What is Tracking Yes?
“Oh come on… Are you kidding me? This should not be happening right now. Why do I always…? Why don’t I ever…? Jesus H Christ— I don’t have time for this. Don’t like it. Don’t want it. Aaarrggghhh!
No, no, no...NO.”
You know how it is when something happens that we don’t like or want. We resist and argue with reality.
That’s us being our human selves.
Over time this becomes our normal response to life, and we don’t consider the toll this constant sense of struggle is taking on our joy and well-being.
Tracking Yes is a relationship with life that has you pause for a “resistance check” when life presents the unexpected and you find yourself responding with a ‘no’.
It’s opening to be present with your resistance, and then, with friendliness and intention—walking yourself back into a place of ease and connection.
Tracking Yes is not about pole vaulting over the pain and challenge of a tough situation to get to an easier, more zen-like place.
And it’s not saying “yes” to everything that comes your way in a wrestle-yourself-to-the-ground attempt to be open or okay with whatever happens.
It’s a willingness to trade your opinion about what’s happening for genuine curiosity.
Ultimately, Tracking Yes is a series of steps that lead back home to peace.
Small No’s vs. Big No’s
We experience small no’s all the time - caught in traffic, unexpected expenses, a project not going the way we’d hoped, conflicts with fellow humans, creative blocks, etc.
When we choose to be in a yes relationship with life, we disrupt our day-to-day resistance. We turn toward our experience and see what’s there for us.
With practice, we begin to naturally shift from complaint to curiosity.
We become yes ninjas, fluid and agile, living in connection with our experience instead of trying to deflect or get around it.
With bigger no’s: death, betrayal, violence, oppression, tragedy, injustice, the loss or impending loss of something that matters deeply—we often have to move more slowly. With searing, painful, devastating experiences, we may need to cycle several times through the first three steps.
Eventually we’re able to move into our wisdom and find the freedom to be in a creative flow with our experience.
There are infinite ways you can bring the energy of yes to meet your direct experience, but here are the key touchstones:
1) Full permission
Instead of trying to push it away, or declaring, “I don’t like this” or “I don’t want to feel this way”—let yourself have your experience, completely unedited.
Let it have its voice in you, including all the emotions, stories and opinions that are rising up.
This is the first yes—everything gets to be here.
2) Unconditional friendliness
See if you can meet what’s here with an open, non-judgmental heart. Notice where there’s resistance to your experience—what does that feel like? Moment by moment, open to what’s happening, exactly as it is.
Find the sweet spot where there’s nothing to change, nothing to fix, no ‘problem’ to solve.
This is a practice of engaged allowing and noticing—while not following the compulsion to DO something about it.
3) Love and Curiosity
Love does not mean convincing yourself that you LOVE what’s happening—this is not a spiritual bypass. Love means bringing your full attention to how you’re responding. It’s a process of becoming intimate with your experience.
Curiosity is the opposite of judging and fixing. It’s wanting to know more of something from that place of love.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about it—look for what’s going on with you that has you not like it.
And then get curious about that.
Example: you wake up feeling anxious - can you bring your full presence to this—instead of trying to get distance from it? Are you able to feel what you’re feeling without attaching to your story or opinion about it?
Tricky, tricky this one.
Sometimes you have to clear these first three steps fully before you’re ready to open to the final two.
4) Wisdom and Magic
Life always presents you with the opportunity to perceive and receive what is here in addition to what you’re currently feeling and thinking. The specific experience you’re having is a part of your world, not the whole of it.
Look for the ways you are supported, fully prepared, and have what you need to meet exactly this thing.
Your community—those who love you and care about your well-being
The wisdom you’ve received—from others and from your own direct experience
Your talents, strengths and skills
Your creativity and resourcefulness
Your belief that the universe is on your side. If you don’t have that—trade up
Expand the space by tapping in to gratitude. What are you appreciative of and thankful for in this moment—not in spite of, but along with, the challenge you’re facing?
Track the through-line to magic. What’s here that’s working? Find one thing—it’s an ally.
Finally, use your wisdom to identify your disempowered beliefs around this experience, and be willing to challenge them. This requires courage. Our limiting beliefs are created as a protection strategy, but ultimately they keep us stuck in a story of struggle and powerlessness.
Play is one of our most valuable assets. We are naturally creative beings, and the spirit of play connects us to our creative nature.
Play takes us out of past/future thinking and brings us into the present moment.
When we’re resisting, judging or complaining, we’re focused on what we want to be different, rather than being in an engaged, open relationship with what’s happening now.
We can feel hooked—or we can ask empowered questions:
What do I want to make of this?
What’s trying to get my attention?
What’s the opportunity for connection with myself, with life, with others right now?
When you’re willing to challenge the belief that you are powerless in the face of circumstances, you start creating your experience from the inside out. You’re choosing to see life as friendly. Once this happens you’re in the game and on the adventure.
Adventure has inherent risks and challenges—but you get to decide how to meet them.
You can give in to fear and (constantly) worry that things might not work out—or you can bring your courageous, curious, wise self and and show up as the hero in your own remarkable journey.
You can choose to become free and empowered—co-creating with life moment by moment.
Through conscious attention to our experience and how we’re showing up for it, we come to trust that we are in a loving partnership with life and open to connect with the intelligence and support that is always with us.