Thursday, June 26, 2008
RandomBliss: The Power of "No"
Listening to: From my childhood, a song all about action.
Today's Bliss Formula: Rain for the plants. I'm back to the library today and there is an event that should draw a couple hundred, screaming children. A candle lit in front of Jobie's picture. New ideas for my novel and other projects -- ideas that made me want to scream with delight!
Saying no to anything that gets in the way of your blissful and artful and creative life is the equivalent of saying yes to that life, to your priorities.
A lot of us have a hard time saying no and perhaps thinking about it as a yes will give us the strength we need to not make choices from feelings of obligation to others or to some standard version of what our life is "supposed" to look like.
I struggle with this all the time. Those voices in my head that tell me what I should or should not be doing can get pretty loud. But I am learning -- especially thanks to that handsome cat -- how to shut those voices down. (For a bit about Jobie, go here.)
Yet the voices got extra loud a couple of days ago.
There was a job posting at the Whole Foods Cooperative that I would be qualified for. And my "shoulds" all kicked in at once:
I could (should) help people more directly with this job.
I could (should) help the co-op.
I could (should) make more money! And buy things!
Underlying all these voices, there is a voice that it is critical I get to and recognize, but it can take a while, it's the voice that says:
What you are already doing with your life is not enough; do more. Making money is the most important thing. Having a recognizable-to-others job is most important.
And...the big one:
Stop trying to follow your dreams; you're getting too old for that. You're getting nowhere. It's time to face reality and grow up.
These voices come from many places, but the important thing is to bludgeon them to death! They are a choir of naysayers and listening to them gives them energy, grows them; they are emotional and spiritual parasites, stealing your life.
You have control over this. But only if you pay close attention to the constant chatter in your head, which is where yoga and meditation and other forms of prayer come in.
Most of us run on autopilot, hearing these voices and responding to them with our very lives but not really listening to them, not talking back, not telling them to shove it.
This is where the idea of constant choice comes in. You are making constant choices, but if you aren't aware of these voices, you will be under the illusion that some nebulous, external control mechanism is making your choices for you.
You will easily be swayed by external forces. You will say you have priorities but you will not live them. You will allow others to determine how you use this only time you have. You will go along with the crowd even when it feels like crap. You will be a sheep.
It took me a few hours, and I almost gave in, but I didn't. I said NO.
Because my dreams aren't impossible. As a matter of fact, my dreams are essential -- and not just to me. Living and being who we are meant to be, living the dreams that have been planted in our hearts -- me doing this, you doing this is essential for everyone else on this planet. The more of us who dare, the more others will dare.
Dare to be happy. Dare to say no.
Be brave. Know yourself and keep moving toward the self that you were born to be.
When people want to interrupt your precious art or writing or whatever time, say no. When an alternative life presents itself that would take you from your dream, say no. When people are toxic to your goals, say no.
If I can, anyone can.
And after I finally said no, I was rewarded greatly by the Universe (otherwise known as the Great Jobie in the Sky). Other opportunities immediately presented themselves that are more in-line with my priorities; ideas came flowing in from the Muse; and an iced mocha entered the picture.
What more confirmation could I ask for than that?