Saying Yes Makes My No Better [Happiness Project]

posted in: Wholehearted Living | 4

The third commandment of my Happiness Project is “Be Present – Say Yes.” I referred to this idea in a previous blog post. However, let me reiterate what “saying yes” means to me.


Saying No

You see, I tend to say no…a. lot. Usually, I direct my no’s at my husband.

This man is incredible – and spontaneous. He is entirely for “stealing time” whenever and however we can. For example, if an unexpected errand comes up – such as picking up spare parts for a vehicle (romantic huh?) – he will often exclaim: “Wanna come with?  We can grab a bite to eat first.”

We live twenty-two miles from the outmost edge of town. A trip into town means a minimum of one hour in the car. Alone. Time to catch up, talk, and just enjoy being together.

In the not too far distant past, I would most often say no.


Why Say No?

Well, I said no because:

  • I am not ready.
  • I just ate.
  • I have laundry to fold.
  • Picking spare parts doesn’t sound all that exciting.
  • Yada, yada, yada.

The truth is more akin to this: I became complacent and apparently, dull.

The problems with the – terrible – philosophy of saying no are many. The obstacle which stands out most to me is this: we do not get a redo in life.

Time – like sand in an hourglass – goes away. Except, unlike an hourglass, we don’t get to flip life over for more time. Once passed, time is gone for good.



In my defense, I used to be spontaneous and quite fun; then I became a mom. That’s no excuse I get it. However, that’s my story. In the course of taking care of little people, I neglected to take care of myself. I forgot how to break loose and seize the moment. I became too analytical and apparently, humdrum.

The thing is “mundane” did not make me happy, nor did it feed my soul. While embarking on my Happiness Project, I resolved I no longer wanted to make excuses and say no to everything.

Instead, I determined it was high time I lived!

Therefore, my commandment became to say yes!


The Power of Yes

How has saying yes worked out for me so far?

It has been wonderful!

Saying yes makes me feel alive. I am having fun, living fully in the present.

I smile more.

I laugh more.

I make beautiful memories.

I have rediscovered my “joie de vivre” (fancy French vocabulary meaning enjoyment of life).

Saying yes is intoxicating and powerful and amazing. In a strange and unexpected paradox, yes has also made saying no more powerful.

I know, this last statement will need additional explaining.


Saying Yes


Saying Yes When I Want to Say No

In addition to saying no to my husband, I also said yes when I wanted to say no. Most often, this was done out of obligation or guilt (two crummy reasons).

I didn’t like this aspect of myself. Nevertheless, I was often too cowardly to say no when no was exactly what I  wanted to say. Later, I would kick myself for doing so and on occasion, even grumble about it.

The funny thing is now  I am committed to saying yes, I don’t always do so. There are certain times when no needs to be said.

The difference between “then and now” is, I genuinely ponder my answer before responding. I take the time to listen to myself. Allow me to expound.

Various Answers

If someone asks a question, whatever the inquiry may be, I have multiple choices.

  • I say yes because I genuinely want to say yes.
  • I say yes when I would rather say no. Nevertheless, my yes – at present – comes from a conscious place. In this case, my yes is a compromise and I accept it entirely rather than feel annoyed or resentful.
  • I say no even though I would love to say yes because I must. Usually, this is due to other responsibilities which take precedent.
  • I say no because I want to say no. I have asked myself to be entirely authentic and I am not willing to compromise at this point. I accept my no and the fact someone may be upset with my choice. I acknowledge we are all fully entitled to our feelings AND I am not responsible for everyone else’s.

In short, saying yes has made both my yeses and my no’s more meaningful.


Finding My Voice

Living and abiding by my commandment has made me more conscious of myself as well others. Being wholehearted – as well as present-  has helped me to fulfill my first commandment of “be Florence.”

I am finding my voice.

I am learning to live the authentic life I have so desired.

There is beauty in both yes and no when either answer is birthed from awareness rather than fear, guilt (or worse shame), auto-pilot, the mundane, or lack of attention.

I never expected to learn this empowering lesson from a three letter word, and yet, I did.

So far this Happiness Journey has been such a marvelous blessing.

I am looking forward to more unexpected lessons.



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