Saying no

The first time I heard the phrase ‘your yes doesn’t count if you can’t say no’ I was intrigued. It felt so countercultural.

I held it like a stone in my hand, reminding me of its presence. Turning it around for closer inspection.

And then I realised its power. Our yeses mean nothing if they are always on and we aren’t clear what we are committing to. We just drift in a sea of pleasing others, or ourselves.

So what happens when we say no? It liberates us to intentionally say yes to the things that really matter. The commitment of care, attention, resources and especially time, that can only be used once.

It also creates a generous space, where we develop quality not just quantity. Where we have capacity to notice and be curious, rather than rushing into the next thing. Or create something of beauty, not just functionality.

When did you last say no?