No. It's a tiny word with huge meaning. It can be the key to your liberation, it can improve your health, transform your sex life, revitalise relationships and help you regain control in your life. All this from two little letters. And yet we struggle to use it.
There is a school of thought that saying 'no' blocks opportunities and that to truly embrace life we need to say 'yes' and all that saying 'yes' brings, but saying 'yes' regardless of the outcome is imbalanced and just as consciously closed as having 'no' as your default answer.
An unconscious default 'yes' or 'no' usually stems from fear. The default 'no' offers safety from being vulnerable, allowing people in and is a place to hide low self worth and the not being good enough feelings. The default 'yes' on the other hand is often around having no boundaries, being a people pleaser, wanting to be liked or the biggie - being fearful of the ramifications of saying 'no'.
These are both shadow expressions of fear and not opening or evolutionary. Start by checking in if you are saying 'yes' out of free will by asking yourself the following questions:
- is this what I want?
- is it really what I want?
- is this my deepest bliss?
- can I give it freely?
Check in with yourself deeply and carefully. If the answer is 'yes' to the above then enjoy the giving of the gift of your deepest bliss. You will be in service to humanity and you will reap the joy from that. However, if you are unsure or feel anything close to uncertainty then go with your 'no'. Also be aware that the absence of a 'no' isn't a 'yes' - it could however be a 'maybe'. Verbalise that and keep feeling into it until you know for sure.
When we don't give freely we give out of duty because we feel we have to. This can lead to small niggling resentments. With that in mind are you actually doing the person a favour if that is the outcome? Saying 'no' in this situation means that on some level we are railroading over ourselves and that is a message to others that we don't respect ourselves.
Of course as adults we make choices and have responsibilities like getting up in the night for our children or having to do a piece of work we don't want to do, but that's because these tasks are part of a wider picture that is serving our needs. That stuff isn't what I'm talking about here.
One 'no' given from a place of deep love for ourselves can heal 1000 unsaid 'no's' and change beliefs about ourselves and our behaviours which really open doors and be salve for many deep wounds.
Try it out with your parents, your children (they love clear boundaries) your boss, your partner and your friends. If someone can't hear your truth and honour do they really deserve your loyalty (and vice versa)? It's applicable in every situation, professional, familial, social and sexual. To do this we also have to learn how to hear another persons 'no' without trying to manipulate a situation to have the outcome we desire.
None of this is easy. Its a lifelong commitment to yourself, but the good thing is you have the rest of your life to practice. If its too hard there are some incredible teachers out there running workshops in boundaries and self love.
Say 'no' from a place of love for yourself and give others permission to do the same. You will be honouring yourself and others with the gift of your honesty. It doesn't get much better than that.
What is your experience of saying 'no'? Do you agree saying 'no' to a loved one is important?
Follow Claire Snowdon-Darling on Twitter: www.twitter.com/balancewellness