A couple of years ago, I dug into the book Present Over Perfect (go order here it right now, you’ll thank me later) and it was the first physical book this girl had read in a awhile (not going to lie, I’m a audible sort of girl!).
Let me just say, this book changed my life.
While I felt very drawn to the book, I was a little hesitant to read it, it was a message I preach often and yet I had an uneasy feeling that the book would pull out some of the ugly side of me: my workaholic, struggles to rest, always wanting to serve side. Welp, I was right about that BUT that book was transformative in so many ways. It pulled some truths to light that I’ve been keeping in the dark for too long.
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”
– Shauna Niequist – Present Over Perfect
Before reading it, I was avoiding the pain of my miscarriages by doing two things – overworking and overcommitting.
Back in 2018, on days where I actually had time and space to rest, I would say yes to things and people that were not good for my soul, avoiding the slow down, the silence, the feelings.
Later that year when we purchased our cottage, I found myself welcoming the rest filled moment, the quiet and the stillness of being with nature. In 2019 I started to really look at life and business as a place that needed margins, ‘me days’ and spaciousness’ in order to be grateful for all that I did have, even if it isn’t my family yet.
Without that space, without the rest, I couldn’t fully appreciate the busy, the good.
Learning to say ‘No’ to create more space in my life for miracles – changed everything! In ways I can’t fully put into words. It created space in my life to expand and grow and attract joy, abundance and opportunity in ways I never could have imagined possible. Here is the thing: when you are saying yes to something you actually want to say no to, it’s not just the two hour event your saying yes to. You’re also saying yes to the dread of going, the drama/anxiety/overwhelm that comes with the yes, and the drain on your energy after you leave.
Baby showers are a great example in my own life. Why on earth would I put myself in that position when it’s my biggest heartache? Am I happy for the mother-to-be: ABSOLUTELY YES. Do I need to go to baby themed party when I am experiencing recurrent miscarriage and put my mental health in jeopardy to make others happy? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I won’t lie though, saying no is still something I struggle with from time-to-time. I’m always learning to unlearn my ‘disease to please’ as Oprah calls it. I’ve got great boundaries with work and clients, but with loved ones – it’s a (forever?) work in progress!!
Do you have the disease to please others?
Where can you say NO more to things that do not serve you, to say YES to the things that do?
When you say YES to something that doesn’t fill you up or leaves you feeling drained, then you are saying NO to what you do want in life.
So reserve your ‘YESES’ for what leaves you feeling high vibe, happy and moves the needle forward for your dreams/desires/life purpose.