I am trying a new color. It is fun to write this in olive green. As I become more open-hearted, I am opening to things I used to think I didn't like. Olive green looks pretty now.
I watched the Eckhart-Oprah web class tonight. It now has closed captions which makes it so much easier for me. If you haven't seen it yet go to http://www.oprah.com/. It's worth checking out.The teaching that spoke to me loudest tonight was the idea of the non-negative NO. Eckhart was talking about the importance of listening inside of yourself when someone asks something of you. It's good to discern between an internal YES and an internal NO and to begin to recognize how each feels in our body. He distinquishes between a defensive no and a non-negative no. A defensive no comes from the ego and packs a punch. The tone of voice may have guilt or resentment behind it. The punch could be a tone that implies," How dare you ask me to do that?" rather than a simple clearly stated no.
A non-negative no requires no explanation,justification or excuses. If someone asks me whather I want to do something I am free to explain my no if I choose to. This is different than my explanation coming from the feeling that it isn't O.K. to say no. Mostly when I say no from my heart it is easy to do it in a loving way. Often I feel guilty and that's O.K.
I would rather say no and feel guilt than say yes and feel resentful. What's important is not to knee-jerk to either yes or no. I used to automatically say yes when someone asked me to do something. That ended up creating so much resentment and blame. Then I decided I had had enough of taking care of others and would take care of myself first. That led to a period of knee-jerking to no and being defensive.Both were fear based and ego-driven because both were a reaction to the other person rather than an expression of my truth.After a while I figured out that I wasn't stuck with my knee-jerk response whether it was yes or no.I could go back and communicate that I had gotten clear about what really worked for me and change my mind. Cleaning up my knee-jerks took lots of time and energy and it helped me to see the importance of making my decisions from the inside. The more I did that the more peaceful I felt. The next stage was the intention when I was asked to do something of saying"I need some time to think about this. I'll get back to you." That gave me time to go inside and check in with myself and try things on. These days yes or no from inside comes easier and decisions are still challenging. Now it's more about trusting that I make good choices and working with the habitual pattern of second guessing myself. The more I am aware that it is my inner critic pulling me out of the present by second guessing the easier it is to disengage and bring myself back to the present and the wisdom of my body. It is there that I know what I want. Sometimes it takes longer than others to discern that wisdom and it is always there waiting for me to get out of my own way and pay attention. I am grateful to be learning more about YES and No and to be able to communicate them less defensively. What do you need to say No to? How can you communicate it in a way you will feel good about?