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The Most Useful Concept I Ever Learned – Whole Body Yes

whole body yes


I used to be a yes person.

Dinner party – YES!

Volunteer at kids school – YES!

Do me a favor – YES!

Take on this project at work – YES!

Collaborate with an awesome thought leader – YES!

Join this club – YES!

Then I found myself over-scheduled with too many things going at once. I found my energy drained and I had resistance to actually doing the thing I said yes to.

I was having a hard time staying in integrity and keeping my agreements.

BOOM! Life-changing moment for me.

I learned the most useful concept through the Conscious Leadership Group. An easy life hack to free up your energy and live in your zone of genius.

Enter the Whole Body Yes Concept

Let’s back up a second.

In order to understand the Whole Body Yes concept it’s helpful to have an understanding of being in integrity by keeping your agreements.

An agreement is something you choose to commit yourself to. You are agreeing to do something by a certain time. Agreements can be made with yourself or others.

When you fail to follow through on an agreement whether by not doing it or not doing it on time you fall out of integrity. You are not doing what you said you would do.

Why does it matter?

Keeping your agreements clear or renegotiating agreements if you can’t keep them will help prevent feelings of shame, blame, guilt, resentment and regret.

In steps the concept of Whole Body Yes.

If you only say Yes when you have a Whole Body Yes you are much more likely to keep your agreements and stay in integrity. This is a stepping stone toward your purpose and living in your zone of genius.

What is a Whole Body Yes?

A Whole Body Yes is when your entire being says yes to doing the thing.

Your head says yes.

  • Here’s where that pros and cons list comes in.
  • There is logic to it
  • It makes sense
  • You can see the good reasons behind it
  • There is a rationale for why it’s important

Your heart says yes.

  • Your emotions say yes
  • Your love says yes
  • There is no lingering I don’t want to

Your gut says yes.

  • Your instinct says yes
  • Your yes feels really grounded
  • You will feel this through all parts of your body – drop into yourself and feel what your instinct is telling you.
  • What are your hands revealing? Do you have butterflies of excitement in your stomach?
  • Tune into the various parts of the body. There are a lot of life lessons your body can teach you if you simply learn to listen.

The above signals a Whole Body Yes but I like to add one more element.

Your spirit says yes.

  • You may be feeling a calling to say yes
  • You feel it igniting your sense of purpose to say yes
  • It may feel like God is asking you to do this thing
  • It may feel like love is asking you

Often if your spirit says Yes it may override the head, heart and gut. If you feel called by your spirit your body may react with fear and resistance. Yet when I feel called, I go. You can expect this to happen a lot of the time.

Having a full body yes doesn’t mean you won’t have fear or sadness. Any change takes getting used to. The impact of this change is your own happiness. It may not happen immediately, or the next day. It requires a lifetime of choice. By following your whole body yes, you are freeing up energy and allowing life to flow through you. You improve your quality of life, naturally.

You will find it much easier to keep agreements and stay in integrity when you are only saying yes to things you are really committed to. In fact, your commitments will become a source of happiness for you because your heart, head, and gut all want to do them!

Saying yes when you aren’t truly committing is a big reason why burnout happens. You may spend a long time, a majority of your time, overriding the natural signals from your head, heart, and gut begging you to say no. Here’s the bottom line. You might be able to keep a handle on things for a while, but inevitably you will start to naturally fall out of commitment because you were never truly committed to begin with.

You create little integrity breaches all over your life. It is so common and normal. The average human has a number of integrity breaches at any given time.

  • With yourself
  • Your body
  • Your self-care
  • Your family
  • Your marriage
  • Your belongings – your house is a mess

All these little breaches add up.

There’s a better way. You can choose when it’s the last time you say yes when you really want to say no. You can begin to realign your life with what you truly want. Start by saying yes only when you have a Whole Body Yes and you will find you free up a lot of energy and a lot of your life.

Slow down and listen to your entire body – feel your feelings, your sensations, and your internal wisdom. It’s a game changer. Your Whole Body Yes will steer you in the right direction because your compass is your self. Being exactly where you want to be is a great place to be.

This article is related to my podcast episode on Whole Body Yes – Listen here.

Photography by Kelley Raye //

Dr. Caneel Joyce is a CEO Coach and social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

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