Sit quietly for a moment and think of a current situation that brings up feelings of stress or anger or fear. Maybe it’s a conflict with a loved one, a chronic illness, a struggling child, or a power struggle at work. Picture it. Hear it. Feel it.
First, experiment with what it feels like when you say a silent, yet strong “no” to the situation. What does it feel like in your body? What happens to your neck, your back, your heart, your hands?
Now, take a few deep breaths and practice saying a silent and inviting “yes” to the same stressful situation. YES to the negative feelings. YES to the messiness. YES to the challenge. Not that everything’s fine and okay...just a yes of acceptance of what’s happening right now.
How does that feel? Is there a softening around your heart? A calmer sense of now? Take a few more deep breaths as you rest in yes.
Remember that thinking a gentle YES anytime you’re aware of tense, anxious, or angry thoughts can bring you back to calmer, easier state.
Courtesy of Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance