The Good Witch.
Several years ago I read a book called “Tiny Beautiful Things” by the incredible Cheryl Strayed. In it she talks about “no” being the “power the good witch wields.”
I never forgot it.
Yet I still say YES far more than no. In fact, I live by yes.
Yes, I’ll go to that.
Yes, I’ll do that for you.
Yes, I’ll get that to you today.
Yes, I’ll do it this weekend.
Yes, I’ll compromise my own mental health to support yours.
Yes, I’ll rush because you didn’t plan well.
Yes, I’ll give up the last bite.
Yes, I’ll “quickly” make that happen.
Yes, I’ll do that thing because I’m afraid you’ll be mad at me if I don’t.
No sits quietly in the background. It seems powerful and dangerous. Like the world could turn it’s back on me if I picked it up and tried it’s mighty magic on for size.
There’s a lot of talk these days about boundaries and healthy communication and self-care. Lots.of.talk.
But is there action to back this talk up? ‘Cuz it’s all pretty worthless without action, don’t ya think?
Also, YOU may be dedicated to your boundaries but what happens when someone else creates a boundary with you? How does that feel to you? Does it feel like rejection? Does it feel like pain? Does it feel personal?
I think it’s fair to say that, yes, it often does.
I don’t love it when people create boundaries with me. Typically it means I don’t get what I want, when and how I want it. Why would I LIKE that???
However, I’m learning (slowwwwly… oh-so-slowly…) that I must practice and accept others practicing their boundaries at the same time. The two go hand in hand. If I’m for boundaries in my own life then I’m for others having them too.
I have to choose to bravely enforce my own and also give room to the people I love to do it as well. Even if it’s not the way I would have done it. Even if the timing is bad. Even if I would rather they didn’t right now.
In diving in to some of Amy Porterfield’s marketing work today I read a list she created on “non-negotiables”. She wrote out a bullet pointed list starting with: I will no longer work nights and weekends. This one hit home because I recently started enforcing this one in my own business. Sunday nights are the exception because they are my very favorite time to work and my son is already back at his dad’s, but otherwise: no client-facing work/appointments/emails/calls on the weekends.
WHY IS THAT SO HARD FOR ME???
So here’s the thing: it’s hard because I haven’t practiced it. It’s hard because it’s new.
Let’s practice together, shall we? We can hold each other accountable.
Get out a pad and a piece of paper (or open up a new post on IG) and type out: MY MAGICAL NO… and then list them out…
No, I will not text you back immediately just because you texted me.
No, I will not offer that service for free.
No, I will not overly book myself to squeeze you in.
No, I will not offer that service that I don’t like just because you need it.
No, I will not under-charge because you’ve been a loyal client.
No, I will not waive your contract break fee because you don’t want to pay it.
No, I will not pretend you have not been unkind to me as of late.
No, I will not allow you to emotionally bankrupt me with cryptic communication. I will hold you accountable to more.
And so on and so forth.
I’m betting you have your own list brewing and that each and every item is tricky for you to truly follow through with. Sure, you can do it sometimes, but with THAT person… ummm… maybe another day.
I’m getting serious though, my friend. Truly serious. We have big things to do with this precious life of ours and we also have big things to BE. We are not “doings”. We are “beings”. When the doing is filled with our “no’s” then our yes’s get stomped all over and we feel disconnected from our values and our joy. Our being starts to suffer.
Let’s be warriors for our joy.
Warriors for our peace.
Warriors for our purpose.
Say no to burnout. Say yes to boundaries.
I love you.