I’ve said it before, but I’ve got some truly radical people in my life. One of those exceptional people is my cousin Beth. I love the energy and enthusiasm of someone who believes in world awesomeness. Who enjoys chatting possibilities. Such a breath of fresh air into the day. The type of energy that piques your energy so you wind up soaring a big high. Someone you can talk honesty with. Who you can ponder life questions with. As she was home from Michigan, we met to walk, talk, play scheme, BE. One of the topics we explored was: when do you say no?
To me, I grew up a bit of a people pleaser. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to do things for others. I wanted to do good in school. I wanted to be the best in sports. I was great at being how others wanted me to be. So how do I separate people pleasing from saying yes to life? How do I be authentic and true to myself?
To me the question is it not so much saying no as it is thinking about choices. I took away from Viktor Frankl that we always have choices. Even if we are suffering, we still have the choice of how we suffer. My friends get on me because I have been known to say no to certain outings. For me the thinking went: okay do I want to go drinking on a boat or do I want to put on some barefoot shoes and go hiking in the sunshine, get lost in the trees? For me I was choosing. I chose the activity that would bring me the most joy. Last week I wrote about time. I want to spend my time being positive, joyful, happy, and passionate. Therefore I want to spend more time doing things that encourage these feelings.
But also I think of times I’ve invited my friends to do things and it’s obvious by their tone and energy they don’t want to come. Then they bring this energy to the activity. I would rather someone tell me no, than do something they’re not really feeling. Don’t feel like you have too. Tell me no. I want them to have the freedom to say no to me and yes to their own joy. I am responsible for my own happiness. Yes it would kick ass if we went to yoga, but if you’re not feeling it or you’d rather do something else, that’s fine too. I can still go enjoy the class myself.
We always have choices. And for me YES is saying yes to possibilities, sunshine, joy, happy vibrations. Yes to authenticity. Yes to my truth. It’s about choosing our passion or if we do say yes, it’s about shifting our energy and thoughts to align with the yes we answered.