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Saying No: A Life Tonic by Jody Shield

It isn’t easy to say no.

In fact, the very thought of it makes me wince. I’m not very good at saying no.

How do you feel about saying no? Be honest with yourself.

If someone says no to you, how does it make you feel? It’s not very nice, is it? Actually, it feels as if you’re being punished for something. From an early age, we’re pre-programmed with
the belief that it’s much better that we say yes and go along with whatever Mummy/Daddy/teacher/babysitter wants us to do. “No” isn’t a word we should use. It’s bad to say no; no means trouble ahead.

When we say yes and are good, we get a treat, a reward and love.

When we say no and are naughty, we get punished, rejected or ignored.

But yes isn’t always the best way.

We might be doing good for others, but we are completely ignoring our own needs.

Saying yes to everything is the fastest way to drain our power, and deplete our energy in different ways:

  • Physically and mentally: running around from event to event, fulfilling other people’s plans, having too many things to think about, and no time to rest and recharge.
  • Spiritually and energetically: resistance from pushing against the natural flow of life, ignoring our spiritual guidance and using lots of energy to make things happen.

If your diary heaves with plans for other people and no time for yourself, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is a major problem. When we don’t take care of ourselves, we can fall
apart at the cost of pleasing others. And it’s not only our loved ones who suffer; we suffer too. When this happens, achieving the life we desire becomes an unrealistic dream.

We need to take back the power of saying no.

Tools to help you say no:

1. BE HONEST. Grow some balls. Say no, and tell the person concerned exactly why. Tell them you don’t like going to museums, or you don’t enjoy getting hammered any more, or you feel socially anxious around that particular group of friends. Whoever is on the receiving end will admire you much more for being honest.

2. PRACTISE SAYING NO. Use a mirror to help support you with this. Pick an event or a request you have to respond to, and practise talking to the person concerned, telling them why you are not able to attend. Be honest and let them know that you’re very grateful for the invitation, but that you need a rest and time to recharge.

3. NO FROM THE HEART. Speaking from the heart raises the energy and vibration of the whole conversation. When you speak from your heart, you are speaking from your most authentic self and people will receive it as such. You cannot lie from your heart. Tell them no, and tell them why. Be honest and let them know that they are amazing to spend time with but that you need the time for yourself right now. You’ll feel empowered when you walk away. They will feel loved, even though you’re saying no.