Saying YES While Setting Boundaries
”Say YES to the Universe” was one of Susan’s most cherished affirmations. By saying YES, we open ourselves up to all the blessings the Universe has to bestow on us, but that can sometimes be a struggle when we still have our day-to-day stresses to deal with. In End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Susan noted, ”We need balance in our everyday world. This balance is often difficult to achieve in the middle of the multitude of things happening around us…children crying, traffic roaring, televisions blaring, bosses yelling, work piling up.” Everyone experiences the pressures of life.
When Susan wrote about opening our hearts to receive all the wonderfulness the world can offer, she never meant that we should open ourselves up to everything – positive and negative alike. Part of being open to blessings means closing ourselves to negativity. Being open to the Universe also means finding the balance between our duties and obligations and discovering the path that leads us to connect with our Higher Selves.
Learning to say YES to the Universe is also learning how to say NO when necessary. So many of us feel guilty saying NO to our family, friends, coworkers, and bosses. We feel like we need to be there for everyone all the time. Yet setting boundaries is an important part of saying YES. Setting boundaries is about how much you will do for another person, how far you will go. And it’s an important way to get past our own insecurities and fears. As Susan said:
|”Say YES to saying NO! Initially, saying NO to tasks brought before us can bring on great anxiety. That’s OK! Feel the fear and say NO anyway! Very quickly, you will realize that our motivation for doing most of the tasks brought before us has less to do with the tasks than it has to do with making ourselves feel more important or more secure or more wanted.”
Creating healthy boundaries is not closing yourself to universal blessings… it’s giving yourself room to really feel them. If you’re being held back by a negative or needy person in your life, you are not being open to the Universe. If you believe your obligations leave you little space, then you aren’t ready to receive all the blessings in store for you. We all need to carve out time for ourselves, time to breath, time to think and listen, time to feel, and time to just BE. Even if it’s just a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood every day or five minutes at work with your eyes shut repeating affirmations to yourself, we must take the time in order to get in touch with our Higher Selves.
Yet learning to say NO while saying YES to the Universe is a challenge in and of itself. Finding that balance, finding that center part of yourself is no easy task. But, of course, nothing worthwhile ever is.
Susan wrote, ”Ask yourself, How can I begin creating more balance and trust in my life? How can I fill the emptiness I feel when I am quiet? Then… listen to yourself. Assess, identify, understand and accept your own needs. Once you do that, you begin answering these important questions with all the masks stripped away, and you can then use the many Spiritual tools available to you to heal any of the hurts or fears that may have been controlling you.” This is how we create balance in our lives.
When we look inward, we are expanding our connection to the world. When we examine the reasons we feel the way we do, when we try to understand our fears and insecurities, we are stepping beyond those things that hold us down, where the Lower Self rules. When we say YES to saying NO, we are creating healthy boundaries and connecting with ourselves. And when we connect with our Higher Self, we tell ourselves and say to the Universe YES! YES! YES!
Copyright © 2017 Susan Jeffers, LLC All rights reserved.
Lighten Up When the World Seems Heavy
Don’t be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous.
Have you ever felt that you can’t experience any form of happiness when you are hurting? You could be stressed out, grieving, brokenhearted, angry, scared or disappointed, but then something wonderful happens – maybe small, maybe big – and you feel like a traitor for enjoying the moment. Why? Most of us have no problem letting something put a damper on our happiness. Why should we treat our pain any differently?
Just because the world seems like a worrisome place
All of those feelings described above are elements of pain, and pain acts as a damper to living the best life we can. As Susan wrote in End the Struggle and Dance With Life, ”It seems that we live in a very heavy’ world at the present moment. There is so much that seems to be weighing us down. Lightness and fun are missing elements in most people’s lives.”
Seriousness tends to be people’s natural state – we work so hard to be rational, logical and structured. How can we learn to ”dance with life” when we are so serious all the time? ”Dancing with life, by definition, means curving, blending, bending, circling and flowing – like nature. Bad’ dancers are straight, stiff and methodical, totally out of harmony with the ceaseless flow of the energy of the Universe.”
The worry and discord of life will always be here, but there is no reason we can’t also enjoy the beauty that life offers us. Yet how to connect to it? When we are weighed down, it can seem so far away. Susan’s advice?
Clearly, first and foremost, we need to learn how to LIGHTEN UP!
”Angels fly because they take themselves lightly!” said G.K. Chesterton. If we allow ourselves to be weighed down, we’ll never be able to experience our joy as earnestly as we do our pain.
”In all my books and tapes,” Susan wrote, ”I’ve talked about the Spiritual Journey. Let me emphasize that nowhere is it written that the Spiritual Journey has to be somber and joyless. In fact, the one characteristic that I have found to be universally present in highly Spiritual people is their enchanting sense of humor. They have learned the wisdom of laughter and lightness.”
|The best way to start taking ourselves more lightly is to laugh. Susan noted that we don’t even need a reason to laugh. Even at our most miserable, we can still laugh. At the very least, if there is nothing else to laugh at, we can laugh at ourselves for our own seriousness.
Humor creates a shift in perception that allows
When we laugh, we step away from the heaviness of our lives at that moment and detach from the drama. This gives us a look at the all-important bigger picture. When we can get a good look at the bigger picture, we can see that, along with misery and crisis, there are multitudes of blessings that are happening at the exact same time. Being able to connect with our blessings helps to balance out our most painful or negative feelings. By connecting with the lightness that comes from humor we are connecting to our Higher Selves and are in a much better place. We see that pain is not our whole life. In fact, it is a relatively small part compared to all the good in the world.
So lighten up when the world seems heavy. There is no point in glorifying our pain when so much more satisfaction can be found by connecting with our joy. Look for the humor. Let in the laughter. It leads to the bounty in our lives.
Copyright © 2017 Susan Jeffers, LLC All rights reserved.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO DO SOMETHING
Doesn’t it feel like we are hardwired to worry? Do you sometimes feel that it’s the only way our brains work? Yet we know that neither is true. When anxiety and worry begins to take over our thinking, we need to train ourselves to step away from it, to get outside of ourselves, and open ourselves to other possibilities.
We worry about work, about money, about our families, about our health. Some of us probably even worry about far-off conflicts or things that are statistically not likely to happen. Even though we know we are doing the best we can, we still feel like we should do more. We fret and agonize over things we cant control, which only leads down the path to hopelessness and inertia. As Susan wrote:
You know how it is to wait around for a phone call or email? It seems like the time stretches out and goes slower. Yet if we do something else while waiting – such as watching a movie, working on a project, or just going for a walk – the time flies by, and a lot more pleasantly.
You shouldn’t allow yourself to sit back and be destroyed. You should step away. Do something else. Perspective can make a world of difference in our thinking. Even if it is just shutting your eyes, taking a deep breath, and saying an affirmation during a tense meeting. When you open your eyes again, things will look different. You can gain some quick perspective by taking a walk, meditating, or listening to audios of affirmations (Susan’s favorite!). Any activity that allows your mind some silent reflection can be a huge boost to controlling the Chatterbox. Seek out the quiet spaces in your mind and learn to cultivate them.
For long-term eradication of our anxiety, try volunteering, taking a class, or travelling. When we get out in the world and see how other people live, we realize that the world is a much larger place than our own small space in it.
Susan wrote in End the Struggle and Dance With Life about a transformative experience she had on a trip to Spain shortly after her first marriage ended. She was visiting the Alhambra in Granada, when she had a deeply spiritual and perception-changing experience. During that realization, Susan felt that, ”All my personal problems relating to money, love, children, career, taxes and the state of the world seemed like insignificant specks in a world that was so HUGELY more.”
|When we let anxiety wash over us or when we let our inner Chatterbox loose, we make our own worries much bigger than they really are. Similarly, when we are caught up in worrying about things that we can’t control, we are deadening our spirits and letting our place in the world close in on us. We are allowing anxiety and worry to frame the way we are living. But, we can choose to go a different route.
One of Susan’s favorite sayings was ”Say YES to the Universe.” When we are worrying or anxious, we are definitely telling the Universe No. Saying YES means, ”Channeling resources to find constructive, healthy ways to deal with adverse situations. It means acting out of strength, not weakness. It means having the flexibility necessary to survey many options and choose ones that enhance growth. It means becoming alive to possibility.”
And how does Susan advise us as to the best way to open ourselves to possibility? Her suggestion is simple: Get out there and do something!
Copyright © 2016 Susan Jeffers, LLC All rights reserved.