves.
What do we resist? We resist things that don’t feel good, or things that we’re afraid won’t feel good, or things that didn’t feel good in the past. Often we resist because it’s just become a habit. Our default has become no.
When we judge ourselves for not being who or what or how or where we believe we should be, and when we judge others for being exactly who and what and how and where they are now, we are in resistance to life, which doesn't judge.
When we reject or deny what is happening because we’re afraid we won’t be able to handle it, we resist allowing our true power to emerge.
When we avoid feeling something because we’re afraid we’ll get stuck in it, or be swallowed up by it, we resist experiencing that things do flow and rise, when we let them.
When we ignore the choice that feels better, we resist the call of the Divine.
When we resist dropping into the presence, we resist communing with and experiencing our true nature.
And when we build barriers to the giving and receiving of love (especially to ourselves), we resist the most powerful force in this universe.
Feel how much work all this takes. Are you ready to not work quite so hard?
Life is. Things happen that don’t feel good and that cause you to want to feel even better. That's just the nature of contrast and it’s a necessary part of life. Contrast shows where energy wants to move and where you are ready to expand. It invites you to get curious about what story you may be telling or what beliefs and expectations are being acted out. It reminds you to let go and ask for help - to remember that you are never alone and powerless. Contrast always clarifies and brings forth desire - if you let it.
Contrast is a tune your larger self hums to get your attention. Contrast can sing your expansion into existence, but it needs you to get in harmony with it. When you judge, reject, avoid, ignore, resist and build barriers to its invitation, you stop the music. When you can appreciate the role of contrast in your life, you become less afraid of things that don’t feel good, and the grip of fear and resistance begins to soften. Cracks develop in your habits; grace can now enter and soften you even more.
Focusing on relief
The diagnosis is scary. Everywhere you look, fear is there.
You jump back in time: "Did I miss the signs, did I do something to cause this?" You vault into the future: "Oh my gosh, what will happen to the kids if something happens to me?" There's no safety here, right now.
But by grace, you pause and find your way back to solid ground.
You invite awareness to drop from the chaos in your head to the experience in your body. You remind yourself to breathe. You unclench your hands. You feel your feet on the floor. As you begin to feel a little more anchored, your breath relaxes and your chest opens, just a little. Still, you appreciate the relief.
In this more spacious place, you discover that you have something more to bring to this experience. Perhaps you just have more of you as you open to this moment. For now, that feels like a lot.
Laying down your arms
Life is meant to flow and it can flow you too even if you're certain there's no peace and security in this world have tried to protect yourself by armoring up or erecting walls.
There are bound to be moments when life's generous waters seep through your parched armor and allow you to feel safe enough to let down your guard. When they do, will you lay down your arms, at least for that moment?
Life isn't meant to be a battle. Celebrate the moments of peace when they come.
Taking time to align
Stop and feel what you want. Don't pluck it from the swarm of have-to's your head might supply. Instead, drop down and let it rise from lower in your being.
If your mind gets stuck on shoulds, remind is of all the times you tried and failed to do what you thought you had to do - perhaps to prove yourself strong or smart or worthy enough or conform to the expectations of others. Be patient as your inner ear attunes to the truthfulness of your own right-now truth and let your desire come from there.
And when it does, try not to rush into action before you're ready. If your mind objects, remind it of all the times you forced yourself into unwilling action and failed because all of you wasn't yet on board.
I failed to quit smoking countless times until someone gave me permission to stop trying so hard and simply intend for more genuine desire and willingness to grow. I failed because although stopping smoking was something I thought I should do, it wasn't something I wanted to do. I failed because I hadn’t allowed desire to grow strong enough to unite all my resources behind a ready, willing “Yes, let's do it!”
As it turns out, ready and willing are an important part of able.
So I intended my willingness and desire to be stronger and then let it go and just let myself be a smoker. I stopped making it wrong and I stopped thinking about quitting. I started being more present while I was smoking.
And soon enough, I realized I did want to be healthier and less dependent on outer things. Within weeks I felt ready and willing, which made me able: I had my last cigarette and that was that. Quitting was easy.
Magical stuff happens when your inner reality is on board with what you want to do in your outer one. It pays off when you take the time to align.
Riding the waves
It's all rushing in at once. I'm in overwhelm, feeling the anxious call to action - any action - just something to ease the pressure.
But for a moment I pause. I stop completely and feel the waves of have to do this and need to fix that flowing through, offering no resistance and clinging to nothing. I float, allowing all of it to swirl and sputter and splash around and inside me.
And soon the tide turns. The waves recede, revealing new, open territory. My breath is deeper, my mind calmer.
And now I know the next step.
Finding ease through the body, 3 ways
The hands of the clock keep moving and panic is beginning to set in. If you don't sleep soon, you'll be a wreck in the morning. But your head is conversing with the usual 3 AM visitors. "Are the kids doing okay? Are they happy? Am I doing all I could be doing as a parent? What if......?"
On and on, you're hooked. Anxiety gnaws in your gut. You toss and turn - anything to avoid what you're feeling.
But tonight you catch this resistance. You remember the tools you have and choose not to run this time.
The center of emotion is in your belly; it's a squeezing, panicked feeling and you wonder if you can stay with it. It's almost intolerable.
But you take little sips of breath and gently focus on the sensations, reminding yourself that they are simply atoms vibrating and that if you can give them more space to move, you'll feel better. You place one hand on your tummy and another on your heart: "It's okay. Keep breathing..."
Atoms in motion... Sometimes they feel good, sometimes they don't, but they all want to stay in motion; it feels worse when you avoid or resist or somehow try to stop them. So you let them move and you get curious about how this movement feels; that feels better than judging it.
And then, there it is. Relief - mild at first, but you honor it, knowing it grows with your attention. And you notice too that your thoughts are quieter. Your mind has relaxed into acceptance of this moment. There's more space through your body.
You sense that you can sleep now, though even if you can't, you know it'll be okay. It feels like you have company now. And you do; you've shown up to be with yourself.
Your head is pounding. It's been a long day already and you're not even home. You want to switch gears and leave work behind, but your mind is in control with no sign of slowing down.
So you take matters into your own hands and bring attention into your hands. They're gripping the steering wheel. Wow, they're really holding on! This wakes you up.
You notice you're holding your breath too, so you breathe, slow and deep.
The car comes alive a bit around you; you feel the support of the seat and freshly attune to the song on the radio.
You direct attention to your feet and they wake up in response. There's fresh energy moving through your whole body now. You've shifted gears and are ready for what's next.
I'm tired but my mind is still busy, replaying the events of the day. It's spinning, pulling me deeper into its narrow orbit.
Rather than collude with it or fight it or make it wrong, I give it something else to do.
I wiggle my feet and feel their coolness, some tingling, and the weight of the covers over them. I bring attention to my your legs and arms and feel the heaviness of my hips on the bed. I remind myself that I'm supported by a bed, by the floor under it, and by the Earth under that. I can let go and not fall.
As my body floods with presence, my mind is released and I sink into a wider, more relaxed orbit.
Feeling the burn
It’s a quiet moment and my mind has gone back in time, revisiting an experience that instantly brings the hot flush of shame. The discomfort makes it hard to breathe. My heart pounds and I wonder what I can do or who I can call - anything to fix this red-hot fire of humiliation and the naked truth of my awful imperfection.
I want to run from this feeling, or hide from it. But I don't move. Even as sweat forms on my forehead, I don’t run away.
Instead, I turn away from the story and lean in to the fire, allowing it to burn.
My shaky breath fans the flames. They blaze and rage and I feel they might consume me. It’s so hot and uncomfortable that I have to steady and soothe myself: “Just breathe, it’s okay, this is temporary, it’s moving…”
And it does. The heat subsides, my breath returns and I’ve survived. I'm different.
The story flows back but now I can be with it without its fevered charge. Yes, this happened. Yes, I did that. Yes, I can take responsibility, share my regret and make amends, if guided.
And yes, the presence still accepts me, no matter what. It’s true, and now I know it because I've experienced it.
After any fire fully felt, judgment recedes and cooling waters rush in. There's comfort and new clarity in their wake. Let yourself burn until the cooling waters come.
Changing your focus
Several months ago, as I begrudgingly schlepped through an unplanned late-afternoon shopping trip, grace slipped through a crack and shook me loose from the trance I was in. I happened to look up and my awareness was met by the multi-colored walls marking the different grocery sections. I had never noticed them. Their cheery hue contrasted my mood and gave me pause...
...which, gratefully, I was willing to accept. I stopped. I looked. I really looked.
Immediately, my awareness widened and I was propelled out of self-absorbed state and into my senses. I could suddenly breathe and see: I was in the market! Other people were around! I was delivered back into the world, reconnected, whole and awake.
Without the contrast of my prior mood, this opening might not have been so sweet. And though grace perhaps nudged me awake on this occasion, I learned a lot about how I can arrive there more purposefully.
The painted walls in that particular store have become a deliberate reminder to wake up and pay attention. They also remind me, week after week, that anything can be a touchstone. A beloved tree, a stranger’s eyes, the sound of a car horn, and especially the sensations in my own body can all pull me back into the soft yes of this moment, if I allow them to. At any moment you can wake up, and every awakened moment carries the possibility of a new choice: what will you focus on now? If you’re not choosing, what is?
Taking it to the Presence
Your comment brought me to my knees.
But while I was there, I bowed to the presence within.
I held nothing back. I offered myself fully.
I shared my blazing rage, my white-hot shame, my blistering grief.
I let the burn turn me inside out until each raw nerve had been exposed to the unconditioned generosity of cool, fresh air.
I was not alone. I met myself there. And because of this holy communion, a lump of pain fell away and I was freed.
When I rose, things were different. I was different. I was more than I was.
And I knew, more than before, that in the presence, through the eternal love and acceptance of the presence, my burden is lessened, my heart is lifted, and my desires are answered.
Thank you Stranger.
Making all feelings good
The loudest voice is often the hardest to hear, especially if it’s been screaming at you your whole life.
For many of us, the constant hum of “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” has become part of our normal, accepted background noise. It’s the ubiquitous guard at the gate, and we don’t even recognize our captivity.
"I shouldn’t be feeling this way” keeps anger rock hard, sorrow from softening, and shame from experiencing the love and connection it needs. It says we need to change but denies us the way. It keeps us stuck in hopelessness and powerlessness and stops us at the holy threshold of yes. By blocking the way through, it condemns us to no way out.
Are you large enough to welcome every experience? You are.
Do you have what it takes to face the guard at the gate? You do.
Are you willing, this one time, to ignore its voice?
Will you allow your bad mood, and your despair, and your fear and frustration and anger, worry, and doubt?
Will you accept your habits of manipulation, and control, and judgment, jealousy and blame - even as you choose, perhaps, not to act on them?
They all are part of you, awaiting and needing your allowing and your accepting so they can fulfill their purpose and help you move ‘morewards’ - towards more, eternally.
Will you open your heart to them, take them in, honor their need, and feed them your yes? Will you grant them their freedom?
If you do, they will grant you yours.
Intending your Yes
Maybe you've been playing here for a while. Hopefully you are seeing evidence of more ease and grace in your life as you practice new ways of responding to your experience.
And yet, possibly you want more... more awareness, more empowered habits, a deeper opening to grace, and more good 'stuff.' Maybe you want to live more often from the larger, more expanded perspective of someone who is open to life - all of it. Perhaps you want your actions to more consistently spring from the conscious knowing of presence rather than from the often-unconscious thinking of mind.
Whatever desires have been building, your larger self is right now experiencing the joyous yes of their fulfillment. On a vibrational level, desire is always met with yes. The more deeply you recognize this, the easier it is to let go, act when guided, and allow its physical manifestation to show up. The details of this manifestation won't always match your specific desire, but the vibration will.
So right now, pause and lightly touch into the depth of your more. Sense the width and breadth and weight of it. Feel into the state of being you desire. Let your stories about “how it hasn’t happened yet” or “how it could never happen for me” dissolve in the right-now presence of what you want. Feel this longing physically in your body; it's pulsing with life.
Appreciate this focused, clear attention on what you want. This is what gives mass to your desire, pulling it into your gravitational field. The lighter your touch - the more spacious and playful your expectancy - the quicker it reaches critical mass and explodes into yes. You can feel it when it does; Yes feels solid, certain and easy.
Yes aligns you with grace. When you feel yes pulsing through your being, there is an enormously magnetic awareness that whatever you're choosing ischoosing you too. “I choose this” is your 10%. “It chooses me” is grace’s 90%.
I choose is intention blazing to life. Pure, real intent is dynamic; inner and outer worlds automatically reorient around this decision when it is wholly aligned and true. If actions need to be taken, they flow more easily now - often effortlessly.
Bask in the glow of yes and allow it to take shape. Let yourself be pulled into its current and feel the larger part of you calling you forward. Imagine stepping into this new reality. Choose to open into it, letting grace expand and lift you along the way.
Feel the swell of power move through your being. This is life, unresisted and true, pulling you onto its wave, into its flow of power, reminding you of who you are and where you belong.
Intend with a soft certainty, expecting it to be easy and knowing that it’s done. Then let it go and now, simply act as inspired. Don’t push; let yourself be pulled. Remember, it chooses you too!
So here you are. You have expanded life with your focused desire and intention. Energetically, what you want already exists. You’ve sent a clear, vibrational invitation that life can’t help but accept as long as you don’t contradict it with words, actions or mixed intentions. The question now becomes, how easy will you let it be?
Being happy now
As your inner world continues to soften, lighten and expand, the outer world may not always understand or agree with you.
So many in our hardened, tough, sometimes-cruel world have forgotten their intrinsic power and worthiness. Caught up in fear and confusion, they let outer conditions determine their well-being. When their security is threatened (or perceived to be threatened), rather than going within to make things right, they make outer things wrong so they can feel right.
Your increasing freedom, ease, and unconditional well-being may feel like a threat to some people’s security, and they may try to make you wrong.
You have several choices:
You can break off your relationship with the world and avoid dealing with it.
You can push back and try to change the world by forcing it to understand the error of its ways (this isn't a great use of your energy).
Or you can choose to accept the world just as it is and simply live your own most authentic, joyful life. This is by far the most challenging, powerful and liberating choice. You cannot make it but from the solid ground of true self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance happens naturally as your presence comes alive and you move up the emotional scale. Fears and confusion soften and begin to melt when you stop avoiding and resisting them. Eventually, inner security and sanity return and you become increasingly invulnerable to the madness of this world. When you lower your defenses, the world’s warring ways no longer challenge you the way they once did. Now you are free to really make a difference.
You cannot change the world if you remove yourself from it. And you only strengthen its ways if you play by its rules - by making it wrong to prove yourself right. But if you become able to accept the world as it is, the world around you will begin to change. You become able when you becoming willing to love and accept yourself as you are - even as you are growing, changing and becoming more than you now are. Please don't let outer conditions determine your security and well-being. Be there for yourself, claim your power, and decide to be as happy as you can right now, no matter what. Show the world how to be unconditionally happy. This is an exceptionally powerful form of activism.