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Positing and provoking YESness

Updated: Jan 2

The Whole Person Blog: Week One, Day Two - Positing and provoking YESness

Writings inspired by Seth Godin: What to Do When It's Your Turn (and It's Always Your Turn)

Monday, December 30th, 2019


As a child, I can recall not being a morning person. In fact, my family would, at all costs, ignore me for the first 30 minutes of the day. Once I had my cereal, I was fine :-) Assuming this was learned behavior, I certainly adopted it from my mother, as my father would be out of the house by 5 a.m. And even though I've grown to love early mornings, my son seems to have adopted my old ways. Getting him up and going in the morning used to be a real chore. Used to be until I introduced him to this week's featured book: What to Do When It's Your Turn--we read a few pages each night until we finished.


In it, Seth features a beautiful quote from the late, American composer, Leonard Bernstein: "I'm no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes."

I helped my 12-year-old son understand that he is a foundational YES, meaning he is inherently and intrinsically good, worthwhile, significant, important, and wonderful. Furthermore, his YESness is the byproduct of his very being, and he can't do anything to earn it, that it's merely a gift he can choose to receive or reject. I asked him if he accepts that he is a YES, to which he replied YES!


I told him when we resist the day by taking so long to get out of bed, we're in effect, saying NO to the day. I went on to tell him this type of behavior doesn't suggest that he realizes he's a YES. So I asked: How do you think your YESness would like to express itself in the morning? He said I would get up right away, make my bed, get dressed, brush my teeth, put my contacts in, do my hair, and have breakfast without looking at my phone. By positing that YESness is within him, that foundationally solved the challenges we were facing in the morning. Since he is very performance-driven and numbers-oriented, I created this document to guide his mornings: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K6YqzWMrAXXB89TyugYt1k4sJ98oHazfpZIxNBhWPnw/edit?usp=sharing

Each morning he shows up for himself; we celebrate! When he doesn't, we reflect and ask questions that help us understand his behaviors better. I never criticize as that would hypocritically communicate NOness! At the bottom of the document, I tee up an activity to provoke his limitless mind.


It ends up once we recognize there's a YES within us, we begin expressing it in meaningful ways too. Join me this evening for the last YES meditation of 2019, and invite someone you care about to join you. Register here: https://www.conditionforlife.com/upcoming-events

"I imagine that YES is the only living thing." e.e. cummings

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