Just Say No

might make them angry
it will make you free.

– if no one has ever told you,
your freedom is
more important than their anger.

Nayyiral Waheed

Dear Friend,

Being the founder of a company, a leader, a parent, indeed being an engaged person involves saying “yes”.

Yes to ideas, yes to meetings, yes to going out, yes to events.


This is good.

But like everything good it can be bad.

Too many yes’s.

The founders I coach are often overwhelmed with the number of yes’s they have given and the consequences.

Too many strands to their business, too many weekly meetings, too many commitments to help others.

And as people they are also overwhelmed.

Too many family responsibilities, too many social events, even too many self-care appointments!

The result: a sense of never being off, a sense of skimming the surface rather than going deep, a sense of fragmentation.

Maybe overwhelm and burn-out.

What is the answer?

Trim down those Yes’s.

Actively choose to say No.

I suggest some tips below for how to develop a “no” mindset.

Counter-intuitive but deeply, deeply self-resourcing and renewing.

Then you can go out and say yes again.

Have a restful weekend,

Sanja x

Saying No

1)Become aware: Turn to Nature to help you.

How do the seasons work? A cycle of change each leading to the other.

Spring: a time of preparing and sowing

Summer: a time of doing and growth

Autumn: a time of reaping and harvesting

Winter: a time of rest and letting the land lie fallow

Take a look at your life through this seasonal lens.

What percentage of your week is in Spring and Summer mode: racing around, doing, doing, acting, acting?

How much conscious or indeed unconscious value do you place on that busy mode?

How often do you sit in winter:  truly resting, recuperating, being still?

How much value do you place on non-doing?

Simply notice how you spend most of your time.

2) Challenge your thinking: Ask yourself some questions.

What would be the impact of saying no?

What would it mean to myself? My company? My family? To others?

Notice a tendency to think of the negative impacts first.

Stretch yourself to think of the positive impact: short and long term.

How would saying no benefit myself, my company, others?

3) Practice: Embody saying “No”

Try out the “no” pose.

Stand firm. One leg forward with the weight on that foot.

Raise one hand ( the same as the forward leg) and hold it out in front of your heart with your palm and fingers open.

Hold the other hand in a loose fist by your hip.

Imagine a scenario in which too much is asked of you.

Firmly say “no” out loud.

Don’t lean too far forward or too far back. Don’t over or under-extend your arm. Don’t over clench your fist.

Simply be grounded, firm and resolute and calm in your no.

Practice this by yourself ( feeling rather silly maybe at first).

Notice the quiet strength of it.

Transfer that feeling and capability to daily life.

So in a nutshell, to bring a little more “no” into your life:

Become aware. Challenge your thinking.  Practice.

A Poem for someone who is juggling her life

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over,
as someone who is juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook