The Ojas of Yes

To say ‘yes’ means to allow a thought or circumstance to flower, to let go and expand. The trees say “yes” to every season. When spring comes, they say “yes” and they flower. When summer comes, they say “yes” and become dry and thirsty. When fall comes, they say “yes”, change colour and are ready to drop their leaves. To say “yes” means to surrender - to every thought, feeling and emotion. It means to let go and letting go is a journey toward the heart. To say yes to pain means to be with it and to be with something is to love it. Saying “yes” with awareness helps to stimulate ojas.
— Dr Vasant Lad - Textbook of Ayurveda - Fundamental Principles

Yes is love, No means resistance.

Yes is a decision, and decision making has become an issue of our society more than ever - how to make the right investment, how to trust an authority on your well being, how to fall in love again.

I love Dr Lad's rendition of Ojas and the anupana or carrier of positivity in the form of the word yes. He does mention that it is be said with awareness and this means being mindful of needing to move through the toxins in our body and mind to be able to see clearly. We try to find clarity in the mind through decision making when the decision making is really just a reflective state of the inner workings of the body. When the body is clear and prana is moving through correctly, decisions will come more intuitively from the heart and will feel right and empowering to to do so. But if you are not in touch with how your body reactions are telling you a story, decisions can be very difficult things to do.

As women, from the history of disempowerment, we went through a period of "no". No to being treated in a violent relationship, no to being restricted in life choices of career vs motherhood, no to body images in the media that do not represent a healthy state of being. All good and well. No seems to be the process needed to bring the awareness to the fore. No allows the toxins to come out to the open. No is the reaction of gut feelings. No is the conscious awareness of a misalignment to your well being. But once out there, no ideally would then be replaced with the positive enhancement of yes. Yes is the gateway to move from the old to the new, from the past to an evolved way of being. Yes means that you have, indeed, let go of what was holding you back. You've made the space and now you want to surround yourself with daily habits and the company of people that will support that. Yes is all inclusive, no has walls. Yes allows you to sit with the emotions without resistance, to breathe through them, to give them space to speak and then to dissolve. No is resistance and a re-telling of your drama.

So how would one discern the difference between an appropriate yes and no?

Interesting. I was searching google for the psychology of the yes/no dilemma and all the feeds related to relationships - communication can be one of the most confusing topics for us mere mortals because we haven't learnt how to communicate with ourselves, how to read the signs. Check out google and it's about how he's not that into you, how to follow up by text her after date number 1, blah blah, and yet, there is never a link to how our body's are functioning. Read and I'm sure you can imagine a body/mind diagnosis from an Ayurvedic perspective with the "relationship" issue - 

  • He's full of shit
  • Her emotions are up and down and unreliable
  • He works late at night and criticises her constantly
  • She shuts down and retreats when dealing with confrontation and eats for comfort
  • He can't sit still and listen to me
  • She holds a grudge and won't let the past go

Our daily practise, called dinacarya, is the Yes gateway. It provides a daily letting go and surrender of the toxins that build up in the body. It provides a check into the signs and symptoms that will ultimately manifest in all aspects of your life. If your organism has the ability to be drawn to food and activities that are life enhancing, the ability to process what it needs and transmute the experience into stable tissue, and the ability to let go or crap out/urinate out/sweat out what isn't needed, I will suggest decisions come easy to you.  When there is an imbalance, you may make decisions that push you further out of balance, and then "no" or abstinence may be the only answer until you can find learn how to tune in for when you feel a strong "yes" in your gut feeling.

And then there is the bigger picture of life. I love the following parable because it reminds us that there is no good or bad. Yes/No decisions have no determined consequence apart from the karma of your own life story - no one else can make that for you. It's just a series of fork in the roads and you will either feel good about them or feel bad or, ideally, you learn to step out of the way and let it be done, a true journey to the heart.

A Story: The Farmer's son (extracted from the Rainbow body website)

One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.

Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, "What a shame.  Now your only horse is gone.  How unfortunate you are!. You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?" The farmer replied: "Who knows? We shall see".

Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral. 

Word got out in the village of the old farmer's good fortune and it wasn't long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck.  "How fortunate you are!" they exclaimed. You must be very happy!"  Again, the farmer softly said, "Who knows? We shall see."

At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer's only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer's son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg.  One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer's latest misfortune.  "Oh, what a tragedy!  Your son won't be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You'll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad".  they said.  Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, "Who knows? We shall see"

Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor's men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor's army.  As it happened the farmer's son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg.  "What very good fortune you have!!" the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. "You must be very happy." "Who knows? We shall see!", replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.

As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences. "Oh what bad luck. Too bad for you"!  But the old farmer simply replied; "Who knows? We shall see."

As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: "Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy", to which the old farmer replied, "Who knows? We shall see!" 

Sandra RadjaComment