For a long time, I prided myself in my desire to say yes. In fact, in 2014, I wrote a blog post about challenging myself to say yes to practically anything in the effort to ignite my imagination and broaden my life experience. I even invited my readers to join me in 100 days of yes, with all of us documenting our yes moments on social media.
And for a time, saying yes worked. It opened many, many doors. And I prided myself on walking through all of them. I wrote a novel in 2010. I started my first business, Write In Color Resumes, in 2011. I had twins in 2012. In 2015 started working on my second business (creating The Self Love Pinky Ring and this powerful self love movement, Fred and Far) while never giving up the first on). I started taking on speaking engagements. I had my third child in 2018. I wrote my second book The ABCs of Self Love in 2018. I kept running two businesses - with no full-time staff support. In 2020 I wrote my third book, Self Love Poetry and made it an Amazon bestseller.
Yes, I accomplished a lot. Yes, I enjoyed and benefited. But it came at a price. I stretched myself thin, compromised my vision, sacrificed my wellness, and ran myself into the ground. I’m very vocal about my thyroid journey (especially on my Instagram account) and I believe saying so much yes without checking in with myself to evaluate the personal toll is a big reason why my thyroid nodule developed. I didn’t use my voice to say no.
In December of 2020, I was having a heart talk with a friend, and I asked the question: what are you brave enough to say no to? What I didn’t realize at that moment is that even though I was asking that question of my friend, I was really asking the question of myself. What was I brave enough to say no to? This was the question that set the tone for my 2021.
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown talks about the definition of the word priority. “Priority: a thing that is regarded as more important than another.” Greg talks about how the word priority inherently means one thing, and the fact that we’ve created the word priorities actually renders the word meaningless. You can’t have priorities. You have to have a singular priority. And in setting that priority, you nurture it with your attention, your focus, your energy, your love, and as a result, you stop feeling broken, ineffective, and burnt out.
In January of 2021, I took 48 hours to myself at a local hotel. No kids, no husband, no house to tend to, no busy work. My goal was to figure out my answer: what am I brave enough to say no to?
In asking that question, I found myself thinking about my priority. Maybe knowing my ultimate yes would help me say no to anything that stood in the way of it. A friend recommended that I look into Lacy Phillips, who through her To Be Magnetic™ presents a modern guide for manifestation. I decided to try her free clarity workshop. It was a very short guided meditation that was designed to help me figure out what I want most. I’m always the first to say “I can’t meditate” because I’m too busy or distracted, even though I’ve experienced first hand the power of intuition when we simply give it space to lead. So going into this workshop, I was skeptical. More of my own ability to unlock something within myself, than the program itself. But here’s the thing: when Lacie asked me to envision myself in my dream moment, the vision came easily: I saw myself, dressed beautifully, standing in front of an audience, at my book tour, talking about my latest, yet-to-be written book. It was clear. Crystal. Clear.*
So now that I knew what my yes was - what was I willing to say no to? After five full years of running two businesses at once, I’m putting a pin in one of them (don’t worry, not this one). I don’t know for how long, I don’t know what comes next, but I do know that if I want to really give writing a go, every precious extra moment I have after I tend to my family and my own basic needs needs to go to that. You might ask why I’ve even kept up two businesses for as long as I have? Because the original one was my safety net. It provided security in the short-term just in case everything else I was working on (Fred and Far, my books) didn’t pan out. I wasn’t willing to bet on myself in a big picture way, so I kept all the plates spinning at once, just in case.
As soon as I said no, the tests started to pour in. This is something Lacie Philllips talks about, too - the tests from the universe that you will encounter on your path towards manifesting your desires. For me, the test has been a record number of client inquiries for Write In Color. It pains me every single time we have to say no, because empowering people is my life’s work. But with each no, I also gain a sense of peace.
I still have a lot of beautiful plates up there - my kids, my husband, my home, my health, this beautiful self love movement of ours, and my writing (which hopefully I’ll have more to share about soon) - but in saying no, I’ve not only created some space, I’ve said yes to the thing that matters most: me.
What are you brave enough to say no to? And why?
*In writing this post, I realized that this isn’t the first time I’ve had the speaking on a stage vision. I did an aural transcendental guided meditation with Seebastian Siegel in July 2019 that is designed to put you in a sleep-state to achieve subconscious awareness. It’s amazing how a year-and-a-half later that vision has gone from my deep subconscious to just the edge of my mind. Soon I know it will be real - because I was brave enough to say no to what stood in the way of it.