How jumping into something with both feet changed my world
Authored by Casey Miller
April 15, 2019
First coined by Derek Silver and later championed by Mark Manson, the “Hell Yeah! or No” mentality (technically I think it’s “F**k Yeah! or No”, but we’ll keep it PC) says if you're not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no.” The idea is to sift through all of the B.S. and get to the core of what you really want. Not one to follow rules very well, I’ve decided to change the mantra a bit to “If you're not saying ‘HELL YEAH!’ about something, say ‘no’... and if you say ‘Hell yeah!’ then jump in with both feet and don’t look back!”
Without knowing what it was called, I did this three years ago, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
In March of 2016, I had one week I was targeting for a much-needed vacation. A few weeks out from when I wanted to go, I was talking to a fellow yogi, and she recommended doing a yoga retreat for my vacation. She had just been to an amazing one at a place called Sansara in Panama. I looked up Sansara’s calendar and saw that a group called BIG Power Yoga was listed for the week I wanted to go. Living in NYC and not Houston, I had never heard of BIG. So I did what any logical person would do… I stalked their site and emailed to ask if they allowed random strangers to go on their retreats.
Is that not normal? 😂
A woman named Amara (co-owner of Live Alive Adventures) called me, and you could say it was love at first ...call. I just had a gut feeling I liked her, and in addition to feeling an immediate connection with her, everything couldn’t have lined up more perfectly...
- I could escape to somewhere warm
- Someone had already been to the place itself and said it was amazing
- It was the exact week I was targeting
Did I want to do this? HELL YEAH!
So - again - I did the totally normal thing, sent my payment information and booked my flights within an hour of hanging up. A few weeks later, I was on a black sand beach in Panama with a whole bunch of strangers having the time of my life, surfing at dawn (definitely didn’t drink beers on our way back at 7am), alternating between high boat and low boat while one of the yoga instructors ran through the yoga shala pretending to be big or small waves like we practiced for surfing, and reenacting a wedding where I did a dramatic reading of “Waves” as new friends acted out the lyrics via interpretative dance (yes, that actually happened… couldn’t make that up if I tried). I know I will forever look back on that trip as a turning point in my life.
Were there plenty of reasons not to go? Uh, yeah... I was signing up to travel to a foreign country with a group of random strangers to a place I had never been to. People definitely thought I was crazy at first, but I figured - worst case scenario - I’d be in a beautiful place (seriously, look up Sansara and you’ll see what I mean), surfing and doing yoga. How bad could it be, really? If the people sucked, then they sucked! I had a gut feeling, and I felt like I was following signs laid out for me, and it could not have worked out better for me in the end.
Three years later, I have found a group I truly connect with on a different level than my usual circle of friends. I found a soul sister in Amara. I have new friends in different places across the country I now consider family. I reignited my LOVE for traveling and am going on my third adventure with LIVE ALIVE this coming June to Dolomites.
While the technical idea of “Hell Yeah!" or "No” was only recently brought to my attention in a very different context from this, labeling it made me realize that some of the best experiences of my life have come from unknowingly adopting that mantra, including this trip to Panama.
If you’re going to do something, first ask yourself if you really WANT to do it. If your answer is “HELL YEAH!” like it was for me and this vacation, then f**king do it!! And don’t just dip a toe in...Cannonball into the deep end! Worst case scenario, you belly flop (though I feel like that would be hard to do when attempting a cannonball, but you get the idea). I’d venture that instead of flopping, you'll end up embarking upon something truly and utterly amazing. But if not, you will have had a great time before you flopped or at least have a hilarious story to share with your friends over a glass (cough cough bottle) of wine.
Come adventure with LIVE ALIVE Adventures. Click HERE to check out our 2020 Panama adventure!
Blogging Adventurer: Casey Miller
Casey lives in NYC where she eats her way through the city and stops at every dog she passes in the street. When she’s not eating or playing with other people's dogs, she works in sports tech helping pro teams and pro leagues develop fans through youth programming. She also founded a non-profit that runs corporate volunteering improving career awareness for children in low-income communities. Her passion for travel started when she lived in Paris for Study-Abroad with Duke, and her love affair with yoga began soon after that when she hurt her knee and yoga was the only physical activity she was allowed to do.
After (super) randomly finding the LIVE ALIVE / BIG community, Casey is the self-proclaimed NYC Ambassador member of this wonderful tribe and tries to partake in as many adventures and activities as she can with them. With Panama and India under her belt, she is excited to go to the Dolomites in June as her next BIG adventure.