Hello. My friends. Welcome back to live free creative podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here. Thank you for listening. This is episode 144 of live free creative podcast, yeses, and nos. I am really excited to share an episode that was a bonus episode a year and a half ago on my Patrion group. It’s a good one.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about these same principles, priorities, yeses, and nos, what we gain, what we lose with each of the decisions that we make in our lives. I thought it was a great time to pull this episode into the main feed. So everyone gets to experience it. It is great timing as well, because we have had a full month.
We were traveling for three weeks in Utah. We came home and jumped right into some landscaping projects in our yard. Which are now complete and beautiful. The artificial turf looks and feels incredible. It’s been hilarious to watch through my kitchen window, which looks right out over the lawn. The antiques that my kids have come up with since we have now this mud pit.
Transformed into a beautiful, soft, luscious evergreen lawn. I’ve looked out the window to my kids doing lawn angels, like actually laying down on their backs and waving their arms and legs as if it were fresh. Snow. The neighbor girls came over with plum and played. Round after round of bringing around the Rosie.
So they could tumble down onto the grass the other day, Elliot put out a big blanket and he was doing a long jump running from one side and trying to jump over the entire blanket from end to end. I have not seen the yard utilized as well. As it has been in this last week, since we put that turf in and I’m thrilled about it, we finished up our landscaping projects and then have spent the last two very full days with a wonderful camera crew, a big group of people coming in to film.
A little a segment for a TV show that is going to go live in the fall. And I’ll tell you more about it. As it gets closer, it was super fun. And today after we wrapped, we all my family, the kids and Dave and I got into our hot tub and we were chatting about the experience and kind of downloading with each other, what we thought and what was fun.
And one of the things that I mentioned that I. That I remembered. We’ve listened to this circle round episode, you know, circle round the podcast for kids. If you aren’t familiar and you have young kids circle round is a really great podcast that does short stories that are between 15 and 25 minutes long.
We love listening to them on car rides. We love listening to them at bedtime. There’s this circle around episode where a man is complaining about his house feeling too small. My house is so small. And he goes to the village wise woman and says, what do I do? My house is so small there. I’ve got my kids and my wife, and we’re all crammed in there together.
And she says, you know what you need to do. You need to bring your goat inside to sleep. He’s like what she says, he has bring your goat inside to sleep. And so he says, okay, brings the goat inside to sleep. They sleep terribly. The goats, you know, buying all night long. And so he goes back to the wise woman and she says, if it still feels too small, you should bring the chickens inside.
So they bring all the chickens inside and they’ve got the goat and the chickens and the kids, the wife, and it’s just a mad house. The next day, he goes back and says, what do I do? It just feels smaller than ever. And she says, Now you need to bring the cow inside, bring the cow inside for the night. It’s going to solve all of your problems.
And so she brings the cow, they bring the cow inside. And so they’ve got the goat and the chickens and the cow and the wife and the kids. And it’s just, no one sleeps a wink it’s so full. And he goes back the next day, just eyes drooping and so tired and says, our house has never felt smaller. And she says, okay, go home and put the.
The cow in the pasture and put the chickens back in the coop and put the goat back in the yard and, and your house will feel. Bigger. And so he goes home and puts all the animals out and the house, all of the sudden magically feels just the right size. And, you know, we live in a, in a small ish house and having six full adult humans inside.
The house shooting and wandering around. It was so fun. We had such a great time with the crew and after everyone was gone, we sort of took a deep breath and said, Oh, our house, all of a sudden feels a lot bigger than it has. Let’s couple of days. So if you’re, if you’re feeling like your house is a little crunched, invite a bunch of people over for a couple of days.
And then when they go home, all of a sudden you’ll realize the extra space that you have. It’s magic.
Peaks of the Week
Before I jump into the episode, I want to share a quick peaks of the week.
This week. I thought I would just share a couple favorite recent reads. I’ve been reading a lot, listening to books, and I wanted to share a few. They’re just a little random to some of my recent favorites. If you didn’t know this year, I have been recapping my monthly books, my with a short review and you know, the books that I’ve been reading each month on my blog.
So there was a books I read in January books. I read in February books. I read in March and so on and so forth. Last year in 2020, I read. A hundred books during the year. And it was the first time I had counted and documented and, you know, kept track of the books that I read. And so I have a master blog post of all of the books that I read in 2020 with a little review.
I decided this year to break it down by months, I’ve got a little. Blog post for each month with the, you know, 10 to 15 to 20 books that I read and they are all there available. So I’ll link to the ones that I have up for. Now. Let me tell you though what some of my recent favorites are. Maybe I’ll share three recent favorites.
The first that comes to mind immediately is a book by Sue monk, Kidd. You may have heard of it. Huge. It’s been going around. I had heard a lot about it before. I finally got my hands on a copy to listen to thank you, mom, for giving me your audible password, because you already had it downloaded. The book of longings is Sue monk, kids, recent book.
That is a fictional book, a historic fiction. About the supposedly wife of Jesus. Her name is Anna and she meets Jesus as he’s a young carpenter, a young Mason, and they fall in love and they get married and this is their story, their story, her story. It is a beautiful, fascinating tale. And. Really, I love books that intro that have introduced me to Jesus as a human person, as a relatable person.
It was also really fascinating to hear Sue monk kid’s interpretation of this strong female character, spiritual character. Incredibly powerful personality and insightful woman. We don’t have many insightful women’s stories from. Historic scripture. And even though this is fiction, it gives you an idea of who these women might have been and what they might have been.
Like. I loved it, absolutely recommend it. It reminded me a little bit. I mean, it’s so different, but it reminded me a tiny bit of a book that I read when I was in college called next door savior by max Lucado. Now this one focuses on Christ. However, it. Is also a very relatable relationship oriented personality and character person that just felt really real.
And I love the opportunity to think about, you know, I’m a Christian and I love thinking about Jesus as, as a person living, living a life. And I love. Believing that he can understand the things that we’re going through and being able to have books like the book of longings and next to our savior are really incredible picture painters.
Uh, I don’t know if that’s the right phrase, but they painted an incredible picture of his humanity. And in the case of the book of longings of. Her humanity of Anna’s humanity. So I love it. And highly recommended the next book that I recently finished that was so good. It was like a page Turner. It was, uh, it was, uh, felt like a little bit of a thriller.
It was an incredible story with a, I feel like I don’t want to overplay this twist, but I feel like. I was blindsided almost like I was during sixth sense. Do you remember the movie sixth sense when you’re like what? That’s a little bit how I felt at the end of the book, the silent patient, also a well-known book.
So maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’ve read it if you haven’t and you’d like a little bit of a psychological thriller. This one is good. It is interesting. The character. Characters are fascinating. The storyline is, is really, uh, into intricately woven, intricately woven. I. I loved it. It was one of those books that I wanted to take Quincy on another walk so that I could keep listing and then come back and like, Oh, maybe she needs to go on a longer walk tomorrow.
And, you know, I would make excuses for the things that I needed to do so that I could continue listening. It was fantastic. That’s the silent patient. And to round out my suggestions, I’m going to end with an incredible. Really touching nonfiction memoir by one of my favorite authors, Erica Bauermeister her most recent book is called house lessons.
And especially for those of you who love homes, who love the soul of homes. And if you have any experience with renovation or you like following along, watching other people’s renovation projects, this. Memoir is about a house that Erica and her husband and their, and their kids renovated, uh, outside of Seattle where they live and the lessons that they learned along the way.
And I found it incredibly touching. It’s so beautiful and lyrical the way that she writes in the metaphor is that she sees in life. Aye. Loved it. I underlined, as I went, it’s one that I will come back to and read over and over again, house lessons. I will link it into the show notes. It was actually my book that I got for Valentine’s day.
I bought it for myself for Valentine’s day for book dinner this year, and really, really liked it. So those are the three I’m going to leave with you today for peaks of the week, the book of longings. The silent patient and house lessons, you can find all of the links for all of those firstname.lastname@example.org slash podcast.
I will make sure they’re all at the top. And. Now let’s jump into the episode, all about yeses and nos.
Main Topic: Yeses and Nos
Let’s dive in. Now. It is time to talk about big yeses and little nose. First. I want to just talk about the idea of priorities for a minute. If you’ve read the book essential ism by, by Greg McCown, you will know that priority singular was the original word. And it wasn’t until just a couple decades ago that we began pluralizing and therefore, almost.
Neutralizing the idea of priority priority meant one important thing. The most important things, singular. And at some point, people started deciding that they couldn’t just have one important thing. And so they would have a couple most important things and then a couple more, most important things. And now we’re to the point where I know that there are companies who have in their mission statement, their top 10 priorities as a company, I’m here to tell you that if you try to focus on 10 things as your most important things, you probably won’t focus on anything very much.
This is where the idea of big yeses and small nose comes in. Because I think that we in our personal lives will feel better about our lives. If we start to get ourselves back on track with the idea of priority. Now, it’s not very often that our most important things come in direct competition. For example, if you choose.
Family as your priority, that’s your number one priority. And then you choose work as your second priority. Very few times. Do you have to choose one over the other, like at the expense of the other and in those times it is important to know which one needs it more, which one will actually benefit or, uh, be deterred more, uh, an example I can think of from the movie elf, we all know the movie elf right, will Ferrell some of his best work.
And one of my favorite Christmas movies, there’s a point at which the father in elf. Has his family and his work come into direct conflict where it really is one or the other. He will continue to work at a job that takes away all of his time from his family and create such stress in his lifestyle, that he is no longer able to really participate fully as the father or.
He will embrace his fatherhood and he will find a different job that allows him to spend time and energy with his family in the way that he wants to. That’s an example of this direct conflict, where the two most important things come in an either or situation. Of course in this situation, we learn what the father’s priority singular is because he chooses his family and he quits his job.
And then at the end of the movie, you see that he’s B he started his own publishing firm and he is able to do both because of that. Decision to have a singular priority. I propose that we for ourselves personally will benefit from being really clear about our number one priority, and then maybe one or two secondary priorities.
I know, I just said we’re not supposed to have a bunch, and I want you to do the exercise of. Uh, figuring out for yourself, what is the very most important thing to you? If everything in this hypothetical not actually going to happen way, came together in direct conflict, and you had to make a decision one over the other understanding which one you would choose is really informative.
And it’s really reflective. And it’s really helpful as we get to the point where we’re going to start making decisions. Big yeses and little nose. The reason that I think it’s really important to make a conscious decision about priorities is that I believe that we make lots of unconscious decisions.
About our priorities on a regular basis. In fact, we can look at our life, the life that we’re leading right now, and the decisions that we make on a daily basis and extrapolate what our priorities are from the life that we are leading in our heads. We may think we are valuing some types of activities and decisions or values or principles.
But if we do not see them reflected in our actual lifestyle, then the truth is that we are not making the decisions that support are actually valuing those things. If you believe in eating healthy as a lifestyle, yet you spend most of your time driving through McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A, or doing frozen dinners from trader Joe’s.
Then your values and your actions are a little bit misaligned. So what you actually value in the face, like if we’re putting two priorities together between healthy eating and maybe the value of convenience in this particular situation, what you actually value more or the higher priority is convenience and that’s okay.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with choosing the Chick-fil-A drive through over eating at home. You know, eating a salad at home. However, it is important that we understand that our actions are showing our values. And if we want to value to be deliberate about our values and deliberate about our priority.
Then we need to be clear about what those things are that enables us to then make the decisions that align with that action. Does that make sense, maybe in hearing me talk about healthy eating, you realize that yes, you really do value, healthy eating, but yes, you also have been driving through Chick-fil-A every day.
And you had a light bulb moment where you may be right now, you are valuing convenience over nutrition. So how can you then with that understanding, start to make some adjustments to your actions, to maybe provide for both, or be able to bring your nutrition to you in a more convenient way so that you’re able to.
You know, embrace both and not have them at direct odds. If that makes sense. Another one just offhand that I can think of is that a lot of us value time with our family and that connection that we can create. And instead of spending that free time with our kids present, when we want to, we actually spend a lot of our time where we could be connecting with our kids, looking at our phones.
Now, when you put those two things at odds, a direct, like if someone were to say to you, would you like to have a conversation that really creates connection with your child? Or would you like to scroll Instagram? You have 10 minutes, like, which would you choose? Most of us would probably say, Oh, I would much rather have that connection.
That is important to me. And I know that that actually will make a difference in my life where mindlessly scrolling Instagram will not however. What are we actually doing when those things subconsciously are put in a conflict with each other, we have to make a decision, which are we choosing? Are we reacting with intention and aligning our actions with the values that we would like to have?
And have we set up ourselves for success so that our systems and our lives reflect this ability to make that choice easier for ourselves? This episode, bake yeses and small nos is really about creating systems to support our priorities. And I want to think about it in yeses and nos in decisions to do or not to do certain things.
So I hope that you’ve understood up until this point. And I want to now talk specifically about the idea of saying yes and saying no, something that has hit me really, really hard this year is that every single decision we make has an opposite consequence. For example, when I say yes to exercising in the morning, I’m saying no to cleaning my house at that same time, when I say yes to going out with friends for a girls night, I’m saying no to staying home and spending time with my own family.
When I say yes to traveling for work on a weekend. I am also saying no to taking my kids on adventures that same weekend. A lot of times in our lives, we get really focused on the yes. On the opportunity presented and we simply ignore or don’t take into account the opportunity cost. What are we saying?
No, to, as a direct correlation or consequence to the yeses that we have. Now I don’t feel bad at all about going on a girl’s night or going away for a work trip. I love these things and I say yes to them fully knowing and understanding what I’m giving up and at the same time. Anticipating that, that area, the spending time with my kids or taking them on a new adventure, that that’s a solid area in my life that my kids feel connected to me and that we have opportunities to go on adventures and to spend that time together.
And so it doesn’t disrupt the big, yes. Which is that I have a really connected relationship with each of my kids as individuals. This is where I want to start talking about big yeses. The whole first part of this bonus episode, I talked to you about priorities are priorities. That big number one, and then our number two and maybe number threes.
Those are our big yeses. Those are the things that we want to make sure stay in. Position of priority in our lives. These are some of the things, the big yeses are what set the direction of the pathways that we walk. There are touchstones for. Measuring whether or not we’re living life, the way that we really want to.
And we should decide on our big yeses or those priorities based on our true inner desires and values and not so much on what other people are doing or other people are spending their time or money on. These are things that are personal and they are meant to be personal. It’s okay. If you value something deeply that other people don’t seem to care a lot about.
And as you begin to understand what those things are, what your big yeses are for your life, it makes it a lot easier to not say yes to all of the little things that come along that try to distract or detract you from what matters most. This is where we actually put into practice. The idea of maintaining our priority as priority.
We tend to, without this intention, without really doing the work of deciding what matters most and defining it in a way that we can use it as a touchstone. And we can go back to it over and over again and say, am I maintaining this? Is this really an in the priority seat? We tend to be. Maybe the, the image that comes to mind is of a boat that is sort of just tossed by the wind.
And it’s just sort of like, Oh, there’s a big wave that pushes me this way in a big gust of wind sends me that way. And the opportunities that arise in our lives, the opportunities to say yes to little things here and there every day that distract us from what matters most. When we have our big yeses in place, we are more easily able to say no to all of those little unnecessary things.
This is where I’m talking about big yeses and little nose in the unintentional life in the life that is fully. Lived by the subconscious unconsciously, just kind of going with what the next thing, whatever happens to, to show up into our lives. What most people do is live by little yeses. Little yeses every day we say yes to the distraction of social media, we say yes to the distraction of shopping and the consumer messaging materialism and saying that we need everything in order to feel happier.
We say yes to everything we say yes to convenience. We say yes to indulgence. We say yes to our ego. Sometimes we say yes to. Simply staying comfortable. We say yes to the things that keep us in our zone of comfort that prevent us from moving forward. With progress and action in the areas that we dream of going these little yeses that say, instead of exercising, I’m going to stay in bed or instead of eating healthy, I’m going to go through the drive-through again.
Or, Oh, instead of sending that kind of scary email, I’m just going to scroll through Instagram again, or ah, instead of the discomfort of actually sitting down and paying attention to my kids, I’m going to zone out by watching another Netflix special. Now again, no judgment because there are times and seasons for all of these things.
And I believe that there is a way that lots and lots of great things can fit into our lives, but it has to be in order. It has to be with our big yeses, really solid. And then if there is space at the end of, of all of the things that matter most then maybe some of the things that don’t matter have a place to fit, but we.
Oftentimes are saying big yeses to the things that don’t matter. And then what ends up happening is big nose to the things that we really care about. I want you to. Determine, what are some of your big yeses? What are some of the things, the areas of your life, the relationships and the activities or projects that matter the very most to you.
And then I want you to write down what are some of the things that you need to say no to little nose. Knows that might seem insignificant, but that will actually provide you with the ability to reaffirm your yes. To what matters most, maybe one of your little nose is that you’re not going to look at social media.
In the morning before your kids go to school, because you’re going to give them that attention or likewise that you’re not going to pay attention to your phone or any screens after nine o’clock at night, so that that can support your yes. Of connection with your family or your personal sleep health and hygiene.
Maybe one of your nose is going to be simply that you’re not going to go shopping without a written list so that you are not enticed by things that you haven’t planned on or, or intended to buy, therefore preserving the big yes of maintaining resources. Money time and energy to spend on the things that actually matter the very most to you.
A concrete example that I can give you from my personal life was that one of my big yeses heading into 2019 was that I really wanted to write and publish a book. I had tried to do that concurrently. With all the other yeses for opportunities that I had had for business in the year before 2018, I said yes to the book.
And then I said yes to everything else. And guess what? Didn’t happen? The book. And so in 2019, I said yes, to the book, I am going to focus on this until it is done. And that meant saying no over and over and over and over again to opportunities that I thought were fun and that were great. And that would have been.
You know, given me some more money and that would have been opportunities to connect with different people, but because I understood my big yes. It was easier to say no over and over and over again. Therefore supporting and reaffirming my big, yes. This thing, this project that was important to me, that I felt would have longer lasting impact.
And meaning than any of those single little knows that I, you know, that I gave up along the way with a little bit of FOMO, I will be honest. There were many times that I thought, Oh, this would be so fun. This is quick money. This is a great opportunity. And yet I understood my big, yes. And understanding my big, yes.
Enabled me to say no over and over and over again to little things that did not support it, that would distract me from it or take away from the time and energy that I was spending on on it. And guess what happened? All of those little nos enabled me to complete my big, yes, I wrote and published my book in 2019.
At the sacrifice of a hundred insignificant opportunities that I would never take back. I love sharing about this because I did it both ways. I spent an entire year deciding that I wanted to do this book and talking about it and thinking about it and not doing it because I was saying yes to everything that came along and then.
I spent a year deciding I was going to do it and saying no, those little nose to the things that came along. And guess what? And guess which one yielded the result. I was hoping for the one where I had one big, yes, and lots of little nose. Some of your big yeses are big priorities. Might not be things that have an end date.
They’re more like creating beautiful relationships with your family members. Or maintaining a spiritual connection with the divine. These are things that you’re not going to one day say, Oh, good, I’ve done it. It’s over. I can start saying yes to a bunch of other things. These are yeses that need consistent maintenance and small nos throughout your entire life.
And this is almost harder. Because it feels really good to check something off the list and say, okay, I’ve, I’ve done it. I’ve got that one down. And then to be able to move on. But what about the things that we want to do every day or every week, maintaining connection with our spouse or our family members, our children, how do we say no to the things that will draw us slowly away from those relationships?
I think. The first step is awareness and intention taking inventory of the things that you’re saying yes to. And what the impacts of that are on the back end. What are you currently saying? Yes. To on a regular basis. And what is the thing on the opposite end of that, that you are saying no to, as a direct result, the more we are able to understand what we are doing right now as a baseline.
The better we will become at making the changes that we need to, to more fully align our actions with our values. So use the worksheet to write down what are some of your big yeses and what are some of the nos that you can just systematize in your life so that you have the time, energy and resources to, to support your big yeses.
One of the best things about our year of not shopping in 2017. Is that it was a blanket project. So there was not a time that I had to do a whole lot of deliberation about whether or not I was going to buy a con a non-consumable good, because I had just said no for the whole year. That was a really big, no, that.
Made up for lots of little teeny knows all along the way that created the system without me having to think about it very often again. And once we started shopping again, because of how big that habit had become to not even question a lot of things, it has been so much easier to consume with intention because I don’t automatically ask myself all the time, whether or not I should be shopping.
It sort of disappeared the urge to buy things all the time disappeared in the year that I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anything. And now I have to actually. Decide what it is that I need and make sure that I take the steps to go and get it. It isn’t in my regular routine anymore to go wander around the mall or go wander around target.
I really only go to the store if I know what I’m going for. And I’m looking directly for a specific thing. I can’t tell you the amount of time and energy and money that is saved over the last several years and how it has enabled me to support my big yeses. Because I automatically say no to things that would be tempting me with distraction on a regular basis.
The more aware you can become of what those little distractions are for you, the better off you’ll be. I’ve been working with a coaching client who is incredible, and a woman who is a mother. She’s an entrepreneur. She is, uh, Super talented high achiever. And she, when we first started working together had said yes to everything.
So many things, and instead of feeling fulfilled and satisfied by all of the things that she was doing in her life, she was feeling super overwhelmed and super stressed out and super dissatisfied. Now this is where the big yes, and little yeses and little nos have to happen. If we say yes to all of the things we’re actually saying yes to nothing.
There are no true priorities, no hierarchy of value in our lives. Then we are saying yes to. Everything. And at the same time, not actually giving place for anything to matter a whole lot. As we choose with intention, what matters to us and then direct and funnel our resources in a way that supports those things, we will feel satisfied.
We will feel fulfilled because we will be in alignment. What if we want to say yes to daily, calm and peace in our hearts. And we also want to say yes to picking up every single mess that happens all day long throughout our house. When those things come into direct conflict, what do you choose if there are dishes in the sink after the end of a long day, but you’re a person who feels like you got to do the dishes every night.
But if you do them right now, you’re going to feel resentful and you’re going to feel dissatisfied and you’re going to feel annoyed and overwhelmed. If those two things, your peace of mind and cleaning the house, come into direct conflict. Which one is your big? Yes. Which one matters the most to you? It is important that we understand that we always have this decision, what matters most, and sometimes.
One thing will matter more than the other. In some times cleaning the house, won’t have a direct negative effect on our psyche, but at the times that it does, we need to be aware of it so that we can make a decision that supports our value of taking care of ourselves and of feeling peace in our hearts.
I hope that as I’ve been sharing about choosing big yeses, to enable us to choose with intention, a lot of little knows in our day-to-day life that you have thought of some things for you in your life that you can say yes to, with a louder, more fervent intention. And that at the same time, as you do that, all of the things that don’t matter that much, that you are currently saying yes to, and trying to keep up with and staying on top of all the time that you can simply let those fall away, that you can say, no, not every single thing matters.
Not every opportunity is right the right time or the right opportunity or the right relationship or the right person, not every sale. Means you have to buy something. Not every email has to be returned immediately. Not every invitation deserves your time and attention. When you understand that every yes has an automatic no, and every, no has an automatic.
Yes. You can start to align. Your decision making with your true values in a way that yields the fulfillment and clarity of purpose and peace that we all hope for in our lives. What are your big yeses understand that they will come at the cost of lots of little knows. And that is okay because you are not meant to do everything you are meant to do.
Simply those things that matter the most to you. I hope that you’re able to determine what are the things that you really want in 2020? How do you want to feel, what do you want it to look like? And then you start to shape your actions in a way that support. The things that you truly hope for. Thank you for listening.
And I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode and that something has struck a chord with you. I hope you’ll take the time to think about, and maybe even write down in your journal or in a notebook, some of your big yeses and some of the little notes that you might want to make along the way I want to invite you.
If. Spending time connecting with yourself, connecting with others and connecting with nature is one of your big yeses. I have an opportunity for you to do that this summer at summer camp in Idaho, there are just a handful of camping spots left. So if you’re nearby near enough to drive or to fly in and borrow some camping gear, we would love to have you at summer camp, July 28 through 31st.
I also want to just say thank you for listening in. I appreciate you being here every week. One of the ways that you can share the podcast is taking a screenshot, putting it on social media. I also appreciate and welcome any ratings and reviews that you have for the show. You can leave those on iTunes.
It really means the world to me that you say yes to listening to the show. I hope that you’ll subscribe if you haven’t yet. So you don’t miss an episode and I will catch you here again next week. Same time, same place. Have a great one. Bye bye.