Last summer I did a series of posts on Simplicity – “Eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak” (Hans Hofmann). The posts that received the most attention were the ones I wrote on learning to say no. So this month, I’m reposting them in the hopes that we all learn to eliminate the unnecessary from our lives.
repost from June 15, 2014 The Art of Saying No
If you are to prune any activities from your busy overly scheduled life, you need to learn the art of saying “no.” And yes, saying no is an art! It’s all about coming from your own heart, not leaking your energy out to others in shoulds and must-do’s.
For most of us, this is still a difficult assignment. Practicing in front of a mirror might make it easier. Say to yourself, “You know I’d love to help out with this project, but I just can’t. I’m way overbooked.” Or, “Gee, I’m so sorry, but I can’t take that on right now.” Period … end of sentence. You do not need to justify why you can’t, you just need to say no. Leave no doubt, no room for maneuvering. You want to be clear in your no while coming from a place of compassion and honesty.
Removing the energy blocks from your voice and throat will help too. As you say “no,” imagine the words flowing out of your throat in crystal-clear color, surrounded by warmth, honesty, and clarity. Saying no with clarity and gentleness allows you to stand in your own power.
Practice saying no. Write about your experiences. Validate your clarity, your strength, and the compassion you hold for yourself. Make your no stick. Make it permanent. Make it definitive. Come from your heart and mean it. No going back.
A well-known proverb says, “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” Pruning your list of activities will result in new growth. New ways of being. New opportunities to be more of who you were meant to be. Weeding out the activities and shoulds that are not in alignment with your essence will allow you room to breathe. To think. To listen. To be present in the now.
So practice saying no. Practice standing in your own power and not leaking it to someone else. Know that as you prune back to the essentials—to the activities that are in alignment with your internal wisdom—you will blossom. Make room in your life for you.
As with any difficult assignment, validate your progress. Make a list of all those shoulds that you are ready to let go of. Write them all down. Look at this list as you plan your calendar for the next few weeks. Rejoice in your ability to set your own agenda.
I am grateful that you are here! Thanks for being a part of this journey of discovery – finding ways to live our lives on purpose and in a meaningful way. If this post resonated with you, please share it on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet helps me reach more people who crave support in being as kind to themselves as they are to others.