When I Say Yes To Myself :)

Last June, I took a big financial leap and hired a coach to help me with a project. I didn’t tell anyone except my husband because I thought people would think I was crazy to spend so much.

It was a huge investment (2-3x the cost of a really nice family vacation -wow!) but I just knew I didn’t want to shortchange myself or what I’m here to be/do. I wanted a coach as a mirror & advisor and to make sure I wouldn’t hold anything back out of fear.

I’m here for such a short time on the planet-  I figured why not give it my best?

Despite being terrified, I signed up.

The next evening, my neighbor brought over an envelope and said: “I think the post person accidentally delivered this to our house because it has your name and address on it.” In the envelope, there was a check for a large sum of money (more than twice of what I paid for coaching) along with a note explaining that the money was to go toward the making of my next record.

I cried. This random gift (from a fan-turned-friend) was completely out of the blue and yet perfectly timed.

I’m not a “sit-on-your-couch-and-visualize-palm-trees-and-you’ll-win-a vacation” type of person but I do believe that when we take actions towards our dreams, the universe often responds with a high five :)

Similarly, last year I went on a retreat with a small group of women. We walked in the mountains, did yoga together, ate yummy dinners, and shared about our life’s work around a fire place.

But, I almost didn’t go.

A month earlier, I had told myself I couldn’t afford it until my osteopath friend Dr. Jan said she’d split the hotel room with me and give me a complimentary back treatment.  So I said, “Okay.”

Upon returning home, I wrote one of the most honest emails I’ve ever written to my list. In it (you can read it here), I shared about how I’d struggled with being completely open about my spirituality (because I wanted to people-please and always make a connection).

Within minutes, my email inbox was flooded. Email after email rolled in from people who related and shared their own similar stories. It was a reminder to me that when I take time to connect with myself, I’m much more able to communicate with others in a meaningful way.

I mostly write this to remind myself … to say yes to those little nudges, the big nudges and to what’s next.

As Pema Chodron says, “the days of the lone wolf are over.” How true that feels. We are here to help each other. Yet, oftentimes we must start with ourselves.

How can you say yes to yourself today, right here, right now?

I’d love to hear :)

Please leave a comment below if you’re willing to share.
Ps: I have two upcoming shows in Chicago in November. There are a few seats left for the one in Barrington. Tickets are available here

AND Winterbloom is having a holiday reunion and playing 4 shows on the East Coast! We’ll be at The Rubin Museum in NYC Friday, Dec 4th, Circle of Friends Saturday, Dec 5th and 2 shows at Club Passim on Sunday, Dec 6th.

15 thoughts on “When I Say Yes To Myself :)

  1. Anne, good morning from Seattle. My name is Mike Schut. I heard you play at an outdoor, backyard concert in Seattle maybe three years ago (and purchased your Honeycomb CD — which I like very much!).

    Thank you for your honest reflections with all of us. I respect and admire the risks and leaps of faith you have taken to follow your heart and passions — to say yes to yourself.

    Your story about hiring a coach struck me. A year ago I created this website (www.mikeschut.com) to let people know about my availability for leading retreats/workshops, and that I am also available for writing projects. But I have not promoted the site at all. I do think part of my gifts for the world lie in interacting on a deep level with others around their faith/spirituality, their relationship with this beautiful Earth, providing space for dealing with the pain of what is happening on Earth, and then suggesting ways, directions, in which we might need to move. And I have gifts as a writer; the site includes a page highlighting my books.

    My publisher, last March, even contacted me saying my books continue to sell and do I have another book in me? But I have done nothing to make that happen since then.

    How to make this all bring in even close to enough money – well, it’s hard to imagine (which, a lack of imagination, is I suppose part of what ails me).

    My barriers seem legion, as do my fears. I currently do not have a job as mine was eliminated this past June. I feel the need for security. I have struggled mightily with depression over the last almost 4 years. (And I’m getting help: counseling, medication, etc.)

    Not sure why I am writing — perhaps this: would you be willing to glance at my website and see if that inspires any connections/ideas in you?

    I don’t really know yet where I will go next, in terms of career and place to live. But I know I need others, as you wrote in your post. And so I thought I would thank you for your “witness”, thought I would share my website with you in case seeing that inspires any connections/ideas in you, and I write in the hope that something good will open up for me, but also with some fear that I will not do what I need to do to make that happen.

    I hope you come to Seattle again someday as I’d love to hear your music again.

    Peace to you, thanks, Mike

  2. I saw you in Burlington VT at Higher Ground when you opened for Melissa Ferrick. I really enjoyed your music and stories.
    I have been going though a lot w/ grief over a huge loss and pain from medical issues. It has motivated me somehow and I am applying for a Master’s program in Forensic Psych. and selling my townhouse for a house. We have to keep fighting the good fight.

    • Kate,
      Thank you for the kind words. And Congratulations on applying for a Master’s Program! It’s strange how things can motivate us, even unwanted things. How we keep unfolding. Peace and good luck to you on your journey moving forward!

  3. Anne! Somehow I missed your “coming out” email, but I certainly appreciate it now. This is fun stuff, and of course it resonates with me, an Episcopal priest who works in a secular setting (hospital), and has over the years, summoned the courage to reach out to folks who are “spiritual, but not religious,” and connect, find common ground, learn from each other. Just writing to say, keep up the good (spiritual) work! Ned and I can’t wait to see you with Winterbloom at Club Passim – Love!

    • Katie,
      Thanks so much for writing. Yes, I can imagine this comes up for you a lot! I value your work in the world and am so happy to know you and Ned. You keep up the good work too and I’ll see you soon! :)

  4. I am responding to this internally presently thoug that quote struck something. I did a Google search and found this http://www.communityworks.info/hopi.htm
    I’m curious what this “lone wolf” means to you. My own truth, currently, is that being alone is sometimes a necessity at certain points in life. I remember your post on coming out spritually(: but did check it out again and this time something inside started to move. Energy wise. I’ll revisit when it’s not 1am with arising for work less than 5 hours away. But for now, I felt the need to share this. Maybe to begin a dialgoue. Internally and externally speaking(: Thanks for all you share.

  5. I also found this. http://www.aseekersthoughts.com/2009/10/lone-wolf-as-symbol.html?m=1
    This resonated for me. Resonates for me. When I am consistenly living in my spirituality. in my Truth, I know I’m not alone. I feel secure and guided and saying yes to myself comes easy. And so I wonder about the days of being a lone wolf being over is somehow saying that one would feel such relief when that happens. I often yearn for connection with like minded folks or rather folks that are on a similar path or level. Not ones that think like me exactly for where is the learning and growth in that. I think its more of a way of living. And so until I find connections like that I make a choice to be a lone wolf…because it’s healthiest for me. I do find it difficult to be vulnerable and let people in but that’s because I long to be understood and seen in a way I’m not sure someone would see me. And also comes along the fear of telling a story, my own story and being judged or misunderstood. But it is a struggle because I want to share, to be heard, to be seen and for someone to hold that space for me. So much for keeping it short. Thanks for the creating the space to allow this processing to occur.

    • Kristen,
      A quick response in this moment…

      If saying yes to yourself and being healthy is being a lone wolf then it’s awesome that you can acknowledge and honor that!!

      So many of us have been lone wolves for similar reasons to what you describe and more lone wolves are now finding similar people to them and finding that they do have community, but that doesn’t mean they never work or commune in solitude.

      Thank you for your deep thoughts and comments here Kristen!

  6. In the spirit of “How can you say yes to yourself today,” I just signed up for my first Float! I’ve been tracking this team of people who set up the first float center in the Boston area in Somerville, MA and have been excited but nervous to try. It’s an experience of floating in warm salt water in a dark and silent tank… for an hour or more! It’s reported to have a deeply neurologically relaxing effect. I’m excited, and it’s definitely saying yes to myself! Thanks for reminding us how to make openings in our lives. Sara

    • Sara,
      That sounds awesome! I have heard of this. A few people I know have posted on FB about it. I think I’d like to try it as well. Enjoy and if you feel like sharing, I’d love to know how it goes for you :)

  7. So glad you followed the nudge from the higher self and went ahead with the life coach and the yoga retreat. I have led some of those and attended others, always in beautiful places, and have always returned renewed and ready to embrace whatever opportunity presented itself. And so often an envelope with an invitation to speak or conduct a retreat appeared within a few days, as if by magic.

  8. Hi Anne!

    Great post! I love stories like this!

    Whenever financial fear appears when faced with an opportunity to grow, I am always reminded of a couple of family stories while growing up. I recall one summer, my mother was drawn to make a $300 donation for a stained glass window for our church. At that time, $300 was probably worth about 4 months worth of “extra” spending money for my parents. Even though it was not easy, she said yes to her desire. I’ll never forget the day a boy came knocking on our door later in the summer and said, “Remember the raffle ticket you bought for my baseball league fundraiser? You won first prize – $300.”

    My mother was the “worrier” in our family. Any time my mom would stress about the bank account, my dad would always say, “Somehow we always make it.” And somehow we always did.

    I often get caught up in “how” I’m going to make something work. But when I get stuck, I like to recall stories like yours and other personal experiences because most of the time, letting go of the “how” and allowing the “somehow” is all that is needed.

    • Wow Jim, this is such an incredible story. It gives me chills that it was the exact same amount. How beautiful!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Even though I just told a story in a similar vein, it always greatly inspires me to hear of true acts of generosity and trust.

      You’re amazing and now I know you come from an amazing family too!

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