The Power of saying “NO”

This post is inspired by women leaders out there who are offering their wisdom and standing behind their truth to influence world change.

Yogi Bhajan was hugely committed to the spiritual growth of women in our world, saying that women are the ones to create lasting change for the better –for ourselves and our daughters, nieces and friends by honouring our own personal truth in all the little or big situations we find ourselves in daily.

Positive, effective change comes from women who are comfortable with, and who know themselves enough to answer only to their truth. Just a small ask! – considering all the conflicting incoming cultural, lineal, feminist/post feminist/new feminist images of what represents power, strength and impact that we are presented with across the globe.

 

But then again, it’s also far from impossible –

 

I’d like to highlight one aspect of change-creation that is a starting point for action towards what we, as truth-seeking heartfelt yogi practitioners hold dear (whatever that is for you). This aspect is the power of saying “NO” and/or the power of NOT doing.

 

If you attended my Pleasure & Emotions workshop a week or so ago, we focused on this idea quite a bit – the negative space and the not doing as a source of great power – which is also a guide for what to do when you don’t know what to do. Our workshop homework is to practice saying “NO” with grace and I’d like to encourage that homework practice with you all too.

 

Shiv Charan Singh details this idea in his book “Let the Numbers Guide You” saying that “our sense of discrimination is most awake when there is something wrong rather than when things are ok.” So even if there is confusion around what does or doesn’t feel right, we can take the confusion itself as a sign that the truth is closer than we think, but has not quite presented itself yet. So, until that truth arrives or becomes clearer, we practice the art of saying “no” gracefully or not doing, making space to then see what comes.

 

Huge change can take place by simply ceasing to support/engage/say yes to things that don’t feel right. By withdrawing consent on even the most simple moments that we come across throughout the day (not politely laughing along at a derogatory comment or choosing to be silent rather than engage in conversation that doesn’t sit right with you) creates some serious vibrational impact on the situation!

 

That’s not to mean an apathetic withdrawal of participation by ignoring something that’s triggering some discomfort for you or another. Rather, cultivating a conscious holding of the “no” space; to hold the space of the “no”; whether verbalised or simply made clear in a way that is dignified yet definite.

 

This can take practice and also courage. So, go ahead and practice – practice how and what you would do/say/hold yourself/how you would breathe in that situation. And to really refine it, practice how you could orchestrate this to be respectful to others and yourself in the situation. That is some serious feminine power; the yin aspect of change – through the not doing.

 

There’s time for action and there’s time for no action. Both serve to shift, lift and change the space around us. This post encourages cultivating comfort in sitting in the not doing, while holding that space with dignity and devotion to a truth that may be known, or on it’s way to being known.

 

* I also read a wonderful post from Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa, the author of the recently published book “the Grace of a woman” (I’m yet to read the book, but enjoyed her article here).

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photo: http://reneemullingslewis.com

 

 

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