How To Be Willing: Spiritual Key #1 (aka the Open Door Policy)

Five ways to let willingness kickstart your world today:

(Comfort-zone stretching… prepare for takeoff.)

1.  Say YES (in alignment with your light.)

If you want to see and feel your brightest, boldest, most bad-ASS colors, start by saying YES to life.

When reflecting on how I’ve grown over the years, my immediate response is that I’ve said YES more frequently – from a new yoga class to reading a different kind of book to embracing a stranger to starting a blog to traveling to India solo to going gluten-free, I’ve embraced an ad-nauseum-YES attitude.

YES has become my personal assistant for two specific reasons:

First and foremost, it serves as a spark and change-agent on days my psyche and soul need a bit of a shakeup. In saying the magic word, I’m always given clarity, inspiration, and a new sense of confidence just by stepping outside the box (courtesy of some good ole adventure.)

Secondly, when fear and doubt attempt to loiter around said psyche, YES is my security blanket – dispelling and protecting against the whirlwind of egoic thoughts which can lead to paralysis.  Ipso facto, I stay heart-centered.

Beneath the surface though, what are we saying YES to (above and beyond the mere activity)?

Ourselves.  It’s about momentum, really. (Remember this mini sermon about momentum?)

Of all the Spiritual Keys, willingness demands some YES. It’s how you open doors and move energy. Try a little today.

* * * If you’re wondering about the “in alignment with your light” part above, refer to #5 for the answer.

* * * * Despite our comfort-zone launch, this stuff is hardly rocket science.

2.  Delete stubbornness.

Want a foolproof way of accessing the Art of Feeling Good via willingness? Loosen and/or annihilate its evil twin – stubbornness.

Stubborn:  obstinately unmoving; fixed or set in purpose or opinion.

K.LITE lexicon:

Stubbornness:  thoughts, reactions, and beliefs that trip us up, or “stub” our progress/light

Side effects include but are not limited to inactivity, numbness, defensiveness, and heartache. Throw those qualities on your next job application…

When I was a pup, stubbornness was my Achilles heel. Rather than let willingness work for me (clearing many a path), I let stubbornness block me in (closing many a door.)

And not only did it close the door, but it sealed it, deadbolted it, and made me utterly immune to a lot of life MAGIC.

Fast forward to the present and that grip has loosened dramatically. As a result, I have a smile on my face and I’m more open than ever. But how did it loosen?

Like most good things, it took a bit of determination and practice. I decided that whiting-out stubbornness would require a conscious effort on my part to conquer any and all thoughts and things that didn’t support me. It was a mission.

Long story short, I chose to be willing by committing 144% to my individual growth.  Ahhh, choosing… a free-of-charge endeavor.

K.LITE Rhetorical Pop Quiz…

Which group of words do you most associate with growth?

A.) Inflexibility, unyielding, fixed, unreasonable, myopic, and negativistic.
B.) Ready, responsible, energetic, deliberate, forward, prompt, zealous, and in-motion.

What do they call that experience when you cut the living room corner and walk your big toe right into the couch? That’d be a toe “stub.” Hardly dangerous, highly painful.  (My eyes water just thinking about my last one.)

Choose wisely folks.

 3.  Keep things sunny-side up.

 “I am an optimist.  It does not seem too much use being anything else.”
                                                                                                  – Winston Churchill

Attitude is everything.  And optimism is mandatory for willingness to do its thing. How mandatory?  Mandatory as in there’s a NO NEGATIVITY TRESPASSING sign posted to its property.

Optimism — the choice to “opt in” to life

Science now too is proving the benefits of an optimistic outlook. Remember, the good drastically outweighs the not-so-good on this planet. If you ever need proof of this, just imagine that you’re living on a rock that spins in space at a speed of 1,000 mph.  Far out, right?

Oh wait… you already are. (This, my friends, is what you call a Miracle.) Your SnapChat page not loading while waiting in line at the DMV is NOT a crisis. Now where was I?  Oh, right…

More often than not, life is simply a matter of how you choose to look at things. Does shit happen in the world? Sure does. So no, you don’t have to talk like a fortune cookie. But you should definitely INquire.

Do I prefer soft, productive thoughts that flow? Or rigid, stressful thoughts that constrict?

Your call.

4.  Eliminate resistance.

Simply put, resistance is fear of the unknown. And a close relative of stubbornness.  (Phewww… talk about a family reunion.)

The underlying premise of resistance is actually the fear of victory – victory being, of course, your God-given right to thrive.  When you resist, you withstand against yourself.  (Wow, even typing that hurt.)

So here’s my challenge…

What if, rather than ignoring the ambiguity willingness may bring, you saw it as a gift basket full of surprises?  No matter how outlandish and different a situation may seem, make it a point to welcome change with an open mind and heart.

None of us know where the road may lead. But only those who throw it in drive will ever get to know.

(Want to really understand resistance?  Read this book.  Sheer genius.) 

5.  Say NO (in alignment with your light).


Let me guess.  This completely contradicts the say YES propaganda?

How can’t it?

Like so…

Say you enjoy the company of catching up with your old high school buddies/sorority sisters/what have you.  However, the environment in which they participate (barhopping and partying and gossiping and the never-ending reminiscence of the “good ole days”) – yes, my famous “self” keg stand I remember quite well, uh thank you – isn’t conducive to your growth.  Does that support you to keep showing up?

No, but it makes me a good friend.

No, it makes you an imposter because a good friend is an honest friend.  And you can’t be an honest friend if you’re not honest with yourself.

But what will they think?!

By the look on your face, I’m gonna speculate that “who cares?” isn’t a sufficient retort?


How about this?  Have you ever seen the movie YES MAN?

Yep. He said YES to everything and landed Zooey Deschanel!!!

Good point, but…

… at the end of the film, Terrence (the head of the YES seminar) tells Carl (played by Jim Carrey) that there was no YES covenant to begin with. It was merely an avenue to stimulate action and open Carl’s mind to infinite possibilities. Carl needed a shakin.’  And YES shook him out of his stubbornness.

Yeah, so…

Well just like Carl, you too can (and should) say “no” if need be.  For most, it will be the ultimate willingness challenge.  It too is the “in alignment with your light” part.


That willingness is futile if it goes against your personal code. It’d be five steps forward and six steps back.  It’s “facing it” versus “pushing it.”

Yes opens doors.  No keeps ’em open.

In this scenario, “no” is a roundabout way of saying YES – to our truth that is. It’s a high form of self-love (ahem… boundaries.)  Which means people won’t get it.  You’ll be dubbed selfish, inconsiderate even.

Yeah Jane, she’s not coming… something about a bath and a good book tonight.
Oh John, no 50th party for him. Going fly fishing with his dog (scoff.)
Nope, Nancy’s out on Secret Santa this year. Such a Scrooge!
Steve, yeah, he’s really “changed.” 
(My personal favorite.)

Squawkers will squawk.  Their guilty YES’s are a big disservice to mankind. Your NO?  It’s an invitation AND permission for all to choose honorably. Maybe even for themselves for the first time. If YES’s are brave, NO’s are heroic.

“Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
-Steve Jobs

Thanks Steve.

But how do I differentiate between stretching myself (yes) and honoring myself (no)?

You’ll know.  (Get it? You’ll “no.”)

Oh c’mon!

Trust me, you’ll know.

Stay willing my friends,

hi there