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Saying "NO": Serving My "Bigger Yes!"


5.14.15 | By: Callie Smith


Happy Thursday Big Rock Yoga CommUNITY! I want to give a special thanks to everyone who complimented last week’s blog post “Courageous Love.” I feel so blessed to be with a community of beautiful hearts and souls. Thanks for all the love!

As yoga teacher training approaches this weekend, I’m preparing myself by committing to both the physical and mental study needed to grow and engage in this weekend’s learning.

During the readings for this weekend’s assignments, I came across a quote in Baron Baptiste’s book Being of Power. He writes, “Sometimes our ability to say no actually serves our bigger yes.” This week, I have experienced the power of saying no in order to serve my “bigger yes.” I got a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to apply for a graduate program in Kentucky. This MFA program (Master in Fine Arts) is a highly ranked low-residency creative writing program that has a really strong faculty of poets and writers from all over the nation. My purpose for getting an MFA degree in poetry is to grow as a writer and hopefully get published. When the opportunity came up for me to possibly go to Kentucky, my mind flooded with all of my dreams. I felt that this program would make my goals and dreams as a writer possible.

My heart and mind had decided that I was going to go to this program, until I found out that the tuition was going to be much greater than I had imagined. I was willing to work hard and make the investment, but I feared that the cost would become a burden that would significantly affect my life. I had to think beyond my own wishes and dreams and think about which decision truly serves my “bigger yes.”

I am a yes for being purposeful. I believe that instead of spending a large amount of money on a degree from a “fancy” school, my energy and efforts would be better spent on my life and relationships with my family, my partner, and my friends. I don’t want to be a person who is so “starry-eyed” with dreams that I forget to see the stars in my life and the dreams that I am already living. I am so blessed and grateful for the life I have. I have love. I have health. I have family and friends. I decided not to compromise the beauty of my life by “over-reaching” and being “over-zealous” for something that could overwhelm me.

I said no to the idea of the MFA program in Kentucky in order to serve my bigger yes. Was it a hard decision? Yes. But, I believe that as long as I make decisions from a place of purpose, love, and respect for myself and the ones I love in life, I will never be deprived of having what I really want and dream of.

This is the time of year when students and families celebrate graduations. There are many high-school and college students that are celebrating their graduation from school. I would like to take a moment and honor the accomplishments of those who are graduating, as well as offer some advice. Diplomas and degrees can be helpful, if not essential, but the power of being your best self doesn’t come from college—no matter how high-ranked or prestigious it is. The power of being your best self comes from making decisions that serve your “bigger yes” in life—even if that means you have to say no.