When I started this Year of Yes, I absolutely thought it would look different than it did. Despite the pandemic and all the ways 2020 shut down life, my year of YES saw several unexpected opportunities come my way.
The chance to met new people. My story shared across multiple avenues. I also found ways to source joy in the midst of sorrow.
So, while the year did not go as expected, it still very much left an imprint on my soul. Here’s a snapshot of my Year of YES
This year, I was asked to participate in six different podcast/summit interviews. The thing I love most about this is I set a goal to do 3-5 podcasts without any idea how I would do them. A reminder that the HOW does not belong to me. I set the intention and stayed open. One by one, the opportunities came, and I said yes to sharing my story and the lessons learned along the way.
Antiracism training requests
I am by no means an expert at anti-racism training. There are PLENTY of people who are better equipped AND I still have something to offer in this space. This was both a surprise and a lesson learned. My instinct was to dismiss the value I had to bring because I wasn’t the most knowledgeable. But this was my year of YES, so I kept saying yes. Before long I had a pretty decent training put together. The training has been well received and they’ve even led to me coaching white women who want to be more intentional in their anti-racism work.
The pandemic and my prolonged post-surgery recovery invited me to be still and pay more attention to each moment of my life. In saying yes to being more present, I discovered I love sitting out on my patio with a cup of tea. The sound of rain soothes and calms me. And few things feel as amazing as being snuggled up under a weighted blanket during colder temps. These small delights brought me great joy this year. I’m glad I said yes to noticing them and then being intentional to do these things.
Black and POC healing circles
These circles were the thing my soul needed that I didn’t know I needed. In these spaces with other Black and People of Color, I got to exhale and just BE. It was one of the greatest gifts to come my way and I’m so glad I said yes to them even though I knew nothing about the leaders.
The Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin Verzuz challenge
Both of these artists were a big part of the soundtrack of my life growing up in Black church. Listening to their repertoire of music was like a homecoming for my soul. It happened the same weekend George Floyd was murdered and was exactly what I needed at the time. I laughed, I cried, I danced; it was EVERYTHING. To this day, I still smile when I think about that challenge.
My sister and I went to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in February before the pandemic hit. We had such a great time. Then during the pandemic, they released several of their iconic pieces on IG. I’ve seen the company perform multiple times over the years and each time the performances take my breath away. The chance to do so again this year both live and virtually was a gift for sure. I’m glad I made time to nurture my love of the arts this way.
Lunch with friends who made me laugh
Before the pandemic, there were several times I had lunch with a group of friends who literally cracked me up the whole time we were eating. I remember those lunches as some of the happiest of the year for me. When we had to shelter in place, we moved those lunches to virtual happy hours. We may have lost the in-person touch, but the virtual transition was still good for me and my soul.
This year of YES taught me a lot no doubt about it. The two biggest lessons I am taking with me are:
One, rest is a right not a reward. I struggled with believing I have to earn the right to rest. This is harmful to my soul and my well-being. 2020 taught me that rest is my right. AND for Black people daring to rest is an act of rebellion. I’ll be prioritizing rest going forward.
Second, it’s okay to plan, necessary even, and at the same time it’s important to hold those plans loosely. I set out to say YES to some very specific big things. Instead, I learned how valuable the small YESes can be. I saw how often one small YES can trigger a series of unexpected opportunities.
As I look ahead to the New Year, I’m taking all these beautiful moments from my year of YES with me. They’ll be the building blocks as I continue to create a life that nourishes and honors the me I want to be.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Next post I’ll share my OneWord for 2021. It’s not a surprising word though it holds an invitation that feels quite scary 😊.
Here to you staying safe and healthy.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: Click here if you’d like to see all of the posts detailing my Year of Yes.