If I were to list down some of the most breathtaking moments I’ve had in my life, walking down this strip of garden at the Crystal Castle in the Byron Shire will definitely be amongst the top ten in the list. I still remember how I felt on that cold, wet winter day. And no, I’m not just referring to the chill in the air that blew this tropical girl’s mind! While my friend had her cards read, I casually strolled through the garden and from beyond the trees, I stumbled across the huge Blessing Buddha. This came soon after getting lost in the little labyrinth (I suppose that happens very rarely but it did happen to me!), a crystal bowl/sound healing session, and walking trough (with tears, I might add) the Kalachakra Stupa, which is known as the World Peace Stupa. At that moment, I felt the vastness of the Universe, the power of God, and the sacredness of land.
Before leaving, we passed by the souvenir shop and I saw a wall flag which read “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.
So for Day 2 of this #7DaysofSelfLove exploration, I am reminded that indeed, I, just as much as anybody else, deserve my love and affection
Today’s practice is Saying No.
Whilst this may be easier for some, I struggle with this. Much less than I used to I must say, but I still find it hard to say no to people’s requests. I guess that comes from that underlying need for approval and acceptance that flavored my personality for a long time, especially since I often felt like an outsider for many reasons. I also feel that at times, I get overwhelmed so it is difficult to respond quickly with authenticity and clarity, and when that happens, saying yes is simpler, then I scramble afterwards to process it. I recognize, too, that a big part of me always saying yes to people I love is just that: because I love them. However, at times, I sacrificed my wellbeing and personal happiness for that. Over time I have come to realize that I can still love others even if I say no, and when I do, I actually make room to love myself as well, and at the end of the day, that makes me more present for myself and others, without burning out or burrowing in unchecked emotions.
It can still be difficult to say no right away, so some micro practices I do include the following:
- Asking for some time to think about it
- Gathering more details about what is expected
- Negotiating a time frame that feels spacious enough
- Defining boundaries that feel safe for me
- Acknowledging that I am not able to help or support
- Expressing gratitude for being asked, then politely managing the request
These practices have helped me manage my nervous system response and sense of overwhelm when asked to do something.
What strategies help you say no when needed? I’d love to hear from you.