May 14, 2015

How to Tell the Difference between Saying “Yes” and Meaning “Yes”.


So often within our community of mindfulness I see people repeating phrases along the lines of “just say yes!”

But saying yes doesn’t always bring us our desired outcome. In fact, if we do say yes to all that comes our way, we would be in for a terribly overwhelming ride. There is something powerful in yes, but you won’t find power in simply saying it. The true power of yes comes from meaning it.

I believe there are two main distinctions between saying yes and meaning yes. The first difference is the use of boundaries. There are a number of different emotions that push us to say yes without meaning it. Guilt, shame and fear are major players in this category. If opportunities are flowing in, you may feel like you have to say yes for fear of putting a halt in what feels like forward motion. Or perhaps you don’t want to disappoint a friend or family member, so you say yes out of guilt.

In any of these cases one major thing is missing: your boundaries.

Now, I know boundaries is another term that gets thrown around our community like it’s no big deal. Truth is, they are a big deal. They take a long time to build in a healthy way, and truly only come once we start doing our deep, personal shadow work. The work that leaves us feeling cracked open, vulnerable and naked is ultimately the foundation of crafting healthy boundaries. This work takes so much time because it is rooted in our self worth.

Which brings me to the second distinction between saying yes and meaning it: your personal power.

Power is a word that has been mutilated by our culture. It was only in recent years, as I began my work as a holistic therapist focused on women’s empowerment, that I myself began to redefine & understand the word power.

My shift with this word came during a night of tossing and turning. As a trauma warrior living with PTSD, nighttime for most of my life has been horrific to say the least. On this particular evening I was having a wicked bout of nightmarish imagery flashing through my mind. I felt unsafe in the darkness that surrounded me, too vulnerable to bare. And then my heart called to me. My womb called to me. Together they showed me the path of true power. They showed me Yin (feminine) power. This was power like I had never seen or felt before. It was soft, nurturing and dark like a peaceful night. It flowed with ease, with connection, with love. It was like a divine mother acting as the glue that held my soul together.

As my heart and my womb lead me to the home of my self worth, I began to understand that the images flashing in my mind’s eye were not any form of evil. No, they were from me. The more I allowed space for this darkness to regularly live within, the more power I lost. Each thought I allowed to occupy my mind was leeching energy from my center of power and will. This night brought to me the gift of witnessing. Once awareness of the pattern was present, the work to shift and change began.

It has been many years since that night, and I’m happy to say that change has come in major waves since. The journey to power is never ending and uniquely our own. It is a sacred offering that can help us grow to unimaginable places, or hold us in a place of deep sadness.

If you are in a place right now of saying yes, I encourage you to try a free write everyday this week. Wake up 20 minutes early and let the pen flow. Allow your mind to release all it’s holding through your hand like a fluid dance. Try to keep your censor/ego quiet and push grammar, spelling, and punctuation to the side. Listen to your heart song.

What are you gripping inside that is stealing your power? Use that as fuel on the journey to discovering how to feel your way through the power of yes.


Author: Vyana Marie 

Editor: Caroline Beaton 

Photo:​ Photographer: Jacob Gonan; Model: Vyana Marie

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