We say “Yes” a lot when we are releasing. Lester discovered that saying “No” just causes us to suppress our feelings — and this just leads to unhappiness.

So we say yes to pain, yes to fear, yes to anger, yes to the ego… yes to whatever we are resisting. The more we can say yes to it, the faster it dissolves and we are free of it.

Here’s an historically true story about Thomas Jefferson:

President Jefferson and five of his aides were returning to Washington DC on horseback. They came to a flood-stage river fed by the recent rains. It’s dangerous to cross a river in a flood — it’s easy to be swept downstream if your horse fails. There’s a man standing by the side of the river, without a horse, obviously wanting to get to the other side of the river.

He looks at all the riders, then walks up to President Jefferson and says: “Sir, would you give me a ride across the river?” This adds to the danger of the river crossing, but without hesitation President Jefferson says “Yes, of course.”

The entire party crosses safely, and the stranger jumps off President Jefferson’s horse and says “Thank you, Sir.”

One of the President’s aides asks the man why he asked President Jefferson for a ride across the river, and not the aides.

“You’re President Jefferson?” the man exclaims. “I had no idea who you were. I just know that I looked at everyone’s face, and they all had ‘No’ written on their faces. But when I looked at you, you had a ‘Yes’ face.”

And that’s why Thomas Jefferson was the President, and the aides were the aides.

And on a more personal level: when we master saying “Yes”, we become the President, the master of our own world.