With every yes there is a no. With every no there is a yes.
For most of my life I have been the ultimate Yes-woman. Big career opportunity? Yes! Social obligations? Yes! Run a marathon and fundraise for charity to make it meaningful while writing a book, leading a practice, and starting a new online class? Of course! I am blessed with ample energy, passion, and the drive to make things happen.
As with every blessing, this is also a curse. I love to make people happy. I love to watch them reclaim their health and their life energy. I love to support, to cheerlead, to make the world better place. All good and noble endeavors, for sure, but there is a flip side.
As is epidemic in our culture, I am chronically over-committing and overtaxed. I wrote a post earlier this year about the concept of radical self-care that in many ways was anything but radical. I gave myself two very basic goals: to get outside every day and to take one complete day off each week. Baby steps in the grand scheme of things and yet even these have been outside my reach. Radical indeed.
What life is teaching me time and again is that everything I say “yes” to involves a fundamental “no.” The question is: am I saying “no” consciously or unconsciously?
Every time I say “yes” to an exciting work opportunity that takes me out of town, I’m saying “no” to quality down time with my family. Suddenly the perspective shifts. Every time I take on a new commitment and have to put in long hours of work at night I am saying “no” to my own self-care, which shows up as a migraine later on and more time away from my family. No one wins.
Being a lifelong pleaser, the habit of “yes” is difficult to break. Lets be real: saying no is hard. We risk disapproval, disappointment, or flat-out rejection. It’s not easy or pretty.
And yet, when we put our work obligations, long to-do list, and other people’s needs before our own deepest desires and wants, we are saying a big fat “No” to the life we really want to live and the happiness that comes with it. We build up resentment and we operate from a place of “have to” rather than “want to.” And truly, in these cases, no one wins.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you want to throw all responsibilities out the window and start saying no to everything that comes your way. What I am saying is: let’s bring the “no” into the light and make our decisions consciously.
I am at one such moment in my own life. I have long put career before my own self-care. (I know, ironic given my line of work.) And at this moment when things are really taking off career-wise and I’m seeing the fruits of many years of hard work, it’s counter-intuitive to step away. And yet that’s exactly what I’m doing.
When Sia was born just over 10 months ago, I stepped back from the practice and brought on my colleague, Lisa Thompson. Lisa is a wonderful NTP who has been taking exceptional care of Eat Naked clients for the last year. Over the last few months I kept wondering when I was going to start seeing clients again. And I kept pushing it off and pushing it off and pushing it off… until I finally acknowledged to myself that I’m not going back. At least not right now. This is precious time to be with my little girl, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.
And so I’m making it official. As of June 1st, the Eat Naked nutrition practice is officially closed.
Lisa will continue to see clients privately and I encourage you to seek out her services if you’re feeling inclined to do some deeper nutritional work. I’ll focus on things I can do from home: leading online programs such as the Sugar Control Detox and my writing. So you’ll still be hearing from me here on the blog, and maybe elsewhere as the spirit moves me.
And so, with a great big breath, a prayer, and a lot of faith, I am saying “no” to work that takes me out of the home, and “yes” to my heart’s deep desire for profound self-care and time to be a mom.
What is the “yes” to your “no”?
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