Four Ways to Say Yes {or why to say no}

Ever since I left my practice manager position last year, the job offers have continued to flow in. Headhunters leave voicemails on my phone. I receive emails almost daily. Interview invites. And I don’t share this out of pride, because most of the offers interest me not at all. I mean, even the US military thinks I would be an excellent candidate, so no one must be digging too deeply into my background, because I’m not military material. Clearly. A few simple questions and the bevy of sales companies would realize that I neither want to own an insurance agency nor do I want to “try my hand” at a new sales position that offers little promise of actual income, but does require hours of training and even longer hours away from my babies. And the US military? Folks, I. DO. NOT. EVEN. CAMP. (Unless a Bed & Breakfast is involved, of course.).

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I DO share this though because every so often in the last year a job idea comes my way that tempts me. And right now, I’m evaluating the feasibility of several new opportunities that combine my passions with the community that I love. I’m pondering. Questioning. Reflecting. Bouncing ideas off the people who know me best.

Today, I realized that an important shift has happened in my heart that shows growth from the 20-something woman who would have said “yes” to everything. As I ponder a new opportunity now, I simultaneously consider what I would have to give up and let go of in order to add something new to my plate. Anyone else tracking with me? Perhaps realizing we can’t do it all, we must decide what exactly we want to do?

Several years ago I read the book “The Best Yes” by Lisa TerKeurst, and her thought-provoking words began to inform the process by which I make plans.

“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul,” she wrote. “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.”

At that point in my life, my soul shouted a loud “Amen” to her words and began to make changes. So as I consider a slightly new direction today, here are some of the mindful practices that help shape my decision.

First, I don’t make the decision alone. I pray, seeking the soul-peace that often confirms a clear path for me. And, I gather my people and process it with them. My husband is grateful for my besties, as I’m a verbal processor and need to talk circles around a situation before I arrive at some clarity.

Second, I go for a run. Practice yoga. Meander outside on a long walk. Give my emotional self the release of physical activity. I’ve been amazed at how many times I simply KNOW the best answer to a decision after giving my whole self the opportunity to chill.

Find that courageous yes. Fight for that confident no. (TerKeurst)

Sometimes that courageous yes needs an old-fashioned pros vs. cons list, so there’s my third activity. Occasionally, this is written down on actual paper. Often, it is in my head or a combination of sticky notes. Rarely, it is as complicated as a full-on diagram. Usually, it is some sort of mental organization of the whens, wheres, whys, hows, and whats. When would this change occur and what else is going on during that season of life? Where would I need to be and where would my children be during that time? Why do I want to do this? Why is it worth the required sacrifices? How would our family change with this proposed decision? Do I like what that would all entail? These are just some of the thoughtful ways I evaluate a decision. And believe me, as my besties would attest to, I can talk circles around each and every one of these questions. No joke.

Fourth, I try as much as possible to NOT make a decision instantly. This may be my hardest part of the process. I don’t naturally belabor the details when my gut tells me that adventure is up ahead. I would definitely prefer to leap in and backpedal later if the situation calls for it. But, I’m too old for that. Some of you may laugh, but in all seriousness, too many people depend upon me now. I can’t just throw them all for these rollercoaster, upside-down-loops and not expect some nauseous repercussions if I don’t slow down my urge to rush headlong into the next best thing. I’m sure life brings ebbs and flows of responsibility, but I have two Little Ones right now. We are talking about an even bigger family (Lord, help me), and I can’t just wander the globe or even the city of Denver without calculating the cost of babysitting and mileage. We will chalk this all up to #adulting.

So there you have it.

“Like a tree,” TerKeust wrote, “a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously. In the violent struggle of trying, she’ll miss every bit of joy each season promises to bring.”

If leaving corporate America taught me anything, then it was that I don’t want to miss the joy of each season. I don’t want to miss puddle-jumping and snack-making. I don’t want to miss nights with David and drinks with friends. I don’t want to lose myself in all of the accomplishments when I really just want to be seen and known and loved for who I am becoming. Does this speak to you too? I’m not sure how any of us could live in today’s world and not at least wrestle with these longings at some point.

So, no, I’m not leaving my wellness educator role with Young Living. That team brings me so much joy. I’m also not walking away from my dream of spending most of my days at home with my children during these little years. But I am wondering how some of the upcoming puzzle pieces fit together. I’m on the brink of making plans and would love to know how you process crossroads or decide whether or not to take on a new direction?

Bonus, I’ve included two summer favorite images of my adorable kids because (just in case this post didn’t make you smile), then I’m rather confident that they will 😉 Happy Tuesday, Friends!

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