“No” is a complete sentence
I was at a meeting recently for my “day job” (which is not as a Yoga teacher) and saw a drawer with a label on it:
I chuckled—I thought, “that feels like life sometimes”. If I get over-extended, or extended beyond “half-way”, I’ll “fall out” or fall apart. Through my Yoga practice and working to create harmony in my life, I’ve learned that the only person that over-extends me, is me. If I “fall out” or fall apart, I can’t really blame anyone but myself. Why? Because I'm not using “No” as a complete sentence.
I get over-extended saying “Yes” when I need to say “No”. Sometimes I say “Yes” because I feel obligated to do something and I don’t want to explain saying “No”. In reality, I don’t owe anyone an explanation for a “No”. The more I explain, the more I get myself into trouble (it’s where the white lies often begin…“uh, I can’t do that because I have to [fill in the white lie]”).
Just ask my colleagues from my “day job” when they ask me to have a work call outside of work hours? “No” is my common response. If I allow it, my “day job” and other “stuff” in my life will consume me. I get overextended, then I stop doing the things I need to do to take care of myself such as time alone, time to sleep, time to Yoga (maybe time to binge Netflix! No judgement here). I then get angry and resentful, I lose the harmony in my life, I begin to fall apart…my drawer is going to fall out.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have select long days seemingly full of chaos or work calls at 6:00am or 9:00pm, sometimes I do. But I am learning to recognize what is an emergency or obligation and what is not (90% of the time, it’s not). Saying “No” is key during those times, it’s about taking care of myself while also remaining honest (not over explaining). It protects me and my time.
I was in a grocery story one time and a child in a stroller was screaming and reaching for a soft drink. His dad said, “No.” Child screamed, “Why?” Dad said, “Because I thought about it, and I thought: No.” He then strolled his child away. Ok, maybe he didn’t use “No” as a complete sentence, but close enough.
Fellow Yogis, practice saying “No” as a complete sentence when you need to, it will keep your drawer (life) from being over-extended and falling out (falling apart). It will help you create a better relationship with yourself and the world, it will provide harmony in your life which will extend into the world.
Keep living in love and light and keep your drawers tight!
Alyssa, Yoga Instructor at Loft Yoga