A few months ago, I was selected to attend the lululemon global ambassador summit in Whistler, BC. A large portion of our action packed few days was time spent taking class and learning from Baron Baptiste. Time for a trip in the way-back machine:
Sometime circa 2004 I set foot in my first yoga class at a power vinyasa studio in Boston called Baptiste Yoga. It took a little while, but I fell in love with the entire experience: the walk from Northeastern University to the studio, the super sweaty and challenging flow, the soothing voice of my favorite teachers, the subtle learnings that came along with the physical practice, and the blissful walk back to campus to watch that week's episode of Grey's Anatomy complete with a stop for fro-yo with my yoga buddies and college roommates.
So to fast forward 12 or so years and find out that I'd be taking class from Baron Baptiste himself felt like a full circle moment. He had recently written a book and just last week that book, Perfectly Imperfect, arrived on my doorstep.
Last weekend I traveled with Angelo to Vancouver, BC for my second (and his first) experience at the SeaWheeze Half Marathon. There will probably be a blog post about that at some point, because it deserves it's own spotlight. On the flight up, I read my new book and while there were many gems that I'm sure I'll revisit in the future, one stood out.
He speaks about this idea of "being a YES." What are we a YES for in our life? Many of us are a YES for everything. We say yes to every invitation, offer, request, ask for help that comes our way. But if you're a YES for everything then you're really a NO for everything. You can't do it all. I've never been a so-called "YES man", I tend to be in tune with what I can and can't do well and what I do and don't want to do. And I know that if I say yes to the things I can't do or don't want to do, than they won't be my best work. I've gotten better at saying NO.
I fall into the other category. The category of people who focus on the NO. NO I can't go out for drinks on Friday because I have to do my long run Saturday morning. NO I can't eat that piece of cake because it will make me fat. NO I can't hang out with you because I have to work.
But what if you could shift your mentality? What if you took the time and space to truly decide what you are not only a YES for in your life, but a HELL YES for? Dedicating your time, energy, and self to being a HELL YES for something will result in your being a NO for other things. But those other things won't matter, what some see as sacrifices you'll see as being worth it. And you won't have to be a "NO...because" person.
I used a portion of this weekend to re-set and re-affirm some of my current goals and goals for my future. Things I am a HELL YES for in my personal life, professional life, and health.
I am a HELL YES for:
- Placing my physical, mental, and emotional well-being first. This means I'm a HELL YES for waking up early to workout, taking the rest days when I need them, sleeping, fueling my body with good food, and having a mindfulness practice.
- Supporting the people, communities, and organizations around me that align with my values. Shout out to Angelo for always being my rock, my #bitchesrunmountains crew for the motivation they already provide (and will continue to provide), my fitness family (KarimGym, November Project, Spirit Yoga, Buddhi Yoga, Bird Rock Yoga to name a few), and to the organizations I'm proud to work with, represent, and partner in many different iterations with - lululemon athletica, nuun hydration, New Balance, Nike, and Yogi Surprise.
- Growing my business, becoming the best anatomy instructor and yoga instructor that I can be, continuing to learn, and continuing to build new ventures, take on new projects, and take new risks. Living Well with Lauren, #TheNakedCookbook, #thepopupyogastop, Vino and Vinyasa retreats with Bateaux Cellars - they are coming and will continue to come.
Being a HELL YES to this list (plus some) will mean that I am a NO to some things. But I know that being a NO has value, that what may look like sacrifices to others won't feel that way to me, and that those around me that support and respect me will support and respect those NO times as well.
Don't be a YES man, don't be a NO...because - be a HELL YES. Or maybe a FUCK YEAH. Or even a YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT. Be you.