I stole this phrase from my socks. The socks I wear to bar method. They are bright purple and some percentage of the sales went to benefit some kind of cancer (purple is lung I think?) and when my thighs are screaming bloody murder after one million on pointe down-an-inch torture squats, I look down on them and I think, "Dena, you can do this. Don't stop."

I had a dear friend, mentor and trainer who taught me that when dealing with a physical challenge the best mantras are short. They remind you to breathe. They sync with your breath. Two words is the perfect length for such a mantra. When you are doing something it feels like you can't do, when you are so far out of your comfort zone it's physically painful, this mantra becomes louder and more powerful than your doubts. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. 

I once had a boss who told me I was too negative. He was right. He said don't ever tell me no, Dena. Say yes. Figure out how to make it happen. 

When my fiancĂ© and I first started dating I instagrammed a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I felt particularly resonated in my soul, many years after the stories above. I had started to internalize the messages that the universe was pounding into me. I was realizing that with him sitting next to me. The quote was "Don't let anybody tell you no, who doesn't have the power to tell you yes." I think he fell in love with me right then and there. 

Positivity is not something that comes naturally to me. I am a worrier. My creativity is inspired to it's most perfect furor by thinking of the worst case scenario for every situation, all the time. I am anxious. When people are late I truly believe that they are lying in a ditch somewhere. 

This positivity that people find so inspiring in me was hard won. I have fought years to achieve it. I fight everyday to maintain it. It has been challenged in the most brutal of ways with this whole cancer business. It still some how manages to flame on in me. And it starts with a spark so small and simple that it works for everything. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. Like a heartbeat. 

Can you do this? Yes. Can you keep going? Yes. 

Can you get on a plane and fly to an island in the middle of the ocean to make memories and find answers and be surrounded by so much beauty and love that it could fill this ocean? Yes. Yes. Yes.