Personal Writing

The beauty of saying yes

Dr Marry and I are on an incredibly spontaneous weekend trip to Nashville to watch English Premiere League Football with a ton of other crazy fans. #goarsenal!

We’ve never been to Nashville, but last month, when the “Premiere League Mornings” commentating team announced they were holding this year’s live event there, we jumped on the opportunity to say, “Yes, let’s go!”

I’m interested in being spontaneous where it makes sense and when I/we can. That might mean:

  • Driving to Minneapolis to attend an in-person vision boarding event with LoveME Healing even when a virtual option was offered
  • Taking a casual conversation with a friend who said, “If you and Mazz ever plan a Spark event in England, my husband and I are in,” and running with it to create what is now a SOLD-OUT (re)Discover Your Spark experience for couples and individuals in Bath, England
  • Committing to create short (fewer than 90 seconds), 5-day a week Spark Moments videos on January 1 that ask one question and send you on your way to have a more mindful day because someone I admire encouraged me to try making short, pithy content on Dec 31

Spontaneity is an under-valued trait. There’s a lot of upside to not knowing how something’s going to go and saying yes anyway. I’m not saying to be insane—there are certainly places to stop, take a breath and consider the options, weigh the pros and cons and seek advice from others.

But mostly, saying yes is about trusting your own instincts, getting quiet and listening to that inner voice that’s guiding you, trying to help direct your inner traffic if you’ll only stop and pay attention.

We loved Nashville. Turns out it’s as cool a city as people always say it is. Great food, weather, music, architecture and more.

And Arsenal won their game putting them top of the league! It was incredibly fun to be with 5,000+ other people cheering the gunners on.

But this trip to Nashville is really nowhere near as cool as the fact that we heard this opportunity was coming and within about 20 minutes, we’d reserved our tickets to be part of the broadcast, made our plane reservations and found a place to sleep.

Not every spontaneous decision needs to involve travel, money or venturing into the world of livestreaming if those things aren’t available to you or bring about panic-induced fear.

Sometimes being spontaneous looks like this:

  • Inviting friends over for a “clean out your refrigerator” supper an hour before we’ll eat, having no real idea what’s on the menu (or sometimes even in the refrigerator!)—one of my favorite constraints to put on myself
  • Thinking perhaps watercolor painting would be a fun hobby to develop and buying a cheap set of brushes and palette of watercolors and just finding a tutorial online to get going that afternoon

Don’t get stopped by resources that feel or might be limited: time, money and, most importantly, your imagination.

Instead, make a small spontaneous decision: try a new restaurant for lunch this weekend. Walk into a store you’ve looked at but never entered. Go to the library and check out a book in a genre you’ve never read. Say yes to an ice cream cone at 10 in the morning. Try a new recipe. Buy an unexpected shade of nail polish.

Spend time this week dipping your toe into the pool of spontaneity. As the English comic Michael McIntyre says: “It’s alright once you’re in!” (Do watch this whole sketch—it’s highly amusing).

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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