Say NO for a greater YES

I’m very deliberate on who has access to me at the moment. It’s not out of arrogance or rudeness. It comes from the need to continue to protect the space and energy I want as I continue to do the work to elevate myself. This chapter requires me to be a little less accessible.

Is this a blog or an announcement I hear you ask. Maybe it’s both. It’s certainly a revelation.

Boundaries.

Honouring what we need.

Asking for what we want.

Choosing ME.

How did we as women come to treat every day the same? Whatever the season, the context, even our age, to frequently set ourselves up to allow our outside world, to dictate the pace and the agenda?

In days gone by as the seasons changed, so would our focus, our roles, our patterns. We’d sleep, move, eat differently.

Now? Whatever is demanded of us we set ourselves the challenge of meeting it. We dig deep, we participate in the epidemic of busy-ness, we push through and settle ourselves in to a life that’s on the go. Doing. Always doing.Same standard; On.

There’s a comfort in doing. We get to feel that we’ve achieved. We have evidence of our impact, our worthiness. We can distract ourselves. Maybe there’s even a relief there – we don’t need to think. Or listen…

To the quiet inner voice inside us whispering, “Maybe it would be a good idea to rest a little?”

Or a body that’s speaking to us through aches and pains that we find so easy to medicate or ignore. “It’s not convenient right now. One day. Shhh!”

Rest? What does that even mean?

Is that what we do at the weekends? You know those two “free” days full of space to just Be. Is that how your weekends look? Many don’t. They are our opportunities to “catch up”, ferry kids to classes, dive into shops, numb out on Netflix. Where did that extra hour go last weekend…?

Rest? Be?

Not so much. In fact, I’ve seen that even the idea of resting seems so, well, indulgent for many. We label it lazy, selfish. We no longer know how to stop. It unsettles us.

Recently I marvelled at the joyful peace on a child’s face as she went from full on to full off. Zonked on her Mammas knee, snoring away…unplugged. Resting. Recharging so she could come back with a full vigour for living, learning and growing. We allow them what we seem to ruthlessly deny ourselves.

Until the body takes over and then we HAVE TO.

There’s surely an easier way.

One where we have the courage to say what we need with truthfulness and yes, some vulnerability.

To call bullshit on that other strategy that says emotions and feelings can go into containers. With nice labels on. And very tight lids. To be opened one day. Sometime never. In the meantime, let’s all crack on and pretend it’s done for now. Let’s get back to real life and working. Because you know…work!

And here’s a new idea.

What if rest was healing? And what if healing WAS work. Let me explain;

  1. Healing IS work. As in, it’s not the lesser priority to be scheduled after emails, people, deadlines. It’s THE priority if we are to be able to show up as wholehearted people. Those with strong backs and open hearts. Women who can look others in the eye with compassion and say I get it. I’ve been in that Arena. With those family dynamics, the unsatisfying careers, the relationship that isn’t quite what it was. Yep I get it. BECAUSE I’ve done the work. Let me lift you, help you put it down. What if REST = AN ACT OF SERVICE. A way you could have MORE impact in the world?
  2. Healing takes work. It takes practice and a commitment to sit with it, to face into the challenges, its discomfort. To allow what needs to emerge. Let’s be clear – you asked yourself how much work it takes to carry your stuff or pretend it isn’t there? There’s insights, break throughs and new learnings that couldn’t possibly be accessed without “the work”. What if by simply learning to rest, you could not only create more energy, you could upgrade how you’re even seeing the world? When you know better, you do better right? What if REST = A SMARTER YOU?

At Remarkable Women, authenticity, integrity along with growth and impact are some of our key values. For me congruence is there too. The knowing that I can walk with you along this path, sometimes with bruised knees from a tough fall and still I will honour my humanness.

I see so many unable to hold my gaze. To say don’t look at me with your heebie jeebie eyes. What do we hide? Our imperfections, stories, our shame, our fears. Our truths?

So, let me go first and say there are times when we need to step back.

To say No for a greater Yes.

To create space and lean into the discomfort rather than avoid it. To look at some of the patterns that keep showing up and ask ourselves how am I creating this? I’m not talking about taking fluff out of your belly button. I’m a modern-day monk and even I don’t do that.

And I’m not speaking from a place that there’s anything wrong. I’m talking about UPGRADING. Choosing to let life teach me something it’s desperately trying to if only I would give it some more attention. Not something I need to get through. To simple slow down so I can breathe and see.

What if it was telling us something?

Life unfolds in the most unexpected ways sometimes. It’s messy and it can suck. So often we don’t like that bit. We want to show up sorted. So, we go back to our pre-programming (our beliefs, our mind made identities, our existing views of the world) and our schedules hoping it will pass. And of course, if we hide long enough it will.

Kind of. The body keeps score. It’s magical that way. Though the voice in my head calls it something different.

Deep down we know that it’s simply not possible to keep everything the way it’s always been, serving everyone else and still live into our full potential.

When I try to play that game I can hide behind busy too. And that’s not a game I’m willing to play. It’s not who I am.

I’d much rather be the Woman you see and know, who shows you another way. To be a Queen. Making bold choices.

To offer you the short statement at the start of this blog that you can edit or adapt and send to others. There, done.

To offer you techniques of swapping expectations for agreements so that you’re not wrapping yourself up in a fog of disappointments. Instead you have clear contracts with yourself. And with others. You meet them with integrity. Nothing else is needed unless you chose. Moment to moment.

To suggest you spend some time getting clearer on your boundaries. Tricky work? Sometimes. And breathe into this truth; we teach people how to treat us. So, it’s crucial work whether we like it or not. Because it’s happening with or without you. Look around you – you’ll see.

2020 is coming.

A whole new decade.

You going to sleep-walk into it, hoping that it will be your best one yet? I’m asking whether now is a time to look at what YOU are creating and if there isn’t a different way? Don’t wait until the daftness of New Year and promise you’ll do it different then…ask yourself NOW,

What if I could put this down?  

If you stop even for one moment now and close your eyes.

Ask yourself;

What is it I need right now?

What would I love?

If I had full permission to ask for anything I wanted without any need to edit or explain, what would it be?

You might listen to your body.

Or slow down and just allow some quiet space and see what emerges.

It might be to snuggle on the sofa with a book. To go for a walk in the fresh autumn air. To cry. To sleep. To be held. To be free of that voice in your head. To share with someone else (oh lordy yes that). To make a bold decision. To take action.

You might avoid the answer or pretend you don’t. There’s a message even in that.

Try this; take a pen and fill a page with sentences starting with;

“Wouldn’t it be cool if I “.

By the end you’ll have more wisdom.

I know this.

When we have any kind of difficulties there are 2 ways to approach it.

How do I get rid of it OR what if it was your true self asking for your attention?

Something we need to get through, resist or wish wasn’t happening. Or as a message from your true self to look closer. To see a new way, to create a possibility for learning something new.

And I know you need space to do it.

Funny how for so many even the idea of that makes them want to poke a pin in their eye.

What if rest was EXACTLY what was needed right now?

Just a willingness to honour what you need right now, to bring some curiosity, to pause, to step back from Doing and take stock.

To say no to somethings for a greater yes.

To elevate you, to free you, to help you become even more YOU.

To walk into 2020 with clarity.

Would you?

I’m a HELL YES.

Nic x

Here’s a blog on Expectations v Agreements

Want help slowing down and accessing more wisdom? Listen to this.

4 thoughts on “Say NO for a greater YES”

  1. Bukelwa Sontshatsha

    Wow! This is sooo true. The always putting other people before self is something that I wish i knew how to drop, put down or even leave behind completely at times. But then i ask myself, who would i be without it . I thought it would change when i grow older. Next year im turning 50, with children who are under five house does this dream become a reality.

    Trying to switch off just to be in my space does not seem to help either as i always find myself thinking about how happy it feels to have them around.

    Time with my grand children is suppose to be the “me time” i always long for when taking a break from my work. Even going away for a weekend does not seem to take me away from my work and the people i care about as these things have become part of my life.

  2. Yes yes and most definitely yes. I feel I’m being lazy when I sleep for hours, completely knocked out. I feel obliged to justify. Then I also think that when I was working nonstop crazy hours for years on end, no one said came to my rescue. So why should I feel guilty for letting my body rest.
    The amount of health complications I’ve had from having that lifestyle is beyond me. I’m learning to be, just be. Whether it be awake or asleep, just be restful and look after my health. I need to do more but I’m not letting years pass by running and fulfilling someone else’s dreams.

  3. Victoria Hamilton

    Wow. Powerful stuff. You have such a wonderful way of crafting your messages which make me feel you are just tailoring them for ME. Its kind of freaky!! Victoria x

  4. Isn’t it funny how that label of “lazy” has us deny what our body is telling us. I often wonder where it has come from. We don’t say that about kids who are playing full out, embracing life, learning, challenging, growing. They take rest so they can BE all that they want to be…

    Somehow we’ve learnt that doing = best. What if that simply wasn’t true?

    As I said, what if by resting we could have an EVEN BIGGER IMPACT?

    An idea surely worth exploring…

    Big love
    Nic xx

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