What are you saying NO to?
With summer vacation around the corner, there may be a bit more freedom to tune in to the present and to build a new habit of ‘presence’ into the daily routine.
We’ve been talking about finding internal happiness, shifting the fight for power and connecting with our primary emotions. Today we’re focusing on saying NO. Not necessarily to our kids, but to everyone else.
We aren’t alone in this focus. In the recent Hay House World Summit,Brendon Burchard said,
“So many of us have said yes to so many things, we’ve worn down our ability to even meet life and we’re just reacting. We’re trying our best to help 50 different people, 10 different projects, and we’re spread so thin that there’s no center anymore to who we are, to how we feel… because if you think about it, the reason people don’t keep their word isn’t because they lack moral virtue; it’s because they overstretched themselves and now they can’t keep their word.”
Many parents are great at saying NO to themselves;
“Wow, I feel a cold coming on. I really need a nap…NO way that is going to happen today – there’s laundry to be done.”
“It would be great to go for a walk right now…NO – have to get dinner ready now so that I can get to the school to volunteer and then drive Jenny to baseball practice.”
Today’s tough question is:
What are you saying NO to?
When it comes to saying NO to other people and other things, many adults really struggle. Yet often, when we say NO to someone else, we are saying YES to ourselves. It buys time; it creates a moment of presence.
So how does this impact parenting?
1. It is about considering where you might need some space in your life (or maybe even this week), blocking that time in your calendar and saying NO when someone asks if you have that time available.
This, in turn frees up time (as Brandon Burchard mentions above,) to feel like one isn’t “spread thin,” resulting in more honesty. This may help to improve the energy being brought to friends and family.
2. It is about saying NO to your kids so that you don’t end up driving all over the city to get them somewhere when you really want to stay home. This may leave you feeling less resentful and more available for chores and fun.
3. It is about modelling for your kids that there is enough time for self-care, for family time, for the things that are important to you so that they can learn to say no in a respectful way as well.
In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown says,
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behaviour or a choice.”
When we get clear about our NOs upfront, then we can set the boundaries and hold people accountable. No mistreatment, no attack…NO can really work in our favour.
This week: Consider the smallest thing that you could say NO to. Is there a spot in your calendar that you would really like for yourself? Perhaps it is one Stampede Breakfast or social activity…just one, that you could decline. What will you do with that small space of quiet? Breathe? Read? Sleep? Here’s to your happiness!
What a great response!
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