Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Well, this is it. Installment #52 in the “Looking Out My Back Window” series of posts. One full year. In the next few months, right after the release of my first book “Feed Your Angel (overcoming our addiction to ego)” will be “Looking Out My Back Window, Volume 1” with the first 52 posts in book form. I’m pretty excited about that. Thanks to everyone who reads and comments on a weekly basis, I really appreciate it. Today’s topic is going to be about saying no, and how learning to say no today can make room to say yes tomorrow to things that might align better with what we truly value most in life. This can be tough for me. If someone asks me to do, or participate in something my default response is usually “yes”. I seem to think I can do everything that comes up even if those events overlap, are things I don’t like or want to do, with people or places I don’t want to be, and pull me away from things I could be doing that would certainly give me more inner peace in my life. So, I’m working on changing some default settings. I’ve noticed a few things recently that are “triggered”, too – like when we wind up the day and head down to watch TV, no matter how much I had to eat, I want chocolate, or popcorn, or something that won’t be good for me. It’s a habit. I’ve gotten it somewhat under control by eating cuties, but, man – that sugar addiction can be powerful. Anyway, yesterday I tried something new. I did NOT go in to work on a Saturday, even though the day was free for me to do so. In the past twelve years, I’ve basically worked every Saturday unless we had a family or social event that conflicted. Often, if that was the case, more often than not actually – I’d go in on Sunday then. Always work six days a week. Well, I’m trying to just work Monday through Friday as much as I can now. This was the first weekend. It was weird. My insides were all freaked out, I felt like I was doing something wrong – like skipping school or something. It was a great day, I read, meditated, we took a bike ride, we met friends at a club and watched a band sitting on a pontoon boat… and then, like – I also get today off. Wow. Is this what most people do? Two days off? In a row? Every week?… Crazy. I think I can get used to this. But it will take a while for that ingrained “I need to work six days a week” response tames down. By saying “Yes” to work for twelve years of Saturday’s (624 of them), what did I miss out on? Almost all of my grandkids sports games. Countless opportunities to get together with friends and family. All kinds of cool shows from bands I’d love to see… gone. It’s not easy to say no. There’s a bunch of books written on the subject. I’m currently reading a book called “Present Over Perfect” that talks a bit about this. In it she talks about how some of us, and I’d include myself in this, get so caught up in doing more, saying yes, pushing to succeed, and the frantic lifestyle that it creates, that we forget to honor the things that mean the most to us. The lasting relationships that will bring us peace, either within our families or with God. Every yes we give today is a no to something else tomorrow. This, to me, is why it’s important to know the things that really matter to us. And once we have that knowledge, start living from that place, in a way that makes us happier and healthier. I actually think my clients will benefit from me taking more time off every week. The answer isn’t always doing more. Sometimes it has more to do with being happy and content and living from there, even if living from there means a life that looks unconventional. We get one shot at this. Make sure when you say “yes” to something it serves you. And in so doing we all win.