How Saying No is Saying Yes

I was meeting with a client this week talking about the struggle of saying no.  So many of us, wanting to be people pleasers worry about the repercussions of saying no.  I challenged my client to think about how saying no might actually be saying yes.  Here are some thoughts about how this might be the case:
  • It can free up time to allow for self-care.
  • It may allow us to spend more time doing other things that take priority or that have been hanging over our head.
  • It can allow us to be more present in our lives for the things we have already said yes to.
  • Maybe by you saying no this allows someone else an opportunity to say yes?
  • Perhaps saying no to one opportunity actually allows for time to commit to something else. 
Recently I’ve reminded myself to take pause before saying yes/no.  This allows me time to be thorough and thoughtful in my decision making. If you find yourself still struggling with how to proceed, you might consider what the three most important values/priorities in your life right now.  If this new opportunity does not somehow feed into one of those perhaps it is not the time to take this on.  If it does align with one of those values then maybe there is something else that you are involved in that you can let go of so that you can more easily say yes? 
It is so important to pay attention to what we are involved in from day to day so that we do not become stressed, overwhelmed, resentful, and unhappy in our lives. *7/20/2021 Today I’m adding a podcast where I talk about this same topic.  It is something I have come back to yearly with my clients.  

Simplify Your Life: How do you do that?

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone who asked, “Why are things so complicated?”  While I wasn’t going to answer this question for this person, I sit here this morning thinking about how as humans, we often complicate matters.  We do this as means to distract ourselves from other things we’d rather not look at, for the pleasure of figuring something out haphazardly,  we are overwhelmed by the series of latest events – so wrapped up in the emotions that we keeping tying ourselves down with more fix it ideas that really only serve to bandaid one pin prick.

Even thinking about this question this morning I have a list of ideas too long, that I am overwhelmed by the advice of others (actually myself in most circumstances).  So I am going to pick 3 things, to simplify.  Take it or leave it, actually don’t take it if it doesn’t simplify!

Many people feel stressed and overwhelmed because they are ‘overconnected,'” says Debra A. Dinnoncenzo, president of ALLearnatives.  This means that there are now so many ways to connect and contact one another (phone, text, email, chat messages, forums, intercoms, walkie talkies, doorbells, cars, bikes, meetings…) that we forget to disconnect.  I mean, imagine when all we had was a messenger to send a note?  (idea sparked by this article)

Cat Li Stevenson comments, “We don’t have to reject all consumerism, move to a remote island, or follow a strict Zen routine in order to experience the inner peace that comes with simple living.”  There are very good ways to get ride of the extras – which could include adding more errands today when I need to focus on leaving town, or letting the weeds grow a bit more (they will still be there tomorrow), or sending out one more email (can’t it wait?).

Danny, who started simplifying life 2 years ago, has a great blog that uses words and simple images in reflecting on the journey of simplifying.  Particularly I liked the statement, “Simplifying has taught me that I already have what I need.”

Wacky Wednesday: Rocky Road

Even as I type this images of the rocky path, the pebbles in a stream, and even the ice cream are visuals.  Reflecting on a list of things this morning which include transitions, loss, joy, memories, friendship, learning, instinct, anger, sadness….

Realizing I must not fight the journey – but be open to wandering the rocky road – which also has these magical moments.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Sleep

Sleep is so important to “power up” for your day, to ground your emotions, for numerous health reasons, and when we are stressed sleep can become difficult. Then the difficulty can be sleeping too much, or sleeping too little.

Today’s post is going to address sleeping too little. Here are my top 10 tips for the day:

1. Set a regular bedtime: Everyone (if possible) in a household needs a regular bed time. Often times I have recommended people set an alarm clock to go to bed, as I think this is just as important as a regular time to wake up.

  • suggests keeping this routine on the weekends too

2. Turn off the TV, computers, laptops, and disengage from your cellphones.

  • reports a recent study that found people engaging in too much screen time report lower quality sleep.

3. Exercise!
4. Reduce caffeine intake.

  • recommends not drinking caffeine after 2pm.

5. Nap for 30 minutes or less.

  • Dr. Frank Lipman: he suggests not napping more than once a day and often right after lunch is a good time for a power nap.

6. Keep your bedroom dark: light interferes with the production of melatonin which is good for helping you reach a sleepy state.
7. Relax! This helps your body release tension and often stretching during this time helps too.

8. Stop eating 2 hours bedtime.

  • suggests eating before you sleep keeps you from sleeping as deep.

9. Yes, you can stress about sleep. Try not to stress out about falling asleep. Are you wearing your favorite sleepwear? Do you have your favorite blanket or pillow?

10. Record what works!  Keep a sleep journal and look and see what’s working the best.

Wacky Wednesday: Preparing for the Unexpected

Often times I’ve found Wednesdays are wackier than others.  They tend to be full of the unexpected.  For an instance today I was excited to get to my internship with minutes to spare – only to find out I had to stand outside for about 5 minutes because the front doors weren’t opened on time;  my 9:30am meeting got bumped to 10:30am; the potential client we have been looking for still has not been found; I got assigned my first recovery group to lead & facilitate; I’ll be preparing a proposal for holiday planning for families; my friendly cat decided she wanted nothing to do with the anti-flea drops today!

Wacky Sensei

Even today’s blog did not happen this morning as it has every other morning this week!

So how do I prepare for the unexpected or as I call it, the wacky?

Today’s focus is being flexible with myself.  I can be very flexible with others, but I’m not so great with being flexible with myself.  Here’s an example of how I addressed the unexpected.

The goal:  Get my blog done by 7:45am.

  1. Create more realistic goal:  Get my blog done when I get home from internship.
  2. Create steps to make 2nd goal successful
  3. Focus on the title and how to approach it
  4. Think about topic at lunch
  5. Eat dinner
  6. Write
  7. Celebrate the success!

If I focus on the success of accomplishing the goal, I start feeling a whole lot better about my ability to “keep on trucking” -despite the cone in the middle of the road that caused me to swerve a bit.  How do you prepare for the unexpected?

Top 10 Tuesdays: Simple Steps

Top 10 Tuesdays are aimed at sharing resources and tips that have had usefulness in my life.  Mondays can be long, stressful, and disgruntling so Tuesday often is about taking action, making a new plan, or maybe tweaking the attitude just a bit.  Today’s top 10 are going to be simple – nope, no brain surgeon needed here!  The thing is, when life is busy, complex, packed with stress and responsibilities – these simple steps can get pushed aside.  Let’s use them.

1. Breathe – Recently I was told that I have a short breath in, compared to my breath out.  I’ve been working on breathing and counting to 6 slowly, and then out 6.  The simple step of stopping what you are doing, taking the time to breathe and notice your body, can bring you back to a place of calm.

2. Laugh – So important to find the funny in life.  Laugh hard, laugh regularly!  Giggle 🙂  Here’s my example:  

3. Notice – Notice the colors, the texture, the sounds, the smells, the space that you’re in.

4. Show Gratitude – Whether it be leaving a small note to say thank you, or making a quick call, or a quick text message to say you appreciate a gesture – noticing kindness can go a long way.

5. Plan for Success – Now I’m not saying if you plan for success that everything is going to turn out all right, but notice your attitude, your excitement, & your ability to brainstorm when things aren’t going quite as planned.

6. Find Nature – Smell those roses!  And if you really can’t find nature (stuck in an elevator, a building or room with no windows) close your eyes and find nature there.  Your favorite nature spot.

7. Indulge – Make a plan for something you want but haven’t made time, had the $ for, keep forgetting.  How about a massage, or a fruit smoothie, or a fun excursion down the river?  And when you do this, be present.

8. Stretch – Stretch your body out, your necks, your back, your wrists, shoulders…you name it stretch it.

9. Share – We are good at asking kids to share with one another.  Do we do this ourselves?  Share a message, over lunch, whatever it may be – and enjoy the joy your sharing.

10. Play – What’s your favorite recess activity?  Dance to a song, play a sport, chase a pet or a friend, play hard.