Please Be Careful With Yes

“You can’t have yes without no…if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.” – Shauna Niequist

Are you careful with your yeses?

I used to give out my yeses with ease, but the problem is it can really burn you out. As I’ve tried to cut back on stress and live a more intentional life, I’ve had to become more intentional with my yes.

It’s so easy to say yes to please someone, to avoid an awkward conversation or to believe we have time for all of the things.

News flash: We do not have time for all of the things.

When you say yes to everything, you’re saying no to other things. If you agree to volunteer at one event this weekend, it might mean missing date night with your partner. If you agree to babysit your sister’s kids, you might not have time to get your homework done or write your book or get your home renovation project complete on time. If you clean your son’s room before your party, will you have time to cook everything on your list?

Supply your own examples and it will quickly become obvious how true this is. We’ve got 24 hours a day, and most people need 8 of those to be asleep. Even if you can walk through life as a zombie, you’ve still got the same 24 hours as everyone else. So let’s get more intentional about how we use that time.

Say no and see what the universe allows you to say yes to. (Hint: sometimes it’s conscious – if I say no to x, I’m saying yes to y. Other times, you’ll find you say no without knowing what’s next, just because it feels right. And sometimes life delivers a big and beautiful surprise, soon or not so soon, when we do that.)

Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect is brilliant, and when I first read it, I felt like I could have written it – it resonated so much. I’m now on read number two (after many months away from it) and it’s just as brilliant. If this resonates with you, or if you just want a book that encourages you to slow down and savor things a bit more you’ll definitely want to read this.

Practice saying no this week. What can you say no to?

Please comment here with a story of saying no, whether it’s a plan for the future or an anecdote of how it served you in the past. I’d love to hear how this is inspiring you or making you think!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Top Tips For Facing Your Fear

What a wild time to be alive, friends! I hope you’re prioritizing your own health and well-being. There’s so much stress and vitriol in the world, and if we let it consume us, it really will.

I read this quote this week and it really resonated with me. It can be really helpful to stop and articulate, with words (out loud or in writing, or even with imagery) how we’re feeling and what we’re fearing. Putting a name to it can make it easier to face. 

Here are some of the things I’m fearing right now: 

  • I won’t build my business to the level I dream about
  • I won’t be able to visit family and friends for a long time
  • I won’t be able to attend my friend’s wedding
  • I won’t be able to safely share my views & background and be my authentic self under our next administration
  • I’m not doing enough to help the causes I care about
  • My BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ friends and those with disabilities (basically anyone that isn’t a white male, TBH) won’t be safe in the near future

Putting it down makes it clear that that’s a lot to navigate! No wonder I feel stressed sometimes, despite my healthy habits. 

Here are some of the things I’m pursuing to clear my fears: 

  • Daily work on my business & accountability checks with my mastermind & mentors
  • Weekly calls and video calls with friends and family, plus emails and text check-ins
  • Daily and weekly work to encourage voting, educate those around me and assist anyone with questions
  • Supporting the causes I care about, financially and with my time and energy

It’s so, so important to not only articulate what’s on our minds, but, when we’re in the right headspace, make a plan with concrete steps to feel better. If we’re feeling scared of the unknown, what’s one thing that’s within our control that we can make progress on? If we’re frightened that x might happen, what’s one step we can take that will listen the blow if it comes true? 

For instance, if we’re afraid that a wildfire could burn our house down, we should pack an emergency bag & create a plan. 

If we’re afraid of the outcome of an election, we should vote and encourage our friends to do the same, and lend our support to the causes and people we care about if we’re able to do so. 

We can’t eliminate the possibility of the things we fear, in many cases, but we can eliminate the fear by tackling it head on with the pursuit of new things, as Susie Moore says. Taking concrete steps feels good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Can you relate to any of these? What is one thing you can do today to face your fear?

Twenty Years of Yoga: It’s Time To Celebrate!

Today I’m celebrating a huge milestone – I’ve been a yogini (a female practitioner of yoga) for twenty years!!!

I realize this post is going to age me a bit, but I am so stinkin’ proud that twenty years later, I have a consistent yoga practice and continue to feel the effects that yoga has brought to my life.

I first tried yoga at age sixteen. I went to a private day school in middle and high school (founded by hippies, very pricey, super privileged for sure) and we were required to play sports to fulfill the state’s gym requirement. In the fall of my junior year, the nurse offered yoga as a sports elective, and I was thrilled to do that instead of field hockey (which I loved, but which took up far too much of my otherwise available for theater and music time).

I quickly learned that I already had a great deal of flexibility, which would suit me well, and I also found it tough but enjoyable to sit in silence and close my eyes, particularly around my classmates and friends.

When the nurse decided not to offer it the following year, I was pretty devastated. But I was able to design my own sport by taking yoga and aerobics classes at my local gym instead. I was exposed to several different teachers, realizing that there are lots of styles and approaches to yoga, and some of it is much more strenuous than others.

So began my yoga journey! I’d stretch a bit and try poses on my own, but my class consumption varied widely during college. After college, I picked up a yoga video and then found myself gravitating toward other forms of exercise that incorporated some yoga into the mix. (Yes, Yoga Booty Ballet, I’m looking at you!!! My one and only informercial purchase!)

Over the years, I took advantage of free or affordable yoga whenever possible. A class at a retreat I was working. A series of classes at the same church I accompanied services for. And during my one and only corporate-like stint working at a co-op, I took advantage of the once per week, $5 yoga classes.

When we hit the road in late 2016 in our RV, I was armed with my favorite workout series to date (ChaLean Extreme will date me again) which included some yoga in the mix. I also began experimenting with yoga videos on Amazon Prime and Netflix – I’d download them to my phone when we had good wifi.

In 2018, my husband Ross (with my booking assistance) began improvising music live for yoga classes. This was an incredible gift, because in addition to making money from each of the attendees (shared with the instructor and studio), I got to attend the classes for free! That meant that for a long stretch, I got to take about one yoga class per month, each with a new instructor. The project even inspired Ross to record an ambient music album perfect for relaxation, meditation and yoga. (Link here)

With COVID-19, we have had to put our in-person yoga efforts aside, but the incredible gift of the pandemic for me (if I can say that) has been developing a more consistent yoga practice. My instructor, Tracy, was one of my favorite instructors from almost ten years back at that church job. Nowadays she teaches lessons remotely, so her Vermont location is no problem for me, and her suggested fees are extremely reasonable (and there’s no charge if it’s a hardship for you). (Link to her)

Being in a tiny RV, I can’t do yoga unless my husband is awake and about, but I’ve nevertheless gotten into a routine of yoga and meditation three nights per week, and it has been essential to my stress management, particularly over the last several months as tensions have heightened, from racial justice issues to politics and more. I’ve also tried a few other instructors when my schedule allows, and I’ve experimented a bit with free meditations too.

Previous to the pandemic, I struggled to make yoga a consistent part of my routine. I had no problem doing some stretches before bed, and I always loved the time I gave it, but since it doesn’t feel like “exercise” in the same way that some other forms of movement do, I always made it an extra, if I have time sort of thing.

What I’ve realized this year is that I am much more prepared to face the world when yoga is a mandatory part of my routine. And I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to set that time aside, and that Tracy has made it so affordable. (I even do yoga on those days when she takes time off! It’s now that much of a habit.)

So today I celebrate twenty years of yoga, but not just that – I celebrate twenty years of continuing to fine-tune my practice and develop consistency in my health habits. Habits are a cornerstone of my life and work, and I’m so thankful to have realized how essential yoga is to that for me.

Have you tried yoga? How did/do you like it?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.