There’s no time like the present. Or not.

Today is no different from yesterday. The sun rises in the East and will set in the West. The alarm goes off, or it doesn’t. There really is no difference between January 1 and August 29 or February 3 or June 19. I appreciate the New Year’s holiday as an opportunity to reflect and think about what was done well and what could be improved upon but I also believe that ANY day can be treated as a fresh start and there is no reason to hold off for a milestone or a certain day to start making change.

I began saying ‘yes’ more frequently in June of 2010 when I attended the LOHAS conference in Boulder, CO with a mentor of mine. I was skeptical, but she told me it would be a great experience. I thought about how little vacation time I had and how I thought I wanted to use it, but decided to go anyway. It was fantastic and came at just the right time in my life. One of the biggest lessons I learned there was about using your time. Deborah Szekely of Rancho La Puerta spoke about using your experiences by reflecting on them. This concept not only rings true to me at this time of fresh starts, but I continue to try to reflect on my experiences on a daily basis using some of the techniques Deborah spoke about including scheduling time to reflect and reviewing your calendar before and after doing things to determine if they will be beneficial to you or not and adjusting accordingly.

I decided to spend some time in Denver after the conference was over and was welcomed into the home of people I had never met. The gracious hosts of the home I stayed in were out-of-town for the weekend, but welcomed me to use their space. We hiked Red Rocks and Mt. Evans, had a great dinner with her husband and friends downtown and generally had an amazing time. I fell in love with the area – so active and welcoming. More importantly, the experience taught me so much about the kindness and generosity of others. Opening my home up to others has become part of what I now say ‘yes’ to (luckily, I’ve connected with an amazing, like-minded roommate who doesn’t mind frequent guests in our dedicated guest room). In fact, we have some travelers from Michigan spending the night here Tuesday to rest after their week away before they head home.

So, that was the beginning of ‘yes’ as an intentional part of my lifestyle. I decided to make it official in 2011 because the timing was right and all signs pointed… well… to yes. I believe that if the timing isn’t right to start something on 1/1/11, or if you start something and it doesn’t work out the way you expected it to, you can take advantage of any moment as a new beginning and allow whatever speaks to you to be a catalyst for change. Change when you’re ready, not when the calendar changes. I’ve found it works out better that way.

Up this week in yes: MSU basketball game at Northwestern Monday, Photography class and out-of-town visitors Tuesday, Pole dancing class Thursday, First Fridays and overnight guest Friday and Wu-Tang concert with new friend Saturday. Should be an interesting week. I’ll be excited to report back.

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