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The Power of No

Happiness | Lifestyle

I'm a yes girl. I like to say it. I like to hear it. In fact, I once set an intention for a month to 'say yes to everything.' (There were a few bad dates…)

Then, I realized something. I was exhausted. In my effort to stay open to the 'yes' of opportunity, I was closing myself off to what I needed to sustain me. I was, in effect, saying 'no' to me!

The 'Yes' Behind the No

In order to de-antagonize the idea of ‘no,’ we have to recognize that when we say no, we actually say yes too!

A no to Friday night cocktails might be a yes to snuggling and a home-cooked meal. A no to that last round of emails at work might be a yes to yoga. A no to them is sometimes a yes to you. No matters, too!

The Yoga of No

Still, like our yoga practice, no is a skill, not an end. When we say no, we give ourselves the space to and chance to figure out what our yes is. This can be hard, because sometimes it's not clear. Sometimes, no is just the start!

When you unroll your no, often you are just saying: 'Yes. Yes, I'm going to take the space to figure this part of me out. Yes, I'm going to stop cluttering my everyday, so that I have the chance to exhale. Yes, I believe I matter.'

How To Practice 'No'-ing

Take a chance on no. Try doing one less 'favor.' Try spending an extra night in. Try not being the people pleaser. Try pleasing yourself.

I promise, if you do not have more energy or clarity, you can go right back to your overcommitted, plugged-in, disconnect haze! My hunch is that you might not want to. I hear from so many friends the same thing—we overextend ourselves out of ego and warped obligation, not desire. This serves no one!

I'm quite certain that an embittered or vacant version of you is not the kind of company anyone would want to keep. Say no to what you do not need, so that you can say yes to what you do. Friends. Love. Feeling like you!

Remember, ‘no’ can get exciting! As we hone our no (and yes!), we hone our ability to give ourselves what we need.

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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