November 18, 2019

 This phrase has been said by many different people over the millennia and most people struggle with it's truth. However, if you really spend some quality time looking and understanding the meaning of the sentence, you will realize that the meaning is critical for us to not only understand but to live. We often say yes to too many things that disrupt our real mission and joy in order to not offend or please another. This is not a way to conduct a meaningful life.

This morning, I listened to a podcast with Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures and survivor of US Airways flight 1549 that crash landed in the Hudson River in 2009.

His story and subsequent life changing reality is worth a listen. (Link) Secondarily, a meditation on the merits of what he says makes good sense.

When we think about parenting and existence as a family unit, we often think and discuss the hardships of child rearing and work life balances for working parents. While these discussions are necessary and valid in a society that highly rewards hard work, we need to also choose the flip side discussion of the beauties of child rearing and the gifts of watching your child grow up.

While thinking of these realities, there was a point in the podcast where Mr. Elias discusses being in the auditorium of his daughter's school event and immediately crying because he realized the profound gift of life that he was given and that he could and did sit for this moment. We often run through life not savoring these moments as we worry about the next thing on our plate. Mr. Elias did not. He savored and lived it because he could.

Therefore, I go back to the statement: To say yes is to say no to something or someone else and visa versa. What are you and I saying yes and no to and do these things matter in the long run.

Life will always keep moving by us if we let it. Are we saying yes to our kids at the right times to be present moment to witness the beauty of their lives while also saying no to over parenting, fulfilling their every whim and doing it for them. Are we saying yes at work for something that we really do not want to nor need to do in place of something that is more soul filling? Are we doing that which is rewarding and good for the family bond?

 I think about this newsletter and work in general. I try hard to write all of it when I am away from home so as to not affect my families quality time. I try really hard to model the time giving behaviors that my kids need to see to have a family
experience that is bonding. I was not always aware nor good at this task. It is not easy by any stretch. The first hurdle is the awareness of need. Then it is putting pressure on self to choose what feels right in the heart and mind. We must choose to answer the question.

This choosing is the key. Only you, your spouse and your children can know where the inflection point is for true balance.

Ask yourself, ask your spouse, ask your kids what feels right. Where and when do you say yes and say no. Do not wait until a life threatening moment wakes you up to the reality of loss when it comes to saying yes to the wrong things and no to the right things because your time is gone.

Your family deserves your love to grow strong, balanced and cohesive,

Dr. M