Saying ‘No’ to somebody is a daunting task for some people. Especially, if that person is a senior colleague at workplace, an elderly in the family, or a dear friend. Those who really struggle with saying ‘no’, like I do, can easily feel the cringe within. When you really struggle with saying no, it is important to ask: what you say ‘yes’ to when you really listen to yourself and say ‘no’. And when you say ‘yes’ (but you really mean ‘no’), what you say ‘no’ to. How does sticking to your personal truth benefits you and others in social relationship? What does it reflect about you and your connections? How does being in-authentic (saying yes when you mean no) is serving you or working as a detriment, and tells you and others about your relationships and connections?

Last night, I was facilitating Shadow work session for a friend. An aspect of her was really resistant towards saying ‘no’ to a course facilitator. I tried to validate that aspect and shared my presence. I probed why would it be bad and good for her to say ‘no’. Finally, we arrived at the shadow reason: saying ‘no’ is a threat to her self-concept of being good every time. Once that aspect became aware of itself, rest of the task was easy. She could figure out why saying ‘no’ is good for her relationship with that person and what will be its impact on her (gaining self-trust which means no self-abandonment) and the person (it will clarify if the person really cares about you or playing a zero sum game).

Holding to your personal truth is the single most indicator of quality of connections you are experiencing around you.

As Teal Swan said once ‘action is the dance of manifestation.’ Below is a note my friend wrote to the course facilitator after having my session. I want you to pay close attention to the language, the way sentences are phrased. Saying ‘no’ it is not a comprise with one’s self, but it is articulation of one’s personal truth without being apologetic. This is the power of shadow work. When parts of your selves are in harmony of saying ‘no’. Most of the time we tend to bulldoze ourselves when we say ‘no’ since the shadow side is not taken on-board. This is an example of how to say ‘no’ without bulldozing the aspect/s of yourself that are not on-board.

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