Re-learning to Say NO
Something unconscious happened on my way to becoming the spiritual leader of the new community ImpulsUS. I dressed my God-loving Self the “role” of minister/leader and then began to struggle with the role. In this struggle, my no’s and yes’ became garbled and I caught myself up in a web of confusion.
It went something like this.
I stepped into a Divine Idea that includes the forming of community. As a spiritual being; I know that I become a welcome space for that which resonates to show up; and that which doesn’t either doesn’t arise or does then falls away. It is simple. In addition, my commitment to the vision is to maintain my daily spiritual practice, develop the curriculum and tone for the community, lead classes and speak on the weekend.
Then … I began to get social requests from the people showing up within the community (which, by the way, are people I deeply admire and love). I was asked to lunches, luncheons, dinners, game nights, karaoke, private phone conversations, coffee, walks, other spiritual events … mountains of other spiritual events. I was asked to bring community folks into prayer, then their family and the world. Soon … the role, expectations, and projections of myself and others of me, became impossible to fulfill. I began to feel a push and pull between my gift to the world as a contemplative, teacher, and writer and the role of minister I had stepped into with all of its historical and projected baggage.
I found myself justifying everything I was or wasn’t doing. When asked to attend a social event, I found myself not simply saying “yes,” if it were mine to do and “no” if it wasn’t, but giving excuses and justifications for a “maybe later.” This non-solution feels heavy. So heavy, in fact, I signed up for a class with the great coach Martha Beck on how to say ‘no.’ Yes, you read that right. I signed up for a class on how to say ‘no.’
Yesterday the vision team and I met and had a great conversation about justifications and excuses. One said, ‘why not practice saying yes and no without any qualifiers?‘ This will be my personal challenge for right now. I will say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and let the reasoning be between The Great Spirit and me.
I laugh as I re-read this and watch a very human pattern. I take something simple (a calling); make that something complex (actions and invitations to take me away from Me); then feel its heavy nature (can’t fulfill); take a class to uncomplicate it (reach outside); and, ultimately I arrive at the starting place .. who I am and what I do is between The Only Presence That Is and/as me (responding to the call).
Oh Holy Day!!!