Monday, July 8, 2019

The Boldness of Saying No....

I have a friend who always inspires me because she's one of the most in-the-moment people I have ever known. She's never without a positive word, even when times were difficult and the situation she was in wasn't going exactly as she'd hoped. And having known her for over 20 years, I have born witness to how she made the best of  her circumstances, even when they seemed impossible. She might have vented about it a bit, but she didn't complain or expect others to step in and save her. She just saw it through in the best way she could imagine, always believing that things would work out. And now, she's in a new and amazing chapter of her life, and talking with her, it's so easy to see how all roads led to where she has arrived, even the darkest and loneliest ones.

She will tell you that she ended up on some of these dark and lonely roads because she was afraid to say yes a few times, when life presented something unexpected, because saying yes would mean change. It was easier to say no. No shuts doors. It closes avenues. It keeps things the same. Saying yes can mean an adventure, but saying no gets you home in time for your favorite television shows. 

In her mind, saying no would keep things from getting out of control. It would prevent drama. It would prevent failure. Only, it didn't, because the things she said no to weren't replaced by things meant for her...they were the things meant for her. And no is so often a default, a word we say out of fear, because we think something is going to be too difficult, too challenging, too much.

But sometimes, it takes a bit of boldness to say no. Because no can also mean no more
I'm done. 
I don't want this

It can be as bold a move as saying yes. 

**stock image, not generated by me**
Saying no can be one of the ultimate ways of setting healthy boundaries and caring for ourselves. It can also be how we honor our intuition and respect divine timing. 

I recently read an essay by a lady who makes her living primarily online. As business swelled, she had to hire more staff, but over the years, the work had taken too much from her personal life and the office environment she had created became toxic as the business grew. The money was pouring in, but everyone was stressed and overwhelmed. Her first initial thought was to hire more people, but then she realized, though it contradicted everything she had learned about running a business, that she needed to say no to this. She needed to say no to the life she was currently living, the toll it was taking on her health, her well-being, and the well-being of her family. So she restructured the business, let go of her entire staff, and went back to the level she had managed before. It was a difficult decision, as it wasn't what others wanted. But her staff found new jobs and her family is thrilled to have her back, the old her, the her that isn't always tense and on edge all the time from running a mega-business. Her smaller-scale business is now enough, her income is enough, and she finally feels like she is enough. And it all came from saying no.

I have said no to many things over the past couple of years, things I knew seemed like logical, rational choices, but in the end, weren't meant for me. Or they were things I had been doing for a long time, but they didn't bring me as much joy as they once had. It was time to step away, to say no, to clear a path for new things to come by releasing what was no longer serving me. Sometimes it was hard, because I knew my no was affecting the lives of others. However, in saying no to these things, these situations, these possible life paths, I cleared the way for change not only for myself, but for others as well. 

Saying no. It can be just as bold as saying yes, if not more so. 
Happy Monday!

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