All too often we hear the phrase “it’s just so tough learning to say no”. Granted, it is one of the hardest lessons to learn, but what we often overlook is the other, and in my mind, equally difficult lesson, which is learning to say yes. Not a tentative maybe, or not now, or possibly, but a positive, resounding, unequivocal, confident, yes!
How many times in our lives do we really want to try a new experience, but something in us makes us hold back? Often it might be fear of failure, or, and this can be true also – it might actually be fear of succeeding. We can all stay in the same place, in the same town, with the same friends or in the same job. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong in any of that, but it is a dreadful shame if you choose not to move or change your employment or the people in your life, because you are afraid of success! Afraid of change. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But look around you and see how many people you know who prefer to live a ‘safe’ life doing what they have always done, going where they have always been, eating what they have always eaten. Then, they say that their life is dull or that they feel they missed opportunities. There are lots of them about.
I was on a wonderful week-long spiritual course run by Accolade Academy of psychic and mediumstic studies, in Margam, Wales. Two of our course tutors, Debbie and Paul Rees, welcomed us all to the week with an uplifting and inspiring talk. The students were split into two groups and I was with Debbie. She asked us what we all hoped to achieve in the week and most of the responses were fairly standard for this type of course: to strengthen our links with spirit, to learn to distinguish between our thoughts and those of spirit, and the answer that came up again and again, to feel confident in our demonstration of spiritual communication. She told us that the week was ours, it was only us who could push ourselves to the limit, it was only us who could choose how much to move ourselves forward. It was only through practise, practise and more practise that we would feel confident. She rightly said that she couldn’t do the work for us, she could only facilitate our choices. She said it would be so sad if we went home wishing we had tried harder, wishing we had taken risks. She said it was the perfect environment to test your skills, without fear of failure.
When she had finished talking she asked who of us, right there and then, would like to stand up and actually give a demonstration of our mediumship. I put my hand up. I was so surprised, because when I looked around I was the only one! Hadn’t anyone else taken on board what she said? Someone always has to go first, but why was it me? Was everyone else afraid of saying yes?
When you work with spirit you have to be able to say yes to them. It would be all too easy to ignore them and just carry on with your earthly life. But, the moment you say yes, they are very definitely there with you. They know that you have acknowledged them and that you are willing to work with them. The very first time you tell someone that you have a spirit with you who wants to communicate, you have said yes, you will assist them.
The first time you do anything in your life you have in effect said yes. Even at the very beginning of your life you are actually saying, yes, you will try eating solid foods. Imagine if you had said no, you would still only be drinking milk! When we are young and learning all about the world we say yes without even thinking about it. We say yes when new people come into our lives in the playground and want to be our friend. Yes, I will learn to skip, yes, I will learn to paint, yes, I will try peanut butter in my sandwich. It’s all so easy when you are young. Then as a teenager you say yes, you will listen to a new band, yes, you will try five-inch heels (if you’re a girl), yes, you will try a new hairstyle. You get the gist of what I’m trying to say here. But, there seems to come a time, when you have run out of yeses, maybe when you have become comfortable and settled and suddenly the yeses have become no’s.
I do wonder if children are more aware of spirit because of their open minds, because of their ease in saying yes to a new experience. As we become older our awareness tends to shut down, but then so too does our ability to say yes. We seem to lose the zest for trying new things and I wonder why. I did read a few years ago that people say that as they get older time appears to speed up and when they look back at when they were a child the days always seemed longer, time seemed slower. There is a thought that the reason for this is that everything takes on more importance when it feels new or when you are learning. If you look back over even the past month of your life can you say it went slowly or quickly? If you just carried on with your normal daily routines the chances are the month whizzed by, but had you started a new project or learnt a new skill, or went somewhere new, you might find that looking back, each day actually mattered, even the hours that you were involved with a new experience would seem far longer in your memory.
When I moved to Hampshire just over seven years ago, I didn’t know a soul apart from my sister and her husband. Not being well made it difficult for me to get out and about and meet new people. After several weeks of sitting watching tv with my sister and her family in the evenings, a friend suggested that I try internet dating. My first instinct was to say no, but after much thought I decided why not and joined a reputable site. After several dates with the wrong men and two definitely wrong marriage proposals later, I was at the point of cancelling my membership. However, one auspicious evening I decided to be quite forward and take at look at the men on the site instead of waiting for them to contact me. One profile stood out from all the rest. It wasn’t the usual ‘I love red wine and romantic moonlit walks by the beach’ type that I had read at least a hundred times. This one had no photo and the profile was cheeky and funny and it was obvious the man didn’t take himself too seriously. I decided to send him a wink! The next day he emailed me and introduced himself as Simon. What was amazing was that I had no idea where he lived when I had sent him the wink, but he lived only a five-minute drive away! We got on really well and talked online for a while before I gave him my phone number. After chatting on the phone he asked me out and I said yes. When I met him he was absolutely great. Simon and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary in March and he is still great!
Not all decisions have to be so life changing or mind-blowing. When I met Simon he offered me a chilli crisp. Now I had never eaten a chilli in my life and must admit my first thought was a resounding no. I had tried a prawn curry years ago and absolutely hated it and thought all ‘hot’ food would taste the same, but then I thought, why not, I only have to try one. Much to my surprise I loved it. Since we have been together I have learnt several new recipes that include chillies and can’t imagine not having them now. In fact my beef chilli has become a firm family favourite and has been requested, again, for the family get together on boxing day!
When someone asks you to try something, anything, that is new or different, why not just say, without a moment’s hesitation, yes. How many wonderful experiences pass us by because we hesitate, and then, in an instant, the moment is gone, sometimes never to be repeated? Yes?