I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Renaissance woman, someone who likes to dabble in many pursuits rather than focus on just one. The main challenge with this is that I’m living here on the Earth plane, where there only so many hours in a day. Ah, the restrictions of space and time and mortality. The other thing that becomes an issue is that most everything sounds like so much fun!
When I’m asked to attend an event or help with a project, I really love saying yes, especially when it’s something that sounds like it will be enjoyable or will make a difference. I love to be involved, and of course I don’t want to miss anything great!
But I’ve been down that road before, and it can lead to frustration and stress.
When I say yes to too many things in a given week, my own passions get put on the back burner. That doesn’t feel good at all. My creative work, my family, and my spiritual practices form the foundation of my chosen way of living.
November is a particularly key time for being aware of this. I’m writing a novel in a month. That takes a lot of focus and, you guessed it, time. Right after that is the winter holiday season, when my family and I already have a lot on our plates. Plus, this time of year the call of hibernation is strong. It’s not too hard to practice saying “no thanks” or “not right now.”
Saying no to something that could potentially be amazing means saying yes to the things I’m already committed to.
So when someone sends me an invitation, or BlackLion comes up with a great new idea that he thinks I’d enjoy too, or there’s a series on Netflix that ElvenTiger wants me to watch, I pause. I remember my creative projects and how much joy they bring, and think of the time commitment I’m being asked to give. I might look at the calendar and see what else is up that day, and what the week as a whole looks like. I put this potential new activity into context with the rest of the things I wish to devote my time to right now.
Saying no used to feel like I was letting someone down, or missing out on all the action. But now, saying no can mean saying yes, and I like that feeling. I remember, when I decline getting involved with a new project, that I have several already underway that will bring new growth and understanding. I cherish the time I spend with my family and close friends. I think of how much more centered I am when I have time to do yoga and meditate.
I recall my priorities, and the reasons why they are so important to me.
And if, in that pause to evaluate, the invitation sounds truly too good to pass up, I can always say yes.