Be Open

In 2013, I focused my goals on a work-life balance.

I discovered I needed balance in my life when I was in a relationship that I was not able to nurture because of work demands. After the brake up, I decided to create space in my life by focusing the year on setting personal goals to balance my life.

As an experienced goal setter, focusing my goals outside of academics or career was new to me. So, I decided to start small and set three personal goals that I would focus on for the entire year. The goals were to nurture my creativity and start a meditation and yoga practice.

I did not know the impact those goals would have on my life.

The fruits of my labor, were shown early, but to my surpise they continue to flourish and provide a lot of insight and wisdom that still impacts my life to this day.

For starters, I am now a Yoga Teacher and a Meditation Facilitator which both stemmed from practicing yoga and meditation. Nurturing my creativity took the most interesting turn, because it led me to study improv and ultimately find my voice. In the way I was unware that I needed a work life balance, I was also unaware that I needed to find my voice.

It’s hard to say which goals had the biggest impact in my life, however, I know which had the most surprising impact on my life.

If you are familiar with improvisation, one of the first rules that you learn when studying improv is to “Say Yes.”

We live in a world that wants us to think outside the box, but stay within the lines at the same time. We often tend to find comfort in the box and in the lines for acceptance or for our own safety. Yet, “say yes” provides the most life that a person can experience if and when they embrace it or even try.

Saying yes to everything on stage is easier than saying yes to everything in life. Saying yes does not mean to follow a person, group or cause blindly or breaking the law. It also doesn’t mean to do anything that is too outside of your comfort zone. Discernment is needed outside the improv stage. But rather than saying yes, simply be open. Be open to change, meeting new people, gaining a new perspective, listening deeply, or trying something new. Be open to love, healing, self-care, second chances (coupled with discerment of course) self-love or being open to the idea that you can change an aspect of your life or relationships if you simply try and work on it every day.

My invitation for you is to consider the ways you can be open to an aspect of your life, where your heart or mind is closed. What would life be like if you added a bit of love to that part of your heart or mind?

Published by Stephanie Marie

Stephanie Marie began practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga in 2013. Nine months into her practice, she found her voice and launch her Mindfulness blog, Illuminated Voice. She is a group facilitator, yoga teacher, empowerment coach, and founder of HeartSpace Circle. In her free time, she enjoys taking art classes, listening to music, exploring the city, and spending quality time with loved ones. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Human Communication from Arizona State University and studied improv, acting, filmmaking, and anything related to her passion, human connection. As a blogger Stephanie writes about the importance of vulnerability, listening to your inner voice, honoring yourself, and speaking your truth.

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