Learning to say "no" has been a huge milestone for me. It has improved my ability to manage my time, take care of my children and honor my own needs and desires. In a way, saying no increased the power and significance of saying "yes." Now, if I decline a playdate, leadership training, or night out on the town with the girls, I do not feel guilty. I know that it is my way of really taking care of me and of showing up authentically. It makes me more reliable too because I am more likely to show up to something fully if it's something I really want. At the same time, saying no is a practice and I'm not ALWAYS that good. Something I have said no to recently: hosting a weekly Mom-ME Circle at my house. I am changing the format to once a month and having child care available so that when the mamas are here they can really sink in. I know some people are disappointed by this and others love it. The important point is that I am doing what feels right for me, in this moment. I know that in the future things may/WILL shift and I'll have to shift with them.
I'm super excited about this new skill and the new friendships that are budding as a result of renewing my commitment to myself. I am able to help those I really want to because I'm not caught up helping those I don't (a long time habit of mine- I'm a helper by nature and it has totally burned me out.) Now, I can joyfully whip up a dinner for a new mom or babysit for a friend and feel like my cup is still full because I have not said yes when I wanted to say no. I can spend a weekend fully invested with my family without looking at my phone once because my values are set- NO devices on Saturdays... PERIOD. (This is why if you try to get a hold of me on a Saturday you won't have much luck.) For me, self-care is worth disappointing a few people.
How is your "no" muscle feeling these days? Please share in the comments below.