I loved the simple alchemy of flipping her "no's" into "yesses" and
watching her life transform. I am 99.99% certain that this will work
for anyone, in any situation!
One habit Greg has tried to help me break is my habit of negativity.
“You’re so negative for a positive person,” he’s always telling me.
He’s right. And I hate that about myself!
The first time I noticed my ‘no’ habit I was climbing the stairs out of
the West 4th Street subway stop. I was a young artist begrudgingly
headed to a day job. “No,” I heard myself say with each step. No no no.
And just as the darkness of the underground station gave way to the
daylight of the West Village, it
dawned on me that if I could just replace those no’s with yesses,
everything in my life would change for the better. When I paid
attention I could do it while I was walking. “Yes yes yes,” I repeated
all that year as I walked my way from day jobbing to the life I’d
Even now, all these years later, when I don’t focus on saying yes, I
still easily slip back into the no habit. And this habit of negativity,
I now know, in Yoga is called dvesa, rejectivity, or aversion. Dvesa is
one of the four branches of avedya. We get caught in the habit of dvesa
when we say no to things that are unfamiliar, things that have caused
us pain before, maybe even things that we are afraid will reject us.
I’ve noticed I don’t always know when I’m engaging in dvesa. Because a
knee jerk, dvesic no, sounds a lot like a considered discerning no. But
no—all no’s are not alike. And of course, you say no to no in order to
say yes to yes.