My husband Steve and I just celebrated the 36th anniversary of our meeting. (We were married 35 years ago.)
We said yes to being together then, and we’re still saying yes now.
Reflecting on what brought us together made me think about how life is often made up of small yeses.
The call that pulled Steve and me together had nothing to do with reasonable analysis; in many ways we were a mismatch. Neither was it a matter of thunderbolts (although falling in love was wonderful and exciting). It was more like we fell into a stream where we both knew (although we didn’t know what), and then we started saying yes.
Listen. Say Yes. Then Act.
Too often, I spend time trying to figure things out. While planning, analyzing, and strategizing are useful skills, many of the “yeses” that shaped my life came from a different kind of knowing.
With Steve, it was yes to a phone call. A weekend. A life together.
I heard, trusted, and acted.
If it had felt wrong, I would have known.
Following the Muse
In my experience, the Muse (inner guide, intuition, Spirit, or whatever you call her) speaks to us in small ways: through nudges, yeses, little suggestions, and serendipities.
Occasionally, we may be hit over the head by events or circumstances that lead us to profound revelations and new choices. But for the most part, life is lived through small choices as we listen to the sound of our soul pulling us forward.
Thankfully, the more we listen, the more we can hear.
Each morning becomes an opportunity to ask, “What is calling me today and where is my “Yes?” even as I look at my calendar and ask, “What’s on the docket that I need to do?” Sometimes, the need-to-dos become less important when I’ve heard a clear “yes.”
“Seek out what magnifies your spirit.”
The brilliant Maria Popova, author of the weekly “Marginalian” newsletter, offered that advice and I’m making it mine.
It’s a simple way to face life’s decisions as I pay attention to the yeses. I ask questions and listen for a response. For example, with Steve:
- Does he magnify my spirit? Yes.
- Does he bring out the best in me? Yes (well, usually).
- Is he a worthy partner? (Yup).
- Does it seem right to take the next step with him again, and again, and again? (Always).
Not everything in life works out, and there are never guarantees that a relationship will last.
Yet following the trail of yeses is as good a way to move as I know—one small step at a time.
It’s how I wrote my book— listening to the Muse and then moving ahead.
One. Step. At a time.
Too often, I want to see how things are going to work out before acting. But with age, I’m learning that I don’t always have to know.
Instead, I say yes and take the next.
Maybe, in that stream of yeses, the answer I am seeking is already waiting for me.