Know… No… and the Sacred Maybe
“NO!” I screamed inwardly, all my inner doors slamming shut with a resounding crash. Outwardly, not much had changed. I still sat attentively, with a smile on my face, body pointed toward the speaker, making the simple physical gestures of “I’m listening”. A person well versed in body-speak would likely have noticed a glazing over of my eyes, perhaps a slight twitch of a finger, maybe some rigidity in my shoulders…
“I know! That’s right!” I say with emphatic nods, leaning forward in anticipation of the moment when I can say what I have to say about the shared topic. The speaker feels affirmed, perhaps, but my body is not in a soft, receptive state. It is in an assertive, strong state. Agreement, yes, but how much listening is happening? And do I really know everything the speaker wishes to share? Unlikely…
“Watch your NOs” They told me. Not the one on my face between my eyes. The one between my ears. Additionally They told me to watch my KA-NOs (knows). “Piece of cake” I thought to myself. After all, am I not an open-minded, forward thinking, sometimes plain old weird person? Why would They even be advising this?
So I watched. And I cringed. I experienced my inner doors slamming shut on an alarmingly regular basis. I listened to myself say “yeah I know” in an habitual manner. These NOs and Ka-Nos came into focus and looked disturbingly like the tall, thick walls of a prison cell. A self-imposed cage. Yikes. “OK” I confessed. “You’ve got me. What now?” They told me to stop, of course…
“But I cannot simply go around saying YES to every little thing!” I ranted. Imagine it! Every request, every new idea, every activity, every…everything… yes??? What of good boundaries! What of taking care of me! What about “EN OH PERIOD” being a complete sentence! I recoiled. Bristled. Crossed my arms over my chest. Basically… I said no. Again.
Eventually I quieted; released my resistance; softened my body; relaxed my mind. My Guidance has been a most wonderful gift. I have learned to deeply trust this Inner Voice. Within this softer stance I realized that I was forgetting about an entire spectrum of gray space in between NO and YES. The Sacred Maybe.
I have begun to say maybe. I have only had a few months of this practice. Saying “maybe” keeps me soft and open. Flexible. Less brittle. Stronger. Saying maybe opens me to possibilities I had never even made room for. Maybe is also in no particular hurry- it is a patient place, slow and mellow. I can say “maybe” and set it aside to ripen. Often “maybe” ripens into “no”. But it is a soft no, an intentional no, a mindful no. A no full of compassion.
The best and most juicy part of my “maybe” practice is when it has become “yes”. A yes that was previously not a possibility. The birth of a new place. An entirely new landscape. The shape-shift of an habitual NO into a soft MAYBE which germinates into a fragile YES has been provocative. Already, this mindfulness practice of the Sacred Maybe has caused the ground to shift under my feet. Exciting.
I declare 2014 the year of the Sacred Maybe. I offer you a seat on the bus, a place in the pod. Be sure you are ready for the Journey, don’t take it lightly. When you are ready, grab your things and let’s go.
– NOTICE of every time you say NO or I KNOW. Pay attention to both the inner and outer instances. Of course, “no” and “I know” may be the exact right response at times. But when it is an habitual or learned response, just notice it.
-DECIDE to stand in the Sacred Maybe. This can be alarming or disconcerting at first. You are not saying yes, you are simply not saying no. The Sacred Maybe. Set this new maybe aside for as long as you need. Let it germinate into a mindful no or a possible yes.
-ALLOW the yeses that have been birthed to guide you into new places, experiences and paradigm shifts. And please share your experiences. We all benefit from the gift of your sharing. Enjoy!
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
We have refused
Again and again
Until now. ~David Whyte