Do you ever feel like you can't seem to get enough rest? You have a hard time figuring out who to say yes to and who to say no to? How do we find this balance with our commitments to ourselves and to all those around us?
Someone once told me when you say "no" to someone else, you are saying "yes" to yourself. I had a hard time grasping this concept at first. However, when you come from a place of saying "yes" to every opportunity that comes your way, it can spread you too thin, leaving you to feel tired, worn out and sometimes a bit resentful. On the flip side, saying "no" to opportunities based on fear or a lack of inner awareness can lead you astray as well.
If you find yourself in this predicament, it's time to sit down and get clear about your values and priorities for living. Ask yourself the ways in which you need to contribute to yourself, your loved ones and to the community. What really fuels your heart, passion and sense of well-being?
Try out this balancing values activity. Find a quiet uninterrupted space for about an hour or as long as you need. Take this time to go inward so you can tap into your own inner wisdom. Use the mode of expression you enjoy most, whether it's journaling, drawing, painting, etc. Take some time to visually express the different opportunities, roles you play, and events happening in your life. Allow yourself to be free with this expression: try to avoid editing what comes out.
When you have completed this free flow portion of expression (some call it a brain storming session), focus then on sorting out your underlying values attached to these opportunities and roles. Your value system ultimately determines how you prioritize your time and what is most important to your daily living. Some examples of values may include: having a strong sense of family or maybe it's making a lot of money or cultivating a spiritual way of living. Take some time to sort through your top 10 values for living. Then chop them down to your top 5. Ask yourself how well you are cultivating and honoring these top 5 values in your life. Are you spending time on them daily? You have to first carefully choose the seeds you want to plant and then you must add daily nourishment to these seeds in order for them to grow and flourish.
The next step in this values activity is to go back to your free flow expression representation and see where your values fit in to these roles and commitments. Use this as a guide to sort through some of those pondering "yes" and "no's". Use this as a guideline to address the moments when you must say "no" in order to say "yes" to these values and priorities. When you honor your priorities and gifts, it naturally empowers others to do the same. You will be able to have more focus and commitment to what matters most. The need to please others and to hold onto guilt will lessen greatly.
Be patient and gentle with this process. Being in balance with the inner wisdom of the "yes" and "no" takes time and practice.
~ Liz Myers, MA Rooted Living Wellness Coach
Liz Myers, MA, RYT200
Spiritual Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
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