I Say Yes

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” ―Eckhart Tolle

i say yes

Mr. Tolle has a point. And before I tell you the following story, please humor my husband by rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself, I’ve told you that a million times! Got it? Okay, here I go:


Dorothy and her dog Lark. (Click this photo to visit Dorothy’s website!)

Today my friend Dorothy came over and gave me a Reiki treatment out of the goodness of her heart. Dorothy is a friend who is compassionate by nature, immensely thoughtful, and incredibly resourceful. She is honest, curious, and intuitive.  She is a friend who (thankfully) does not engage in small talk. When Dorothy and I talk, we mean business — as in what-is-the-meaning-of-life business. We don’t talk about the proverbial weather. We talk about our inner weather — the barometric pressure, sunshine, hailstorms, and flash floods we feel inside. We “wonder if” a lot and we ask more questions than we answer. She is a treasure to me and one of the Wise Women of this world.

As Dorothy was giving me Reiki today (with my cat Selkie nestled between my legs), I received several bits of insight regarding my sabbatical. In a nutshell, here is what I gleaned:

1) I don’t need to “figure this out.” I am already doing what I need to do right now in this moment and this summer. What if I don’t make a huge change? What if I follow my desires and see where they take me?

2) What if I followed JOY instead of sorrow and struggle? What if I sought out activities that made me feel LIGHT? What if I went out dancing or joined a drum circle or ran through the sprinkler with a feather boa?


Selkie’s participation in today’s session.

3) What if I said YES to my calling to be influential to more people? What if I didn’t shy away from it? What if I acknowledge that I already impact people (and celebrate that) and set the intention of expanding my voice and influence? What if I let go of the fear in that?

4) What if I thoroughly embraced my healing gifts (and threw away the idea that doing so is egotistical) and ENJOY being a force for transformation in this world? What if giving wasn’t a burden? What if I decided right now that it wasn’t a weight on my shoulders and that I have all the resources I need to refill my reserves and be well, healthy, delighted?

5) What if I said YES to being just as I am now? What if I said YES to life, even with its bruises and sores? What if I said YES to feeling moments of joy even so — even though life has illness and trauma and tragedy and death in it? What if saying YES to life in the face of these things is the only true path to acceptance? What if I allowed myself to even taste this idea?

Now it’s YOUR turn:

What can you say YES to right now? What is already working? What is already good? What can you acknowledge about yourself that is pretty spankin’ awesome? Build on the answers to these questions. Build on your yeses. Saying YES is like taking one step on a staircase. Once you’re there, what can you accept, let go of, embrace, or acknowledge that will take you to the next step?


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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3 Responses to I Say Yes

  1. Binky says:

    Yay Courtney!! I do believe you have found the meaning of life. It is to live.

  2. monk-monk says:

    Love this! Today I am saying YES to being a present parent, and saying NO to the lie that I must have a good night sleep in order to be a good parent.

  3. jillsalahub says:

    This isn’t necessarily a direct answer to your question, but I have been watching a series of talks Pema Chodron gave, a weekend called “The Marks of Existence,” and in her talk about suffering, she suggested to someone dealing specifically with physical suffering, that a way to reframe her approach was to think “if my being sick is of benefit (to my own path and to others), let me remain sick, and if my being well is of benefit, may I be well.” This is helping to rethink a health thing I am working with, and seems to apply to just about everything else, could be said this way “if being where I am right now is of benefit, may I be here.” Or, simply “yes.” xo

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