At this time of year, when the long winter nights call us to rest and renew, while the holiday festivities invite us into a whirling swirl of activity, I love reflecting on this poem:
Stillness is what creates love.
Movement is what creates life.
To be still
and still moving ~
That is everything.
~ Do Hyun Choe
But how can we, as modern women with families, jobs, and responsibilities bridge these two polarities of stillness and movement?
How can we stoke our inner fire, without burning out, so that we can make our unique contribution in the world in a way that is sustainable and potent?
How can we keep replenishing the well even as we give?
The key is in recognizing and honoring our NO, so that we can make way for our true YES.
The simple practice I’m sharing with you today takes just a few seconds but has the potential to be a game changer in your life.
“I am empowered to do what is mine to do.”
It is possible to bring our visions into action in a way that doesn’t burn us up. We can make a creative contribution with our families, our work, our communities that’s fully aligned with who we truly are when we embrace the sentence; I am empowered to do what is mine to do.
And what is mine to do isn’t everything!
It cannot be everything.
Which means we need to say no to some things. Although many women struggle with that word I like to reframe the word NO, as a way of actually saying YES to what we truly care about.
When you say no to something that isn’t truly yours to do, you’re doing it for the sake of something that you care about, so that you can be balanced and whole, and do what’s is yours to do.
For you, that might look like
“No, I won’t be able to pick up the kids today.”
“No I won’t be able to chair that meeting.”
“No, I won’t be able to bring that fancy cake that everyone loves to the gathering.”
The key here is being very directional and focused. Energy follows intention. This simple, two-step practice will help you clarify your intention and then allow your energy to focus around that intention.
You’ll be still, while still moving; conserving your energy for what is yours to do, whilst tending to the most important activities.
Step One: Where do you say yes, when you mean no?
Think about a place that you tend to give a yes when you should give a no.
Perhaps this is to an employee, a boss, a partner, a family member, to food (or another indulgence that you have that isn’t healthy for you).
Find one area that’s up for you – where you recognize that you often say yes, although it’s not correct for you.
Step Two: Listen for the deeper YES.
Draw on the archetypal energy of the Mother to connect with what saying No will be making room for in yourself and in your life
From this place, use the mantra:
“May I stay grounded and connected to myself and to my real Yes.”
It will be important to have a connection to your YES so that you can hold steady if others react to your no.
“This is for me, not against you.”
Continue to do this throughout the month; when your daughter asks you to drive her friends, when your colleague wants you to go have an after-work drink, when your friend needs a favor, etc.
Establish this as an intention. Intend to pause when the request comes from the outer world. Take a moment to sense, feel and think about whether you have a genuine No or a genuine Yes to the invitation.
I believe that with each and every holy NO, we are saying yes to a world where women are able to bring our deepest dreams and visions into reality in a way that is congruent with all of who we are, and in mutuality with others.
Imagine this world! A world where women source their actions, from a connection to the deep well of their being.
A world where women become advocates, activists and change agents who have the focused intention and commitment required to show up and make a positive difference in very specific ways.
A world where women are not afraid to take risks and boldly step into new ways of being and doing that are aligned with all of their Feminine and Masculine strengths.
Imagine this world, then imagine yourself shaping it; your every NO paving the way for your deeper, truer YES.