So, I’ve been meaning to start including Guest Posts on the blog for awhile now. How could I not, what with all the amazing people who come into my life daily with their wit, vivacity, openness to vulnerability, and care for others? Via Brunch Club, a literary event, a Facebook group, my Mac & Cheese offerings, or as in the case with this post, Twitter, rockstars from all walks of life continually fall into my universe. Life of Yes! way of thinking — stop saying “I will” “One of these days…” “When I get less busy…” That day is never going to come. So I’m following my own advice, nike’ing the bejeezus out of life and just doing it, it being crossing “Start Guest Posts on the blog” off my To Do list.
And thus, I give you Melanie —
Melanie Cobb is a Writer, Life Transformation Coach, and Professional Wild Woman. She is also a new, enthusiastic Cheese-It! After rising to an early success in her first career and becoming a school principal at age 27, she left that job, her marriage, and the east coast to pursue travel, writing, and life coaching full time. She spent six months and 9000 miles solo on the road before landing in Santa Cruz, California, where she still lives and enjoys the redwoods and coast while she builds her thriving coaching practice.
Melanie certainly knows about saying “Yes” to life, and even has a tattoo to show her passion! She wanted to share her “Yes” story with the Cheese-It community, as well as offer a FREE, 30-minute Clarity Session to one, lucky Cheese-It (see how to receive this gift below). If you’re the lucky Session winner, I would love to hear how it goes; drop me a note.
Six years ago, I lay sunbathing on the rocky shore of Nice, on the French Riviera. The Jamaican/Canadian philosopher that had become my temporary travel buddy leaned over and said to me, “If you were offered the chance to re-live your entire life up to this point, re-experiencing every detail again, would you say yes?”
“No!” My reaction was instant.
“Because I don’t want to experience all the pain I’ve felt again. What a stupid question. Who would say yes to that?”
He lay back down and covered his eyes from the bright sun with his forearm. There was a pause. Then, he said up to the sky, “I read recently that if you can’t say yes to that question, then you can’t say yes to life from here on out. You are still in opposition to life. You are fighting it rather than accepting it.”
I have thought of this conversation dozens of times in the years since then.
I see his words in a new way now. If I can’t move past the limiting black-and-white thinking of categorizing events into “good” and “bad,” I will never really be able to be an active participant in my life. I will always be waiting for the next thing that I like or running from the thing that I don’t. Life doesn’t always arrange itself to suit me. Does that mean it is not worth living?
Through my recent travels, I have become more aware that, as it turns out, I am not in control of everything. (Shocker, I know. It came as a surprise to me, too.) My capacity to make life happen the way I want it to is actually quite limited. I can influence things through my thoughts, actions, intentions, and prayers – yes. But in the end, I am a small part of this intricate dance, and things work out best when I stop trying to pull the levers and instead simply say YES.
Yes, I’m available. Yes, I’m awake. Yes, I’m paying attention. Yes, I accept life however it shows up. I don’t even know who I’m praying to or what I want from you or how this will all turn out, but YES.
The idea for my new tattoo was born of this surrendered intention. Why the snake? Snakes shed their skin and become new. They teach us that if we want to move into something new and powerful, we must be willing to let go of that which no longer serves. The snake on my arm reminds me that part of saying YES to life is being willing to transform – again and again and again.
As a gesture of gratitude to Saya, her courage, and the beautiful network of yes-sayers she has built, I am giving away one, 30-minute Clarity Session to one, lucky Cheese-It!
In this Clarity Session you will:
- Renew your life’s current mission statement: What are you about right now?
- Clarify to what and whom you will need to say, “yes” in order to support that mission statement – and to what you will need to say, “no.”
- Walk away with practical tools to help you follow-through.
To enter the FREE Clarity Session giveaway, simply send Melanie a message through the Contact page on her site with the comment, Cheese-It Clarity Session by December 20th. She will contact the lucky winner on December 21st!
Addendum: Breathe, Mom. I will NOT be getting a snake tattoo. Or any tattoo for that matter. But I do enjoy the snake analogy.