Yes. Hell, Yes.

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Yes. Yes.  A Thousand Times Yes.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e. e. cummings

It’s taken me most of my life to learn to say no to what doesn’t suit me, to anything and everything that doesn’t add light to my days or make my soul open wide.

As a woman, I was taught to take care of the needs of others, to say yes to things that felt like no, to distrust my intuitive sense of the right direction, and instead fill my plate with responsibilities, not passions.  In other words, I was given an out-dated map to guide me through life.

It didn’t work out so well for me.

I am done doing that.

I have cleared my plate and cleared my throat; I feel a stinging sense of rightness, of joy, rising up from the root of my life.

There’s no time left to do anything that doesn’t make my whole life say yes.

Why would anyone encourage me to do otherwise?

Say Yes.

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.Joseph Campbell

So, I am reassessing and re-calibrating and re-thinking everything.

What do I most want to experience this lifetime? Where do I want to go? What can I think of that fills me with wonder and anticipation and joy?

What do I look back and see, when I look back as a wizened old bag?

I see myself —

Basking in love and feathering a homey nest. Enjoying my spiritual partner, my family, my friends, my animals. Teaching writing to a long string of luminous, creative souls. Eating beautiful savory and sweet meals. Seeing my books (lots and lots and lots of them) in the windows of major bookstores; holding the first copy of each one in my hands, as the proud parent of a bouncing baby memoir, poetry collection, essay collection, novel. Lying still under the stars, tracing the lines of the Big Dipper. Seeing Provence and London (again) and Paris (to live) and the Great Wall of China. Walking through fields of sunflowers. Savoring the cherry trees in bloom in Tokyo. Sitting with the man I love, sipping sangria over plates of tapas, Greek olives and soft cheese in Barcelona. Enjoying wine tasting in Napa. Visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Refuge in Africa to see my baby elephants. Studying depth psychology and the humanities and the creative life. Growing and changing. Embracing new ideas. Dressing up and going dancing. Kissing in the back of a London cab.

Oh, hell, yes.

I want to look back and see a juicy, balls-to-the-wall, no-stone-unturned, bittersweet, handmade life.

I want to say, “Yes!” when I’m on my deathbed.

I want to see that, “hell, yes” sketched onto my face as I shuttle through the coming years.

I want to write that yes, nothing-but-yes, across an azure sky.

© 2014  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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4 thoughts on “Yes. Hell, Yes.

  1. Well said…I too am guilty of filling my plate with responsibility…and slowly am learning to say “no” to the things that need a “no” and “yes” to the things that fulfil me!

  2. Loved this. I think you’re right that women struggle a bit differently with saying yes to things because it’s so culturally ingrained for us to be pleasers, to be nice, to do for others. We are labeled selfish if we say no when men typically are not. But you are right to say it’s up to us to control that for ourselves.

    Glad I found your blog from the A to Z Challenge! Here’s mine on Memorable Characters

    1. Thank you, Stephanie!! So awesome to many so many talented bloggers through this process. I appreciate you stopping by! ~ S

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