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Photo credit: monkeyc.net / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Before I leave, I want to tell you to say yes to that thing deep down in your heart that you have been ignoring. I want to tell you to acknowledge it. To pull it up, gently. To dust it off. To place it in your hand and to blow on its wings. You need to say yes to this thing in your hand because it is you, your essence. It has been waiting for this moment. It has been waiting to see the sun reflect in your eyes. In this moment, say yes.

In the next moment say no to everything else. The children’s request for snacks, they don’t really need any because it is nearly dinnertime. Say no to the student who tries to worm his way into your office. Say no to the bill that is due on Tuesday. Say no to being on another committee. Say no to what waits at the edge of the forest. Just say no–Mrs. Reagan was onto something with her “Just Say No” campaign.

I say no to myself more than I say no to any other living thing in my life. I will lead by example. I say yes to a walk, to a run, to a hike. But first, I stop, I listen, I feel the wings flutter in my chest and then I say yes. I say yes to who I want to be. I say yes to the woman I imagined being when I was a little girl. She needs a yes before she can begin. She can’t clean house until you step out of the doorway. Sit on the porch swing of your heart. Feel the gravity in your toes. Let your feet slide back and forth and listen to the rhythm of your heart.

Photo credit: monkeyc.net / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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