To find peace & balance you sometimes have to say NO to good things so you can say YES to great things. -Unknown
I am desperately afraid of missing out on life. Some event, some person, or some experience that I will regret passing up later when I realize how awesome it was. As time went on this has manifested itself into me ALWAYS SAYING YES . Yes to freelance work, yes to events, yes to dinner, yes to coffee, yes to birthday parties, yes to a weekend trip (even if my bank account can’t hack it), yes to all the cooking, all the cleaning, and all the laundry while never asking for help. I even say yes to my DOG. Seriously, she gets whatever she wants, even if that includes going on a walk every 2 hours … ridiculous right? A 20 lb fur baby RULES my life. Now you might be thinking: tough life … going out, traveling, having a side hustle … get over yourself … and part of me would agree. However, stillness is something I need and what I’m discovering is that I haven’t been asking for it, I haven’t been creating it, and maybe worse … I haven’t been listening to the part of myself that’s really wanting it.
One problem, I don’t know how to do nothing and I wear busy like a badge. Do you do this? I am always scheduled, always going, always moving and doing. Worse, this problem is not new. In college I was the go to party girl. If it was Tuesday night and you wanted to go drinking even if I had class the next day at 8:00am NO PROBLEM. Why say no, I can sleep when I’m dead right? After work happy hour invitation? I’m in. Give me a patio and a cocktail and I’ll chitter chatter the night away. Need help shopping because you have an event or a big date? Let’s do it. Concert tickets and no one to go with? I’ll skip the gym for it. Better yet, I’ll take away any ounce of free time I may have had to breathe a little and fit the gym in anyway. Can your girl get an AWARD I literally do it all.
If I’m honest this has served me in some ways. I make people laugh, I bring joy, and I do my best to add something positive to every experience. I’m also a bonafide extrovert so being out and about with others genuinely makes me feel fulfilled. While there are aspects of “yes life” I love … I also often feel burned out. When I look even deeper I realize that this is yet another symptom of consuming in excess and that all of this YES behavior is simply my way of seeking affirmation from others and striving for perfection. When instead, I should be working on loving and accepting myself. For too long I’ve been placing such a high value on pleasing others that I’ve forgotten how important I am in my own life.
Thus, I am proud to say that as of the year 2018 I have started to turn this ship around and practice saying NO. After several months of hard work what I have to report is that old habits die hard. I have to push myself to do what feels most unnatural every day. How did I do this? I started small by sharing with my friends how I feel, and by allowing myself to be vulnerable I received support and understanding from those I care about me the most. I made a schedule and I stick to that schedule. Most radically, I’ve TAKEN BACK my Saturdays and committed to making no plans before 11am. I’m starting to choose how I spend my time more wisely. Like a damn finance expert I am weighing opportunity costs like a mother fucker and ultimately asking myself: does this feed my soul and spirit? If the answer is YES, I’m in. If the answer is no, kick it.
My HIP HOP Yoga instructor always says, at the beginning of class, shake your head yes and shake your head HELL NO! I always giggle and love this moment where it feels so good to shake shout NO instead of the all to familiar yes. What about you? What do you say yes to? What perhaps do you need to start saying HELL NO to? Comment below and share your self-care strategies with me.
Love, lashes, and lipstick