Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Year of Saying, "Yes."

I've always visualized this time of year as a sort of greased slide that we all get on at Halloween. From that day, it seems, time quickens and passes in a blur, more so than other times of year. Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's, all of them come upon us with such speed and stealth that we're shocked to find ourselves with that glass of champagne at midnight, watching the apple drop in Times Square on t.v.

I don't do New Year's resolutions any more, because I'm not that resolute. I have all the best intentions in the world of sticking to them, but I get easily distracted by shiny things (must be the corbae in me) and am off and running full tilt at my latest obsession.

It's not my greatest feature. I know this. I've tried to trick myself into changing it, sweet-talked that famous "inner child," but the kid is A.D.H.D., and how easy is it to fix that? Not easy at all, let me tell you. My thoughts on kids run to a sort of, "Fill 'em full of sugar and send them home," philosophy. When it comes to my inner child, I'm at a loss. I mean, I wouldn't want to see my inner child on a can of Jolt cola, you know?

Last year, I ran across an article in O (Oprah) magazine. Yes, I know it totally ruins my image as a badass haunter and prop-builder, but ShellHawk really wants to improve herself and O has some great insights.

The article was called, "The Year of Saying Yes" by Patricia Volk. My inner smarty-pants said immediately upon seeing the title, "What? Like, "Yes" to a social disease? Um, how about no?" But then I read the article.

The bottom line, the point of the whole thing, is this: "No" ends possibilities. "Yes" opens them up. I know why I say no, sometimes. Sometimes it's fear, or thinking that I know nothing about whatever it is I'm being asked to participate in. (It goes back to being picked last for kickball, every single time.) Sometimes it's just ordinary selfishness. But mostly, it's just fear.

I've been thinking about this for a few days, now. Just a random thought (and I have many) that floated up to the top of the pool. I thought, "You know, if House Bloodthorn had said no, the Miss Rose yard haunt might be dead." I mean, he might have easily said, "I live in Oregon, and the haunt is in San Luis Obispo, California. That's 900 miles! That's a huge amount of gas! And truck rental! In this economy, how can I justify it? That's nuts! Pass on that." But by saying yes, he opened the door and things fell into place. Miss Rose now has new life to be breathed into her.

My lovely neighbor, V, mentioned that her dad knows how to weld and is really good at it. I caught up with him at her Christmas party on Friday night, and he actually brought the subject up. "V tells me you want to learn to weld?" I told him I'd love to. He mentioned that V had him read my blog when he and his wife were here for Thanksgiving, and he said to himself, "I like her!" He told me he even has a portable welding unit and he can bring it here to my house and he'll teach me in my garage. "Yes" has already started to open doors.

The flesh and bones of the practice of magic (or Magick, if you will) is to train yourself to the habit of focusing your will. Produce in your mind a clear picture of what you want as if you have it already. You've already done this in your life, if you think about it. The Universe perks up and always answers, "Yes." Whatever it is you say. "I don't have money." The Universe agrees. "I am always late." The Universe agrees. And you are, if fact, always late. But if we pay attention and focus our energies (be specific, folks!) and our thoughts, we can harness the "Yes-ness" of the Universe. No, you probably won't instantly become Brad Pitt. What you can do, is create the life you want, a little piece at a time. Don't be surprised when you start noticing a certain synchronicity at work in your life. That's what they call magic, friend. And even though it sounds hokey, it still works that way. (You don't have to believe in gravity for it to work.) That is the power of Yes.

I can't promise or resolve to say yes to everything for a year (re-read paragraph two for the reason). What I can do, is plan to say, "Yes," more often. I'll think of it as training wheels for my inner child. She needs the exercise, anyway.

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