I was thrilled to start this second blog — and to offer up my particular brand of inspiration for women on the verge of transformative change in their lives.

So naturally, I had to take my own advice.  For me, that has meant saying Yes! to a calling that first presented itself back in the waning months of 2008 — and is now growing into an expanding labor of love. And because I am steadfastly devoted to creating time, space, and presence in my life, it also means saying No to other things.

As a result, this blog has enjoyed an oh-so-short life cycle, and will not continue in this form.  Please join me at my original blog, be whole now, where some new seeds have begun to sprout.

Your support is most appreciated.

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Sorry for the slowdown –just as this new blog was getting started!

I’m going on my second month without a working computer – and have found it basically impossible to maintain a consistent creative flow. Lots of ideas are underway — although, as you probably know, timing is not something under our individual control.

For now, why not visit the Pages on this blog or at my main blog, be whole now? Visit by clicking right here.

In the Just Say Yes Now! universe, truth triumphs. Not just truth as in factual bits and bytes of information — but the truth of who you are at the unfettered core of your being. Let’s face it: If you’re not embracing your personal truth, you’re creating a life based on one big fat lie, or a series of untruths that will eventually bite you from behind.

Want to live the authentic life you were put here to live? Try these 5 steps:

1. Uncover, Discover, or Recover Your Truth.  Dig beyond whatever your parents, your culture, your church, your government, your partner, your friends, your gurus, or your inner critics told you you should do and be. Underneath the layers of other opinions, you will find the spark that is you and always has been. She never stopped calling your name — even though you may not have been in a position to listen.

 If you have spent your entire life envisioning yourself as a teacher, an artist, a mother, a minister, a builder, a businessowner, a leader, a healer, or (Fill In The Blank Here!), you’re not making it up! If you knew what and who you were at age nine or twelve – and then were redirected by social or familial conditioning – you can still retrieve the truth that lies within you. Your dreams, desires and visions are real and always have been! Be prepared to get your hands dirty and to do some heavy spiritual lifting. Get assistance if you need, but begin with this all-important excavation, and begin as soon as you can.

2. Embrace Your Truth. If you’ve been repressing, denying, or just plain ignoring your truth, be prepared to give it some extra TLC. Who can thrive when they’ve been dissed for decades? Wouldn’t you be a bit hesitant to leap into the light of day if you had been stuffed at the back of the closet with the old clothes and piles of unfinished projects for a lifetime?

When I stepped into my 40s, I decided to start loving the truth that I’m a writer – instead of decrying the fact that I was not Toni Morrison. Tears streaming down my face, I repeated over and over “I am a writer,” until I believed it. Later, in my 50s (where I still reside), I finally got proud and loud about the fact that although I possess a solid head for business, I am neither motivated nor exhilarated by money. After years of being misunderstood and judged for my open heart and deepening spirit, I finally donned the mantle of the poet, spiritualist, inspiratrix, and change agent — and rejected the notion that my multidimensional view of reality reflected any lack or diminished capacity whatsoever. Yes!, it has taken a long time and a lot of inner work and outer struggle; and Yes! every step has been worth it. It is never – repeat, Never! – too late to embrace your most fervent truth.

3. Express Your Truth. Once you embrace, honor and celebrate the truth of who you are, it’s time to embody and express that energy. The longer energy sits without moving, the more you can anticipate experiencing emotional, physical, and spiritual/psychic symptoms of dis-ease. Stagnant energy will turn inward, block the free flow of creativity, joy and peace – and leave you exhausted and devitalized much of the time. You can certainly choose that mode of living if you prefer, but isn’t it worth trying something different?

Embodied expression can take myriad forms: writing, painting, cooking, sewing, gardening, interior design, crafts, fly-fishing, travel, singing, dancing, mentoring, handwork, (Fill in The Blank Here!) Begin to express your truth in small, private ways. Speak your truth in the bathroom; draw your truth in the sand at the beach; pour your truth into your home, office or yard. Just get it moving!

4. Protect Your Truth. Uh-oh, here come the naysayers and dream destroyers! Be mindful about spilling your tender beans too early and to the wrong people. Think of a brood hen, who sits patiently while her egg prepares to hatch. Choose carefully the people and environments in which you begin to express your newly unfolding truth. You may feel vulnerable, as if your nerve endings are poking through your skin with no protection. Don’t be surprised if those people who have known you the longest are the ones most ready to project their fears, inadequacies, and self-loathing onto you.

Find new friends and intentional family, if you must. Seek out others who will support you, encourage your efforts at self-actualization, and assist you without attempting to save or rescue. Create space for them to enter your life by disconnecting from others who offer you little but drama, negativity, and judgment. Trust your instincts above all else. Why would you want to be close to those who will not or cannot love you for the truth of who you are? If you are feeling fearful, hesitant, or downright resistant to expressing your true self in certain company, pay attention!

5. Live Your Truth. Once you have discovered, embraced, expressed, and protected the truth of who you are, you are on your way to living your truth fully. It may feel awkward at first, as you take your early tentative steps. You are learning to be in a new way. You are creating new pathways and patterns for the manner in which you experience your very existence — and may face challenges from belief systems and ways of being that are none too happy to give up their long-held status.

However, if you are committed to making true change in your life, you will hang in there through the tough times and reap the rewards as you go. You will begin to feel better, to look better, and to attract others who share your desire to create nourishing, satisfying and juicy lives.  You will say Yes, please! from your heart and, when appropriate, you will say No, thank you! from your belly.

Whether you have been waiting to (Fill In The Blank Here!) or (Fill In The Blank Here!) or simply want to experience more (Fill In The Blank Here!) and less (Fill In The Blank Here!), put your hand over your own heart and promise to honor your truth, your whole truth, and nothing but your truth.  So help you, (Fill In The Blank Here!)

Here’s a trio of three “RE” words from my book, Words of Wisdom for Women (Barnes&Noble/Fall River Press). Also, for your viewing pleasure, an oil painting by Asein Jumabekov of Kyrgyzstan, part of an exhibit from the International Museum of Women.

Tenderness, oil by Asein Jumabekov

Tenderness, oil by Asein Jumabekov

Refuse

Refuse to be bullied, negated, or dishonored. Hold your ground when those who are in positions of power want to push you around. When the man behind the desk treats you like a child, just say No. When a friend lays her guilt or his insecurities or their stuff on you, refuse to own it. Refuse to be the last one to get her needs met. Refuse to let go of your fondest dreams and desires. At every opportunity, turn down shame or blame thrown in your direction. Stop doing what causes you pain. Just refuse to continue. Stomp your feet if you must. Scream and yell if you must. Refuse with your deepest truth – with that which you know is real and right and good — and just say No to everything else.

Remember

Remember who you are and where you came from. Don’t forget to remember the pain. Remember how it felt the first time you kissed somebody full on the mouth. Remember being so scared you nearly peed in your pants. Remember that day you hoped would never end. Remember when it did. Remember when you were so free and alive that nothing could stand in your way. Then, suddenly, everything could. Remember when they wouldn’t believe you. Remember when your mother died, or when her mother died, or when a child you didn’t even know died. Remember when parts of yourself died — or when you put them on a shelf so high you couldn’t reach them. Now remember how to get them back. Do you remember?

Restore

Put something back together so it’s stronger and more beautiful than it was before. Put that rosy glow back into your cheeks. Rub and polish the front hall floor until it’s as grand as it once was. Take apart a chair, a coat, a carburetor, and bring it back just the way it was, only different this time. Only better. Do the same with your health, your attitude about others, or those pottery shards that were once a pitcher. Reconstruct that which you want to hold fast; deconstruct that which you want to see crumble to pieces. If your home or your neighborhood has become a battlefield, try to restore peace and order wherever you can. Restore your faith in humanity — and restore your faith in yourself.

This excerpt is from my book, Words of Wisdom for Women (Barnes & Noble), and its sister paperback version, 365 Words of Well-Being for Women (McGraw-Hill/Contemporary). You can link to bn.com from the right-hand sidebar.

RISK

Be willing to lose something in order to gain something else. Take an emotional risk: say I love you and want to be with you. Take a financial risk: invest in a woman-owned business or a community-supported farm. Take a creative risk: pick up a paintbrush or a violin; go to the contact improvisation dance class; show your poems to somebody. Be willing to show your vulnerabilities: Cry. Take the risk and show more power than you’ve shown before: Insist! Risk everything, and if you lose it all, realize how much richer you are for it. Risk being laughed at, risk being heckled, risk being silenced. Risk being hurt. Risk being more joyful, more brilliant, more alive, and more fulfilled than you’ve ever imagined. Only when you’re ready to risk losing it all can you risk having it all — and more.

I took an emotional  risk today and publicly requested help in manifesting the funds I need to secure a reliable, dependable, previously owned laptop to replace my trusty “Mackenzie,” who has given up the ghost once and for all.  For more on my online “technological rent party,” click over to my sister blog, Be Whole Now.

A woman I know took a financial and professional risk by quitting her job of nearly 10 years when new management began disrespecting and devaluing her as well as her loyal, hard-working staff.

A 60-something woman I met at a women’s retreat last Fall, held hands with two friends and walked off the sand and into the ocean for the first time in her life, shaky yet supported.

What risk might you take  – or have taken recently – in order to move more fully into your own truth? What risk have you been unwilling to consider for a very long time? Share your story with us.

On March 26, 2009, I made a “Woman! What Are You Waiting For?” presentation to 135 women in western Massachusetts. My appearance was part of a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!” event series sponsored by The Republican (newspaper), with additional support from Springfield’s NUVO Bank & Trust at Tower Square.

For a taste of the evening, read the piece here in The Republican.

Each attendee was invited to complete a simple Pledge form, stating:

1. For a long time, I have wanted to… (Fill in the blank)

2. …but I have been waiting until…(Fill in the blank)

3. I now declare that I’m not waiting any longer, and to take my first step, I promise myself I will… (Fill in the blank)

Six courageous women stood and voiced their declarations to the entire audience, then basked in the raucous applause. Truly, how often do we receive unqualified, unconditional love and support for our long-held dreams and visions?

I heard and read numerous stories from women of all ages and all economic groups, and was moved by them all. Here is a sampling: Perhaps some of them sound all-too familiar.

"Hibiscus Path" by Lexi Sundell, acrylic

"Hibiscus Path" by Lexi Sundell, acrylic

For a long time, MJ has wanted to reach her goal of getting her Bachelor’s degree – but was waiting until her kids were out of college. Now, she promised herself that she will continue to enroll in one class each semester — though it has been even harder due to her husband’s terminal illness.

For a long time, KA has wanted to take a yoga class without feeling guilty about putting herself first. As a single, divorced mom of three, she was waiting until her children were old enough to stay home alone. Now, she pledged to schedule a yoga class — something just for her!

PW has wanted for a long time to take her power back from her unstable husband — but has been waiting until his emotional state improved. Now, she promised that she will never again allow him to verbally abuse her or her children when he is mad or upset  — and that it’s not her life-long work to try to fix him anymore.

For a long time, JN wanted to have a fulfilling relationship, but was waiting until she lost weight. Her promise — to put myself out there now and be open to new experiences.

LM has long wanted to own her own business and be financially independentbut was waiting until she got out of her own way. She promised to take one small step — and call the woman she had met earlier that day who expressed interest in her concepts.

JD had this to say: For a long time, I have wanted to truly love and believe in myself, but I have been waiting until I am “perfect.” As my first step, I promise to say daily affirmations to myself — stating that I AM good enough and beautiful enough and worthy of LOVE!

Moving forward into the satisfying and joyful life you were born to live, begins by admitting that everything is not as you’d like it to be…

… and then taking a first, simple step in a new direction.

What are you waiting for?

Share your stories, your inspiration and your honoring of other women here.  I moderate all comments before posting them for public viewing.


This is a brand-new blog being created by inspirational author and speaker Rachel Snyder — and You! If you’ve already found your way here, Welcome (and pardon our dust)! Feel free to poke around and leave your footprints via comments and other offerings.

For a better idea of what’s yet to come, pop on over to my original site – Be Whole Now – and get a powerful dose of intelligent inspiration and illumined insight in words, art, and music.

These sister blogs will overlap for a while — until each comes into her own unique identity. For now, I’ m seeing Be Whole Now taking on a greater spiritual/multidimensional hue, while JUST SAY YES NOW! offers up support for embodying your personal truth and moving it out into the world through action steps small and large.

This site is where we create community. Where we join hands and hearts and offer up our stories, our vulnerabilities, our tears and our joys. Where your words, your art, your dreams and your visions can touch – and be touched by – others.

This site needs your voice – and the voices of others around the world – in order to sound the chord of unity. Do you have something to share with the rest of us? Do you need witness and support, a safe space to speak your truth? Of course you do…

JUST SAY YES NOW!