“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that.
When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no.
We don’t have to explain ourselves, we can just say “No”.
Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it.
My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love.
Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.”
― Susan Gregg
It tends to happen when we are full of energy and life is rolling along well that we forget that we are a human who needs rest, rejuvenation and time to catch our breath on a regular basis – kick our shoes off and let our hair down so-to-speak. And in such a state, I often find myself saying yes to invitations and involvements without hesitation before I realize my calendar is overwhelmed. In my initial intention, I sincerely have interest. But it is when I step back into my life I realize that my other priorities, those priorities that I have worked so long and hard trying to cultivate, are suffering due to my taking on too much.
It is at such a moment that I must re-evaluate. I must determine why I am off my game and how to get back on track. Because it is always possible to retrace our steps, remind ourselves of our priorities, goals and intentions and find the discipline within ourselves to stand up for ourselves, admit we have taken on too much and find the courage to say no.
While ideally the “no” will come when the invitation is extended, as we come to get to know ourselves, we may have to say no along the way as we recognize our top priorities are being short-changed and those initially tantalizing engagements, while enjoyable, actually hurt the rest of our days.
It is never easy doing this, as some are of the philosophy that one must finish what we’ve started, but not when it comes to our life’s purpose, what is most valuable. After all, we are all human and we make mistakes. So long as we do so tactfully and honestly, no one can fault us for begin human because we all are.
Respect and protect your goals and chosen path. To live a life for others’ approval is to live life according to their rules. You must determine if your goals are worth the sacrifice and stand in your truth even if initially it is not well received. And then next time, saying “no” will come more readily.
The essence of choosing quality over quantity not only includes material items, but also that which we give our focus. It is when we are able to be fully present and give our best selves that whatever has our attention will flourish. In overextending ourselves,the outcome we had imagined and hoped for becomes less of a possibility because if we arrive exhausted, our energy is not optimal (far from it), often our mood is not ideal either, and without question, our decision-making abilities are hampered which can lead to even more stress and headaches down the road.
Always keep in mind that finding regular breathing space in our everyday is just as valuable as pursuing our goals. After all, busy doesn’t equate to productive and happiness first must begin with respect for ourselves and how we have chosen to live.
~A Post from the Archives You Might Enjoy: Stop Being Busy and Start Being Efficient
Below, find a few images that may just offer a moment of quiet breathing space to get lost in if only for a moment . . .
10 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Editor”
Thank you for your beautiful blog: I absolutely love reading the thought-provoking posts and seeing the intriguing pictures. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Powerful topic on today’s post… A former people-pleaser and peace maker, I recently saw a quote, Learn to say no without explaining yourself. This struck a chord with me and I am learning to not feel guilty about not agreeing to everything.
Have an awesome day!
Great post and I couldn’t agree more! I used to be worried that I will be viewed as anti-social or I would feel guilty or a sense that I might be missing out if I turned down an invitation. However now I can see that it’s more important to say “no” during those times when I really need the time to myself instead, which will ensure that those times I do say “yes” I am truly present and engaged!
I recommend actually saying ‘no’ when receiving an invite and not later when you think you’ve taken on too much. The latter is very rude and will inevitably lead to fewer invitations. Think of your poor host planning an event (or you yourself being a host) and receiving a last-minute (rather selfish) ‘no’ because of one’s own bad planning/foresight. All the wasted food, wasted time, etc. I genuinely love discovering this blog and your wonderful, empowering insights, but I think one should take responsibility for one’s time management and not disrespect others and their thoughtful invites and their time.
Fair statement absolutely. In stating engagements, I’m including responsibilities, positions, jobs, anything in our schedule that is reoccurring that clearly is detrimental to our focus and top priorities materializing. I couldn’t agree more when it comes to communicating with a host which would only be a one-time event. Thank you for your comment.
Loved your “image” interpretation of quiet breathing moments… as well as your reminder to take a break. Thanks!
Like most people, I used to feel guilty about saying no, and would attempt to explain myself. Bad mistake. Explanations always lead to the person making the request trying to shoot holes in it. It was a revelation to me the first time I said “No” without explaining why. They had nothing to argue against, and just said, “Oh… okay….” and walked away. I felt like I had been let in on some esoteric secret of life! I’ve been not explaining myself ever since.
Great essay – saying “no” is a skill!
I know this may be a long-shot, but I love the rug in the first picture with the hot pink chair. By any chance do you have more information about this picture?
I believe it’s an antelope print rug. I was obsessed with them a while back and found that a company named Karastan makes the gray colored version like the rug in the picture. Hope that helps.
I love this post and this entire blog. I only read 2 blogs and I find this one so refreshing and validating.
The pictures are wonderful. Shannon, I find that your blogposts, book, podcasts and Letters from the Editor are speaking volumes to me. What I once viewed as simplistic ideas I find now are feeding my soul. Perhaps it’s your constant prodding to enjoy your very unique life that’s comforting, welcoming. What started out as an interest in your fashion ideas has truly become A Simply Luxurious Life. Thank you.