Full Plate of Yes

Lately I’ve been standing under a waterfall of synchronicities with arms outspread, palms upturned, head thrown back, and mouth agape. The grace that has fallen around, on, over, and under me has steeply increased my responsibility load and intensified the tightness of my already rigid schedule.


I don’t feel drained or strained or likely to explode. I feel grateful and a little more free. The reason is that these newfound responsibilities are all directly related to things I love: gardening, permaculture, basketball, teaching, writing. Things I feel called to do. I was already a teacher. But now I’m a teacher—school garden coordinator—permaculturalist—basketball coach—writer. When I do the things I love, scheduling conflicts are rare. Time expands. My schedule works itself out.

Saying yes to things I would have said no to before has become part of my growth strategy. Is there too much on my plate right now? Possibly. But nothing is being force fed to me. I’ve said no to what I had to so there’d be enough room for what I really wanted. Just a few months ago, I was intentionally simplifying my life: delegating responsibilities and shedding social ties like there was no tomorrow. I was simplifying for the sake of simplicity, I thought. But now, as folks ask me to take on the roles I’ve been dreaming of, I feel ready to say yes. I have the space for it.

One of the things Goenka-ji said that always resonated with me, was that as we take up a sitting practice we become more productive. In other words, stillness increases productivity. In part, this seems to be because of how it changes our relationship to and experience of time. But there is also something about a steady sitting practice that clarifies what we really want to do with our lives. Some would call this our purpose. Some would call it our bliss. Either way, it’s about getting closer and closer to living a life full of what I’ve chosen to do with my time rather than what I feel obligated to do with my time.

2 thoughts on “Full Plate of Yes

  1. Certainly you have space in your day for awareness of natural breathing/natural sensations? It’s an area I remain committed to working on throughout each day.

    I’m finding that multi-tasking and simplifying (a.k.a. purposes in life) are neither the cause nor the effect of more penetrating insight meditation. In daily efforts to hold my awareness over time, I’m noticing how right effort alone, to maintain awareness of natural reality, is most relevant regardless of what’s happening without. Thanks for your post and for the reflection. Good luck to you in your inner and outer spaces, Alex.

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