During my Aletheia weekend at the Integral Center in Boulder, Colorado, I found my NO and that has made all the difference. Can you own your no? What would be possible if you could really say no, when you really mean no?
With a commitment to honor self and others and to own our own experiences, six other people stayed with me as I shared my feelings, noticings, desires and thoughts. Viewing the micro as the macro, trusting that how we are anywhere in our life is how we are everywhere in our life, we treated those moments as an access point to information for the integration of Self.
Anytime people are willing to really see you, go deep, stay with you and share their experience of what it is like to be with you in real-time, one is bound to have a breakthrough.
In their questioning, I found myself saying, I will do that if it pleases you. This was right after my rant about how I bend over backwards for people and I like the idea that I don’t have to do anything to earn your love.
In his commitment to owning his own experience, honoring himself and me, and telling the truth, he said, I like you, but I am mad at you. I want women if my life who would say no if that’s what they really meant.
This floored me. Intellectually it makes sense and I get it, but in that moment, with what I had been saying, I realized that I don’t live my life like that’s true.
I live my life like I have to please you or you will go away and I will be alone.
Fearing rejection, or being called selfish, or worse, I give when I don’t want to.
Thus, the pattern of my life, being resentful in relationships and not really having the experiences I want to have.
In the safety of that room, I got to own my NO, powerfully.
With the skill of a medicine Shaman, these people guided me to reclaim my power, to find my inner NO in the deepest recesses of my being and to stake my claim.
From the deepest part of me, I said NO!
I was witnessed as I said all those things I am not supposed to say to the people I am not supposed to say them to.
I yelled. I cried.
I claimed my space as a sovereign being who owes nothing to no one.
You see, until we have the right to really feel what we feel, honor it and claim it, we will not heal. Stuffing down what’s real in favor of some spiritual righteousness leaves us under the influence of our dark shadow, our disowned parts, and they will be heard. One way or another, you have to go there.
What we resist does persist, and I firmly believe it is in the allowance of what we feel that it can disappear. Treat your feelings and emotions like they are your unconscious mind, showing up as pains, feelings, emotions in your body and they are coming up to be healed and released. If you deny it, it will lurk there under the surface.
Until I felt my NO, from toe to crown, with a resolute power, I declared my space.
While others in the room cried with me, and some acted out my family, and others held space, I got to go there.
In the days since, I feel the resounding NO in my system.
I feel my easy access to my NO.
I get that the practice and the acting out made it accessible to me.
I have been able to say, NO, I don’t want to talk about that now.
No, I don’t want to do that.
No, I am not available.
Inside of that declaration, I get to pursue my creativity, my desires, my passions. I spend my days doing what I want to do, instead of surrendering to the will of others.
I am firm in my ground. My feet planted on my turf. Willing to meet you and join in connection, but unwilling to sacrifice my wants for yours.
This is the new ME.
A girl birthing herself with the help of her friends.
What we really want is to know that those around will tell us the truth. Even if it hurts.
Go there, wherever it is you have to go. Feel your way there. Stay with it. Own it. Love that dark part of you and watch it release like a magic puff of smoke.
With a full-hearted NO when I am really a NO,