How Saying Yes Might Just Change Your Life

Last week my sister Kerri invited me to attend a lecture at a local library called, “ It’s Not About The Hike.“  Pat and Nancy, gals in their 50?s, started walking on their neighborhood sidewalks and eventually ended up climbing the 100 highest mountains in New England.  During their presentation they explained, “We thought we were just going out for a hike when we climbed our first mountain.  We were wrong.  We were beginning the journey of a lifetime.”

I sat for over an hour, mesmerized by the slideshow and videos of their mountain climbing treks.  I laughed and cried and oohed and aahed at the details of Pat and Nancy’s adventure.  They spoke about the healing that took place for each of them with every mountain they climbed.  They shared breath-taking photos that captured the majesty of nature.  They talked about building courage by doing things like hiking in the pitch-black darkness.  And they chronicled the warmth of their growing friendship.  By the end of the night I felt so inspired I swear I would have climbed a mountain right then and there myself!

The talk reminded me of several things:

  • The key to feeling fully alive lies in your willingness to try on new experiences.  Staying with “old and familiar” leaves you living with old and familiar.
  • Moving your body in bold, new ways can transform your whole life.
  • The exhilaration of aliveness happens when you stretch beyond your comfort zone.  That kind of joy doesn’t play it safe.
  • You can do anything with the support of another human being.  Anything.
  • If you want to feel inspired and excited about life, make sure you spend time with people who challenge you.  Don’t always be the one challenging and/or inspiring others.

At the end of the evening, I felt so grateful to Kerri for the invitation and grateful to myself for having accepted it.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s too easy for me to over think an invitation, debating in my head about whether or not I’ll enjoy myself to the point where I just decline.  I need to remember to say yes to more spontaneous invitations.

If you’re lucky enough to be near a place where Nancy and Pat are speaking, please go – I know you’ll love them!  You can find their schedule here (you can schedule a talk in your community, too). Nancy has also written a beautiful book called “It’s Not About The Hike” with gorgeous photos of their trips.  You can find it here.  Be sure to have a look at the video on their website here.

My decision to say yes to a spontaneous invitation has opened a fun and exciting door in my life.  These brave gals inspired the group of us who attended that evening to take on our own adventure. We’ve scheduled our first mountain hike for the end of May.  I’ll be sure to share photos from the top!

Take Action Challenge

Is there some kind of adventure you’ve been considering?   A new challenge you’d like to take on?  Think about a journey – something that stretches you, strengthens or builds a friendship, and some kind of experience that introduces you to new and wonderful parts of yourself.   Then tell us your plans on my Facebook Page here.


Many people sent me this video via email and Facebook posts and I want to be sure you see it.  The experience speaks louder than words. You’ll find it here.  Yes, you are more beautiful than you think heart-icon



zorro 1st May 2013 6:31 pm

You have set a nice tone here, Cheryl, And I find myself in sync with it. I say "yes" to that. Tone rules, always! It' s not about the hike, it is about the tone, harmonics, connection, healing, grace, love, resonance with source. Love you for expressing it.

betsy. 23rd May 2013 4:08 pm

"The key to feeling fully alive lies in your willingness to try on new experiences. Staying with “old and familiar” leaves you living with old and familiar." I love this. I received a very similar thought this morning. Both of these now really have me thinking more and more about stretching beyond my comfort zone and all I know to be familiar...because familiar hasn't really been all that fun. LOL. It's just familiar, so it seems easier; but, really it's actually sort of boring now. Familiar seems safe because I know what's always been. Unfamiliar seems scary because it's the unknown. If you're not happy with the familiar, however, why wouldn't you choose to go for the unknown? Hmm. Most definitely easier said than done. LOL. Easier to think about than to actually put into practice. I promise myself to work on this. Thank you for reminding me, Cheryl. Thank you so much! Much love to you!!!


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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

Books from Cheryl Richardson

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