There are an infinite number of reasons to say no. Instead, try to focus on one good reason to say yes-
This weeks post will focus entirely on two harmless letters: N and O … And why it’s extremely difficult to put them forth in good faith, in a manner that honors and respects our true spirit. A little context is in order before we begin. This past Saturday my plans went sideways, really quick! My team fell apart at the last-minute for a gravel ride over in Iowa, which we had planned back in January over a few soul warming adult beverages. No biggie, such is the ebb and flow of life when you try to get five dudes together at once, add in work and kids?!? You know how it goes, anyways … A new yoga studio opened up not too long ago in West Omaha that I was curious about trying out. This is where I failed to say “no” for the first time on such a lovely Saturday morning. What do you think when you read “Hot Yoga?” For whatever reason, and maybe what my spirit needed at the time, was a hot vinyasa flow. I could rant about Bikram yoga, but I won’t – not here. I had hot yoga firmly planted in my stubborn mind, until class started that is.
Saying “no” to anyone, about anything, is easily the most challenging part of our lives. Do you like being told no? Do you take comfort in telling someone, maybe yourself, “no?”. We want to avoid the discomfort and the consequences that might come our way for being fully “exposed” in our unwillingness (my stubbornness). Many of us continually strive to be caring and available, and we often find it strenuous to face a situation in which, for whatever reason, we don’t find the willingness, the courage or ability to say “yes” to what is being asked of us.
If we are able to keep our attention focused on attending to what matters most, and keep coming back to that intention, this beautiful “thing” called life may surprise each and every one of us. We begin to hear the needs of our True Spirit more clearly.
When saying no eludes me, however much I am committed to “whatever” … Rather than closing my heart in order to say “No,” which is what I often do, I consciously choose to open my heart wider, in order to actually feel the pain of saying “no” and bear witness to its effect – To honor my true self, to tell the full truth, and to remain present to hear it.
Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it–
In the pedantic game of tennis “love” is a score of zero. Implying that when we’re in love the score is even, our hearts are content and all is well in life. However, how often do we keep a competitive score in our relationships with those who love us, the person next to us in yoga class, running a race … Who can find the best parking spot this holiday season?
Instead of comparing myself constantly and competing against others I challenged myself to compare “me” in this moment, to the person I was one year ago. Am I kinder, happier, more confident and peaceful? If not, I take a deep breath to explore what has caused me to lose focus, and how I might learn moving forward.
I’ve found that by trying to keep the score zero in my life, trying being a key word … By giving generous doses of gratitude, making caring gestures to other(s) daily, witnessing the passion and abundance growing around each one of us? Is an inspiring “thing“.
Daily Love Meditation:
Keep a loving score today. Count how many times you utter something loving and positive …
There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable-
Blah – Blah – Blah: We need to love ourselves before we can love anyone or anything else. Where have you read these words before …
As much as we want to control our own destiny, the humbling truth is that sometimes the only way to learn self-love is by being loved-precisely in the places where we feel most tender. When this happens, we feel freedom, we are granted permission to love in a deeper sense.
There is no amount of positive self-talk that can replicate this experience. Too many times I witness caring people using will power as an excuse to fight through a yoga class. Intimacy and love will not be found here …
If our vulnerability is met with struggle or disinterest, feeling pressured into attending practice. Something brilliantly tender shrivels up and retracts within us, we often lament about ever sharing this part of ourselves again. When our authentic self fails to “work” on a yoga mat (or whatever), we create a false self which lets us feel safe and accepted, although at a significant cost.
Every time we face the choice to share our deeper self, we stand at a precipice. Often, it’s just too scary to take the first step forward …
How do we free ourselves from the thrall of shame thrown on us, the ever pressing need to succumb to societal norms? The fear of being our true selves?
I wish I could tell you, I sincerely do. I do know that for whatever reason, you are here reading this drab post, and this means everything to me. Be well this weekend and please take care!