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When Yes Means No.

There can be a no inside of a yes. There can be a yes inside of a no. Sometimes? Most of the time? All of the time? Depends on how you look at it. Here we look at the no that resides in a yes and the yes that resides in a no and of course, why it matters.

If I say yes to teaching yoga at 6:30 pm, I am saying no to eating dinner at the same (unless some very distracted teaching is going on: Inhale – munch munch munch – Lift your arms up (said with mouth full)- swallow – Exhale and fold forward). If I say no to teaching at 6:30 pm, I am saying yes to other possibilities.

If I say yes to fully listening to you, I am saying no to mentally planning my evening, thinking about my own agenda, etc. If I say no to my mental distractions, I am saying yes to being more present to who or what is in front of me.

I cannot teach and eat dinner at the same time. I cannot give my fullest attention to a loved one if my mind is elsewhere.

As the a former queen of overcommitment, I have to constantly remind myself that I am just one person and because of this, there can be a no inside of a yes. And a yes inside of a no. And this is perfectly ok – it just might be useful to be aware of it.

A no overtly costs you something. (No, I can’t go to lunch with you – I miss out on you and lunch). The cost of a yes is often  concealed if we don’t think about it deliberately or through habit. (Yes, I will eat ice cream right before I go to bed. I miss out on a clear respiratory system in the morning.)

Yes to a latte is a no to afternoon energy. Yes to watching Star Trek or Star Wars (you choose what you think I prefer) is a no to waking up feeling deeply rested.

So the question to ask yourself is: What do I really want? And once we understand what the question actually is, maybe then we can answer skillfully.

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