Monday, August 29, 2011

Saying NO

"...[I]n order to cultivate the experience of yes, you must be able to say no, to speak up calmly for your own convictions...The time to say yes is when both your head and your heart freely say yes." 

--Frank Andrews, PhD from his book The Art and Practice of Loving 

As I continue to make my way through this book, I feel like I am learning and expanding my understanding of love and my capacity to love every day. As I make my way through the nine myths of love (chapter two), I realize that I have been susceptible to nearly all of them. And as I read about saying YES, I realized I had to say no. 

To Burning Man

I did not go.

All summer as we talked about and prepared to make this journey, I found myself frustrated and annoyed whenever it was brought up or any time I had to make time for a meeting or read something or do research. I just never seemed to "find the time" to work on Burning Man. 

Excuses, I had those in spades: We had guests staying with us. We were just getting back into the groove after having guests stay with us. More guests were coming; we were getting back into the groove again. 

Finally I had to admit that there was no "just" in this situation except for this one: I just did not want to go. I found all of the necessary props (hats and goggles and costumes oh my!) and preparation (packing everything in plastic bags and bins, stocking up on pedialyte, and buying a survivalist's share of water) more of a pain in the ass than anything and finally I had to admit to myself (and to my husband) that I just did not want to go. 

I have to admit, last week's quote gave me pause. Was I missing out on a chance to say YES to life? 

It wasn't until today when I read this quote that I had the whole picture. What we are saying YES to is LOVE and sometimes that means saying NO to what does not feel like love to us. For many in my Burning Man group these props and preparation are all part of the experience, part of the joy, part of the FUN. 

For me, that was just not the case. And that required my heart to tell my head, very politely and calmly, NO.

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