Your Absolute Yes and No lists

Apr 6, 2021

Now that we’ve well and truly stepped into spring, the days are becoming brighter and I’ve been considering how we can be with and hold all that is expected of us with less heaviness and more buoyancy and lightness.

I’m sharing a self-care practice with you that is beautifully adaptable to the seasons as well as life’s challenges and goals. A compass point to come back to especially when you’re feeling depleted, insecure, or challenged by the unknown.

I was first introduced to this through my private yoga teacher trainer and mentor Francesca Cervero, who learned it from her teacher, Sara Avant Stover, and originally came via life coach and author Cheryl Richardson.

The exercise centers on getting clear about what you most desire to be, see and do. Focus on the next two months, to begin with. Let this be a work in progress, allowing your priorities to evolve and change over time.

Carve out a little break for yourself, have a favourite drink close by, and begin by brainstorming.

Absolute Yes List

List all the things that make you a stronger, better person and that you absolutely can’t live without.

  • What needs your attention right now?
  • What makes you happier and inspires you?
  • What would you love to see more of in your life?
  • What do you want to say ‘Yes’ to?

Eventually, you’ll narrow your list down to 10-15 things. For example, here’s what’s coming up for me:

  1. Explore new places to hike.
  2. Enjoy a cold shower and drink warm lemon water every morning.
  3. Practise some kind of yoga or movement 6 times a week.
  4. Take one day off with no teaching or other work (this is so hard for me!)
  5. Get to know my online community better.
  6. Stay connected with friends – and family.
  7. Bring more art, music (and dance!) into my life.
  8. Find stillness every day.
  9. Enjoy eating more spring seasonal foods each week.
  10. Find beauty and inspiration in the world around me.

There’ll be days when I miss the mark and that’s OK but the list is a compass point to come back to, a reminder of what I need to feel my best and to set me back on track – especially during challenging moments.

Absolute No List

Now brainstorm and write down all the things that diminish your light, things that weaken and irritate you.
Pay attention to how things make you feel, do you feel anxious when doing something, or feel tension creeping into your neck or shoulders or tightness in your stomach?

  • What habits, beliefs, things in your life are no longer serving you?
  • What are you willing to change and say ‘No’ to?

Learning to prioritise your needs and express healthy boundaries, learning when to say yes and no, allows you to make healthy choices. Decision-making becomes so much easier – decisions that are right for you.

Share with me your Absolute Yes/No List – post below or reply privately to this post. Writing down your commitments keeps them real and helps hold you accountable.

Keep your lists close-by and let them guide you back to feeling good and to what is true to you.

Karen x


Karen Kurzmeyer
Private/group/corporate yoga teacher. Helping busy professionals prioritise health & well-being through yoga.

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