• The Power of No

    The Power of No

    I’m a yes girl. I like to say it. I like to hear it. In fact, I once set an intention for a month to ‘say yes to everything.’ (There were a few bad dates…) Then, I realized something. I was exhausted. In my effort to stay open to the ‘yes’ of opportunity, I was closing myself off to what I needed to sustain me. I was, in effect, saying ‘no’ to me!

    The ‘Yes’ Behind the No

    In order to ‘de-villianize’ no, we have to recognize that when we say no we actually say yes too! A no to Friday night cocktails might be a yes to snuggling and a home-cooked meal. A no to that last round of emails at work might be a yes to yoga. A no to them is sometimes a yes to you. No matters too!

    The Yoga of No

    Still, like our yoga practice, no is a skill not an end. When we say no we give ourselves the space to and chance to figure out what our yes is. This can be hard, because sometimes it’s not clear. Sometimes, no is just the start! When you unroll your no, often you are just saying: ‘Yes. Yes, I’m going to take the space to figure this me out. Yes, I’m going to stop cluttering my everyday, so that I have the chance to exhale. Yes, I believe I matter.’

    How To Practice ‘No’-ing

    Take a chance on no. Try doing one less ‘favor’. Try spending an extra night in. Try not being the people pleaser. Try pleasing yourself. I promise, if you do not have more energy or clarity you can go right back to your over-committed, plugged-in,, disconnect haze!!! My hunch is that you might not want to. I hear from so many friends the same thing– we (over)extend ourselves out of ego and warped obligation not desire. This serves no one! I’m quite certain that an embittered or vacant version of you is not the company that any wants to keep. Say no to what you do not need, so that you can say yes to what you do. Friends. Love. Feeling like you!

    Remember, no can get exciting! As we hone our no (and yes!), we hone our ability to give ourselves what we need.

  • Jamie Silverstein
    Jamie Silverstein is a US Olympian, Lululemon Ambassador and the owner of The Grinning Yogi in Seattle, WA. She has been practicing and studying yoga since her mid-teens when she took her first class as an act of teenage ‘rebellion’. It was at this time that Jamie began to revise her relationship with her body using the tools she learned on the mat. And, with the support of professionals and her committed yoga practice, Jamie recovered from an eating disorder and represented the US on the 2006 Olympic Team in Ice Dancing. In 2010 Jamie developed the karma project BEyoga (Body Empowerment Yoga) that benefits eating disorder recovery which she has brought to eating disorder treatment centers and yoga studios around NY and WA. Nowadays, Jamie is a 500 hr E-RYT and committed advocate for eating disorder recovery. Visit her at The Grinning Yogi or at her personal blog bejamie. Jamie is the author of the Confessions of a Yogi blog on DoYouYoga.com.
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