BY SAYING "NO" TO ONE THING,
WE SAY "YES" TO ANOTHER
Most everybody I speak to struggles with enforcing boundaries in their life or putting their own needs first. In an effort to go with the flow, keep the peace, make a good living, be in a relationship, etc. many people opt to keep the status quo instead of going for their dreams. There is a fear of upsetting other people, disappointing them, inconveniencing others, failing or not being understood. So, we suffer. We remain stuck in the mediocracy of life feeling overwhelmed, settling for good enough instead of phenomenal and becoming resentful and burnt out.
This is no way to live. Yet many of us are all too familiar with what it's like when we are afraid to say no to others. More so, many of us are familiar with what it's like to feel stuck in a job, relationship, social circles, etc. that simply don't fulfill us. Have you ever been afraid to leave the familiarity of your unsatisfying relationship out of fear that a better guy/gal won't come along? Have you ever been afraid to leave the golden handcuffs of your corporate job out of fear that your dream career might leave you penniless? Living this way is allowing fear to dominate your life. It simply won't work long term.
STUCK IN FEAR'S GRIP
As long as you are afraid to let go of the things that no longer serve you because you fear something better might not come along, you will remain stuck. In essence, you will be committing to the very things you don't want. For example, if you are saying yes to continually working non stop, you are essentially saying no to having time for yourself or having time for a loving, balanced relationship. If you are saying yes to being taken advantage of, you are essentially saying no to participating in empowered, respectful relationships with others. While saying NO can be scary and uncomfortable, it is imperative to say NO to those people and things that no longer serve you if you want to live a happy, fulfilled, purposeful and healthy life.
CONSIDER A REFRAME
I'd like to offer a reframe on saying NO. Consider that every time you say NO to one thing, you are effectively saying YES to something else. Think about saying NO as a new way to say YES to what you're truly after. For example: When you say NO to wearing a skirt, you are saying YES to wearing pants. When you say NO to processed foods, you are saying YES to increased energy, vitality and overall well-being. Here are some powerful examples to consider:
* When you say NO to settling for crumbs in your relationship, you are saying YES to committing to TRUE, authentic partnership in which you can be loved, adored, honored and respected.
* When you say NO more to feeling suffocated by your lucrative 9-5 job that bores you to death, you are saying YES to living in alignment with your true purpose and calling. You are saying YES to having an impact in the world simply by being happy and offering your value from that place.
* When you say NO to being last on your list of priorities, you are saying YES to filling up your tanks so that you can actually be present and generous around family, friends and co-workers.
* When you say NO to over-giving to family and friends, you are saying YES to being respected by others and to creating important balance and structure in your life.
* When you say NO to speaking dishonestly out of fear of disappointing others, you are saying YES to expressing yourself truthfully therefore creating the opportunity for deep understanding, appreciation and growth in your relationships.
* When you say NO to going to every social engagement you are invited to because you are too tired, you are saying YES to resting your body and giving yourself the downtime or breathing room you need.
READY TO SAY YES?
So.... what and who are you ready to say NO to? More importantly, what are you ready to SAY YES to? This is your life. This is your time. In order to be truly happy and healthy the way you long to be, you must be willing to SAY YES to your ultimate life. YES to who you really are. YES to the abundance, love, connection, freedom, authenticity and purpose you desire. You must be willing to take the risk of saying NO.
I invite you to take a risk TODAY and say NO to something that is no longer serving you. It is no one else's fault. People take advantage of us because we allow them to. Our lives become tedious and meaningless because we let them get this way. This world needs you to come alive. This world needs you to start saying YES to YOU by saying NO to others. There simply is no more room for settling.
NO IS ACTUALLY A GIFT
Saying NO does not have to be mean or rude. You can politely say no to someone's offer by saying "No, thank you". Or, "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It doesn't fit with my schedule but I appreciate the offer." Saying NO to social plans so that you can restore your tanks creates a version of you that will have greater capacity and compassion for others. Our world will be positively impacted by the version of you who has boundaries. For it is this version of you that will simply and graciously demand respect from others. It is this version of you who inspire others by serving as an example of someone who practices self care, boundaries, generosity and appreciation of others. Begin to notice how saying NO is actually a gift to the people around you and to our world. Notice how you show up when you are actually happy and at full capacity to generously engage with others. Notice your productivity levels and your compassion.
You do not need to apologize for saying no or give numerous reasons that justify your "NO"-ness to others. Simply practice saying NO as gently and graciously as you can. Practice with the waiter who offers you more water when you don't want any. Simply say: "No, thank you". Practice with the person who wants to schedule something at a time that is inconvenient for you. Simply say: "I'd love to get together however that time doesn't work. These are the times that work for me". See what opens up for you.
THIS IS A BIG DEAL
This is a big deal. In our society we are trained that NO is a bad thing. We get really good at saying YES to everything, even those things we don't want. This is especially true for women. When I learned to say NO it changed my life. It freed me up to heal my body, find my life's purpose, recognize the love of my life and deepen my relationships with family and friends. It allowed me to clear out all of those things that were weighing me down and to create tremendous joy and freedom in my life that I am truly grateful for.
I invite you to do the same. Please share what you are ready to SAY NO and YES to in the comments area. Let's start a movement! Let's SAY YES by saying NO! I very much look forward to hearing what you're ready for and to supporting you on your journey towards living your ultimate life. You deserve it.
When you re-invent yourself through conscious inner work and by taking responsibility for your life, things begin to shift. First there are internal shifts such as a deeper sense of inner peace, freedom or clarity and then external shifts start to take place such as meeting inspiring people who support your path or understanding how you can finally move on from that thing/person who has been holding you back. More than anything, as we begin to live in alignment with our values, the purest form of who we are begins to emerge. I experienced this first hand and continue to feel it deepening as I refine and embody my truth more over time. I see it in clients who begin to identify their core values and put themselves first, out-growing old patterns and discarding sabotaging illusions. I see it when we remove processed foods and toxins from the body and allow our body to be nourished by clean, whole foods - a pureness and power is created on a physical level. We return home to our truest selves. Life becomes rich. I am inspired to share one of my favorite poems with you that poetically describes how it feels to SEE YOURSELF, the TRUE YOU once again or maybe for the first time ever. It is called Love After Love.
Inviting all of you to feast on your life and to join me on this magical journey of living as the TRUE YOU.
A WONDERFUL MOMENT ON MY PATH
Yesterday I reached my own personal pinnacle on this journey of living my truth. I had some powerful A-Ha's that brought great clarity and provided a sense of contentment as well as pride for all of the work I've done to get me to where I am today. To celebrate, I hiked to the top of Mount Tamalpais roughly 30 minutes north of San Francisco and basked in the magnificence of what it meant to "reach the top". This picture doesn't do the view justice. It was a 360 degree view of the entire San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the trees, the coastal fog and city's structures. It was simply breath taking to stand in nature, experience the wind in my face and feel the vastness of possibility before me. I literally felt on top of the world. I allowed myself to celebrate this moment in time.
GIVING YOURSELF A NECK CRAMP
Why is it that we forget to celebrate the little pinnacles we reach along our journey? We can become so focused on the ultimate result that we overlook the triumphs we are experiencing on a daily basis. The truth is that there is always further to go. Once we reach one peak, we are exposed to the next. Just as a baby wants to run once it has mastered walking, we too can always see the next opportunity before us. Imagine if you were hiking up a mountain this way though. If your gaze was always up, you would likely trip (or give yourself a neck cramp!). While it is critical to have a clear vision of where you are headed, it is also important to fully appreciate where you are right now.
INVITATION TO CELEBRATE
I invite you to celebrate yourself, your achievements, both big and small up until now. Celebrate all of the wonderful things in your life at this very moment. Honor the internal work you have done to become more authentic, to speak what is true for you, to risk for the sake of being happier. Pat yourself on the back for the times when you fell but got up again anyways; for the things you have outgrown, the new habits you've created and for the people you have forgiven, including yourself. Celebrate how you have changed and who you are now becoming. You don't have to wait until you are at the top of Mount Everest. We climb little mountains of magnificence every day of our lives.
ENJOYING THE VIEW AT THE TOP
Allow yourself to recognize that at this moment you are at the top of a mountain. It may not be the tallest mountain peak on earth, but it's certainly higher than where you were in the past. Bask in the glory of the view from up here. What have you overcome? What has made you stronger... or softer, more open or aware? Look out and see what's possible from here. Soak it all in. If you live in a place where you can go for a hike, I invite you to climb a small mountain to symbolize reaching your successes. Once you get to the top, take a moment to feel it all and congratulate yourself!
I'd love to hear what mountains you've climbed recently and how you are celebrating your efforts! Feel free to share your comments below.