There is a spiritual teaching I enjoy that we can step into saying “no” in order to make room for a larger “yes.”
With injury, the spirit and the body certainly test this practice and it is up to the practitioner to choose how to step in.
I have been been saying “no” to asana in order to heal my body, in order to make room for the possibility of resuming an asana practice some day. And for those of you who tell me that you haven’t practiced in a few days, let’s agree that “not practicing” (for a few days) and “saying no” (to practicing) are two completely different discussions.
There are people who will try very hard to ask things of you which just may not or may no longer be appropriate for you. It doesn’t mean they still won’t ask. Working a spiritual practice (of any kind) often means figuring out how to put up a clear boundary and learning how to say “no.” Sometimes, it even means learning how to say goodbye.
I don’t like saying goodbye. I really should be a darn professional at it. But I love what Isak Denison wrote years ago when she said: “I’m better at hello.”
I have a great deal of insight into why I feel this way and what gets triggered within me, what is getting triggered the very instant it is getting triggered, how to track it and how to speak about the trigger as it is happening. So good for me! Yet, there is still a world of pain in there which I must walk through in order to make it to the other side once a good “pouncing” occurs.
But the “pounces” are now things which are related to deep loss and unexpected occurrences. Things we have little to no control over which we all must face as a reality throughout our lives.
The moments when others attempt to pounce upon me, I am very well-equipped for because I have a clear sense of what is in alignment for me and for my life.
When someone whom I perceive is not good for me (based on a history together of having been the recipient of cruelty, manipulation, lying, cheating, and a plethora of unhealthy ingredients) attempts to try to work his or her way back into my life, I am now at the point where I feel comfortable saying “no.” This was not always the case. I spent YEARS of my life indulging him or her in order to allow space and time for healing and forgiveness and honoring hurt to heal only to realize that if a person is not ready to do his or her own work, he or she will continually do anything to re-engage you in the same process over and over no matter how unhealthy that process is for YOU. And I am not exaggerating in stating that I spent YEARS of my life doing this. Believing it was the kind and compassionate thing to do, to help “the other” person find their way and allow for healing. And in each scenario, my friend or mate was never sated, always needed more, and I was always left exhausted and depleted.
I now know that I have done what I could to complete my relationships in each of their forms and that if I say “no” to re-engaging one, that I am doing so in order to say “YES” to a healthier way of living, to staying on my right path, and that saying “no” is not an act of cruelty, but actually an act of minding my own business and knowing what belongs to me and what does not.
I know I can keep my heart open and bless from afar with integrity, with truth and with sincerity. And that I needn’t engage in getting any closer than that.
Yesterday, I sat and watched people in another city inside of a Starbucks. I was by myself and I watched many people engaging one another. I had my headphones on but I could see the sweetness and the connections happening around me. I noticed that I felt love in my heart for all of the people around me. None of them knew me. And they were all far enough away from me. I mention these two things together because I think they are important. Headphones on... I closed a part of myself off, and my heart opened right up. Had my ears been open to the noise, I truly believe I would have closed up immediately. But I had what I needed to say “no” so that a larger “yes” could occur. And in the crazy busy spot, on the eve before Christmas eve, my heart felt love for dozens upon dozens of passersby.
I learned once, that when you close off your ears, it has something to do with your fifth chakra... and that would be how I would communicate... and the fifth is right next to the fourth, which is the heart. So, maybe for me, closing off my ears, opens my voice and my heart to loving in the ways that I can when I am needing a little more quiet.
Saying “no” sometimes can really make room for some pretty amazing things.
This holiday season, let’s see what comes of it, YES?
Good tidings to all.
May your worlds be blessed.