No.

My word for this year is LEARN.  

So it just makes sense to use this Year of Sundays to reflect on 52 of my most significant Life Lessons.   Some may seem more significant than others, but each one has changed how I live my life in powerful way.   I’d love to hear if and how any of these same lessons have surfaced in the classroom of Your Life.

lesson20“No.”  It’s a complete sentence.

Earlier this week I read a post from Kevin Ashton about how often ‘creative people’ say “No.”  Frankly, it rocked my world.  “No” is not a tough thing for me to say.   How I feel AFTER I’ve said it CAN be kinda tough, though.

Sometimes I feel guilty.  Sometimes I feel fearFULL.  Sometimes I just feel like a slug.

What I’ve learned about using THIS ‘N-word’ is that it takes practice.  And it takes honesty.  I think many of us are trained NOT to say “No.”    We have I had to retrain myself.   I really DO get to choose where I contribute my time, energy, trust, faith and money.

And what I’ve learned about dealing with my feelings is that I get to feel the ones I need to feel and walk-away from the ones I don’t.   Remember that Ray Charles song, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”?   The next line is, “I’ve made up my mind to live in misery…”     Yeah – not so much.

So as I continue to practice using my “No” muscles, I’m also going to strengthen my choices in honest and healthy feeling.

PS – I still DO say “Yes”,when it’s the right thing for me to say.

What say ye?

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8 thoughts on “No.

  1. I’ve said many times “I feel like a slug,” one of the most disgusting creatures on the earth (for me). Now, if I say yes too much. my body fights back. Kinda hard to ignore the messages. I like my solitude. Why do I feel guilty about it??

  2. I have a best friend who has helped me learn and appreciate the value of NO. I am still working on my personal retraining (fallout from being a recovering people pleaser), but I’m getting there!!!!! And as I have to remind myself….NO was one of the first words I mastered as a child!

  3. Love this! I have had to master no in the last four years as I have been plugging away at my masters degree. There is guilt attached for being unable to continue that nasty people pleaser thing, but I also relish the freedom in moing saying no is okay! This learning self care is important for us all. It’s part of a huge life lesson for me. No is necessary to create balance for many reasons in my life…so I do it much more readily!

  4. When I was younger and more in control of my time, I felt the need to say yes, but now I am older and committed to the hours I teach in public school; and, I’m sorry, but come 4:00, I’m tired, darn it! If I don’t recharge overnight/weekends, my students suffer. (And thank goodness I have those weeks in the summer to give attention to all the things in my home I ignore all during the school year!) When I retire in a couple years, I hope I will have the health and energy to once again volunteer for the kinds of things I used to do, support all the wonderful functions I now feel guilty about missing, but until then…sorry, I’m at home resting and renewing my spirit for another day “in the trenches”!

  5. I answered before I read the article, and now that I have, I do understand it. Since I have been teaching in the public schools, I have done almost NO personal artwork…I have become what I always disdained: the art teacher who makes no art. Maybe I won’t go back to saying “yes” when I retire, except to my creative muse!

  6. Kira, Amma/Robin, Judi, Anna-Marie, Carrie and Mary Louise – i’m beyond humbled by how generously ya’ll let us know how your dance withe whole NO – YES choice. may we all continue to risk making the best choices for us.
    thanks, too, to all who’ve replied more privately. you all make this Year of Lessons SO MUCH richer …

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