With every yes there is a no. With every no there is a yes.

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By Margaret Floyd,  NTP HHC CHFS

By Margaret Floyd, NTP HHC CHFS

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.

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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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20 Comments

  1. Melanie

    June 5, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Awesome post, Margaret. It hits home to a lot of us, I’m thinking.

    P.S. Kids challenge everything don’t they?They challenge the way we do life 🙂

  2. Karen

    June 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I think you have made an excellent choice Margaret…there will always be a steady stream of clients that want and need our services…but Sia…she’s only 1yo, 2yo, 3yo and on…once…each one of these ages brings blessings that you can never go back and recapture.
    Thank-you for this post also because I have been having many similar thoughts and assessing what I am doing…I now have grandbabies and a mom whose health is very fragile…I need to get back in balance too so that I have no regrets…
    I love that you are so transparent…what a blessing for the rest of us Margaret!
    In the interest of health and vitality….

  3. Jennifer Scribner

    June 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Good for you Margaret! You’re such a good example for me. 🙂 I’m having to come to terms with saying no to more little work-related things because they are cutting in to time with my husband and friends too much. I LOVE my work, but I’ve got to keep it in balance with the other good things in life.

  4. Jonel Fritsch-Niesing

    June 5, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Congrats on your decision to put your family and yourself first! Both my daughters have now graduated from college and I wanted to encourage others that the time spent in the early years with our children ALWAYS reaps BIG dividends. I am constantly told what great kids I have (and I do! lol) but it was because I said “No!” to a lot of other obligations (like giving up a very lucrative corporate career) to start l home business and put my family first.

    Looking back, so worth it! I have a great relationship with my girls. We all need to be careful in our life endeavors not to lose the best by striving at the good or said differently, don’t try to “change the world” and risk “losing your own family or yourself”.

    Blessings!

  5. Mira Dessy

    June 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Thank you for having the grace and courage to admit that choices have to be made and that we sometimes need to step back to be able to move in a different direction. I applaud you for the choices you are making and whole-heartedly agree that it’s important to choose family first and life over work.

  6. Leslie

    June 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Congratulations. God gives us all we need out of His abundance, during seasons of our lives.
    You are in a new season. Enjoy! Thank you for being such an exceptional role model, and helping people regain their health. I am grateful for your NTP business program.
    Leslie

  7. mariette

    June 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

    congratulations on being so real and stepping into taking the time to look around and smell the roses!!

  8. Wendy Miller

    June 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Just back from a walk with my hubby..its time to feed the chickens and then off to yoga : all critical things I’ve implemented since saying “NO” to travel and notoriety and approval from “out there” and “YES” to my self care, family time and time outside (thank you chickens : ) . And yet, just last week I cried as I turned down a cool out of town teaching gig. It’s not easy saying No, but practice helps, and remembering the Yes that you are simultaneously saying helps too. So here’s to Yes Yes Yes!!! Congratulations!!!!!! You are just as much an inspiration in this public display of truly following your heart, as when you are “out there…”
    xxxooo

  9. Jen

    June 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

    This takes so much courage and discernment. I am at that crossroads now and it is a big struggle. Thank you for sharing and best of luck 🙂

  10. Belinda

    June 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Proud of you Margaret!!!!!

  11. Jen

    June 5, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Good for you for taking this risk. It’s always the right decision when you’re following your heart. For me, by saying No to jumping up the corporate career ladder I am saying Yes to work life balance.

  12. Sheila McDonnal

    June 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    All the best to you Margaret. Thank you for all you have done. You did bring on a wonderful colleague in Lisa; how might we contact her?.

  13. Jaime

    June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for being so candid with us about your life decisions. I can empathize completely having decided to take a 2nd year off with my daughter (and just do some freelancing part time), which was a conscious and difficult decision to enter what I call “elective poverty,” an exaggeration because we live well yet simply. We’ve made sacrifices and put some financial goals on hold, but I don’t regret it. And I held my career in the same regard as you. Bravo on your decision. I’m glad that you will still be doing the online classes and blog! All the best to you and your family.

  14. Marilyn

    June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Excellent. I am 69 years old with a lot of energy but I learned along time ago that saying NO is giving me some yes time for things I want. Some friends are amazed that I can say it so quickly . That is not saying that I always say no to people but I do consider it first.

  15. Eileen

    June 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    What a wise and healthy decision for you and your family! So grateful to have been on this journey with you – you have been transparent and so willingly shared your experience and expertise. God’s blessings on you and those you hold in your heart.

  16. Lisa Princic

    June 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Congratulations Margaret. Making not so easy decisions are often the path to making life “easier”. I believe all bold moves are followed by rewards so good for you. Time with our kids is awesome in so many ways. xo

  17. Barbara Bukovnik

    June 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    So grateful for your candid, transparent sharing! I’ve been needing a one-liner to help me focus on what is most important. What is the yes to my no? is PERFECT and clear. Thank you so very much!

  18. Kimberly

    June 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Congratulations and best wishes! I look forward to continuing to read and see what you can do from home while investing in your family and applaud you for making the investment you are making. You can always restart a practice but you can never get time back.

  19. Leslie

    June 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I have tears in my eyes as I read this. One of your most powerful and moving blog posts – appropriate as it is also one of your most profound life decisions. Like so many others who have read this, I feel inspired. Your words and actions help us all to give ourselves the permission we’ve been so desperately seeking….to slow down, simplify, and be great parents – or do whatever makes our hearts sing. I know, for me, that means giving myself permission for more Self-care, more down time, more sleep, more time with friends/family, and more things that I enjoy. Pure and simple. But not always so simple. Thank you for being the example. Xoxo

  20. Kristi

    June 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    What a great blog post! We all struggle with this, don’t we? It is refreshing to see it written down. Enjoy this wonderful time with Sia! I must say…I totally love the toddler year…you won’t regret the timing of this decision! Thank you for being so open and honest about the decision. I think I will go play with my daughter now. Outside. 🙂

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