Seldan Edwards, the headmaster of the private school I taught at after graduating from college, passed this advice on to me early in my career.  I had all kinds of new ideas for the drama classes I was teaching, things the school had never done before, things that might have seemed a bit risky to an institution whose reputation for classic, quality education went back nearly a century. Yet Selden did his best to accommodate my requests, seeing my enthusiasm and best intentions. He taught me a lot with his response.

Saying yes to something new allows us to change and grow, keeping pace with shifting circumstances, evolving ideas, and different life perspectives. That very willingness to go with life’s flow is healthy. It cultivates our resilience, braves us to face the unknown, to take risks, to potentially fail, then to learn, and try again.

When someone asks something of us that challenges the way things have always been done, or the way we were planning to do that thing, we may feel tempted to put up resistance. Even considering the possibility of saying yes renders us mentally and emotionally more flexible. On the physical plane, we’re less inclined to go into a stress response to change. And spiritually we’re more porous to light flooding through – perhaps from unexpected sources. This open stance can only make us healthier as whole human beings.


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