The Dance of Yes and No

I've been thinking about The Dance of Yes and No, a particularly good chapter from Baron Baptiste's book Perfectly Imperfect. 

Yes carries the energy of possibility; no carries the energy of resistance. Yes expresses your willingness to claim your power and use it to discover the real meaning of commitment. Yes invites you to expand and to come into your full creative expression. It opens you up and affirms your willingness to be teachable when you don’t have the know-how to get where you want to go. Yes affirms the existence of a destination in the practice beyond mere physical gain.
No shows up with very different energy. It is closed, rigid, and often stubborn. It takes the form of excuses, complaints, procrastination, resistance, frustration, and so on. No impedes, or flat-out stops you in your tracks.

You are always in a dance of yes and no. Being a yes for anything automatically makes you a no for something else. In fact, if we cannot point to what we are saying no to, then our yes means nothing.

'The Dance of Yes and No' from Perfectly Imperfect by Baron Baptiste

© Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy of Norman Parkinson Archive

© Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy of Norman Parkinson Archive

When we say yes to something we are saying no to something else. It's the same idea of saying yes to being vegetarian means saying no to eating meat. It can be that simple. Although I've found it becomes much more difficult when the task is more complicated. If I say yes to eating an anti-inflammatory diet then it means saying no to eating processed foods and sugar, which also leads to saying no to some social constructs, such as birthday cake or food prepared for family dinners, which are harder social norms to disrupt. Or the idea of saying yes to writing this blog, which means saying no to other distractions and making the time to write.

When it comes to The Dance of Yes and No, I sometimes find it helpful to discuss larger goals and then backtrack to what commitments I need to say yes to now, in order to get there in the future. The greatest power we can give ourselves is the power to say no, which allows us to say yes to the things that matter most.