Just Say YES!

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Just say Yes!

“Just say no”, obviously didn’t work out so well for me judging by where I ended up in my life 20 years ago. I was the guy that said yes to all the bad stuff and said no to the things that might actually be good for me. It’s not how I planned it and it certainly didn’t line up with my childhood values but there I was. I discovered at an early age that I could avoid responsibility and lightning didn’t strike. I had a president that lied and was impeached (Nixon). Yes, I’m that old. Vietnam was going strong as was the love/peace generation. I was a boy scout and loved adrenaline. The Apollo program was going strong and we hated the Russians. I had great friends, family and what many at the time called the American dream. I was a thinker, and a dreamer. I was a nice guy(ugh), which usually meant I got along with everybody and avoided confrontation. I learned early to laugh along even if it was not funny or at the expense of others. I was conflicted in a lot of areas and especially with our political scene and world powers and thought they were stupid. I read a lot about history and enjoyed humans. I also hated humans. I just wanted to have the wife and 2.5 kids and the house and career (I wanted to be a forest ranger). And dogs. Can’t live without dogs.

As I went on through my early years, I would put off things to for instant gratification and surely didn’t work very hard for what I wanted. Well unless it was adrenaline filled week of skiing or a binge weekend. Then I would move mountains… I think this is somewhat typical now looking back and maybe even more prevalent now. Anyway, by the time I reached my 30’s it was apparent I wasn’t very good at achieving my goals or even having goals. I was in survival mode.

I had a good run of addiction and alcoholism that came to crescendo around my 36th year. Having abandoned my family and bounced so hard off the bottom, I was done. Life was over. I had lost all hope of the American dream and the only thing I really had left was my dog Molly that I stole from a drug dealer and my truck with bad tags and no insurance. I lost the respect of my children and THAT, was the worst feeling I have ever had in my life. I was a victim and had a lot of “if only stories”, or “you would do what I do if this happened to you”.  Never in a million years did I think I would be able to pull out of that place and have the life I do today, but I did and I do. And it all started when I had no more plans, no more ideas and no more will. I found recovery. I found people like me that did what I did and had the life I wanted and all I had to do when they asked if I wanted what they had was to say “YES”.

Yes. Yes, to doing stupid stuff with people I didn’t want to be around. Yes, to showing up to a new commitment because I said I would. I had to start at the beginning and learn personal integrity all over again. All because I had a glimmer of hope that I could do what they did and have what they did, a life worth living and a spark in their eye and a freakin sense of humor. I wasn’t laughing anymore.

When I was younger, I would say no to things that I was afraid of. Like finances, relationships, and exercise to name a few, I would procrastinate and do anything but what was good for me at the time. In recovery, I learned to take action in the moment. I learned to walk through things I was afraid to do. I learned how to put off things in the moment and follow through with things I had committed to. Like paying back taxes and back child support. I had a group of guys that I could talk to about how to be a man of integrity. They showed me and slowly, like really slowly, I began to change and grow into the man I am today. It took a long time. I had many steps back and many times I didn’t know what to do but I showed up anyway.

It was well into my mid to late 40’s that I started really looking at what I wanted to do with my life. I met a guy that called me out on my ability to help others and my immense heart. I never let people see it before because I didn’t believe I had anything to offer. With his help and countless others, I started to develop a plan for the rest of my life, even if it was one more day. I started saying YES to things that were good for me. I started to say yes to opportunity. I started to say no to things that didn’t serve me. I now had choice.

Needless to say, this worked out well for me. In all my ups and downs to this day, I look at how I choose. What are my motives. Am I avoiding pleasure for pain or pain for pleasure. Not by a long shot am I perfect at this but I am much better than I have ever been. I started to say yes to the things I like to do. I also did a lot of work around owning my life. No one is going to do it for me. I had to take charge and learn how to do thing on a daily basis that would turn into habits and therefore beliefs about myself. Things like eating right, working a full 8 hours if that’s what I am signed up for. Sitting down and paying bills before they are due (what a concept). And in doing these things, I developed patterns of consistency in my choices that paid off well. I was able to pay off all of my back debt from divorce and child support. My kids trust me. My ex-wife and I are clean.

It was about this time that I started these conversations with myself and God. Now here I have struggled with concepts, old beliefs and new beliefs and let’s just say that I have a relationship today that is like a friend. In fact, I often call him dude. He doesn’t mind. I was using prayer and meditation and asking questions. Dude, “what are we going to do today”? At about this time I learned a phrase to ask the universe, “WWIT- What would it take?” I would have a situation and I would say “What would it take for _____… to happen, show up, have”. I had this on my door on a sticky note leading out of my house. I would ask the question, or any question and then look for it throughout the day. Amazing things started to happen. I started saying… “yes” to opportunities and ideas that would pop up. I was working on my “Above All Adventures” program and was talking to Sugar Bowls marketing department about coming up with some kids to ski as they were a sponsor. That morning, I had meditated on how I could create some more income to get me to where I needed. While on the call with them, the thought came… “do you guys have anything I can do to make a few extra bucks?” He said “why don’t you teach?” I said, “I can do that?” A day later I was on the snow doing one of the most rewarding jobs of my life… Hanging with kids on snow. I love teaching kids my love of all things snow!!! That lasted for several years and was absolutely amazing for me and the kids I worked with.

Synchronicity, with the good in this world has grabbed me and affected me like it was always supposed to flow this way. (I firmly believed the world and good was for everyone else but me, and I created loads of reasons and examples of why this was so.) I get amazing results when I believe that there is good out there. When I focus on my purpose and my “WHY”, Good comes. Like when you buy a new car (or new to you) and your mind shows you every other car like it on the road. Our minds create what we think!

I found that the tools I used for the last 20 years were actually working to change me and the outcomes of my life. A friend came to me and was quite troubled by his circumstances. Having participated in a mock seminar I created, he came to me for help. I said “YES”. I started him on an email program I had built and it helped him take charge of his life. He became a new man and shared with me that this stuff is amazing. I still interact daily with him and it is a joy to see him thrive! (more on this in a moment).

I decided to say “YES” to a vision I had to travel. I created a plan to downsize, move to a ski resort and work for a ski resort and rafting company for a time and then leave and work on writing stuff for my nonprofit Above All adventures and a book and find out how others in the world live. I left on Feb 1st of 2018. First stop Thailand. I was exploring and hanging out for a month and a half loving life, saying yes to eating this and doing that… still communicating with my friend above… We had spent some considerable time talking about my trip and finances and how I was going to navigate Australia and New Zealand on a small budget. I remember asking “what would it take” for me to achieve this and to afford this without having to low budget these countries as they are expensive.       Unbeknownst to me, this friend was talking to his sister who had a money guy and they needed some content for an app and my friend said… “I know a guy”. He called me and asked if I was sitting down. I said “on a beach”. He told me of the conversation with his sister and said to expect a call. (We both knew this was directly related to my inner work). They proposed to pay me and fly me back to create some recovery content and then I could resume my trip. I said I’m kinda busy… I’ll send a proposal and they accepted and said “Great, when can you be here”? I was like… crap, and then came back to the states and worked and then continued to work while traveling Australia and New Zealand in style and then came back to do more and I had to shut it down because it was not in alignments with my values and what I was after. I had to go to the money guy and share some stuff with him in order to be in integrity with him and myself. (Other people weren’t so integral) By saying “yes” to that phone call, I got exactly what I asked for, paying for Australia and New Zealand. (in Talking with a mentor, Next time I will be adding “And More” or “And Better” to my manifesting desires!!!

In the time since I started working with my friend above, He told a friend and several others came to me and asked what I am doing and if I could help them. 15 People have gone through a beta test of this new system and the results have been like mine. Life changing. So I have decided to offer this online to the public.  This will be a great way to help myself, help others so that I can get back to my dream of Above All Adventures and fully funding that program to help teens and adults say “YES” to life!

I said “yes” to my desire to buy an RV and travel around the US and work where I want to. I am meeting with like-minded people and mentors and fellow travelers and am loving the life I have designed for myself. I interact online and in person sharing myself with those that will have me. I am filled with joy at living a life by design, on purpose. I am going skiing this week in Mammoth because I helped a friend when he asked. With a serving heart, I never need anything in return, but I will always say yes to abundance coming back to me! And it does!

I have opinions, social media issues, government distrust, world problems and all kinds of reasons and ideas on what everyone else needs to do and as I continue on here, I have discovered that these opinions and ideas old and new no longer serve me. My job is to share love and life with those I encounter, dogs especially, and to work toward my goals and dreams with ease. I work daily at letting go of old stuff and focusing on exactly what I want because that is exactly what I will get so I choose amazing!

I learned to walk through the fear and act regardless of how I felt. I learned that my fear was mostly a lie. A way to keep me small so that nothing bad would happen. What I found instead was by stepping into fear, it disappears. It was in my head and stopping me from having a good life. No thanks. I deserve to have good things happen. I work hard and treat people well. I, by saying no, created a life that was full of pain and shame and remorse. By saying yes, I have a life full of people that love me, a life that has purpose and meaning. A life of excitement and fun. I don’t know what is coming for me but going by my past experience lately, it’s going to be awesome! Thank God I now have choices!

My purpose in writing this is that perhaps you would like to say “YES” but are not sure or afraid. Well I challenge you to pick one thing that can make your life or the life of those around you better and choose yes and do it! “What one thing”, one small thing can you do now? (I always wanted to know the whole path and the outcome before I would act) Ask yourself, God, The universe, What one thing? Your answer will come! Sometimes it’s “do the dishes” others its “step out of your comfort zone and stand up for your desires and goals and take 1 freakin small step forward.” You got it!!! Just say yes!

Mike Pugh