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Never Say Never

Jennifer Mulholland
November 17, 2023

Have you ever said to yourself or another, “ I would -could-will-never do that”? I certainly have – although the occasions have been more unconscious than conscious. This past summer, a new light was shed on my “nevers”, like the sun rays that one day shine on a new leaf.

I didn’t intentionally set out to reverse my nevers - they happened on their own and in their own time. Maybe it has to do with age or turning 50, or maybe it has to do with my expanding consciousness, or maybe it has nothing to do with either. I don’t know. What I do know is that I am more open to experiencing life in its fullness these days. And, I’m more attuned to a desire that seeks to expand my perspective.

Some of my nevers feel private and sacred to my heart not to share publicly. Some seem trite and silly, even to mention. But, I find myself reflecting on the gift of saying “Yes” to my nevers and how much I learn about myself when I do.

As an example, as stupid as it sounds, I’ve said to myself, “I’ll never do Hot Yoga Sculpt.” When it hit the scene in Park City, I was like, “What the hell? This is not yoga and not what yoga is supposed to be about. “Only in Park City,” I said to myself (and others), where physical activity has to be extreme. “You’ll never see me in a class - it’s just not my thing.” That changed in June when I was drawn to try it and listened to that pull. Why not?

I had the best time. It was an ass-kicker, fun, connective, and joyful, and I felt so good after. I was so proud of myself and grateful I decided to try it. And I was hooked. Since my first class, I’ve gotten stronger, leaner, wiser, and more connected to my whole self. My mat has been my personal conduit for releasing, receiving, and seeing the dark and light sides of myself. And, in almost every class, I witness something I can do that I never could before. I love the vibe, people, sweat, community, teachers, and the space to be quietly me. What a gift this “never” has been.

When cold plunging hit the scene, I said, “That’s just not my thing,” not realizing that I had cold plunged every summer when I would dive into our chilly lake in Maine. I resisted the idea of inducing myself into a cold tub and thought it was another wellness fad that would soon become commoditized like every other bio hack. Once again, my “never” opened a doorway of incredible challenge, healing, and growth. It forces me to center, to become deeply present with my breath, to be my own performance coach, and to muster the courage to overcome the extreme discomfort that leads to a deeper level of rejuvenation and regeneration of my muscles, organs, and overall system. Submerging into extreme cold forces me to become acutely present with my breath, practicing calm in a stressful situation. It helps me build my resilience to the outside stressors of life and develops my capacity to stay calm no matter what I am going through. I certainly don’t do it every day, but I now know I can do it when I need and want to.

Let’s talk about high-waisted jeans, as frivolous and topical as it might be. But, seriously, how are they back in style? Never will you see me wearing them! Until something in me said, “Why not?” So, I bought a pair (or two) and laugh every time I put them on.

I have a lot more examples I could share, but I won’t bore you with the list. Suffice it to say we all have places within ourselves that are more rigid than others. The amazing thing about life and our brains is that we can change our minds, perspectives, and viewpoints at any time. And when we do, new doors of awareness, self-realization, and self-actualization open up. New neuropathways are formed. New opportunities present themselves. New relationships emerge.

Saying yes instead of “No way” has opened me up to me. My heart is more expansive, my body is stronger, and my mind is more flexible. I feel lighter and more open and notice I’m not taking myself so seriously.

Where are your “never will I evers?”

Breathe into the resistance of your "nevers" and notice the symphony of transformation that awaits. Every "never" is a gateway to untapped potentials and unseen horizons. It's not just about the high-waisted jeans or the chill of a cold plunge; it’s about the unveiling of a version of yourself that's been patiently waiting in the wings, ready to be the star of your own becoming. It’s about the whispered yes in a world of loud no’s, the quiet unfolding of a soul unburdened by the weight of categorical denials. As your “yeses” increase, the richness and diversity of your experiences will grow too. 

Notice the invitations, and let your "nevers" be the stepping stones to the unimaginable wonders that lie ahead.


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